6 Replies Latest reply on Sep 12, 2006 6:31 PM by hope1

    Slide presentation Vs. Timeline Document Based Development

    flashgodx
      Interested in all opinions or comments concerning experiences with the limitations or extendability of Slide Presentation Vs. Timeline Document development using actionscript 2.0 for the purpose of Courseware/Presentation/Quiz development and maintenance. Eager to hear all comments small or large.

      Topics Points to include but not limited to: - Stability - Range - Limitations - Preference - Experience - Pros - Cons - Accuracy - Problems - Errors - Likes - Dislikes - Load Balancing - Customization - Coding Development/Programming - Control
        • 1. Re: Slide presentation Vs. Timeline Document Based Development
          Level 7
          flashgodx,

          > Interested in all opinions or comments concerning experiences
          > with the limitations or extendability of Slide Presentation Vs.
          > Timeline Document development using actionscript 2.0

          I'm interested in this, too. (Thanks for bringing up the topic!) My
          guess, however, is that you won't see a flood of feedback. The timeline
          metaphor is deeply engrained in the Flash developer mindset. Building a
          slide presentation-based movie (the relatively new "screens feature") just
          doesn't feel like working in Flash. I don't think many people use
          screens -- though maybe it's too early to tell. I could be completely off
          base, of course, and I welcome friendly dissenters.

          I think Macromedia was hoping to appeal to the Visual Studio crowd with
          screens. I'm curious to see how Adobe continues the idea. In any case, at
          present, there's a kind of ActionScript mini-framework that gets added to
          screens-based SWFs. This framework is what allows screens to behave like
          screens rather than timelines. It is important to realize, however, that
          all SWFs are, in the end, SWFs. The screens metaphor is no more "real" than
          the timeline metaphor is. Both are just user interfaces to translate our
          human instructions into something the Flash Player can understand.

          I don't much care for the fact that this framework adds 27KB to a SWF
          before anything else is even added. Start a new Slideshow Presentation and
          immediately test the SWF (Control > Test Movie). In the resulting Flash
          Player window, select View > Bandwidth Profiler to see how much the SWF
          weighs. Do the same with a normal Flash document and compare the two.

          To answer your specific bullet points:

          - Stability
          I have no opinion here, I'm afraid. I simply haven't produced enough
          screens-based SWFs to make a fair assessment.

          - Range
          Not sure what you mean, here. Are you asking if screens-based SWFs can
          be bigger, hold more content?

          - Limitations
          The end result in either case is a SWF, and a SWF is what it is.

          - Preference
          I prefer the timeline metaphor because I've been using it since Flash 3.
          I use Flash for everything from applications to cartoons to video, so in my
          workflow, timelines makes more sense.

          - Experience
          Very little experience with screens (because I don't care for them).
          Plenty of experience with Flash in general.

          - Pros
          I would imagine -- and I can only imagine -- that some people prefer the
          "slides" format. To me, it feels like PowerPoint, which I don't much care
          for.

          - Cons
          The aforementioned extra SWF weight. 27KB isn't a deal breaker, and
          it's certainly less bulky than any of the v2 UI Components, but ehh. For
          what that's worth, I think it's a con. My programming skills have matured
          along with the phenomenal advances in ActionScript in recent years. I
          crossed a milestone back in Flash MX, I think, where Flash's under-the-hood
          mechanisms really started "clicking" with me. (To be sure, the learning
          process never ever stops ... I'm *still* learning, and things are *still*
          clicking for me, but I digress.) To me, the screens metaphor introduces a
          new (in my opinion, unnecessary) layer of abstraction to a lean-but-powerful
          environment I already know and love.

          - Accuracy
          Not sure what you mean here.

          - Problems
          I don't use screens often enough.

          - Errors
          Ditto.

          - Likes
          This is reflected in my views on Pros and Cons.

          - Dislikes
          Ditto.

          - Load Balancing
          Again, not sure what you mean.

          - Customization
          Good question!

          - Coding Development/Programming
          None of the programming books I've read even touch screens.

          - Control
          Control of what?


          David
          stiller (at) quip (dot) net
          Dev essays: http://www.quip.net/blog/
          "Luck is the residue of good design."


          • 2. Re: Slide presentation Vs. Timeline Document Based Development
            flashgodx Level 1
            thanks David for your comment....still interested in what others have to say. We are adapt actionscript users and are looking for any experiences/views others have on this topic.
            • 3. Re: Slide presentation Vs. Timeline Document Based Development
              elstinko Level 1
              My biggest complaint is this. The past THREE presenations I have created have resulted in publish times of insane lengths. 30-40 minutes to publish and the master file is only 3 megs! It just hangs and my processor stays pegged at 100%. No other Flash file does this to me other than SLIDE PRESENTATION MODE. It seemed to happen after you make a button with advance slide. After I removed them the problem persisted.
              • 4. Re: Slide presentation Vs. Timeline Document Based Development
                cewingCME
                I've created a Slide Presentation based courseware playback system that has been extremely successful for me. The key is most likely that I don't use slides so much as 'slides' but as playback states. What I mean is that each slide functions as a state in the courseware application. Within each slide the material for that state is handled as a timeline, so really the app is a sort of hybrid.

                To keep things light, I've abstracted all the content of the courseware app into XML files, so there is only one player, and any course is described completely by the XML file associated with it. That way, I can add new courses without ever having to republish the .swf

                I've found this method of construction to be easy to extend, since adding functionality to the course consists largely of adding another slide and republishing. It's easy enough to cue the presence of certain course elements (bibliography, exam, etc.) simply by way of checking for the presence of matching content in the XML files, and so newer presentation don't break the fiunctionality of older ones.

                If you have an interest, I'd be happy to tell you more about what I've done. Just let me know

                C
                • 5. Re: Slide presentation Vs. Timeline Document Based Development
                  hope1 Level 1
                  It seems that if one uses the timeline and has external swfs load then the loading time of the original file will be much less than using the presentation style file, where all the content has to load at once.

                  It this true?
                  Hope
                  • 6. Re: Slide presentation Vs. Timeline Document Based Development
                    hope1 Level 1
                    It seems that if one uses the timeline and has external swfs load then the loading time of the original file will be much less than using the presentation style file, where all the content has to load at once.

                    It this true?
                    Hope