Wednesday, March 31st, 2010
For some time now, Adobe has been working with platform vendors to include the Flash plug-in pre-loaded. We’ve seen this ages ago in Windows, and more recently with Adobe’s efforts in the Open Screen Project.
Now, there’s news of something a little bit different. In our second Google-y post of the week, there’s the news that Chrome now embeds Flash directly in the browser, starting today with the developer channel builds of Chrome.
While this doesn’t change the game for developers–it won’t materially impact Flash market share–it certainly provides a much more pleasant integration for users who will no longer need to think about updating Flash as a separate process to updating their browsers. (And since Chrome auto-updates, it’s blissful upgrading indeed.)
Plug-ins with a Dash of Pepper
What *may* impact developers more is news of Adobe working with Google and Mozilla to create a new, deeper browser plug-in API. While no timelines are given, some technical details are provided via a Mozilla Wiki page.
Code-named “Pepper”, the API provides all kinds of goodies denied to plug-ins before, such as using native GUI controls inside of a plug-in (i.e., scrollbars) instead of being forced to render its own and access to printing and the clipboard. Pepper also provides granular media APIs instead of forcing plug-ins to deal with graphics and audio on its own.
It will be interesting to see how successfully such an API can be implemented consistently cross-platform, but at first glance it seems to embrace about the right set of trade-offs.
Posted by Ben Galbraith at 9:00 am