So, I’ve abandoned Flash and ActionScript for something more versatile. HTML5, PHP, jQuery, and CSS3.
Since I’m not terribly comfortable with any of these things, it’s pretty perfect as a learning experience. And as an experiment, I have no real expectations of how it “should” end up, because I have no real grasp on what I can do with it yet. As far as I know, anything is possible and anything can happen. So that’s what I’m shooting for. Endless possibilities.
I’m also totally open to future applications of this technology. What if I project this onto a large touch-responsive surface? What if there’s an element of augmented reality? What about a mobile app? Everything’s wide open. And incredibly exciting.
As far as actual production goes, the hardest part these past couple of days has been making an RSS feed’s output work with keyword highlighting. I followed many differing tutorials, pulled things from each of them, and modified them to the best of my ability, and I finally got it to work on a basic level last night. I have the feed working, and keyword highlighting is working for the most part (partial or compound words like sleep vs asleep are still causing me some technical problems, but I’m sure I can get that figured out in the next week).
The hard part will be animating everything. That’s where jQuery comes in. I have never touched the stuff before. So this is an adventure for me. I have no clue what I’m doing, and it’s pretty liberating to have that kind of uncertainty and freedom. I know that I want tweets to move depending on their keywords, so that’s a place to start for now.