Better Flash Support for Mozilla, GNU/Linux?

I never thought I would be posting anything from Happy News, but then I saw the article entitled Adobe Gives Mozilla Some Computer Code. Basically, Adobe shared some code with the Mozilla Project related to ActionScript, which is what the Flash player uses.

Mozilla created a new project called Tamarin to “implement a high-performance, open source implementation of the ECMAScript 4th edition (ES4) language specification.” The FAQ answers the question of what exactly is being contributed:

The Tamarin release will include the following components:

* Source code from the ActionScript Virtual Machine (AVM2) as currently shipping in Adobe Flash Player 9, including the Just In Time (JIT) runtime compiler and conservative garbage collector.
* A partial implementation of a prototype compiler written in ActionScript, which will be developed by the open source community to implement all of the ECMAScript 4th edition specification. This will be a “self-hosted” compiler that is written in the language it compiles.

I’m surprised more open source news sites haven’t mentioned this news. Maybe I am jumping the gun a bit here, but if the source is being made available, doesn’t it stand to reason that open source implementations of Flash Player will be much better on Gnu/Linux? If so, it means that web-based games will have more reliably available players. To indie game developers, it translates into more potential customers. To us Gnu/Linux users, it means we’ll finally be able to view Flash movies or play Flash games without missing text or wondering if it froze.

That is not to say that Flash Player itself has been open sourced, as Frank Hecker clarifies. Still, if the basic scripting language is going to get better, then Flash might, too.

2 comments to Better Flash Support for Mozilla, GNU/Linux?

  • Hi, if you’re in 32-bit Linux and are having problems with video sites, then there’s a pre-release version available which is getting good reports:
    http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/flashplayer9.html
    More info:
    http://blogs.adobe.com/penguin.swf/
    http://www.kaourantin.net/

    The situation for indie game developers delivering through the browser is getting more interesting. The next generation of Firefox will potentially offer order-of-magnitude improvements in scripting performance. The drawing commands (SVG, CANVAS) will likely improve too. There will also likely be better integration and acceptance of the high-performance media engine in Adobe Flash Player, and the latter provides ways to reach audiences beyond this one version of Firefox. Many more options coming up.

    … hmm, one other project you might want to keep an eye on is Apollo, which can save out a webpage as a desktop-style application… this will offer more options for game developers too:
    http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/Apollo

    jd/adobe

  • Thanks for the information, John! I’ll definitely take a look into those links for Linux-based Flash player support.