Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Figure 6.1 The new XML-based
file structure of Flash CS5+.
even more importantly, Flash will now let you save the project in an
uncompressed format. This means that instead of an FLA, you now
have a folder with raw assets and the XML information file. Now
when you use a version control system, only those elements that
have changed will be updated. For example, if you only change the
publishsettingsofanapplicationinaminorway,onlythesettings
ofXMLfilewillbeversioned,andbecauseitistextbased,onlythe
part of it that changed will be versioned. Another example would be
when a developer receives an updated asset, such as a replacement
sound file or bitmap. They can simply replace the file, republish the
SWF, and check in the new file. This is a huge boon for projects with
multiple developers and/or artists who work on the same files. Two
people could theoretically work on the same project file, updating
different parts of it, and a version control system would be able to
merge their changes together (assuming there were no conflicts).
CONVERTING FLA S FROM CS4 AND EARLIER
If you save a CS4 FLA as an uncompressed XFL in CS5, you don
t get an
exposed folder of assets. Instead, because the assets were already con-
verted to the own binary format of Flash, you get a folder of indistinguish-
able .dat files. This can be frustrating to discover if you
'
re looking to
update old files. If you plan to make more than minor edits to an older
file, it might be worth taking the time to recreate it in a
'
fresh
CS5 file so
that you can take full advantage of the format.
A Few Words about Organization
If you
'
ve worked in Flash for a very long time, you
'
ve probably had
the opportunity to open someone else
'
s Flash file from time to
time. I
ve rarely found two developers who organize their library
the same way. For a while, a popular convention was to sort library
'
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