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The MXI Editor Panel

In the "tooting my own horn" category is my very own MXI Editor panel, which creates the MXI files needed for package extensions and saves them to the desktop.

Admittedly, it's incredibly vain of me to put my own extension on my short list of favorites, but it also makes sense. I really wanted some sort of application that would make packaging extensions easier because I make a lot of extensions. Yes, there is at least one extension available already for Dreamweaver, and there's a standalone application, named MXI File Creator, by muzakdeezign.com, but I wanted to do package extensions right from inside Flash. So I made a panel that does it. And since it fills a need in my development life, it's quickly become one of my favorite extensions. So there.

To use the MXI Editor panel, you simply fill out the forms in each of two tabs, shown in Figure 3, and click Create MXI. Your MXI file is magically delivered to your desktop. The panel enables you to enter the author name, version number, extension type, Flash version required, description of the extension, filenames for the files that must be included in the extension package, and destinations for each file in the Flash install directory. In other words, it includes all the standard information you need to create MXI files and package extensions. The current version can handle up to six files, so you can create an entire suite of extensions and package it all up using one panel, right from inside Flash. Once the MXI file has been created, simply drop it into a folder with all the files you need to package, and double-click it to create a package (an .mxp file) for the Macromedia Extension Manager.

Figure 3Figure 3 The MXI Editor panel, used to package the MXI Editor panel.

Also part of the panel is a shared object, so your username and operating system type (required to save the file to your desktop) are remembered.

I like this panel so much that I even used it to create the MXI file I needed to package the panel. Of course, it was a surreal moment when I realized I'd created a panel that could essentially package itself.

The MXI Editor is also free and is available at WidgetMaker.net. As an added bonus, source files are available for every widget listed on WidgetMaker.net—aside from getting the panel, you also get the source FLA so you can customize or learn from it.

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