I’ve been a bit busy over the last few months. Here’s what I’ve been up to…
I’ve moved to the UK
I’ve travelled home again for a family reunion
I’ve read a good portion of Moock’s Essential ActionScript 3.0
I’ve drunk more Guinness than I care to (or can) remember in Ireland
I’ve sold a car
I’ve worked on my first AS3 site
I’ve used the Gaia Flash Framework
The last point is obviously what I’d like to delve in to a bit more.
For those of you that aren’t aware (like myself about 3 months ago) what the Gaia Flash Framework is, you can find out more at Steven Sacks comprehensive website – http://www.gaiaflashframework.com. I only stumbled upon the Framework as a result of someone else (can’t remember who it was now, but thanks!) posting about it on their blog.
In essence it’s a Framework that takes a lot of the leg work out of creating page based Flash sites. By Page based I mean sites that have a fairly standard navigation hierarchy. It can be used for more complex projects, though I found I struggled against the Framework more than it helped me some of the time.
The project I decided to use it on was for the SBS Australia Documentary website – mY Generation
The main issues I came up against in using the Framework for this site were the following:
- I couldn’t have two pages loaded on the screen from separate branches at the same time. So If I wanted a video from one section to remain visible on screen while the user navigated to the “TELL A FRIEND” section I couldn’t do this due to the way pages have to unload if there not part of the parent page node
- Using the transition engine, although powerful, quickly became very convoluted and confusing when testing the preloading of pages and assets. Though I suspect I found this as the Framework wasn’t quite suited to this type of project
- The file size of the entire project was larger than I would’ve preferred as each page had to have it’s own swf associated with it. This meant not easily being able to share assets like fonts amongst pages. This was partially addressed in later versions of the Framework, so I will have to see if I can utilise this functionality next time around.
- Later on in the project new releases of the Framework became available that significantly changed the implementation of some of the Frameworks features. This made it very difficult for me to upgrade and get the benefit of the bug fixes that were made
On the up side, it’s author Steven Sacks mustn’t spend a great deal of time sleeping as he seems to hold down a full time job whilst at the same time rapidly releasing new versions of the Framework and responding with very lengthy and informative posts on the forum. The documentation is also very good, though there were a few things missing which threw me for a loop (though most users probably wouldn’t have experienced the same issues as I was pushing the boundary’s of what the Framework was capable of). The documentation also gets updated very frequently with issues that users are experiencing in the forums.
I didn’t get to use the SEO capabilities of the Framework, but am finishing up my “new” (it’s been 2 years in the making) website now and am contemplating porting it all across to Gaia just for this 1 feature.