The World in 2009 is the 23rd edition of The Economist's annual collection of predictions for the year ahead with views from journalists, politicians and business people.

This year's edition has two interactive online pieces looking at Countries and Industries in 2009. I was responsible for all the Actionscript and PHP coding.

Data Capture

Very early on in the process it was obvious that we would need to build a small web application to capture the copy and assets that the two pieces would use. This was accomplished with a small CodeIgniter application that also described the data structure. This allowed staff at The Economist to add test data and then later the final versions, as they became available.

This approach delivered a tangible benefit to the production team by allowing the late changes to be added to the system quite easily. With one click an administrator received a new XML file and ZIP of assets to be uploaded. This meant those who were involved in writing code did not have to stop their production tasks when changes to the copy were required.

Actionscript3 Framework

As I have done with most Actionscript projects for the last year or so PureMVC was the framework utilised in this project. One challenge I encountered was with the Country artwork. It was so complex and there were changes made to the Flash files a few times after I had begun coding. This resulted in issues that inspired me to write a ViewBuffer class to get around these problems in the future. More of this in a future post.

Once again I used a web based Issue Manager to track issues and also collect changes which could be discussed after the project had finished rather than getting bogged down with these details while racing towards a deadline.

World in 2009 : Countries

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World in 2009 : Industries
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