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With flashbuilder you first need to load the swf, then it creates the display objects this is what the loadbar is there for, if you have embedded assets then that bar will stay even longer. Once the application creation sequence is complete the displaybar disappears and then your application is displayed.
Now imagine removing that bar, on a slow connection with a 'large' app, the user would be faced with a blank screen for several seconds, not the desired end-user experience we are after.
You can make it more interesting by customising the pre-loader with say a company splash screen which offers a more visually appealling startup
this is a simple example of a custom preloader, source is included
One quick note with preloaders there is no flex sdk at that point so preloaders have to comply with the immediate requirements of the flashplayer api. So basically on flash components.
Ahh yes, this makes sense that the first load is the SWF that runs Flash Builder, then the objects that I have created.
So is the trick here with Fusion Charts that they have optimized their Flash SWF down to just doing the chart stuff right up front? Is that how they have that no load time effect?
a classic example of swf sizes is say a 30k banner ad re-written in flex and using the sdk, suddenly due to the sdk the swf size becomes closer to 400k, if you use runtime libraries(flashbuilder default when building the flex app) the swf is only 20-50k but the libraries can be over 1mb, You can optimise to some extent by deciding if merging the required parts of the sdk into the build has less overhead than a tiny swf with several runtime libraries. Merge option is available in the projects preferences under compiler options.