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The Lightspark Flash Player Reaches Beta

Proprietary Software

Published on 18 May 2010 12:15 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Proprietary Software
40 Comments

While Adobe Flash has become quite common on the Linux desktop, not everyone is happy with it either due to the browser plug-in crashing, high memory and CPU usage, or the simple fact that it's a closed-source Adobe product. There have been efforts underway by the open-source community to create an open-source Flash player by reverse-engineering the closed-source blob and looking at Adobe's released SWF specification. Two of the most popular open-source Flash players are SWFdec and Gnash, which is backed by the Free Software Foundation, but there is also another Flash player that has just reached a beta status.

For the past year, Alessandro Pignotti has been writing a FLOSS Flash player entirely from Adobe's released SWF documentation (read: no reverse engineering) and now he has felt it has reached a beta status. This Flash player is called Lightspark and it currently supports OpenGL-based rendering, a mostly complete implementation of ActionScript 3.0, a Mozilla-compatible plug-in, and performance profiling/debugging features.

OpenGL rendering is being used in Lightspark over X-Video as it makes it possible then to support any of the Flash overlay/transformation effects. The ActionScript 3.0 support is implemented by an interpreter and JIT engine that utilize LLVM, the Low-Level Virtual Machine.

Details on the Lightspark status and Launchpad PPA information can be found within Alessandro's blog post.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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