Soma – New Framework for Flash Developers
Lately there has been an increasing number of new open-source products aimed toward the Flash community and not only. Various developers created different open-source tools that are very handy regarding fast development, high-quality projects, clean code writing and many more assets.
A recently Beta released product, created by Romuald Quantin – an Actionscript developer, is the Soma Framework. Being at its beginning is very probable that many of you didn’t have the chance to hear or work with it. So I’ll try to highlight the important information you need to know about it, structured in two parts.
Soma, the MVC Framework
Soma is an open source MVC Framework written in AS3 and it is specially developed for Actionscript and Flash website. Its goal is to ease the work by handling the common development that’s required in building a flash site: deep-linking, loading, backgrounds, page management, content management, assets, contextual menu, transitions and so on.
It’s a light framework that doesn’t require MVC knowledge for you to use it. An important fact for developers is that it has been built upon the core of another MVC framework: Cairngorm. The author explains: I’ve made this choice because I want Soma to be “easy-accessed” and even if Cairngorm is originally a Flex framework, I believe its syntax, event-based system and “design philosophy” are closer to what a Flash user would expect.
But Soma is not only a MVC Framework .It is XML-based and uses a reference to a XML site definition almost all the time. The structure, content, assets and assets behaviors are stored in this XML site definition. It also automates tasks and it is generated. But this is for the second part of the description.
SomaUI, the source code generator
SomaUI is an AIR-Java tool and its main purpose is to generate source code, the base of a Flash site in AS3, created with Soma ready to be used for further development, for Flash Player 9 or 10 and for Flash or Flex SDK developer. SomaUI has very useful features that ease you when starting a site:
- building an XML file required in order to make Soma working
- exporting deploy files (html, css, etc)
- exporting source (actinscript, Flash file, XML, etc)
- compile with the Flex SDK
This software gives you a large-hand when you create a project, choose specific settings such as name, package, flash player version, and so on. You can write the xml definition of your site or load a template and finally, export it.
As a conclusion, because I recently heard about this framework I didn’t get to use it, I can say that, from what I’ve seen in the video tutorial on the home page and red about this product, Soma Framework is a real easer for you work, time-saver and I like the fact that has a specific set: Actionscript and Flash development. When you want to create a Flash site you know there is a Framework especially created to help you in your development.
For further more information about this product, its resources, software requirements, docs and the latest version released visit the Soma homepage. And as an example of a Flash site built with this framework there is Soma Protest site where you can find out more stuff about Soma.