Experiments in the Gaia Framework
I’ve recently discovered the joys of the Gaia Framework for Flash. It’s an awe inspiring framework designed to allow Flash designers or developers to rapidly develop really complex applications very easily. One of the best things about it is an adherence to accepted best programming standards. An application built in Gaia kind of takes care of itself. My current project features hundreds of videos and pages. Gaia managed to make short work of organising them all into something that not only solved the problem but also kept everything neat and tidy. I could preload / cache / transition and bookmark, pages, video, content, elements, everything! It implements swfObject, swfFit, swfAddress and Greensock automatically putting every library you could need at your finger tips.
It also makes you think about how you could use it in other projects. It is just made for presentations.
Next time somebody asks me for a Powerpoint presentation done in Flash. I’ll be using the Gaia Framework.
If you were putting together a presentation in Gaia you could build your slides first and bring them all together before the client has time to approve them. Leaving you free to do the alterations rather than finding yourself torn between finishing the application and polishing the content.
One of the best features of Gaia is the XML Scaffolding feature. You write an XML schema describing your application, import the XML into the Gaia panel in the Flash IDE and press the button. Hey Presto! All your Flash files, AS3 classes, symbols, swf, pre loaders, AS imports etc, all get built automatically.
I’ve had a few issues with open Flash files crashing the Flash IDE during a Gaia export but this has never really bothered me. It just encourages me to avoid putting code on any timelines. It’s all open source and free to use. The support and documentation on the website are second to none. Steven Sacks has done an amazing job.