Why Flash 9 for Linux Is Taking So Long

Paul Betlem, senior director of engineering for Adobe, explained why Flash 9 for Linux is taking so long.

GNU/Linux users didn’t even see Flash v8, which meant that while Windows and Mac OS X users were able to use and view newer content, GNU/Linux users had to deal with a wide range of problems due to an outdated plugin.

The problem was that Adobe wanted to create a consistent experience for all distributions, and the Linux Standards Base has not addressed all of the different libraries used by Flash. Testing multiple configurations was also a challenge. The good news is that Adobe’s suggestions to the LSB aren’t falling on deaf ears, and it should be easier in the future to provide an application that can run on any distro without the user or developer worrying about tiny but important differences.

Also good news is that Adobe plans to ship Flash v10 for Windows, Mac, and Linux-based systems simultaneously, so the delay GNU/Linux users had seen with v9 apparently won’t happen again.

So what does it mean to GNU/Linux gamers? Flash games will no longer be off-limits. And for developers, it means an entirely new audience can be available to play their games.

4 comments to Why Flash 9 for Linux Is Taking So Long

  • Well, yes, but it has been out for a long time. Flash 8 was never ported, and Flash 9 is almost here, months after release for Windows and Mac OS X.

    Having just Flash 7 means that you get online to play a game, only to discover that it will not run properly. You get games with no text, or a blank screen that never goes away, and it isn’t consistent. For some reason, when Flash games require a higher version, the game itself does not always tell you this fact. You’re just left to figure it out for yourself.

    When Flash 9 comes out, it will mean that all games will be available to GNU/Linux users, not just the ones that are old.

  • jvm

    I was responding to “GNU/Linux users didn’t even see Flash v7”. Am I missing something here or is that statement simply not correct? Sorry, not a flame, just asking.

    We agree that having Flash 9 will be nice. It’d be even better if one of the Free (in the sense of GNU) players were as good as Adobe’s.

  • Oh, yes, it was a mistake. I meant Flash 8.

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