LiquiFire Operating System (OS) is a server-side rendering tool set. You can think of it as a scriptable version of the same kind of functions you get with photo-editing software. It uses a plain-English script language governed by LiquiFire OS commands.
LiquiFire Operating System presents many capabilities to the web designer, including: support for all popular image file formats; ability to render and manipulate vector images like Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) and Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG); full International Color Consortium (ICC) color management; international (Unicode) typographic support with full-page layout capabilities; and manipulation of Exchangeable Image File (EXIF) and International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) metadata.
While LiquiFire OS is a very powerful environment providing the designer with unmatched capabilities, it should not be intimidating. Simple color, size, or format adjustments are extremely straightforward, and the most complex processing operations can be just as easily expressed. No detailed knowledge of imagery, file formats, or image processing is necessary to take advantage of the potential of LiquiFire OS.
LiquiFire OS is centered on concepts known as the current image (which refers to one particular image from the pool which you are actively editing) and the image pool (which consists of a stack of images or the entire palette of images for a specific render request that are then combined together in various ways to create a final, customized image). A variety of assets can exist in the image pool, but the current image refers to the image you have chosen to work on at any given time.
Interaction between a webpage and LiquiFire OS is enacted through an image tag. When an image tag is used, a browser will typically request an image by sending an “http:” message to a server, and the server will then send an image from a file back in response. In the case of LiquiFire OS, the operating system sends commands to create a customized recipe within the browser image request. LiquiFire OS then renders and returns the finished image according to that recipe. With LiquiFire OS, the browser doesn’t have to do anything other than function normally and process a regular HTML image tag. LiquiFire OS takes care of the rest.
Assets from Anywhere™ enables you to use images and other assets from an external source as part of the rendering process. LiquiFire OS will fetch the asset and keep a copy of it so that you can use the file in real-time—even if it’s not an asset that has been uploaded to your account in advance.
Once you log in, you'll see menus at the top of the screen. The Manage Menu allows you to manage the onboard storage using “Manage Assets.” The Tools Menu lets you access LiquiFire Orb Explorer (the interactive development interface that shows a real-time preview).
When you choose to navigate to LiquiFire Orb Explorer, the interactive development interface that shows a real-time preview, there will be an adjustable preview area for an image and a text area in the lower portion of your screen. That will show you the exact same items last rendered under the current user ID. The sizes of these screens can be adjusted according to your specifications by sliding the dividing bar up and down. When you’re not in “edit” mode, the text will be color-coded and each line will represent a single LiquiFire OS command. Each command is listed as follows:
[name of command]=argument[value]
The LiquiFire Orb Menu allows you to change your password (via “Settings”), get version information if requested by support (via “About”), or log out of the LiquiFire Orb interface (via “Log Out”). Note: Logout can also be enacted on a time-out if you’re inactive for a specific period of time. If this happens and you choose to sign in again, your work in the LiquiFire Orb Explorer will remain in the same state it was at last render.
LiquiFire OS’ “Manage Assets” function offers an overlay screen area provided for storage in each LiquiFire OS account. Storage is divided into five categories: Art, Chains, Fonts, Data, and Profiles. Behavior is similar in all five categories and there is a list at the root level of each category. Folders that exist within each list may be double-clicked to open the folder and view its contents (this process can be repeated for folders within folders). You can navigate back upward to a main category using the buttons at the top left of each folder. The Manage Assets overlay screen can then be closed by clicking the “X” in the upper right-hand corner or by hitting “ESC” on your keyboard.
To interact with an item on a specific list, simply click once to highlight it. When nothing is highlighted within a list, the buttons on the top right allow you to create a “New Folder” in your current location, to create “New Content” within your current location, or to “Upload” to your current location from your local hard drive. You can also drag and drop from your desktop into the asset folder if you wish to upload a file. You can even drag and drop several files at once. A progress bar will show you the progress of each upload and let you know when each one has concluded.
To change the name or location of an item within a category or folder, select the line containing that item by clicking on it to highlight it. New buttons will then appear at the top right, which will allow you to “Rename” the item, “Move” the item to another folder, or “Delete” the item entirely.
The asset categories are Art, Chains, Fonts, Profiles, and Data.
Art: If you double click on an image file in the “Art” list, a preview of that image will open. Preview overlays can be closed using the “X” button in the top right-hand corner above the image or by hitting the escape key.
Chains: In the “Chains” tab, if you choose to double-click on a specific chain, you’ll see a preview with an option in the lower right-hand corner labeled “Edit in Explorer.” This will take the text of the chain you’ve selected and populate the LiquiFire Orb Explorer text area with that particular chain. Once the chain is in LiquiFire Orb Explorer, you can use it as the starting point for a new chain or render it as is, make corrections to it, and/or resave it.
Fonts, Profiles, and Data areas all work similar to the Art area.
There are three buttons on the lower left, beneath the text editing area. These three buttons toggle between two operating modes each. You can click Auto Render in the lower left-hand corner, which will put you into auto render mode. This enables you to see a new render immediately after you have made changes to the text. If you wish to leave auto render mode, click the button again to return to manual render. You will notice that the label on the button is always indicating the mode you are NOT currently in. Should your resulting rendered image be too large for the preview window, you can simply click the “Fit” button to rescale the image. This button toggles between the actual size (1:1) mode and the fit mode. As such, clicking a second time will bring the image to its original size. The Multi Window button, will take you to the mode in which a second image window is opened in your browser while leaving the original window area available for text display. This can be handy if you are in the habit of working with multiple screens. Clicking a second time will return you to the original window with both image and text on display. This is called the “Single Window” mode.
Click twice on the text portion of the screen to activate and enter the “edit” mode. Once in edit mode, the text display will turn black. Text can be edited and modified using regular keyboard typing or commands, copying and pasting, highlighting, or dragging and dropping.
To see the rendered result of each of your edited lines, you can click the “Render” button in the lower right-hand corner (which will enact a one-time render).
Clicking on the “Export” button in the lower right-hand corner of the LiquiFire Orb Explorer will create a full URL of the image as a preview. A new tab will be opened in your browser and that URL will be loaded. This URL is specifically modified for LiquiFire Orb and should NOT be used in your webpage design
You can copy and paste a functional LiquiFire OS URL to the text-editing window and then click on the “Parse” button in the lower right-hand corner to return the request represented by that URL to a line-by-line format.
If you wish to save a copy of the current preview image to your local file system, you can click the Download button. This will cause the browser to offer a dialog box with which you can save the image to a location of your choice.