Create Flash Content in Linux – A Missing Link for Developers? 03/26/08

Last month we posted “Top 100 of the Best (Useful) OpenSource Applications“, which listed some really good open source applications. One of the things missing was a good OpenSource, Flash content creation tool.

It seems there’s a new application in town! On March 25, 2008 the “Salasaga” site announced a snapshot release of their developing (it’s still in Alpha) , “Integrated Development Environment for producing eLearning”. As mentioned, Salasaga is still in Alpha, so it’s not ready for a production environment. However it’s really worth a good look. It’s available from their download page (which also indicates that this may be a cross platform application – Linux, BSD, Solaris, Windows).

From their site, here is some of what they have to say:

…Imagine a free, easy to use GUI authoring environment that helps you create visually impressive and actually useful learning material. The short term goal for this project is to provide such an environment, and we’re well on the way to a first release for doing that.

Initially similar to Adobe Captivate, but will eventually incorporate an AJAX (browser based) playback capability for advanced content. Flash has at least one serious design limitation (from my POV) making it nearly useless for comprehensive eLearning, and this appears to be addressed by the existing capabilities of AJAX in browsers these days…

Salasaga FlashFor those not familiar with Adobe Captivate, it’s an application that captures and records screen activity and facilitates synchronization with audio and video. I took a look at it and personally I’m impressed. In my opinion, it looks like this will be a nice addition to my OpenSource list, bumping the number to 101. ;)

For Ubuntu Linux users they have a nice installation guide (not too difficult at all): Installing on Ubuntu

Things I hope they change or improve?

There’s no timeline. I used to seeing a timeline so this kind of threw me off a bit. Don’t get me wrong, you can set the time for each slide display (duration). But doing itthis way means you need to remember the timing for each slide.

A didn’t see the facility for scripting, which would be very beneficial, and is something I normally have available in Adobe based applications. But remember, this is still in Alpha. ;)

Funnily enough, maybe it’s just me, but the biggest difficulty I had was moving and placing the slides where I wanted them. It was not a matter of drag and drop. Instead, there are little menu windows where you have to enter the x and y coordinates for the position. I just didn’t seem to have the knack for it, so will take a bit of getting used to.

The upside?

It was very easy to create output files (for use).

It is easy to install (even if you prefer to compile from source).

While it’s still in alpha, it looks like this has a lot of potential, and based on their “to-do list“, there’s improvement coming our way.

My personal thought? Wow! This will be a great tool to use and I certainly plan to keep watching it as it matures. It would be a great tool to help new Linux users learn about Linux – Or any OS!

Again, please do take a look: Salasaga Open Source eLearning IDE. And remember it’s still in Alpha.

Thanks for a great application. :)

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One Responses to this article

 
JJ March 26, 2008 Reply

Have you tried Wink? http://debugmode.com/wink/

Creates highly compressed Flash presentations (few kbs to few hundreds of kbs, much smaller than competing commercial products) ideal for using on the web.

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