SSEC

FlAniS: New Flash animation tool released

The AnimationS applet (aka "AniS") was developed by Tom Whittaker as a spin-off of the VISIT project's VISITview teletraining software. Over the past several years, it has been adopted world-wide as a way to animate single-frame images on web pages of governments, universities and private enterprises.

With the advent of "tabbed browsing," problems of memory allocation in the Java plug-in started to plague the online community. Users wanted to put up longer and more complex animations (think a dozen frames with just as many overlays). In addition, since the beginning, there has been an issue of widget layout compatibility across operating systems, as we tried to maintain compatibility with older browsers.

Last year, Adobe created ActionScript version 3 by adding many new features and base classes to the library. We did a little evaluating, and found this environment was clearly rich enough to support doing this type of animation (plus a lot of the more "traditional” Flash things). With some encouragement from a few projects here and in Europe, Tom Whittaker re-cast AniS, adding a few new features (and removed some that only a few folks ever tried using) in the process.

The result has been dubbed "FlAniS" and is available for you to use.

Please visit the homepage at: http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/flanis/

There are several new features:

  • no arbitrary memory limitations
  • consistent layout across all platforms/operating systems
  • "tool tips" for the widgets (buttons, sliders, check-boxes)
  • configuration parameters to set widget labels and sizes
  • a "stepping" control when using a "fader" that snaps to the original frames
  • an on-screen debug window
  • "print" control to print what is in the display

You can see a more-or-less complete list at the bottom of the homepage.

The fate of AniS? No additions will be made. The code will remain available indefinitely...


Last Updated:
October 8, 2008
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