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Cairenn 03-31-13 11:04 PM

Major changes coming to the UI in 5.4
Edit: April Fools!
Hope you all had fun and we've restored all the deleted posts. :)

We have managed to get our hands on an alpha client for patch 5.4 and it has major changes for the User Interface. When we extracted the UI files as per usual, we discovered that all of the default Blizzard UI files are now swf and js files. Apparently they are switching to a flash based UI!

Here is a screenshot of the new addon folder:

(click image for full sized image)

We asked our contacts at Blizzard what was going on and they had this to say:


Originally Posted by Blizzard
We here at Blizzard have always been keenly aware of our addon community. We’ve noticed that addon creation has stagnated as of late so we wanted to do something to help revive the community. We looked around the gaming industry to see which games still have thriving UI communities and how they are maintaining their communities’ interest. The most novel approach we saw was Funcom’s The Secret World use of a Flash based UI, so we are going to try taking a page out of their book. We will be doing the actual WoW UI application in Java, to maintain cross-platform useability.

We hope that this will give the UI community a good shot in the arm. Going to a Flash based UI with Java will provide a lower entry barrier to new modders wanting to be able to write addons for WoW. Hopefully our addon author community will agree and embrace this opportunity to revive their existing addons and pursue new ideas.

When 5.4 is ready to go on the Public Test Realms, we will run a longer than usual test phase. We've been testing this in-house for some time now, but we realize this is quite the change. By running a longer than usual test phase it will allow for a thorough testing of the new default base UI. As well, this will help the authors who will have quite a lot of work to do in order to bring their addons into compliance with the new system.

We have uploaded the new dev kit in our Developer Utilities section so you guys can get a head start on converting your existing addons over to the new system. We will be updating it as any changes are made to those files. You can get it here.

Seerah 03-31-13 11:10 PM

I'm wondering if they'll have addons disabled on the PTR for the start of the testing. They usually do this when there are major changes to the client. If the PTR will last longer than usual, they probably will. Test the base UI first to catch anything that got through the cracks and then re-enable addons for authors to convert over...

/edit: not sure how I feel about all this, tbh... Now I gotta learn Flash. :p

MentalPower 03-31-13 11:30 PM

This is amazing news! Now Auctioneer will get to use even more RAM to draw pretty graphs and really showcase all the AH the data we collect. Only downside is the rewrite this will require. I really hope the PTR is *extra* long this time around.

jonathon 04-01-13 12:27 AM

Great news for authors everywhere!!! :D

Chibi 04-01-13 12:34 AM

Well this will certainly be interesting... Guess I have languages to relearn.

Mordread 04-01-13 12:43 AM

April Fools!

Bomyne 04-01-13 01:22 AM

Will lua still work? because I'm not a fan of flash and i've devoted time to learn lua.

Chrome67 04-01-13 01:25 AM

What I didn't see in the Blizz explaination...
...I didn't see any specific references that they are removing Lua support. Since the .toc/.xml aspects are still included, I'd like to see something more definitive on this. Just because their ui pieces are switching to .js/.swf might not necessarily mean Lua's being done away with all together, since both are interpreted languages anyway, and pulling the existing code out might be more trouble than it's worth. Perhaps said "inside sources" might be able to clarify a bit...please :)

Cairenn 04-01-13 01:31 AM

I believe that their intent is to leave the lua files functional for a while, giving authors some additional time even after 5.4 goes live in which to get their addons converted. That was the impression I was given when talking with them. :)

Renegadexf 04-01-13 01:34 AM

wow.. this is big news. not sure if its good or bad :p:confused:

Miiru 04-01-13 01:41 AM

oh man you really got me there till i noticed the date :D though i guess some people woul really like this^^

taheen74 04-01-13 01:44 AM


Originally Posted by Miiru (Post 275616)
oh man you really got me there till i noticed the date :D though i guess some people woul really like this^^

Yeah, I'm not even an addon creator and got a chuckle out of this. Would be an interesting change though.

Anj 04-01-13 01:59 AM

Flash... there goes any hope of an iOS WoW lite...

Wildbreath 04-01-13 02:42 AM

1 april joke? :D

TheRealArkayn 04-01-13 02:59 AM

I was looking for a good reason to learn Flash and JS, and now Blizzard has graced me with just that! Super excited for the change.

xplosive03 04-01-13 02:59 AM

Good 1 april joke ^^

Talyrius 04-01-13 03:37 AM

Yeah, that about sums up my response to this.

Marthisdil 04-01-13 04:05 AM

Checks calendar.



Movster 04-01-13 04:49 AM

It's APRIL 1st that's all I have to say :D

Aoife59 04-01-13 04:56 AM

Good it's about time!
:D It's about time Blizz overhauled the UI. I can't wait to start testing addons!

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