Post FlashForward SF 2004 review, and some interesting things during the keynote

There was a lack of updates from all the bloggers during FlashForward last week. For some reason the wireless network was completely inoperable so very few had the chance to provide some real coverage. The conference was as all FF conferences. Maybe I am starting to get the feeling that it is slowly getting smaller and smaller but the conference is not as exciting as it used to be (maybe its even just me). I did notice though that the organizers were gathering more feedback this time around. They seem to be really interested in introducing some new changes to FlashForward which would definitely be welcome!
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Copy nodes from one v2 Tree to another

We’re working on an application that allows a user to copy nodes from one tree to another. We have two trees and buttons between them. It turned out that copying nodes wasn’t as straightforward was we had hoped.

There were two issues. First when you add a node to a tree the first thing the component does is remove it from it’s current parent. Fortunately the XMLNode class provides a cloneNode function so before adding a node we only need to call cloneNode. The second issue is with branch settings. When you set a node as a branch using setIsBranch the Tree stores this information separately from the Tree’s data provider. Furthermore, there is no public method to retrieve branch information since getIsBranch will return true if the node is set as a branch OR if it has children.

In the end we created two functions, copySelectedNode clones and copies the selected node from one tree to another and then it calls copyIsBranchInfo to copy the branch information for the copied nodes. copyIsBranchInfo is a separate function since it needs to call itself recursively for all children of the copied node.

function copySelectedNode(fromTree:Tree, toTree:Tree):Void {

// do a deep clone so the copied node isn't removed from old tree
var fromNode:XMLNode = fromTree.selectedNode;
var toNode:XMLNode = fromNode.cloneNode(true);


copyIsBranchInfo(fromTree, fromNode, toTree, toNode);

function copyIsBranchInfo(fromTree:Tree,
toNode:XMLNode):Void {
// Tree doesn't provide a method for checking if a node is
// absolutely set to a branch, it only has getIsBranch which returns
// true if it's set as a branch OR if it has children, which isn't what we
// want.
// branchNodes isn't defined as private, but it's clearly intended
// to be private. Iin order to accomlish a correct copy, we're
// going to access it anyways.

// if nothing is absolutely set, exit
if (fromTree.branchNodes == undefined) {

if (fromTree.branchNodes[fromNode["getID"]()]) {
toTree.setIsBranch(toNode, true);

if (fromNode.hasChildNodes()) {
fromNode = fromNode.firstChild;
toNode = toNode.firstChild;
while (fromNode != undefined) {
copyIsBranchInfo(fromTree, fromNode, toTree, toNode);
fromNode = fromNode.nextSibling;
toNode = toNode.nextSibling;


function click(eventObj) {
copySelectedNode(leftTree, rightTree);

Flash Forward SF 2004 here I come!

I almost forgot to post anything about this until KeithÂ’s post reminded me. I’m heading out to San Francisco tomorrow to attend Flash Forward. This time I won’t be exhibiting or speaking so I should have a lot more time to attend sessions and hang out with people. I will try to blog some of the event and take a bunch of pictures. If will be out there make sure to say hello!

I will also have my laptop on me for anyone looking for a demo of BLDoc or our 3.0 release of the Charting Components

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