Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Adobe lifts SWF/FLV restrictions and creates Open Screen Project

Category: Adobe, Announcements

I start with an aside; This must be the most un-Adobe website I have ever seen. Below is the entire website for the Open Screen Project:

Open Screen Project

As the site says, the details are in the press release which says:

The Open Screen Project is working to enable a consistent runtime environment — taking advantage of Adobe Flash Player and, in the future, Adobe AIR — that will remove barriers for developers and designers as they publish content and applications across desktops and devices, including phones, mobile Internet devices (MIDs), and set top boxes. The Open Screen Project will address potential technology fragmentation by enabling the runtime technology to be updated seamlessly over the air on mobile devices. The consistent runtime environment is intended to provide optimal performance across a variety of operating systems and devices, and ultimately provide the best experience to consumers.

The cool part of all of this, is the fact that the old restrictions on the SWF and FLV specifications are now in the past. The restrictions used to say that if you read the SWF spec, you couldn’t build something that would run SWF files. So, could build an editor, a tool, but not a runtime in anyway.

This has just changed by:

  • Removing restrictions on use of the SWF and FLV/F4V specifications
  • Publishing the device porting layer APIs for Adobe Flash Player
  • Publishing the Adobe Flash Cast protocol and the AMF protocol for robust data services
  • Removing licensing fees – making next major releases of Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR for devices free

With news of OpenJDK coming at JavaOne next week, we will see changes with the most deployed runtimes out there. Just the beginning of the path towards an open source Flash.

I keep thinking of the JVM playing FLV/SWF, and the Flash player grokking .class files!

Posted by Dion Almaer at 1:10 am

4.7 rating from 40 votes


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Hell just froze over

Comment by Jordan — May 1, 2008


Hell is still quite warm, thanks. H.264 encoding/decoding is still encumbered, the ON2 codecs can’t be OSS’d, Adobe still controls the distribution channel for “official” Flash, and it’s not clear to what extent this announcement will allow Adobe’s “partners” in this (let alone ye-old hacker) to help define the direction of the product. Opening up specs in no way changes how they’re created, who has a seat at the table, and how they’re evolved. If Adobe still holds all those cards, well…they still hold all the cards ;-)

I’d argue that a “wait and see” approach is firmly warranted until Adobe *also* throws more of the flags that would indicate a real willingness to work as a peer with this nascent community and not as the single source of truth.


Comment by slightlyoff — May 1, 2008

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