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From Alex Harui <aha...@adobe.com>
Subject Re: [MENTORS] Binary Files
Date Thu, 31 May 2012 21:07:19 GMT



On 5/31/12 12:36 PM, "Carol Frampton" <cframpto@adobe.com> wrote:
> 
> We're using very old versions of both velocity and batik (but the newer
> versions I looked at seem to be doing it the same way).  Going forward we
> need consider fixing the current situation or, it most likely will become
> a non-issue when we switch to the Falcon compiler.
I'm not sure Falcon gets us out of this problem.  IIUC, we are using Batik
for CSS parsing.  I think Falcon will still need some sort of CSS parsing
and Batik will be the solution.

I think I will start another thread about Batik and how to handle the source
changes Adobe made.

Regarding FLA, SWF, PBK, and PBJ files, the scenario behind these files is
that Flex can embed several kinds of external file formats into the
application SWF.  The most popular file formats are JPG, GIF and PNG which
are binaries and I doubt anybody has any issue with them as there are a
number of editors for these files although the most famous and powerful ones
are proprietary editors.  Often, folks have PSD or AI files as the "source"
for exporting JPG, GIF and PNG from Photoshop or Illustrator, but you can
always use MS Paint or Fireworks to directly edit the JPG, GIF or PNG.

FLA files are the source for SWF files produced by Flash Pro, PBK files are
the source for PBJ files produced by the PixelBender toolkit.  The
difference is that there are no credible editors that directly edit the SWF
or PBJ files.

However, what SWF and PBJ have in common with JPG, GIF, and PNG is that in
Flex they are only used for the visual aspects of the components, not the
functional aspects.  IOW, they make up the view of the Model/View
architecture.  Yes, a SWF can have code that runs and manipulates the
visuals, but the code in the SWF isn't supposed to have "function" other
than that.

I am trying to understand how any Apache project that has a GUI can have
visual assets in SVN and its source distribution.  Is it a requirement that
you have to have dumb bitmaps in the GUI?  It would seem unfortunate if the
designers of the visual assets of a GUI cannot use popular tools to retain
higher-level constructs in support of the output bitmap.  And in the case of
the Flash Runtime, which contains a vector graphics rendering engine, it
would be extra unfortunate to be required to use dumb bitmaps for all
visuals.

Or do those backing project files just go in an external-deps folder?

Somewhat related, I got the HTTP source package today and didn't see any
.SWF files in the test folder.  I expected to see at least one to prove that
the server will serve a SWF with the appropriate mime-type.  If someone were
to create such a test, would they be able to put in a SWF file without its
source FLA file, or is that why there are no such tests?

Thanks,

-- 
Alex Harui
Flex SDK Team
Adobe Systems, Inc.
http://blogs.adobe.com/aharui


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