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Unread 03-31-13, 11:04 PM   #1
Cairenn
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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.

Last edited by Dolby : 04-01-13 at 08:26 PM.
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Unread 03-31-13, 11:10 PM   #2
Seerah
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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.
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Unread 03-31-13, 11:30 PM   #3
MentalPower
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Awesome

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.
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Unread 04-01-13, 12:27 AM   #4
jonathon
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Great news for authors everywhere!!!
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Unread 04-01-13, 12:34 AM   #5
Chibi
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Well this will certainly be interesting... Guess I have languages to relearn.
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Unread 04-01-13, 12:43 AM   #6
Mordread
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April Fools!
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Unread 04-01-13, 01:22 AM   #7
Bomyne
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Will lua still work? because I'm not a fan of flash and i've devoted time to learn lua.

Last edited by Cairenn : 04-01-13 at 01:31 AM.
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Unread 04-01-13, 01:25 AM   #8
Chrome67
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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
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Unread 04-01-13, 05:54 AM   #9
demonguy
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It must be kidding...April Fool right?
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Unread 04-01-13, 05:57 AM   #10
Xrystal
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Thanks Blizz.

I used writing addons to learn lua and some understanding of xml and now I will get to learn how to program in Java. Nothing like learning something new while playing a game. And my friends think I am weird and too old to play games. Little do they know.
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Unread 04-01-13, 06:17 AM   #11
ksireaper
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Maybe Aprils Fools Joke?
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Unread 04-01-13, 07:16 AM   #12
VincentSDSH
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Originally Posted by ksireaper View Post
Maybe Aprils Fools Joke?
As if Cairenn would do something like that to us. She's Canadian.
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Unread 04-01-13, 07:23 AM   #13
McBloed
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Originally Posted by ksireaper View Post
Maybe Aprils Fools Joke?
I Think so, Flash and Java will open to much doors for Bots, Hacks, Trojans and other things that lua can not do.
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Unread 04-01-13, 09:58 AM   #14
qwee
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1st April today, don't know if this is true or not o,O
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Unread 04-01-13, 10:36 AM   #15
CobraA1
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I've heard that Java and Flash offer new, hidden APIs known as "vul-ner able code" that could be useful. Support for the following new capabilities could include the following:
  • Support for large scale automated deployment of addons.
  • Support for large scale e-commerce systems, using automatic procurement of customer information.
  • Support for large scale email advertising systems.
  • Support for advanced password recovery systems. Never forget a customer's passwords again!
  • Full support for bananas.
I look forward to the future of addons using these technologies.
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Unread 04-01-13, 11:30 AM   #16
JimJoBlue
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Anyone else think this is an april fools joke?
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Unread 04-01-13, 11:53 AM   #17
JimJoBlue
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Unread 04-01-13, 01:45 PM   #18
Clamsoda
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Do Flash or Java UIs taint for no reason?

If not, sign me up ;]

*giggle*
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Unread 04-01-13, 10:38 PM   #19
Chrome67
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Good Job on the April Fool's...definitely got me. Was driving home today and thought about the original post...about taking a page from "The Secret World" and implementing it here. Then I thought, why in the world who the most successful MMO in history use ANYTHING from the fastest transition to Free2Play ever?
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Unread 04-01-13, 10:36 AM   #20
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