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  • Adobe Opens Up Flash Specifications

    Phoronix: Adobe Opens Up Flash Specifications

    Adobe has this morning announced the Open Screen Project. The Open Screen Project is actually open and is designed to push consistent rich Internet experiences across a plethora of devices and varying screens...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=NjQ1Mg

  • #2
    That's really great news, and hopefully Linus won't have to file new bug reports about Flash.

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    • #3
      Holy crap, that's great!

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      • #4
        Hopefully this will lead to a fully functioning flash alternative. I'm tired of screaming at adobe for their crappy plug-in which still has 4 year old bugs in it.

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        • #5
          Wow, if I ever saw anything that smells like Silverlight competition, this is it. As Microsoft (and Mono/Novell) try to broaden the appeal of their new framework, Adobe comes out with this annoncement.

          It's great, though. On FreeBSD I only have Flash 7, which doesn't let me do a whole lot of things these days. However, I still worry that this newfound "openness" will push back the demand for truly open solutions, though. As Flash's appeal broadens, the need for SVG/SMIL and all that might lessen.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by deanjo View Post
            Hopefully this will lead to a fully functioning flash alternative. I'm tired of screaming at adobe for their crappy plug-in which still has 4 year old bugs in it.
            Indeed. I find it shameful that the stupid thing will take out Firefox on a whim and not fix that problem for years now.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by wepo View Post
              It's great, though. On FreeBSD I only have Flash 7, which doesn't let me do a whole lot of things these days. However, I still worry that this newfound "openness" will push back the demand for truly open solutions, though. As Flash's appeal broadens, the need for SVG/SMIL and all that might lessen.
              It all depends on what they're doing. If they're making the play it sounds that they're doing, the client is going to be open-open (in the sense we know of that term...) with the production tools not being so open, but the specs for making your own will be made available. This way we can have our cake- and they can keep making money off of where the money's being made for Flash for them- ON THE TOOLS THAT PRODUCE THE CONTENT.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
                It all depends on what they're doing. If they're making the play it sounds that they're doing, the client is going to be open-open (in the sense we know of that term...) with the production tools not being so open, but the specs for making your own will be made available. This way we can have our cake- and they can keep making money off of where the money's being made for Flash for them- ON THE TOOLS THAT PRODUCE THE CONTENT.
                I definitely hope you're right. However, there's still some way from proprietary-gone-open to something that has been developed by many industry players and interested parties. This way we'll, hopefully, have a nice, usable open source player (Gnash) which can replace the buggy Adobe Flash player for us, and everybody will have the option to create their own player based on the released specifications, but Adobe is still in control of the spec and its development. That's the crucial difference between something created as an open standard and something that used to be proprietary and isn't anymore.

                That's why I think this is great news on a personal level, but in terms of web development, rich applications and all that, this might deal a blow to the open standards that are in development. It's a sort of vendor lock-in, in a sense. It becomes a viable solution to develop web applications using Flash because it's now possible to implement a player on very diverse platforms, but once you've decided to use Flash, you're still putting your work into the hands of Adobe.

                I must admit I'd rather see more development on open standards than the "opening up" of proprietary projects. Just my $0.02.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by wepo View Post
                  I definitely hope you're right. However, there's still some way from proprietary-gone-open to something that has been developed by many industry players and interested parties. This way we'll, hopefully, have a nice, usable open source player (Gnash) which can replace the buggy Adobe Flash player for us, and everybody will have the option to create their own player based on the released specifications, but Adobe is still in control of the spec and its development. That's the crucial difference between something created as an open standard and something that used to be proprietary and isn't anymore.

                  That's why I think this is great news on a personal level, but in terms of web development, rich applications and all that, this might deal a blow to the open standards that are in development. It's a sort of vendor lock-in, in a sense. It becomes a viable solution to develop web applications using Flash because it's now possible to implement a player on very diverse platforms, but once you've decided to use Flash, you're still putting your work into the hands of Adobe.

                  I must admit I'd rather see more development on open standards than the "opening up" of proprietary projects. Just my $0.02.

                  No matter what standard is in play, your always subject to the developers whims. Look at it this way, Adobe wants their standard to become the defacto. Adobe wants to make as much money as they can so they put in features that people want so in a way the public DOES have some say in which way the product evolves. The advantage is that there is a sense of consistency and arguably keeps the standard evolving without having 3000 developers creating their own offshoot standard because they disagree with the evolution path. Bittorrent for example is an openstandard but despite that you have a bunch of clients that use any one of the 6 DHT systems all that are not compatible with another and many shortcomings of bittorrent still have yet to be addressed because of fear of losing compatibility with the aging format.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                    No matter what standard is in play, your always subject to the developers whims. Look at it this way, Adobe wants their standard to become the defacto. Adobe wants to make as much money as they can so they put in features that people want so in a way the public DOES have some say in which way the product evolves. The advantage is that there is a sense of consistency and arguably keeps the standard evolving without having 3000 developers creating their own offshoot standard because they disagree with the evolution path. Bittorrent for example is an openstandard but despite that you have a bunch of clients that use any one of the 6 DHT systems all that are not compatible with another and many shortcomings of bittorrent still have yet to be addressed because of fear of losing compatibility with the aging format.
                    But then consider the (mildly related) HTML/XHTML or CSS, for example. Mostly, these standards have been developed without one specific vendor's interference.

                    It's definitely true that Adobe wants to make money, and that's most probably why they're opening this up. I don't doubt Sun opened Java for the exact same reasons - people are moving to open source software instead, so proprietary products have to go through this transformation to stay relevant.

                    The problem, in my eyes, is that Flash is going to stay proprietary, even though the spec is open. Sure, Adobe will listen to the developers when they request features, I don't doubt that, but Adobe is still the only vendor with the ability to change Flash. What they decide, that's what goes.

                    Your comparison to BitTorrent isn't entirely fair, I think. Think of my examples above - XHTML, for instance, has a single standard "vein", you could say, although it's subject to the implementation's handling. But the main point is that XHTML, as such, doesn't suffer from 6 incompatible offshoots the way BitTorrent does. It has been developed by interested parties that all have a horse in the race, and same could be the case for SVG/SMIL, for instance.

                    But okay, I guess I'm being a bit idealistic. Think of PDF, for instance: Developed by Adobe, but now it's pretty much the most portable document format around, and tons of non-Adobe implementations have been developed. If the same happens to Flash, at least Adobe will be happy with the situation, and the users (and developers) as well, most likely.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wepo View Post
                      But then consider the (mildly related) HTML/XHTML or CSS, for example. Mostly, these standards have been developed without one specific vendor's interference.

                      It's definitely true that Adobe wants to make money, and that's most probably why they're opening this up. I don't doubt Sun opened Java for the exact same reasons - people are moving to open source software instead, so proprietary products have to go through this transformation to stay relevant.

                      The problem, in my eyes, is that Flash is going to stay proprietary, even though the spec is open. Sure, Adobe will listen to the developers when they request features, I don't doubt that, but Adobe is still the only vendor with the ability to change Flash. What they decide, that's what goes.

                      Your comparison to BitTorrent isn't entirely fair, I think. Think of my examples above - XHTML, for instance, has a single standard "vein", you could say, although it's subject to the implementation's handling. But the main point is that XHTML, as such, doesn't suffer from 6 incompatible offshoots the way BitTorrent does. It has been developed by interested parties that all have a horse in the race, and same could be the case for SVG/SMIL, for instance.

                      But okay, I guess I'm being a bit idealistic. Think of PDF, for instance: Developed by Adobe, but now it's pretty much the most portable document format around, and tons of non-Adobe implementations have been developed. If the same happens to Flash, at least Adobe will be happy with the situation, and the users (and developers) as well, most likely.
                      My point was that any poorly managed standard, no matter if it is open or not, will suffer because of egos and lack of a unified direction. For every well managed opensource project there is a poorly managed one. That happens in closed source too. Ultimately the lead devels and maintainers say what makes the cut and what doesn't. openGL for example is another open standard that has recently because of poor management become stagnent. A standard being open, in no way guarantees or even increases the chances of successfully adopted. Just take a look at how many opensource browsers STILL fail the ACID tests. The two browsers that happened to achieve 100% compatibilty were closed sourced.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                        The two browsers that happened to achieve 100% compatibility were closed sourced.
                        So you are saying that Epiphany is closed source ? And I have seen how this browser achieves 100/100.

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                        • #13
                          Has hell froze over? If Adobe is releasing at least as much documentation and specs as they have for PDF, that means that even the tools to create the content can be produced in an open manner, like OOo does PDFs, but Acrobat can read and edit PDFs, so Adobe still makes money off Acrobat. But that also means that we can have very good tools to view the content such as open source players, just like there are Open applications for PDF (Evince, XPDF, etc)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mithrandir View Post
                            So you are saying that Epiphany is closed source ? And I have seen how this browser achieves 100/100.
                            Epiphany achieved this until recently, so did Konqueror. But when the first browser achieved 100% on ACID 2, it was Opera (and Safari, IIRC) and none other browser did.

                            By the way, Epiphany in my machine fails. Since it still uses the Gecko rendering engine, it is obvious that Epiphany, Firefox and Galeon all render it exactly the same. Epiphany 2.22 with the WebKit renderer does pass it. But the point of firefox not passing the test, being it the most prominent open source browser, is ridiculous.
                            Last edited by Thetargos; 05-01-2008, 02:46 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Thetargos View Post
                              Epiphany achieved this until recently, so did Konqueror. But when the first browser achieved 100% on ACID 2, it was Opera (and Safari, IIRC) and none other browser did.

                              By the way, Epiphany in my machine fails. Since it still uses the Gecko rendering engine, it is obvious that Epiphany, Firefox and Galeon all render it exactly the same. Epiphany 2.22 with the WebKit renderer does pass it. But the point of firefox not passing the test, being it the most prominent open source browser, is ridiculous.
                              Yes your right Thetargos, those were the first two to pass the ACID 2 test, they are also the first to pass the ACID 3 tests as well.

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