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[Swftools-common] A few suggestions for swftools

From: Kevin Veroneau
Subject: [Swftools-common] A few suggestions for swftools
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2007 04:02:01 -0500
User-agent: KMail/1.9.5

Hello Matthias and the rest of mailinglist:

  I have a few suggestions for SWFTools, and where I see it in a either a few 
months or a year.

  One big thing I would love to see in SWFTools, is a libswfc.  A library 
which essential follows how swfc works, but will allow the creation of 
frontends through different languages.  For example, a PHP module for swfc, 
or a python or ruby module for it.  swfc and SWFTools are very powerful, 
something the Open Source Community really needs.  Windows users have the 
official Adobe Flash authoring software.  Adobe has yet to create a port for 
UNIX-like operating systems, besides Mac OS X.  If someone in this 
mailinglist has enough skill with SWFTools, and C++, creating a 
Linux/BSD/Solaris version of the Adobe Flash Authoring tool should be a great 
task to undertake.  As, for any Open Source application, take The GIMP as an 
example.  The GIMP has an extensive plug-in system compared to Adobe 
Photoshop, most Linux users now prefer just to open The GIMP instead of dual 
booting, or loading up a Virtual Machine.

  I am not completely sure about Adobe and the licensing of flash authoring 
applications.  I see many Windows freeware flash applications out there, 
which most of them are not extendable, have ads, and limitations.  If someone 
is able to create a GUI interface for compilation of flash applications using 
SWFTools which is cross-compatible, it will widely increase the popularity of 
SWFTools and people can see what it can do.

  For example, take other GNU/GPL'd application source code and combine them 
all with SWFTools to make a single flash composer.  I would see the KDE 
application Inkscape as a good base for the code.  Just extend the abilities 
of Inkscape to include animation and flash file export ability.  Afterwards, 
add the ability for action script and other items as time goes on.  I am not 
much of a programmer, and know little about C programming.  These are just 
ideas for anyone who might be interesting in creating such an applications.

  At this time, I really enjoy creating my flash animations using swfc.  No 
really, I like the structure of the swfc files, and it's simplicity.  At the 
moment I am working on my Mother's Birthday card using swfc.  Truthfully, I 
have been making her Ecards using swfc for about a year and a half now.  She 
is really enjoying the creativity and the card in general.  And, she doesn't 
even know that I'm creating them using a text editor.  Which when I tell my 
friends, that yeah, I'm creating flash animations using a text editor, they 
get confused.

  Anyways, my last suggestion is simple, and relates to Huub Schaeks' 
suggestion.  I was using swfextract on a few swf files lying around the net.  
Upon opening the font files in firefox to view the fontset, I noticed that it 
only contains the letters which the flash animation uses.  The idea would be 
to add intellect into swfc, for example.  swfc would have another pass that 
would check for the letter it would require from a specific font file.  The 
next pass would then only import the letters needed.  I believe this is how 
the traditional Adobe Flash byte-compiler works.  This will eliminate the 
need for the 'glyphs' parameter as well as having to note each letter you 
use.  Although the 'glyphs' parameter code could very well be used to 
implement this.  For example, if you are compiling a swf through a CGI 
gateway, or through a server-side language.  You would want it as simple as 
possible, and as little work for the CGI gateway or the server-side language.

  By the way, I have a VPS with swftools 0.8.1 compiled and install on.  I am 
planning on bringing back the swftools web editor/testing site.  I have also 
compiled into swftools the ability for lame.  I am also thinking about 
extending the editor to add the ability to use all the other swftools as 
well.  I have tons of GBs of server space just going to waste.  Bringing the 
editor site back up and with access to all the tools, will be great for those 
people who would just like to test out swftools without downloading it or 
before downloading it.  It will also have the ability which w3schools has for 
HTML code, namely their TryIt editor.  All of those examples on the 
swftools.org website could be built into this type of system.  Visitors could 
easily modify the code and press 'Try It' to re-compile it in seconds to see 
the results.  I will first make the online interface for tools before adding 
swfc.  After I complete this within the next week, I'll provide a link in 
this mailinglist, as I did before with the first editor I made.

  Comments and additional suggestions would be great appreciated.

Keep up the great work Matthias,

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