Adobe chooses already-cursed XFL to replace FLA’s!

So the second article I’m suggesting you read today, (Yes, more reading!) is over here at regarding  The Death of the .Fla !! That’s right Flash developers, our precious .fla format might not be around forever. And phew, I was about to put money down on that it would.

Pros and cons of this epic change:

Pro, if you read the article the implication is indeed awesome. It kinda sounds like the one-world government of file formats, but in the best sense possible. A lot of programs (like AE, Flash, Photoshop) can edit the same file, XFL (which is really a zip of other files). That truly is cool. And X’s are cool.

Con, I really liked the .fla extension. Some programs write to files with weird extensions leftover from what the software was named many iterations ago. But .fla standing for Flash obviously, was perfect. And with ALL the other Flash-branding Adobe is doing (i.e. Flash Catalyst, Flex Builder becoming Flash Builder) leaving around the extension .fla seems to have “synergy” (- Jack Donaghy )

So here’s my list of other file extensions more deserving of a change first…

  • Adobe Photoshop ( .psd ) :  Sounds and looks like an STD or disease
  • Adobe Illustrator ( .ai ) : Too sci-fi. I feel like when I mention this in a tutorial, people only paying half-attention wake up and are like “what about that movie?”
  • Adobe After Effects (.aep ): Should have always been .afx . How cool is that. AFX, son.
  • Shockwave Flash Movie (.swf ): Worth changing just so developers can stop butting heads over whether to call these “S.W.F files” or “Swiffs”
  • Apple XCode ( .xcodeproj ) : WTF Apple? A 9 character file extension?! Really? I think for those of us smart enough to use XCode after just “dot xcode” in a filename we would have figured out this is probably an XCode project.

And here’s my list of already perfect filename extensions

  • Quicktime Movie ( .mov) : If there was ever a land-rush to primo abbreviations , Apple totally must have killed some other squatters to get this oceanview extension.
  • JPEG Image (.jpg) : Nuff said ( And I didn’t even say anything).
  • Plain Text Document (.txt) : This one I should post on , anyone wanna bet in a 1000 years plain text docs still have this extension? Also that plain text documents become self aware and kill all humans.
  • Adobe Flash Document (.fla ): Perfect because, oh wait, this is the one they are changing! I forgot.

Well how many people other than Vince McMahon’s accountant still remember the XFL?  That Xtreme Football League, er, was it Xtra Fun League?  I guess now XFL  stands for Xtensible Flash L-Something. Oh I see. The L part is, yeah yeah. Got it.


10 thoughts on “Adobe chooses already-cursed XFL to replace FLA’s!

  1. I’m all for the progression and evolution of technology if it drastically improves, but I’m also about “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” this sounds like more of a headache if anything.

  2. Well that’s just… I mean, it’s just so… No… =(

    var Flash:String = FLA;
    if(Flash != FLA){
    trace(“What in the name of Pikachu is Adobe thinking?!”);
    //Probably not a whole lot… Bummer =(

  3. Ha, nice!

    Despite the article, I bet we’ll see .fla files for a long time to come. I understand how external images fit nicely into the whole XFL thing, but Flash also is used to create vector art. But maybe they’ll just create an external file format for vector art in Flash too. Hrmm… could be interesting.

  4. Ranoka says:

    As far as I understand. XFL is basically Adobe’s version of SVG that also understands the extra Flash related features like MovieClips and what not, so the actual artwork would be in an XFL file, I think it could be a file for each item in the library, and the library would be represented by a folder. (Maybe… I’m speculating here).

    I thought they would keep the .fla extension, and that would basically be a folder that has all the different images, sounds, code, vector files etc in it. I guess that could cause a problem because then you wouldn’t know if it was an old or new style .fla, so maybe they will change flash files to .xfl!

  5. poonaynay says:

    Well i Will Stick with FLA! Who cares if time’s changing? the internet will still support FLA. so i highly doubt its gone FOREVER!

  6. Julian says:

    What do you mean “already cursed”? How can you put that in the title and then not mention it again in the article?

    You’re listing the name of the extension as a “con” for the file format? How serious is that?

    You should criticise the new XFL format based on its own merits. Not based on the letters chosen for the file extension or -even worse- the letters of another file extension that you happen like more.

    XFL is first of all OPEN, and text based. And it’s not replacing FLAs. It’s just a better alternative.

  7. Mack says:

    Look fla and xfl are exactly the same thing. If you have a fla file, change the extension to .zip and unzip that file and see what you get. All xfl is, is a zipped version of fla. sometimes a text based representation of something helps with batch edits and source control diffs…so under the hood it makes absolutely no difference. Its sad to see this blog gets the first hit in google for the fla vs xfl argument.

  8. I dont like too much changes. I was actually searching for xfl vs fla . I still dont know the differences.

    PS: I was interested to find about performance

  9. someone says:


    XFL IS replacing FLA. CS5/CS5.5 FLAs are zipped files that when you unzip them, the first thing you’ll see will be an XFL file. Flash 1~CS4 FLA files were, on the other hand, binary-based.

    Currently, using XFL is more encouraged if you work over the network, because if the connection breaks while you’re saving, the FLA will be rendered useless (corrupted ZIP) while the XFL can be partially recovered (some assets may be gone, but some are recoverable).


    Performance-wise, they’re pretty much about the same. You’ll need a bit extra time to do the compression when dealing with new FLA, but both are big improvements over the old FLA. Unless, well, you work over network (see above). But in that case both XFL, old FLA and new FLA can fail.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s