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Thread: trouble with php write to txt

  1. #1
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    trouble with php write to txt

    I am trying to work with code from http://www.kirupa.com/forum/showthread.php?t=306368

    that uses a php script to read from and write to a file called "text.txt" using the php file "write.php". I took a break from this project for the past two weeks and just got back to it. For some reason the flash files no longer are writing to my txt files. I know I have gotten it to work before, but can't figure out why they seemed to have stopped working now.

    here is the flash code:
    Code:
    import flash.events.*;
    import flash.net.URLLoader;
    import flash.net.URLLoaderDataFormat;
    import flash.net.URLRequest;
    stop();
    
    var variables:URLVariables = new URLVariables();
    var varSend:URLRequest = new URLRequest("write.php");
    var varLoader:URLLoader = new URLLoader;
    varSend.method = URLRequestMethod.POST;
    varSend.data = variables;
    
    bt_sub.buttonMode = true;
    bt_sub.addEventListener(MouseEvent.CLICK, ValidateAndSend);
    
    
    function ValidateAndSend(event:MouseEvent):void
    
    {
       
        gotoAndPlay(2);
         variables.wootext = text_txt.text;
    
               varLoader.load(varSend);
       
    }
    
    
    
    
    
    
    var url:String = "test.txt";
    var loadit:URLLoader = new URLLoader();
    loadit.addEventListener(Event.COMPLETE, completeHandler);
    loadit.load(new URLRequest(url));
    
    function completeHandler(event:Event):void
    {
    text_txt.text = event.target.data as String;   
    }
    here is php:
    Code:
    <?php
    
    $wootext   = $_POST['wootext'];
    
    
    // Strip slashes on the Local variables
    $wootext   = stripslashes($wootext);
    
    
    
    
    
    
    $filename = 'test.txt';
    $somecontent = "Add this to the file\n";
    $somecontent2 = "Add this to the file2\n";
    // Let's make sure the file exists and is writable first.
    if (is_writable($filename)) {
    
        // In our example we're opening $filename in append mode.
        // The file pointer is at the bottom of the file hence
        // that's where $somecontent will go when we fwrite() it.
        if (!$handle = fopen($filename, 'wb')) {
             echo "Cannot open file ($filename)";
             exit;
        }
    
        // Write $somecontent to our opened file.
        if (fwrite($handle, $wootext) === FALSE) {
            echo "Cannot write to file ($filename)";
            exit;
        }
    
        echo "Success, wrote ($wootext) to file ($filename)";
    
        fclose($handle);
    
    } else {
        echo "The file $filename is not writable, or doesn't exist";
    }
    ?>
    thanks for the help

  2. #2
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    Hi,

    it is quite possible that your text file is no longer writable ... and your flash does not have a feedback part so you could see the reply from the php script.

    Musicman

  3. #3
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    what does no longer writeable mean?
    and can you give me a feedback example? I am not familliar at all with PHP

    and experimenting with it a moment ago. I can open up the text file in one window and the swf in another and see the text file now being written to (im pretty sure that wasn't happening before), but when i refresh the swf (which is supposed to pull from the text file initially) it still has the old text. Is this part of browser catching or something?

  4. #4
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    Hi,

    a) I have seen file permissions change on servers, and I know that some friend's ftp tool has a habit of changing perms on more than the selected file
    b) your php already echoes stuff back to flash - so flash could use sendAndLoad to read those responses
    c) this looks indeed like a cache problem - perhaps your movie should send the current time or a random number alongside the request to avoid that

    Musicman

  5. #5
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    Musicman, first off thanks for the help. Secondly, I don't think I understand enough to use much of it.

    a) I don't know anything about permissions or how they would change
    b) I dont know what sendAndLoad is or how I would use it
    c) as for sending the time, i dont know how to do that or how it would help.

    I really know very little about any of this and have been following tutorials. please either direct me to a tutorial that has an application to what i am doing (aka NOT a "intro to sendAndLoad" tutorial) or give me applicable code.

    thanks

  6. #6
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    Hi,

    just reusing the same techniques....
    this adds a unique var to the second request to prevent caching
    Code:
    var url:String = "test.txt";
    var loadit:URLLoader = new URLLoader();
    var loaditvars:URLVariables = new URLVariables();
    loadit.data = loaditvars;
    loaditvars.blah = new Date().gettime();
    To receive the feedback, you just need to add another complete handler
    Code:
    varLoader.addEventListener(Event.COMPLETE, completeHandler2);
    and display the received data in a different textfield or just trace it
    Code:
    function completeHandler2(event:Event):void
    {    trace(event.target.data);
    }
    About permissions: on most web servers, files are write-protected, so you specifically would have to allow write access to the text file. This is a function provided by whatever tool you use to upload your files to the server

    Musicman

  7. #7
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    Thanks a lot for the code and explanation. I'm not really sure how to integrate it into my existing code though. Not knowing anything about catching, I don't really know what this is doing to prevent it. do you mind explaining?

    as per-write protect, I use Filezilla to upload to limedomains.com. I can right click files and see a list of permissions for owner/group/public. i assume i only have to have the user permissions on read and write?not

    side question: the php stuff doesnt seem to work when i test the file from inside flash, is there any way to test it in flash or do i always need to upload and test it on the server in order to use the php files?
    Last edited by unknownelementx; 07-20-2010 at 01:04 AM.

  8. #8
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    I tried integrating that code but it doesnt seem to have done much. Even without that code, I now seem to be able to write to my file all the time, but a few of my text boxes are now displaying random text that is not even in any of my files any longer. I am not sure what is going on.

    I've multiplied the text fields by 5 but they seem to have identical code, dont know why only the last 2 out of 5 are doing this.

    current flash code:
    Code:
    //Scroll 1
    scroll1.visible = (text_txt.maxScrollV > 1);
    text_txt.addEventListener(Event.CHANGE, textchange);
    function textchange(e:Event):void {
    	scroll1.visible = (text_txt.maxScrollV > 1); }
    //Scroll 2
    scroll2.visible = (text_txt.maxScrollV > 1);
    text_txt2.addEventListener(Event.CHANGE, textchange2);
    function textchange2(e:Event):void {
    	scroll2.visible = (text_txt2.maxScrollV > 1); }
    //Scroll 3
    scroll3.visible = (text_txt.maxScrollV > 1);
    text_txt3.addEventListener(Event.CHANGE, textchange3);
    function textchange3(e:Event):void {
    	scroll3.visible = (text_txt3.maxScrollV > 1); }
    //Scroll 4
    scroll4.visible = (text_txt.maxScrollV > 1);
    text_txt4.addEventListener(Event.CHANGE, textchange4);
    function textchange4(e:Event):void {
    	scroll4.visible = (text_txt4.maxScrollV > 1); }
    //Scroll 5
    scroll5.visible = (text_txt.maxScrollV > 1);
    text_txt5.addEventListener(Event.CHANGE, textchange5);
    function textchange5(e:Event):void {
    	scroll5.visible = (text_txt5.maxScrollV > 1); }
    //global imports
    import flash.events.*;
    import flash.net.URLLoader;
    import flash.net.URLLoaderDataFormat;
    import flash.net.URLRequest;
    stop();
    
    //Input1-H
    var variables:URLVariables = new URLVariables();
    var varSend:URLRequest = new URLRequest("writeH.php");
    var varLoader:URLLoader = new URLLoader;
    varSend.method = URLRequestMethod.POST;
    varSend.data = variables;
      
    //Input2-E
    var variables2:URLVariables = new URLVariables();
    var varSend2:URLRequest = new URLRequest("writeE.php");
    var varLoader2:URLLoader = new URLLoader;
    varSend2.method = URLRequestMethod.POST;
    varSend2.data = variables2;
     
    //Input3-M
    var variables3:URLVariables = new URLVariables();
    var varSend3:URLRequest = new URLRequest("writeM.php");
    var varLoader3:URLLoader = new URLLoader;
    varSend3.method = URLRequestMethod.POST;
    varSend3.data = variables3;
    
    //Input4-A
    var variables4:URLVariables = new URLVariables();
    var varSend4:URLRequest = new URLRequest("writeA.php");
    var varLoader4:URLLoader = new URLLoader;
    varSend4.method = URLRequestMethod.POST;
    varSend4.data = variables4;
    
    //Input5-S
    var variables5:URLVariables = new URLVariables();
    var varSend5:URLRequest = new URLRequest("writeS.php");
    var varLoader5:URLLoader = new URLLoader;
    varSend5.method = URLRequestMethod.POST;
    varSend5.data = variables5;
    
    //text1
    
    var url:String = "H.txt";
    var loadit:URLLoader = new URLLoader();
    loadit.addEventListener(Event.COMPLETE, completeHandler);
    loadit.load(new URLRequest(url));
    
    function completeHandler(event:Event):void
    {
    text_txt.text = event.target.data as String;	
    }
    
    //text2
    var url2:String = "E.txt";
    var loadit2:URLLoader = new URLLoader();
    loadit2.addEventListener(Event.COMPLETE, completeHandler2);
    loadit2.load(new URLRequest(url2));
    
    function completeHandler2(event:Event):void
    {
    text_txt2.text = event.target.data as String;	
    }
    
    
    //text3
    var url3:String = "M.txt";
    var loadit3:URLLoader = new URLLoader();
    loadit3.addEventListener(Event.COMPLETE, completeHandler3);
    loadit3.load(new URLRequest(url3));
    
    function completeHandler3(event:Event):void
    {
    text_txt3.text = event.target.data as String;	
    }
    
    //text4
    var url4:String = "A.txt";
    var loadit4:URLLoader = new URLLoader();
    loadit4.addEventListener(Event.COMPLETE, completeHandler4);
    loadit4.load(new URLRequest(url4));
    
    function completeHandler4(event:Event):void
    {
    text_txt4.text = event.target.data as String;	
    }
    
    //text5
    var url5:String = "S.txt";
    var loadit5:URLLoader = new URLLoader();
    loadit5.addEventListener(Event.COMPLETE, completeHandler5);
    loadit5.load(new URLRequest(url5));
    function completeHandler5(event:Event):void
    {
    text_txt5.text = event.target.data as String;	
    }
    
    
    //button click
    bt_sub.buttonMode = true;
    bt_sub.addEventListener(MouseEvent.CLICK, ValidateAndSend);
    
    
    function ValidateAndSend(event:MouseEvent):void
    
    {  
        gotoAndPlay(2);
         variables.wootext = text_txt.text;
    	 varLoader.load(varSend);
    	 variables2.wootext2 = text_txt2.text;
    	 varLoader2.load(varSend2);
    	 variables3.wootext3 = text_txt3.text;
    	 varLoader3.load(varSend3);
    	 variables4.wootext4 = text_txt4.text;
    	 varLoader4.load(varSend4);
    	 variables5.wootext5 = text_txt5.text;
    	 varLoader5.load(varSend5);
    	 completeHandler(null);
    	 completeHandler2(null);
    	 completeHandler3(null);
    	 completeHandler4(null);
    	 completeHandler5(null);
    }

  9. #9
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    Any file you want to write from PHP must have its permissions set so that php is authorized to write it.

    In your case, PHP is probably running a module on your webserver. If your server is a linux machine, you could create this file on your webserver and access it in a browser. It should tell you what user your webserver is.
    PHP Code:
    <?php
    passthru
    ('whoami');
    ?>
    Whatever user gets reported there is going to need WRITE permissions on the file you are trying to write data to.

    The php script you are using makes a lot of sense if you visit it directly in a browser, but it's not particularly useful as a response to Actionscript. What's more, you don't check for any response to your php page access.

    Lastly, I find it a bit funny that you are assigning this:
    Code:
    varSend.data = variables;
    and then later in your button handling function you do this:
    Code:
         variables.wootext = text_txt.text;
    While this may work, it may not. I would recommend setting properties of varSend directly in your button handling function:
    code:

    function ValidateAndSend(event:MouseEvent):void
    {
    varSend.wootext = text_txt.text;
    varLoader.load(varSend);
    gotoAndPlay(2);

    }



    Other things I would do:
    1) set up a function in flash to handle the response from php to see if it worked or not.
    2) Alter my PHP script to output 'result=1' on success or 'result=0' on failure and check that with the function in the previous step. I would also alter my php script so that it outputs any trace actions or comments into a log file rather than just echoing them.
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  10. #10
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    sneaky, thanks for the help.
    I am a total newbie here, I really just try and piece together what i can from templates and tutorials. I know nothing of PHP.

    My webserver is whatever limedomains.com is. All I know is that I uplaod to them and it pops up on the interwebs.

    I assume the write permissions are working as the code does actually write to the file.

    As for the funny code, I assume thats a quirk in the person who made the tutorial that I used, I dont know enough of flash myself to tell what is silly and what isnt.

    as per the other two things, I'm not sure exactly what you are reccomending, and I am definately not sure how to actually do that. If you could provide me with the code, or reference to a specific tutorial I would appreciate it.

  11. #11
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    It's ok to POST data to a PHP page and not check it, but it's generally good practice to have PHP indicate success or failure.

    If you don't really know how to send variables to and from php from flash, you are probably ahead of yourself. Your code is a bit lengthy if you don't have the basics down. Maybe read this and try to get 1 and then 2 items going before you try 5.
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  12. #12
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    i'll take a look at that.

    I mean I kinda get what is going on, I just don't know how as much about the code interactions itself and definately not extra things like logs and double-check mechanisms.

    As to the 5 boxes thing, since they are identical, i figured that if i could do it once, then I could duplicate the code 5 times and be fine. I can't figure out why the last 2 boxes are behaving differently than the others, since they are all identical code with changes in name to reference different files and such.

  13. #13
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    OOPS...i made a mistake in that previous code. Ignore it.

    There are a lot of concepts involved in flash talking to a php server.

    The first step is that you create a URLVariables object to which you attach values so that you can deliver them to some page in your server. If you plan to feed these variables to a URLRequest object, you should probably make sure the URLVariables object is packed full of the goodies you want to send to your server script.

    PHP Code:
    var variables:URLVariables = new URLVariables();
    variables.someVar1 "this is someVar1";
    variables.someVar2 "this is someVar2";
    variables.someVar3 "this is someVar3"
    Generally speaking, if you want to send those variables using a URLRequest object, you should wait until the very last minute before you assign the values. I would therefore put that code above in your button handler function.

    Once you've created the URLVariables object, you can make a request with it. This defines the nature of the page request you are making. You'll need to create a URLRequest object and assign it's data and other properties:
    PHP Code:
    var request:URLRequest = new URLRequest("http://example.com/my_script.php"); // change this to reflect the address of your script
    request.method URLRequestMethod.POST// this could also be GET
    request.data variables// at the point you do this, variables should ideally contain all of the items you want to assign to it 
    lastly, use a loader to perform the request:
    PHP Code:
    // create a blank loader object
    var loader:URLLoader = new URLLoader ();
    // assign a function that runs when it finishes..the function is designed below
    loader.addEventListener(Event.COMPLETEloadComplete);
    // set a dataFormat value so the loader knows how to parse the response
    // other possible values are BINARY or TEXT
    loader.dataFormat URLLoaderDataFormat.VARIABLES;
    // initiate the request!
    loader.load(request); 
    In that bit of code, we reference a function loadComplete which we have not yet defined. This is the function that flash will call when the load operation is complete and the answer arrives from the server.
    PHP Code:
    // the function is defined to receive an event argument
    // and return nothing
    function loadComplete(event:Event):void {
      
    // i believe this refers to the same object 'loader' defined above
      
    var loader:URLLoader URLLoader(event.target);

      
    // the data payload is in event.target.data

      
    switch(loader.dataFormat) {
        case 
    URLLoaderDataFormat.TEXT :
          
    trace("completeHandler (text): " loader.data);
          break;
        case 
    URLLoaderDataFormat.BINARY :
          
    trace("completeHandler (binary): " loader.data);
          break;
        case 
    URLLoaderDataFormat.VARIABLES :
          
    trace("completeHandler (variables): " loader.data);
          break;
      }


    Then there's your PHP script. The idea is that whatever you echo out of your php script is going to be returned to loadComplete function above in event.target.data.

    If the dataFormat of your loader is VARIABLES then your php script needs to output stuff like this
    Code:
    responseVar1=some+string+here&responseVar2=here+is+another+string&responseVar3=1
    That would mean that you might be able to refer to event.target.data.responseVar1 in your loadComplete function and it might actually be meaningful. As you can see, this is a very structured form of response from PHP and just echoing "gee something didn't work" is not going to mean a thing to a URLLoader object with dataFormat of VARIABLES. It might be meaningful if the dataFormat was TEXT.

    On the PHP side of things, you might in fact want to echo some simple strings to tell yourself whether things are working or whether you had errors. Again, permissions may be an issue, but the PHP function file_put_contents makes it very easy to write out some data that you can read that has no bearing on your response to flash. You may find this PHP function handy:
    PHP Code:
    function fatal_error($msg) {
      
    // this code puts $msg in the file 'fatal_error_log.txt'
      
    file_put_contents('fatal_error_log.txt'$msg "\n"FILE_APPEND);
      
    // this one sends a response to flash that says success zero
      
    echo 'success=0';
      
    // this halts your php script so there's no more output
      
    exit;

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  14. #14
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    Thanks for the explanation, but I am still unclear at how the code I am currently using isn't working. I see how there are redundancies, but because of my limited knowledge, I didn't want to try and edit too many things at once. I am sure rather than having 5 different functions, it is possible to condense it into one that writes to 5 files (or even one file with different sections). Either way, as far as I know, this code should work fine even if there is a lot of it. Right?

    I am still a but fuzzy on what the error message gains me. That code will tell me when a fatal error occurs? Is this just to eliminate the possibility that the flash is the problem?

    At least for now, I am able to open my flash and the file that supposed to be written to and I can see that the new information is making it to the file. However, upon reloading the flash (which is supposed to populate the text fields from the .txt files that have been edited, it is showing some random text and I am not even sure where it is getting it (as that text no longer exists in a file). this was why i suspected some sort of catching. I guess this is more with the loading from the file rather than the writing to the file (at least for now)
    Last edited by unknownelementx; 07-21-2010 at 12:59 PM.

  15. #15
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    It would be good to reduce the redundant code. I'm not really sure what the problem in your code is yet as you haven't really described it and I'm not looking forward to reading it either. You could probably make one function called in all five cases and have it behave a little differently depending on the event.target value. It could send an extra variable to php to indicate which text change we are dealing with, etc. If half of your code is working fine and half is not, you have the basic idea down you just need to focus on the bits that aren't working and determine what's different.

    Having PHP write an error log lets you know what happened if anything looks weird on the flash side. If for instance your php script encountered a fatal error, the output to flash would simply be indecipherable. You wouldn't receive any meaningful error messages, you just wouldn't find the data you were looking for. This doesn't tell you anything about what went wrong. The error log does.
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  16. #16
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    haha, yeah sorry I know reading through code is a pain. I mean right now all I have is duplicates of the original code from the tutorial I posted in the beginning of the thread.

    I now have a single flash page with 5 text boxes (txt_txt thruogh text_txt5). Upon loading the page, each of these boxes are supposed to display text from their 5 corresponding .txt files (H.txt,E.txt,M.txt,A.txt,S.txt). Then the displayed text can be edited and sent to the corresponding php files (WriteH.php, etc..) and those php files write the new text to the .txt files.

    as of now, I am able to open the .txt files and see that all the text boxes and their corresponding php files seem to be working. When I type new text, it properly is written to the .txt files.

    The strange thing happens when I first load the flash page. For some reason the last two boxes (which correspond to A.txt and S.txt) are not displaying the correct information. They are showing "test 2" which was at one time the contents of the file, but is no longer the contents of any of the text files. The first three boxes are working fine. I can't seem to see what is going wrong.

    an example of the flash page can be found here www.calsoc.org/editpage.html (though it is unpolished and doesnt scroll properly) (for the password box the user name is "user" and the password is "pass")

    the text files are at www.calsoc.org/H.txt (and so on)
    and the php files are (you guessed it ) www.calsoc.org/writeH.php

  17. #17
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    Ok that's a pretty clear description of your problem. I'm not certain, but I'm thinking that your browser might be caching because you are loading from a file that ends in 'txt'. I bet if you were to append a random query string to the text file in each case that you might prevent this:
    PHP Code:
    var url:String "H.txt?" Math.random(); // adds a random string that's always different
    var loadit:URLLoader = new URLLoader();
    loadit.addEventListener(Event.COMPLETEcompleteHandler);
    loadit.load(new URLRequest(url));

    function 
    completeHandler(event:Event):void
    {
      
    text_txt.text event.target.data as String;    

    The basic idea is that you're fetching the same text files with a query string that is simply ignored but your browser thinks it's a different url every time so there' sno caching. Not entirely sure that'll work.

    Another possibility would be to have the text fetching code talk to a php script which acts as intermediary to the various text files. PHP can send a header that says "do not cache" before it barfs up the text data:
    PHP Code:
    // fetch the text here

    // tell browser not to cache anything
    // these headers must be sent before you output anything
    header("Cache-Control: no-cache, must-revalidate"); // HTTP/1.1
    header("Expires: Sat, 26 Jul 1997 05:00:00 GMT"); // Date in the past

    // output the text
    echo file_get_contents('H.txt'); 
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  18. #18
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    What I don't understand is why only those last two boxes are having this problem. Wouldn't the catching apply to all 5? If you don't mind looking at the code at some point, I would appreciate it. Maybe I am just missing something basic.

    the other odd thing is that I believe some strange error crops up when I try and submit the editpage in IE (but it doesnt happen in Firefox). No clue what is going on there.
    Last edited by unknownelementx; 07-21-2010 at 04:52 PM.

  19. #19
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    I've compared code handling #3 to #4 and I see no meaningful difference. If one works, the other should.

    I'd try to enter some trace statements in your actionscript to make sure things are what I expect them to be and to make sure that all of the code is actually running.

    I would visit each php page in a browser to make sure it runs and doesn't have a syntax error.

    I would alter each php script so that it optionally writes trace statements to a log file so I can put traces in my php too. That way, I could be sure what kind of output it is sending.

    I would later my actionscript to either add a random string to each TXT file request OR I would alter it to get its data from PHP so I have control over the caching behavior.

    I would consolidate all the code into a single urlloader/urlvariables/urlrequest situation instead of having five of them.

    Also, look at this code. You are calling the completeHandler functions with a null argument and they are thus going to try to populate your text fields from a non-existent object:
    code:

    variables.wootext = text_txt.text;
    varLoader.load(varSend);
    variables2.wootext2 = text_txt2.text;
    varLoader2.load(varSend2);
    variables3.wootext3 = text_txt3.text;
    varLoader3.load(varSend3);
    variables4.wootext4 = text_txt4.text;
    varLoader4.load(varSend4);
    variables5.wootext5 = text_txt5.text;
    varLoader5.load(varSend5);
    completeHandler(null);
    completeHandler2(null);
    completeHandler3(null);
    completeHandler4(null);
    completeHandler5(null);



    Also, you are setting varSend.data = variables first and then later setting properties on variables. I don't think you've read what I wrote above because I told you that you should have variables completely prepared before assigning it to varSend.data.

    I've given you plenty of advice and you've pretty much ignored it all. Good luck fixing your script.
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  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    50
    woah, I've definately not ignored your advice, I just haven't implemented that yet. What I was asking is whether you thought that these issues had any effect on the problem. I assumed the varsend/variable issue was a redundancy thing (as i mentioned above, I haven't tried to remove redundancy items yet). Partly I am not at home at the moment, where I have flash to actually do work, I am going over this in my head.

    Sorry if you feel I am not listening, but I honestly only barely understand what you are suggesting (including running trances and outputs, as nothing i have read or done so far has dealt with those meaningfully) and I am trying to understand as much as possible.

    I really appreciate your help and don't understand the hostility..

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