Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Adobe extending Flash platform: Run C, C++, Java and more

Category: Adobe, Flash

Paul Krill picked up on Kevin Lynch saying “It’s basically a way to take other languages and make them run on top of Flash Player” as he answered a question from the audience at Engage the other night.

Expanding on the project, Ted Patrick, Adobe technical evangelist, said the technology would allow for cross-compiling existing code from C, C++, Java, Python, and Ruby to ActionScript. This would enable components written in those languages to be integrated into a larger project, Patrick said. “That code becomes perfectly portable into our application platform,” he said.

For example, an alternative PDF renderer providing a lighter version of PDF could be cross-compiled, and the Flash Player could read it and display PDFs.

“Right now, everything has to be written in ActionScript or our lower level byte code languages,” said Patrick.

In Flash Player, everything has to compile down to SWF byte code, Patrick said. The byte code language inside SWF is called ActionScript byte code.

Of course, this has been talked about quite some time ago. As Tamarin grows up and becomes a solid VM, we are likely to see the polyglot come to being in full force.

Posted by Dion Almaer at 6:20 am

3.9 rating from 19 votes


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This seems like a shot across .NET’s bow. If this comes to pass then the flash platform will be equal in ability to the .net platform. Couple this with enterprise-level multi-platform desktop solutions (in the form of adobe air), and it might even outclass it.

Comment by Joeri — February 27, 2008

Sounds like a response to Silverlight. Adobe already has the advantage with such a high install base.

Comment by SiteSmart — February 27, 2008

no love for perl, yet again :(

Comment by urandom — February 27, 2008

@urandom: OMG perl who uses that use (python/ruby) perl is so 4 years ago.

end LanguageFanboy

This is definitely a one-up to Microsoft (.net/Sliverlight), and will definitely provide a boost to Adobe Airs adoption.

Comment by tj111 — February 27, 2008

While I find this fairly exciting, one glaring thing is turning my excitement off. How long will the Flash community have to wait to get this functionality? Because Silverlight is already out and is starting to gain ground, so if Adobe wants to win this war then this must be released sooner rather than later.

I welcome this addition to the Flash platform, and I also request another, 3d graphics with hardware acceleration.

Comment by pplante — February 27, 2008

Sounds like Adobe is scared of Silverlight (cross-platform .NET/C#/JS/Python/Ruby without the limitations of Flash – yes please!). Even with these abilities though, its still isn’t .NET (the best designed software framework </bias>). They do have the benefit that Flash is already out there, but I hope that this compiled byte code will be backwards compatible.

Comment by Andy Kant — February 27, 2008


It’s a programming language, not a fashion statement.

Comment by urandom — February 28, 2008

free debugger, compiler, the more languages this thing supports the better its chance of success (esp Perl :), if Adobe makes their flash media servers/modules free that pretty much guarantees the deal.

Comment by ujuxiun — February 29, 2008

it seems to be related to js-types development:

Comment by vartauy — March 3, 2008

l Am loving it

Comment by Aphrodisiac — August 11, 2008

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