JSwiff and Flash File Generation

We had a great hacking session today, with Josh piped in over iChat and VNC from California, and King and I hunkered around his collection of Cinema Displays. We managed to replace our krufty jGenerator-powered flash file wrapper class with one based on JSwiff, in under a day.

JSwiff takes care of the nastiness of dealing with the .swf file format, and provides an extremely helpful XML intermediary - you can convert any .swf file to this xml format, modify the xml, then render back as .swf. Very handy for what we need to do.

Basically, all we do is a fancy search-and-replace for some custom tags (for things like the image - encoded in Base64 - and the tombstone fields for display on screen) in this intermediate xml file, then pass it into JSwiff and ask it to transform that xml into a swf that we can use in our finished presentation. It's fast, and so far very reliable. As an added bonus, it appears to handle accented characters and such, which totally borked in jGenerator. Mavericks will look better now, once I regenerate all transformed assets.

And JSwiff doesn't look like it will be affected by the scary deadlocks that made jGenerator basically useless for us. Yay, JSwiff! :-)

Even better, if this works out (it's still being tested), then Pachyderm 2 is fully usable again, and on track for the October release!

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