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I have been trying to do something similar. I haven't found a tutorial, but I would suggest studying the source code for the photoviewer and looking on the web for similar flex slideshows, and looking at their source code as well. There are quite a few out there. Also run through the tutorials in the flex help to get a basic understanding of whats going on.
Also, I have attached my own unfinished slideshow app. The code is a lot more basic than some of the other code I have seen, so I think it might be easier for a newbie to understand what is going on. I have taken out the photoset id and my flickr api key in the flickr URL, so you would have to replace that with your own to make it work. Same with the button skins.
There are some bugs in there, and stuff that doesn't do anything yet. For instance the buttons are buggy, and the showThumbs state doesn't do anything yet.
You are right, I didn't see any good tutorials when I was searching around for one. I would say one of your best resources would be to just use the Flex Developer's Guide which has a ton of information (but, you have to weed through to only what you need). http://livedocs.adobe.com/flex/201/html/wwhelp/wwhimpl/js/html/wwhelp.htm?href=Part1_Intro _005_1.html
To build the PhotoViewer, I would read up on using "States and Transitions", "Effects" and "ItemRenderers". Custom itemRenderers are used for the HorizontalList at the bottom of the Application where you select photos. Good Luck.
Flex SDK QA
Any tips on where to look to figure out how to have intelligent pre-loading of the large images (i.e. pre-loading the large image for the next thumbnail, then the previous one if it isn't already loaded, then the second-to-next, then the second-previous, etc...)?
The source code for the Photo Viewer application is available. Run the app, right-click and choose View Source. Steal it and start tinkering. If the source code makes no sense at all, you probably need to start by building very simple one-file apps instead. (Looking at the Explorer app would be a good place to start.) If the source code has certain parts that you don't understand yet, then focus on learning about those aspects in isolation. For example, if you don't know what HTTPService does, read about it in the Language Reference and try some simple examples of using it.
I have run this app, and tweaked it 'till the cows come home, as an exercise.
I just loaded the source into eclipse (with the flex 2 plugin) and it worked. You can set breakpoints anywhere and see all the variables. Be sure to look in the 'generated' folder (which seems to be missing in my new flex 3?) . That explains everything. MXML files are not config, they become CODE.