[Ripple] Ripple - some thoughts
peter at peterjoel.co.uk
Sat Jul 2 17:26:02 PDT 2005
Ripple is not meant to be an html renderer. The actual structure of the html data is in fact fairly irrelevant. The descriptors are
there to let you know how to get the data you need out of that html page. Flash already has an XHTML renderer in the form of Deng.
The idea of Ripple is to let you design your flash movie in flash, and still use the same data that you have structured for decent
display in an html browser.
I'm open to change on certain points, but my vision for future CSS support is nothing so complicated. At the very least, I would
want to add property to be able to retrieve the style information from a document, should you wish to use it. The most I would
envisage doing would be to pre-process text that has to be displayed in html textfields, to reflect the CSS. Ripple already does
some pre-processing to manipulate links in html text.
Having said all that, there is no reason why an html renderer could not be built on top of Ripple. Ripple is like a browser shell;
it manages documents and history, and loads any dependencies that document might have. In future it will also perform some caching.
It wasn't designed with that in mind though, so there might need to be some special treatment applied if that was something that
someone wanted to invest some effort in.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Scott Whittaker" <whittaker007 at hotmail.com>
To: <ripple at osflash.org>
Sent: Sunday, July 03, 2005 1:14 AM
Subject: [Ripple] Ripple - some thoughts
> Hi Peter,
> Ripple echoes some thoughts I have had ever since I became infatuated with the seperation of content and presentation when
> studying XHTML and CSS2 and being awestruck with the CSS based demos at www.csszengarden.com.
> It seemed to me that Flash was ripe for the same kind treatment, especially now that Flash seems to be geared towards use on
> multiple devices such as mobile phones and PDAs etc.
> I've done a few small proof-of-concept experiments and came up with the following ideas:
> * Use a valid XHTML document to represent the page content and structure using elements with named IDs and seperating out wherever
> possible any graphical content into CSS rather than embedding them in the XHTML.
> * Use external CSS to style the content for web browser, print, devices and Flash.
> * Use JS to redirect a user's browser to the Flash version if available.
> Reading over the Ripple page, the link to "Descriptor XML format" is a link to a topic that does not yet exist. I'm not sure I
> understand exactly what the function of the Descriptor XML is, but my guess is that it is to contain metadata relating to named
> page elements that Flash would use to render that content.
> My concept would use an extensible Flash-centric version of CSS to contain the same type of info - location, size, position,
> colours, links to external jpegs and swfs or library items, class info, property initialisations etc.
> I figured this would be possible since you should be able to load any text file using XML.load and grab the raw contents with
> XML.onData and then pass the CSS string onto a custom CSS parser instead of the XML parser. From there the string could parse the
> data into a CSS object, which would contain a list of element selector IDs and attributes.
> make it fairly simple to match the CSS selectors to the document elements. That would probably avoid the need for including XPATH
> Rendering would be handled by other classes which could easily be extended and would allow you to have a very lightweight renderer
> which only supports a few tags, to supporting the full XHML/CSS set for larger projects, to adding XUL or even MXML... so your
> code overhead would only be as large as your requirements.
> Anyway I've gone on long enough, but I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on these possibilities and how they relate to Ripple.
> Thanks for your time,
> - Scott W.
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