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Creating search form in Flash

Posted on 2000-03-31
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
We're redesigning our web site using only Flash 4. We want to add a search form. Does anyone know if this is possible, and if so, how it can be done?

Thanks
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Question by:debtoine
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SuperMario earned 300 total points
ID: 2677185
If you want to search the entire web, you'll be interested in this string:

http://www.search_engine_address.com

If you only want to search YOUR site, you'll be interested in this string:

/cgi-bin/my_search_script.cgi

assuming that your CGI script to search is in your root/cgi-bin directory.

Now, create a text field for the user to enter the search string. Its name will be, by default, TextField1. Change that by going to TextField Properties. What you change it to depends on what variable your CGI script uses as the query. For example, if your CGI script searches using a query called "query" (which holds the data of the user's search string), you would name the TextField "query" .

Is this too much for you? If so, let me know.

Now, create a basic Submit button, and drag an instance of it onto the stage. Right click and go to Properties. Click the Actions tab. Add the Get URL action. Enter one of the strings mentioned above depending on search engine or CGI script use.

Got me? =)

-Dan
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Author Comment

by:debtoine
ID: 2677215
Before I try this and award the points, I have not been able to find a cgi script that searches for text in a Flash only web site. All search cgi scripts I have found are searching content on html files.
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by:SuperMario
ID: 2677220
You'll have to create a hash in Perl and develop a structural link between keywords and scenes.
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Author Comment

by:debtoine
ID: 2677225
Before I try this and award the points, I have not been able to find a cgi script that searches for text in a Flash only web site. All search cgi scripts I have found are searching content on html files.
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Author Comment

by:debtoine
ID: 2677230
Adjusted points from 250 to 300
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Author Comment

by:debtoine
ID: 2677231
And now in layman's terms?

I don't know Perl and just started using Flash. Would you be able to give an example?

Am I in over my head?
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by:SuperMario
ID: 2677233
Hmm....

To achieve the effect you're pursuing, you should either attempt to learn Perl or get somebody to write a script for you. You could also try using Generator. The problem with Flash is that you can't directly access the text. =/

-Dan
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Author Comment

by:debtoine
ID: 2677234
And now in layman's terms?

I don't know Perl and just started using Flash. Would you be able to give an example?

Am I in over my head?
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Expert Comment

by:SuperMario
ID: 2677239
I could give you an example in Perl, but that's a whole other story.
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Author Comment

by:debtoine
ID: 2677242
Dan,

Do you know a URL with examples of this application? I can't believe I am the first "Flash novice" to want a searchable Flash site.

Will double points for anyone who can give me specific (step by step) instructions for this.

I also can't figure out why each of my comments is posting twice....(obviously this is not important, just annoying).
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Expert Comment

by:SuperMario
ID: 2677286
Are you double-clicking the Submit button?
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Expert Comment

by:bobkatz
ID: 2684613
debtoine - The Flash part of your question is fairly straightforward, I think marioboy has cover that.

The CGI part of it is another thing as he has mentioned. In order to search, you must have something to search, be it a file or (preferrably) a database. Doing keyword searches on a "flat file" are rather complex even though Perl is the best at it.

Setting up an SQL database would seem to be the smart thing to do. There are some very simple ones out there (Postgres, mySQL are free) but the catch is that you need some in house expertise to set it up for you. The questions you need to answer are:

1)what operating system is your server  running? (Linux I hope).
2)do you have access to a database programmer (as someone who is redesigning their web site in all Flash that would be an assumption - but from my past experience  - I know better than to make any, hehhe)
3)do you have in-house CGI programming experience? (ex-house can be $$$!)

Again with the right resources, both hardware and expertise-wise, these are not very complex issues but, on the other hand, they really are not Flash issues either.

When you have answered the above qusetions, I will be able to advise you further. Good luck! And (as our Oracle database guru always says) -

Keep Smilin'

Bobkatz
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Expert Comment

by:larry718
ID: 2684890
Here's a link that would be helpful:
http://www.virtual-fx.net/activesearch.html
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