Flash "direct" rendering and future improvements

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Flash "direct" rendering and future improvements

Postby Renara » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:39 am

I got a request to enable Flash's direct rendering mode (enabled as a parameter in the flash object's HTML) which I've done as it's a tiny change. This should allow Flash to use the GPU for certain types of content and generally allow it to perform better since it's drawing directly to the screen rather than going through a few extra steps like before.

Anyway, this change should be generally invisible, though some games may hopefully run better than before, but I just wanted to add this announcement in case it introduces any unexpected issues with anybody's games, please reply to this thread if you experience any weirdness!


At the same time, I just wanted to let people know what improvements I'm still planning for the board that will benefit Flash content:

  • (Finally) add support for LZMA compression - this is my first task to complete, and one that I've done most of the coding for, but it's been a nightmare to test thus far. Anyway, it's still on the way, I promise! This is now essentially done, it's not quite the solution I want (I'm using a unix tool to cheat) but it works, I may use a better method in future.
  • Optimised uploads - since we've been having some issues with uploads getting interrupted, I'm planning to add a sub-domain for uploading (actually, posting in general) that doesn't have CloudFlare and other caching features enabled, which should hopefully make uploads faster and more reliable. It should also let me tune performance more easily since regular forum access doesn't require long page load times or lots of memory and vice versa. I'm marking this as done as uploads now occur in an optimised way with a separate upload limit, just not via a sub-domain as I originally planned. I may also increase the upload limits once performance is stable (it's been a bit variable so far).
  • Author directories - basically I'd like to have flash files (and all attachments actually) organised into folders based upon the user that uploaded them. This should make it easier to provide consistent save-games that don't randomly get screwed up; I'll provide examples of the ActionScript needed to support this properly.
  • Web data - although I don't believe I can support Flash's remotely shared objects on my web-host, I'm planning to add a simple PHP script that lets our Flash developers store data on the LoK server. It'll have some restrictions to keep things sane, but it should allow for easier persistence of saved games and other things, it should also be usable by non-Flash content, depending upon the exact tools used.
As always I can't really give any definite ETA on when any of this will be ready; I'm definitely busy this week and next, but ought to have some free time after that to at least get stuck into some of these updates. I've also got a few features that need finishing for the RP forum, and a few other general phpBB updates like adding tagging of posts/topics, lots to do!
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Re: Flash "direct" rendering and future improvements

Postby Ivan-Aedler » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:26 am

Great, Great and Great, Renara!
I am really awaiting those, as it will help me to concentrate more on the content! Thank you, live strong!
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Re: Flash "direct" rendering and future improvements

Postby GoRepeat » Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:14 pm

Wow that is amazing!
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Re: Flash "direct" rendering and future improvements

Postby Ivan-Aedler » Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:16 pm

Great Renara!
Any news about the LZMA and other improvements?
And Corta is back! ;)
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Re: Flash "direct" rendering and future improvements

Postby Ivan-Aedler » Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:08 am

I am getting gateway problems since the last 2 hours. They're intermittent, and its not a problem here, as CloudShare is showing a problem between their servers and LOK site (a window keeps appearing), then I use refresh and nothing....now I got it..... Whoops cannot post. Refresh again. Ok this post I am writing got sent.
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Re: Flash "direct" rendering and future improvements

Postby Jumbo70 » Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:31 am

Regarding flash and future improvments, i think i just crashed the site for a second...
i made a topic where i uploaded two flash files and after i clicked submit the site crashed for a couple of minutes, my topic is there and the flash files are in the topic and all that dandy but i just tought about giving a headsup here.
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Re: Flash "direct" rendering and future improvements

Postby Renara » Wed Dec 02, 2015 7:26 pm

LZMA support is now live!

Thanks to our being on a new server that I've setup myself, I was able to just go ahead and cheat; instead of implementing LZMA in PHP itself, I can just use the xz tool, included with many modern versions of Linux and OS X, which can decompress LZMA for me :)

Anyway, it means that you should now be able to upload LZMA compressed files and have them appear at the correct size on the forums! Hooray!

Quite the long wait for something that sounds so minor, but between PHP's getimagesize sucking balls, the Flash plug-in's reluctance to display things at the proper size when asked, and the fact that LZMA is decompression isn't supported in PHP (and if it was, it'd probably be done horribly anyway) it's a way more complicated issue than I'd have liked ;)

For those that don't know, LZMA is the compression algorithm used by 7zip, and can compresses files around a third smaller than zlib (gzip files), which is what Flash normally uses for compression. Anyway, keep an eye out for any Flash files that are displaying at a weird size, but otherwise, enjoy!


Now all I need to do is add support for HTML 5 games and movies before Adobe discontinues Flash in 5-10 years!

Looks like I need to cancel the victory dance; using an external command is failing intermittently for some reason, so finding a way to get the dimensions natively in PHP is still on the to-do list it seems! I'm leaving my changes enabled, as the worst that can happen is that the flash file defaults to 640 x 480, and it should eventually load the correct dimensions (when it does decide to work). So yeah, if you want to upload LZMA then you can do-so, just make sure the file will look good at 640 x 480, just in case. Sorry about this!
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Re: Flash "direct" rendering and future improvements

Postby Renara » Fri Dec 18, 2015 5:10 pm

I've fixed an issue that was preventing embedded SWFs from playing (even though they downloaded just fine).
Not completely sure of the cause of this one, but to resolve it I've fixed up the old code we used to use that generated file links to public attachments (links to forum/download/links/blahblahblah). When we upgrade to phpBB 3.1 this is the basic method that we'll use for all files anyway, but it'll be implemented slightly differently (attachments will appear to come from files.legendofkrystal.com, with per-author directories) but that's a future thing!
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Re: Flash "direct" rendering and future improvements

Postby Dotatan123 » Fri Dec 25, 2015 6:40 am

thats mean, cannot download any attach file anymore?
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Re: Flash "direct" rendering and future improvements

Postby Renara » Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:40 pm

Dotatan123 Wrote:thats mean, cannot download any attach file anymore?

Attached files should still download just fine, I've even deployed a tweak today that should let them download with the correct file-name (rather than downloading as filelink_gibberish.swf), though it may take a few days for the CloudFlare cache to fully update (I don't like clearing it as the site ends up getting tons with uncached traffic).
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Re: Flash "direct" rendering and future improvements

Postby Renara » Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:05 pm

So I'm going to tentatively say that LZMA compressed SWFs should work now, but since it worked for me I fully expect it to break for everyone else ;)
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