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Manipulating Data with ActionScript in Flex Applications

In this third part of a five-part series focused on using Flex and ActionScript together, you will learn about methods, arrays, and more. This article is excerpted from chapter four of the book Programming Flex 2, written by Chafic Kazoun and Joey Lott (O'Reilly, 2007; ISBN: 059652689X). Copyright © 2007 O'Reilly Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission from the publisher. Available from booksellers or direct from O'Reilly Media.

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By: O'Reilly Media
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May 15, 2008
  1. · Manipulating Data with ActionScript in Flex Applications
  2. · Expressions
  3. · Arrays
  4. · Objects
  5. · Inheritance

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Manipulating Data with ActionScript in Flex Applications - Inheritance
(Page 5 of 5 )


You can create new classes (called subclasses) that inherit from existing classes (called superclasses). You achieve this using the extends keyword when declaring the class. The extends keyword should follow the class name and be followed by the class from which you want to inherit. The following defines classB, so it inherits from a fictional class,A:

  package com.example{
    import com.example.A;
    public class B extends A {

ActionScript 3.0 allows a class to inherit from just one superclass. The subclass inherits the entire implementation of the superclass, but it can access only properties and methods declared aspublicorprotected. Properties that are declared asprivateand methods are never accessible outside a classónot even to subclasses. Classes in the same package can access properties declared asinternal. Consider the classAand classBexample, ifAis defined as follows:

  package com.example {
public class A {
      private var _one:String;
      protected var _two:String;
      public function A() {
      private function initialize():void {
        _one = "one";
_two = "two";
      public function run():void {

In this example,B(which is defined as a subclass ofA) can access_twoandrun(), but it cannot access_oneorinitialize().

If a subclass wants to create its own implementation for a method that it inherits from a superclass, it can do so by overriding it. Normally, a subclass blindly inherits all of the superclass implementation. However, when you override a method, you tell the subclass that it should disregard the inherited implementation and use the overridden implementation instead. To override a method, you must use theoverridekeyword in the method declaration; the following overrides therun()method:

  package com.example {
import com.example.A;
public class B extends A {
override public function run():void{

When a subclass overrides a superclass method, the subclass methodís signature must be identical to the superclass methodís signature, i.e., the parameters, return type, and access modifier must be the same.

Please check back next week for the continuation of this article.

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