FlashForward Keynote : Royale Sneak Peak

At the end of the FlashForward Keynote this morning, Kevin ran a video from one of the Macromedia engineers who is working on some new technology (code named Royale) that we are working on. He showed a Flash based input form with multiple sections. He then showed the code used to build it, which was written entirely in XML. Not only was the entire Flash application created from the XML file, but so was all of the databinding (SOAP Based), ActionScript and StyleSheets (yes, Cascading Style Sheets).

I can’t really say much beyond that, other than this is a very exciting technology that we are working on, and which you will be hearing more about in the coming year.

28 Responses to FlashForward Keynote : Royale Sneak Peak

  1. Is this similar to what the folks at Laslowsystems – http://www.laszlosystems.com/ are doing? Wish I could have seen it…

  2. ParkerMan says:

    You’re on the right track, but expect more bang for the buck.

  3. Sam Christie says:

    Please, please, please let me beta-test this! Honestly, I may be blowing this way out of proportion, but Royale sounds like such an amazing product (perhaps the coolest thing since Flash MX was released). When will we get more details?

  4. brandy says:

    I hope flash supports CSS better then dreamweaverMX 🙂

  5. VAYKENT says:

    I’m going to assume that theres a standard for the XML files…Have there been any Schemas or DTDs developed yet that we can take a look at?

  6. “input form with multiple sections””written entirely in XML”1+1=http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/Forms ?

  7. “1+1=http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/Forms ?”Nah! Macromedia wouldn’t be so smart. They’ll take the proprietary route before understanding that people actually like standards that work everywhere.

  8. Sounds cool Mike, how about rendering the form from a WSDL data source (a la MS InfoPath) so you can quickly build a form system from a web service (and update it using the web service).A few folks have said what format will the XML take, add my vote for XForms 🙂

  9. jd says:

    I may be misunderstanding something, but why would you want to limit components to whatever form elements are described there? (A SWF component doesn’t have to be only form elements.)Hmm, perhaps you might want a SWF component set which supports the XForms functionality, and which can be parameterized by the same XML… am I reading between the lines correctly here?

  10. Mike Chambers says:

    I wouldnt assume that Flash is loading the XML. Perhaps the XML is being transformed into Flash?mike chambersmesh@macromedia.com

  11. mike, nah puhleeezz.. you wouldn’t do such things, would you? 😉

  12. Mike: Do you know what level of CSS that is being supported?

  13. Flash for Internet Applications: The Evolution Continues.

    Macromedia announced Flash’s independence from the browser and an associated marketplace for Flash applications called Central. I wish for a Flash application compiler.

  14. erixtekila says:

    Mike, could you tell us what major differencies you see between Royale and Central.They both sound like the same…Or should I miss something ?thanx

  15. Sam says:

    All I have to say is AMAZING! If you’re doing anything with Laszlo, stop right now–royale is worth the wait.

  16. David Temkin says:

    It’s great to see that a developer-centric, XML-native approach to rich Internet applications is catching on. Here at Laszlo Systems, we’ve bet our business on it.For those of you who are interested in a platform like this, we at Laszlo invite you to download our software. It’s available today for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, and it costs nothing to developers.The system is quite powerful, going well beyond form layout. It enables developers to create visually stunning, dynamic applications using a complete XML-native approach — including data binding via XPath, user-defined classes with inheritance, J2EE integration and more.We welcome any questions or comments — feel free to contact me directly.David TemkinCTO, Laszlo Systemstemkin@laszlosystem.com

  17. Scott Barnes says:

    I’ve been working on an XML feature that will work in both DHTMl and Flash to basically build a series of objects (forms, images etc) based from an xml file that can be transformed to both browserware and flashmx seamlessly…Having said that, David Temkin, i click on demo and i’m hit with a “please pee in a jar” style form.I want to demo your product, not marry you ease up on the forms.. i hate that, filling bloated forms just for demos of products….

  18. >>I wouldnt assume that Flash is loading the XML. Perhaps the XML is being transformed into Flash?Makes sense, I guess its a job for XSL-FO rather than XSLT/CSS. My guess is that based on this the XML format might be ‘like’ XForms but I guess will need to be extended so that you can define a component stright from the XML file.

  19. cyberfunk says:

    This sounds very interesting! I’ve also been working on defining Flash content using XML, but trying not to be limited to just forms. At the moment i have not taken XML standards into account as i’ve been trying to prove the idea was viable, but will certainly be looking to take it in that direction. A preview of Flash Markup Language (FML) is here:http://www.future-flash.com/fml/Obviously, MM’s solution if it is .swfs being generated on the fly rather than the XML being parsed by Flash is much more appealing 🙂

  20. Royale

    I have been hearing a bit from the Macromedia rumour mill on ‘Royale’ the new technology to build Flash interfaces entirely from XML I’m sure we will be hearing more about this in the near future… see mesh on mx…

  21. Sam Christie says:

    My first assumption was that the generation of forms was but one example of what you could create via the XML framework. Though it was never explicitly stated otherwise, why do so many people seem to think that Royale will be limited to forms (even Mr. Temkin seemed to think so)? Maybe Mike can clear this up.

  22. DrShakagee says:

    Sounds a bit like Konfabulator for Mac OS X. You can define everything with XML. Forms and layout are just a small subset of the vast potentional.

  23. Interesting; Central, now this? I’m gonna have fun with this!

  24. Michael Conger says:

    Ok, I’m about to admit my need for help…Recently I’ve felt overwhelmed by Macromedia’s slew of new product announcements/strategies/sneak-peeks.I’m a long-time CF guy who’s just recently started to get into Flash. At first it was pretty straightforward Flash + CF connect them via LoadVars, XML, or Remoting… no sweat. Then add FlashComm to the mix. A new twist, but it’s still easy to see what the products are intended to do and to keep a bead on MM’s strategy. Now 2003 rolls around and suddenly we’re flooded with new information (much of it in semi-non-disclosure-protected-exclusive-beta-testers-only-don’t-worry-this-will-be-cool form). Now we’ve got Remoting, Firefly, Royale all of which (presumably) can make use of or be made of use in Flash, CF, FlashComm, AND Central… whew.So what the hell am I ranting about? Simply this… All of these products promise to be very cool, but they’re starting to overlap (ex. Remoting vs. Firefly) and my understanding of what combination is best for me as a developer or is best for any particular application is getting pretty hazy. I need HELP MM! By all means, keep innovating (you guys rule) but please! Educate me better. Help me with the big-picture. Give me the clarity I once had. Make the clear, white, light bulb pop up over my head the way it did when you unleashed the MX line.If I still feel the need to be confused by an endless list of product offerings that all meld into a confusing mass of overlapping capabilities, I can always count on Adobe to be there for me.

  25. “Macromedia Standards Server”Haha.Anyways, imagine this beast did SVG to SWF as well. Damn. that would be a crushing blow to competitors as well.A brilliant move by Macromedia I must say. By incorporating this type of standards support all of a sudden the flash world gain tens of thousands of developers that will then be able to develop content for the Flash Player.I think an SVG to SWF ability in Royale would be the best thing that ever happened to SVG. There are now multiple SVG players and we are going to enter a mini browser war with these players. If Macromedia enters the game by using Royale to convert SVG to SWF on the fly, it would immediately become the best deployment solution for these “standards” on the web.Can’t wait to see more.

  26. Jeff Battershall says:

    After spending several months building a Flash-based CMS that uses XML for form definition, I’m a little pissed. I’ve also built simple APIs to remoting that would seem to overlap what FireFly is doing. I can’t be constantly retrofitting my code with the new stuff.It’s not that my thunder is being stolen per se, it is that the Flash MX offering from MM is such a moving target that I find I am wasting time building things that MM is already doing.You can’t even build up a cottage industry because the work you’re doing is being pre-empted with a company that has much greater development resources. It is fine that MM is making all these advancements, but it would seem that there has got to be a way to make this a bit more orderly and coordinated, so that it doesn’t undercut the independent developer’s efforts.I could crack it up to the learning process, but when you’re spending so much money in the development process, it isn’t viable to trash a project because MM is coming out with something that possibly may be better than the solution you’ve devised.Just a kvetch, that’s all. But it would be nice to be kept a bit more in the loop or something like that.

  27. James Rowley says:

    As a developer i am pretty much using everything in XML these days as you dont have to keep going back into the source: for example, i’ve nearly finished a dynamic form which takes XML as the input & creates & checks the form. I cant show u that yet, but soon – however i have used the same technology to create a Production Tool (CMS) for an interior design site. The CMS is based at http://biffer.ifdnrg.com and the actual site that you change the content of is at http://biffer.ifdnrg.com/testing.htmWhen you change something, remember to press the MAKE LIVE button / Save buttons.Royale sounds very promising though 🙂

  28. XML Fanatic says:

    Yes I cansee how XML is the best thing everVery readable as well