XML based Animations
Vector graphics have become an increasingly common part of web pages. SWF, better known as the format used by Macromedia Flash, has become the medium of choice for the publication of high-octane all-singing, all-dancing presentations. However, SWF has its limitations, dynamic publishing being a big one. If you are reading this column, then you have probably already heard a little bit about the emerging XML vector graphics format called SVG. Today we will start our foray into the neat world of SVG animation.
The SWF file extension is associated with Adobe (formerly Macromedia) Flash movie file. Shockwave Flash, Animated Vector Format for Internet.
The Macromedia Flash (SWF) file format was designed to deliver vector graphics and animation over the Internet. The Macromedia Flash File Format (SWF) was designed as a very efficient delivery format and not as a format for exchanging graphics between graphics editors. It was designed to meet the following goals:
- On-screen Display – The format is primarily intended for on-screen display and so it supports anti-aliasing, fast rendering to a bitmap of any color format, animation and interactive buttons.
- Extensibility - The format is a tagged format, so the format can be evolved with new features while maintaining backward compatibility with older players.
- Network Delivery- The files can be delivered over a network with limited and unpredictable bandwidth. The files are compressed to be small and support incremental rendering through streaming. SWF is a binary format and is not human readable like HTML. Macromedia Flash (SWF) uses techniques such as bit-packing and structures with optional fields, to minimize file size.
- Simplicity - The format is simple so that the player is small and easily ported. Also, the player depends upon only a very limited set of operating system functionality.
- File Independence - Files can be displayed without any dependence on external resources such as fonts.
- Scalability - Different computers have different monitor resolutions and bit depths. Files work well on limited hardware, while taking advantage of more expensive hardware when it is available.
- Speed -The files are designed to be rendered at a high quality very quickly.