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Improve file size with Reducer

Improve file size with Reducer

Joa Ebert has been on a quest to build a better Actionscript compiler lately and Reducer is the first public result of his work. If you're embedding PNG assets using the Embed tag, you should definitely check this tool out.

We've always been facinated by Joa Ebert. He can type almost as fast as he thinks, and he's a really fast thinker! As part of the team behind the Hobnox AudioTool, he keeps pushing the limits of the Flash Player and when you think it can't get any further he keeps taking it one step longer. Lately, he's been on a quest to extend the existing ActionScript Compiler and to produce even more optimized SWF files. By diving deep into the low level bytecode of SWF files and deconstructing this, Joa has come up with several ways to optimize SWFs on a low level. In the process he's worked on opening up the special opcodes that Alchemy gets it's speed from to the general Flash programming community. The latest result is a small Java command line tool that'll fix a limitation of the Flex compiler.

If you use the Flash IDE to export PNG files with transparency, you can also set the file to compress as JPG to save file size (rather than the lossless PNG compression). If you are using Flex Builder, FDT or another tool that embed PNGs as assets using the Embed-tag, you won't get this compression. By just running Joa's Reducer tool, you can apply any level of compression to all the PNGs in a SWF and since it's Java based, it should be possible to add this to an automated build system as well. Check it out!

Here's our test output:

Note this this will only work on lossless images and that Java 1.6 SE is required. OSX users can find this in /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/1.6.0. We're really looking forward to Joa's further experimentation and what may come from that!


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