It's all well and good that Adobe did get the Flash plug-in for Firefox/Linux going, but what we don't (and perhaps will never) have is an Adobe-supported way to create Flash animations on a Linux box.
So we have Open Source work-arounds, and I'll be exploring them one at a time. After all, those of us who earn our living with a Linux machine could stand to beef up our resumes, right?
Here's a package to get started with: Get the SWFTools package. Let's check out the "brute force" method first, with "PNG2SWF".
I made a series of .png images of a simple vector star in Inkscape, saving them as "star_01.png, star_02.png" etc. When starting a sequence of pictures like this, it's best to name the files with zero-indexing; if I used "star_1, start_2", then when I got to "star_10", the file system would sort 10 between 1 and 2, which isn't what we want.
Here's the pngs in a gallery in gthumb:
It is also recommended that you save all the png images in their own directory.
Now, I pop open a command line, cd into that directory where the images files are, and type:
png2swf -o star.swf ./*.png
and out comes a Flash animation composed of the images. Result here.
To display it in a web page, I use this:
<param name="movie" value="star.swf" />
<param name="loop" value="true" />
<param name="quality" value="high" />
<embed src="./star_test_png/star.swf" width="100" height="100" />
...the height and width is set to the size of the original PNGs.
This is just a "slideshow" method of doing it. The same methods work for the various other tools in the SWFTools collection which can do a similar trick with .jpg, .gif, etc. Admittedly, doing your images one at a time is a pain, and you might as well be making an animated gif. This is just a start: we'll explore more sophisticated means in future installments.
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