Home ProjectsThe Computus Engine Development Technology

Development Technology

by John

So it’s time to make some technical decisions:

Project Summary
Project info: The Computus Engine
Technology: Flash Player, AS3, XML
License: Open source, license to be decided

Deployment Technology: Adobe Flash Player 9
on the roadmap: Adobe AIR

The Flash browser plug-in is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. It’s free and the current version is deployed on around 95% of browsers. If you don’t have it yet then please download a copy as you will need it to view the project.

I’ve gone with Flash Player for two reasons. The first is purely pragmatic; I’ve worked with Flash every day for 9 years. I know it really well. Secondly Flash allows me the most freedom to innovate with the user interface design. Working with Flash 9 leaves the door open for a desktop version using AIR at a future date.

Development Environment: Flash CS3
on the roadmap: Adobe Flex 3 component
I’ve chosen the Flash IDE over Flex for the simple reason that there is already a very good open source Flex Timeline project out there already. If you prefer Flex then by all means use it. It’s really cool.

Programming language: Actionscript 3
on the roadmap: AS3DateTime
Actionscript 3 (AS3) is a mature object oriented programming language based on ECMA262, the same specification used by Javascript. This latest incarnation of the Flash programming language makes use of a dedicated JIT compiler called AVM2 that generates significantly faster files. One side project I hope to work on is an AS3DateTime library for simplifying date calculations in Actionscript.

Data interchange format: XML
on the roadmap: AMF

Okay I agree “XML” is a little vague but I aim to support as many temporal XML variants as I can find. RSS and Atom are obvious choices as they are so widespread, but I’m keen to support specific historical and genealogical formats as well. For large quantities of data I think we’re going to need AMF support as well.

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