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  • Glossary

    Some basic phrases, terms, and acronyms we'll hear in class.


    Adobe Air (Adobe Integrated Runtime) is a cross-platform runtime environment for building rich Internet applications using Adobe Flash, Adobe Flex, HTML, or Ajax, that can be deployed as desktop applications. (per Wikipedia)


    Adobe Flash manipulates vector and raster graphics to provide animation of text, drawings, and still images. and contains an object-oriented language called ActionScript. Note: Flash does not work on iPhones, iPods, and iPads due to security concerns. Flash CS4 = Flash 10.


    Adobe Flash Lite is a lightweight version of Adobe Flash Player, intended for mobile phones and other portable electronic devices, and allows users of these devices to view multimedia content and applications developed using Flash tools.


    Flash Player is software for viewing animations and movies using computer programs such as a web browser. It runs SWF movie files.


    Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-D or 3-D artwork or model positions that creates the illusion of movement.

    • 2D animations are created and/or edited on the computer using 2D bitmap graphics or 2D vector graphics. Includes automated computerized versions of traditional animation techniques such as of tweening, morphing, and onion skinning. Flash is the current leading program.
    • 3D animations are digitally modeled and manipulated by an animator by manipulating a mesh, which is given a digital skeletal structure used to control the mesh. Techniques include mathematical functions (ex. gravity, particle simulations), simulated hair or clothing, effects such as fire or water, and Motion.


    Browser: A web browser, used to access the World Wide Web and view web pages. Examples include Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and others.


    Doctype: The DOCTYPE in a document coded as text/html determines a layout model and lets a browser correctly interpret the coded tags.


    Exporting is the ability to save/export assets, code, information, and/or artwork created in an application so they can be uses them in another program.Usually has a different export process than the Save As or Save for Web and Services options, though with many graphics formats and basic/RTF text, one can reuse Saved As versions.


    Flash ActionScript® is the scripting language in Flash that allows you to program your applications to play in a nonlinear way, work with buttons and movie clips, and to add complex functionality that can't be handled in the Timeline. ActionScript 2.0 is supported by Flash Player 6 and later, and lets you write scripts that closely adhere to standards used in other object-oriented languages. ActionScript 3.0 is supported by Flash Player 9 or later, is programming rather than scripting based, and enables interactivity, data handling, and much more in Flash, Flex, and AIR content and applications. Unfortunately, ActionScript 3.0 is not very backward compatible.


    Flash Buttons are a type of four-frame interactive movie clip. When you select the button type when creating a symbol, Flash creates a Timeline with four frames. The first three frames display the button’s three possible states, Up, Over, and Down; the fourth frame defines the active area of the button. The button symbol timeline doesn’t actually play linearly like a normal timeline; it reacts to mouse pointer movement and actions by jumping to the appropriate frame. (per Flash Help)


    Flash Frames: Flash documents divide lengths of time into keyframes. The animating (tweening) of these frames over a segment of the Timeline creates an animation. See Flash Keyframe below.


    Flash Frame Rates (FPS - frames per second): The frame rate, the speed the animation is played at, is measured in number of frames per second (fps). A frame rate that’s too slow makes the animation appear to stop and start; a frame rate that’s too fast blurs the details of the animation. A frame rate of 24 - 31 fps is the default for new Flash documents and usually gives the best results on the web. The standard motion‑picture rate is also 24 fps. (per Flash Help)


    Flash Keyframe: a single frame where a new symbol instance appears in the Timeline, or that includes ActionScript® code to control some aspect of the document. Add a blank keyframe to the Timeline as a placeholder for symbols you plan to add later or to explicitly leave the frame blank.

    • A property keyframe lets you define a change to an object’s properties for an animation. Flash can tween, or automatically fill in, the property values between the property keyframes in order to produce fluid animations.
    • A tweened keyframe is any keyframe that is part of a motion tween.
    • A static keyframe is any keyframe that is not part of a motion tween.


    Flash Layers are like multiple film strips stacked on top of one another, each containing a different image that appears on the Stage. Naming them allows them to be used by name in ActionScript scripting.


    Flash Library: stores media assets (symbols, buttons, movie clips, sounds, video, bitmap imports, text animations, components, etc.) that you create or import to use in an open document. Components appear in the library as compiled clips. You can import the library into another Flash document.


    Flash Movie Clips: a movie clip instance in a Flash document has its own timeline, and can be nested inside the main timeline of the main Flash animation document. You can also nest a movie clip instance inside another movie clip symbol.


    Flash Playhead: The playhead moves through the timeline as a Flash document (.fla) plays to indicate the current frame displayed on the Stage.


    Flash Scenes: You can use scenes to separate sections of a longer animation, such as an introduction, a loading message, and credits. Scenes allow easy management of a large number of sections because each scene is contained within a single FLA file, istead of trying to handle a number of separate .fla files.


    Flash Stage: The stage in a Flash document is the rectangular area where you place graphic content, and where you can see/use grid, guides, and rulers. The stage also represents the rectangular space in Flash Player or in a web browser window where your document appears during playback. s


    Flash Symbol: a graphic, button, or movie clip that you create once in the Flash authoring environment and can then reuse throughout your document or in other documents. Note - when you reuse, you are using an instance of the symbol, which you can break apart and modify without affecting the original symbol.


    Flash Timeline: organizes and controls a Flash document’s content over time in layers and frames. The major components of the Timeline are layers, frames, and the playhead. The accepted standard is 24 - 31 frames per second. The timeline allows for animating 2D items through frame-by frame or tweens.


    Flash Tween: an animation that is created by specifying a value for an object property in one frame and another value for that same property in another frame. Flash calculates the values for that property in between those two frames.

    • Motion tween: Introduced in Flash CS4, and is easier to create plus has various presets available. Motion tweens can only have one object instance associated with them and use property keyframes instead of keyframes. No frame scripts are allowed on a motion tween span.
    • Classic Tween: Used in earlier and current versions of Flash, and are a little complex to create (several steps). Uses keyframes rather than property keyframes, and they allow frame scripts.


    Forum: A discussion board on the Internet.


    HTML: HyperText Markup Language, the main coding language for web pages.


    FTP: File Transfer Protocol. Basically means transferring files from one computer to another where you have to log into the other computer using FTP through a program like Filezilla.

    HTML Tags: Most elements in HTML coding are written with a start tag and an end tag, with the content in between. A rare few close themselves because they do not wrap around content - like a horizontal rule, an image, a meta tag, and a break tag.


    Importing is the ability to bring in assets, code, information, and/or artwork created in other applications and use them in a current program.


    Lossless compression for images compresses by reinterpreting the matimatically interpreted image as accurately as possible, with limited/no degradation or pixelation. Examples are gif, png.


    Lossy compression of images discards (loses) some the data in order to compress the image. Can result degradation / pixelation of images. The jpg is lossy.


    Meta Tags: HTML page head section tags that are loosely defined as data about data. These give browsers and search engines like Google information so that web pages can be found and viewed properly.


    Microsoft Silverlight (per Wikipedia) is a web application framework that provides functionalities similar to those in Adobe Flash, integrating multimedia, graphics, animations and interactivity into a single runtime environment. Initially released as a video streaming plugin, later versions brought additional interactivity features and support for CLI languages and development tools.


    Raster graphics are made up of a grid of pixels, or points of color, viewable via a monitor, paper, or other display medium. File formats include tif, bmp. Uses lossy compression - loses quality each time the image is resaved.


    Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) are web applications that have many of the characteristics of desktop applications, but delivered by a site-specific browser, a browser plug-in, or independently via sandboxes or virtual machines.


    Search Engine: A web search engine is designed to search for information on the World Wide Web. Examples include Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others.


    SEO: Search Engine Optimization, the process of improving ranking in search engine results.


    Style Rules: Coding language used to describe the look and formatting of web pages in a more versatile manner than HTML coding can.


    Thread: A group of messages or postings to an Internet forum on a single topic.


    Unicode and its parallel standard, the ISO/IEC 10646 Universal Character Set together constitute a modern, unified character encoding (per Wikipedia). This is to establish a universal set of characters that can be encoded in a variety of ways,like readable HTML generated web pages.


    USB Flash drive: A USB flash drive has memory data storage space which you can plug into a USB port on a computer. USB flash drives are usually removable and rewritable.


    URL: The Uniform Resource Locator is the "address" of a web page on the World Wide Web.


    Vector graphics use geometrical primitives like points, lines, curves, and shapes or polygon(s), which are all based on mathematical equations. File formats include .ai, .eps. Uses lossless compression - generally does not lose quality each time the image is resaved.


    W3C/World Wide Web Consortium: is the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web. The W3C determines the evolving standards for workable HTML coding and web page styling.


    W3C Validator: allows web coders to check HTML documents for conformance to HTML or XHTML standards and for coding errors.


    Web code structure: The order and format of the HTML code used to make up a web page before it can be viewed on a browser like Internet Explorer. Includes HTML tags, the head section, and the body section.


    Webhost: Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server they own or lease for use by their clients as well as providing Internet connectivity. This space is where one stores website pages so that visitors can access them by typing their address (URL).


    Web page structure (basic): The structure of the viewable website that visitors can see. It includes an identifying banner at the top, navigation near the top an/or one of the sides of the page, and the content area, which has the text, images, links, tables, footer, and other areas that make up the information of the web page.


    Workspace is used to describe the view of toolbars, panels, windows, etc. that male up the work area in a program used for creative design, production, illustration, coding, etc. In a personally owned copy of a program, you may have the option to personalize and save a copy of the workspace. Image


    XHTML: Extensible Hypertext Markup Language, is an XML coding language that extends versions of HTML. It is more standard so that browsers like Internet Explorer and Firefox can consistently interpret the coding correctly.