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This makes sense to me at least the way you mention is already build. I was/am working in my spare time on some cards component/lib written only in flex. Hopefully some day will see daylight and be public. If is written in flex and using fxg/mxmlg for skin. Without going to much into details..., the properties (border stroke, color ...) you mention, I have them declared as styles on the host component. Inside the skin's updateDisplayList() method I read the values with getStyle() and if different change them accordingly. Hope this gives you a different perspective ...
Thanks for the new ideas.
Does anyone else have thoughts on this from a best practices perspective?
Personally, when I am changing the properties of something I do it in the commitProperties method. From what I can glean from the documentation and experience, commitProperties is where you do thing such as change border colors, alignments, background colors and so forth. Then when the VM gets around to drawing the component again, it can handle all of those changes at once instead of making a call each time.
Mind you, graphics is my very very weak spot. But I'm sure someone from Adobe will chime in with the correct answer.
This page helps out alot.