Graphics Reference
In-Depth Information
without additional plug-ins. Since Edge Animate output is especially optimized
for the WebKit browser engine, you can be sure that your animations will run on
mobile devices without any problems. Both iOS (iPhone, iPad and other Apple
devices) and Android use WebKit to display web content. Edge Animate espe-
cially scores points over Flash in the iOS world following Apple's policy decision
to no longer support the playback of Flash content in iOS device browsers.
On one hand, it is good news that content created with Edge Animate no lon-
ger requires an additional plug-in. However, there are new hurdles to overcome,
and they are anything but minor, given the great variety of available browsers. As
long as the browser market does not stabilize and the long-awaited consistency
across functions and commands is not achieved, developers and designers will
always need to keep a constant eye on the user group and browser differences
when using Edge Animate. Edge Animate offers some support through a poster
function, including a Down-level Stage so that the animation does not crash the
viewer's browser. For non-compatible browsers, at least one static image with
the most essential information is displayed.
Since open standards do not allow for any compiling—in other words, no
translation into machine code or byte code—all the source code of your user
interface and animations (HTML, CSS and JavaScript) are open source and freely
viewable to any website visitor. This fact prompts a lot of debate among cli-
ents, agencies, and developers. On one hand the open source faction is gaining
momentum, but many companies with expensive and elaborate web content
want to have more control over their source code. While the Flash compilation
process meant that the published SwF file contained unreadable byte code (at
least without special additional tools), the world of open standards requires the
use of workarounds. Thus, Edge Animate offers a process capable of making all
JavaScript code unreadable to the naked eye through a minifying process. The
procedure creates the smallest possible file that still contains the original range
of functions.
. Minifying
This process is also sometimes
referred to obfuscation, since all
variable and function names are
changed and obscured in the code
structure through many transfor-
mations. As the name suggests, the
minifying process offers yet another
advantage: all source code is boiled
down to a minimum. This technique
replaces meaningful but unneces-
sarily long code with simple letters,
and it removes comments and
unnecessary line breaks.
2.6.3 A Solid Foundation: jQuery
The source code generated by Edge Animate is pure JavaScript, and is based
on the JavaScript library, jQuery. This fact is not significant for simple animation
designers, but the role of jQuery is very important for anyone who wants a look
under the hood of Edge Animate to better understand how it functions, and to
learn how to enhance it with other components.
jQuery was originally developed to offer uniform access to the visual objects
of an HTML document with multi-browser capability. All HTML elements in the
browser are stored in the DOM and made available for access, but the syntax
for addressing these DOM elements in the various browsers (Internet Explorer,
Chrome, Firefox, etc.) is anything but uniform. Without any support, web devel-
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