Frequently Asked Questions

Art Of Sequence is a … tool?

Art Of Sequence is several different projects focused on digital story-telling.
Some projects are tools for authors, some projects are players for readers.
They all use the same intermediate data format, AOSL, to work together.
More details on this page.

What’s the project’s license?

All Art Of Sequence projects use the MIT license.
See this page for details.

Why not use Flash/Air instead?

To understand you first have to distinguish between:

  • the Flash execution environment (the plugin): it’s really nice and there are plans to make ActionScript3 exporters and players to run in Flash/Air. However, Flash plugin isn’t available on some platform, which make it less of a best platform to publish to. Another problem is that once you’ve done something in Flash, it’s hard to export it in another format. One of AOS’s objectives is to be able to publish on different platforms.
  • the Flash Editor: it’s an excellent editor to make animations. However, if you want to structure a story in a way independent from time, like our AOSL stories, you will need to add a lot of code to your story to make it work. That’s what people making TurboMedia do as there is currently not a lot of other alternatives (AOS projects are not production-ready yet). AOS projects are designed to work with stories structured as sequences and everything is made for developers to build simple tools that don’t force the author to have some programming skills. Note that if the author wants to make animation in Flash and then use them into a story using AOS tools, it’s possible (in a close future) and designed to allow it.

We will use Flash as one target platform for our players implementations, but we also believe AOS can guide the development of better edition tool for our specific purpose of making born-digital stories.

Why not use HTML5/JavaScript/CSS3 instead?

We do use HTML5/JavaScript/CSS3 as a target platform for a player implementation: AOS Web Player (there is a demo online). However, this is not enough tools to achieve our objectives. Also, HTML5 can’t be used in some contexts, like inside a game which want to have some nice digital-born story as cinematic between game phases. Instead of being exclusive to one platform, we use a generic format, AOSL, to describe a born-digital story in a generic way and then let the tools take it and generate other formats for us, like a web page.

Why not use <insert-technology-here> instead?

If that technology achieve your needs, please be my guest and make good stories with it! We currently don’t find anything that match our objectives so we need to build our own tools for now. We hope that in the future this project will inspire other developers to make better tools for digital story-telling.

How does (X)AOSL differs from the ePub format?

Both XAOSL and ePub are file formats defined as an archive file (zip) containing descriptions of documents which are consumed on digital platforms. They are similar in their spirit but differ on their general purpose and structure: the ePub format is designed for documents while XAOSL is designed for digital-born story-telling.

Where ePub will present documents as “pages”, flowing like an abstract book which could contain multiple media like texts, graphics, audio and video; XAOSL will instead describe how to tell a story which will be read by going step by step through transitions happening in a canvas. XAOSL is focused on “changes” happening in a story: it is designed to tell the computer what changes to do to the graphics and audio at each transition, with or without effects. These transitions can depend on different specificities of computers: conditions, loops, etc. Basically, XAOSL build a story on the fly and tell it to the reader, while ePub will simply display content.

Note in theory that an ePub file could contain an AOS Web Player which would play a story inside a document, like it would play a story inside any web page.

Nice project! How can I help? Can I contribute?

Yes! Thanks for you interest. Please read this page.