Kirupas XML + Flash PhotoGallery - It works for me... but i need to modify

Whats up,
Yesterday my boss told me that she wants me to learn Actionscript. Ok… I can do that, no problem, hopefully. Today she comes to me and ask if I can make a photogallery that can pull random images from a outside source file, the XML while using flash.

I found Kirupas photo gallery and it looks like it’s going to do what I want, but with modifications. Heres what my Art Director wants:

We have a site we do for Penny Saver. The client wants to have thier graphical ads displayed randomly throughout the site. Since they have over 300 ads, with 9 different categorries, we need to design a flash movie that can take the images from either a txt file or database. (We elected to go with the XML source file) Then those images (ads) we put in the XML file need to be linkable to the appropiate page. The ads need to rotate randomly while on the same page (every 30 seconds or so) and need to load different ads at each page load. I’m not sure if we want to make it category conclusive or not (ads(300) displayed are in reference to the category(9) page they are on) but it is an option i want to leave open for further development.

As I stated earlier, I have just begun to teach myself Actionscript, and by the looks of it, I’m going to have to go out and get an XML or XHTML book as well. (I’m mainly the designer and template builder, all the back-end coding gets done by someone else, but they want me to do this for the experience) Now I know most of you hate it when someone gets on a forum, and their first post is “them” asking “you” to do all the work for them. That is not the case here I have been googling sites all day, reading over XML, XHTML, XLINK, Flash + XML, XML + Linking pages trying to piece together what I need. I have an actionscript book, “Actionscript for Flash MX: The Definitive Guide” and I’ve been going over the stuff in that since I got it. But I am having a hard time finding the right information I need, all because I’ve never used either languages before so I dont really know where to start.

I’m asking if someone can give me some insight as to what I want to google for, or where I can find a good reference to read up on what I need to do. If some of you have done this, can you let me know how it was done, maybe with a code snippet so I can see what you did.

Any and all help is appreciated!

And yes… I am still googling and reading info to find out what I can on my own… I will keep this thread updated.