Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 27th Nov 2008 22:14 UTC
OS/2 and eComStation While most people detest Flash for its rather resource intensive operation, and its role in creating really annoying websites where the back and forward buttons don't work, the tool does have an important place on the web. Most internet video players, such as Youtube's, run using Flash, and as such, it's kind of important to be able to run it. eComStation has just taken the first few steps to being able to run the official Flash player - Mensys has received permission from Adobe to distribute the Windows version with eCS, which with a bit of work will work on eCS using ODIN. "This is a first step but the legal block is gone now," Mensys' Roderick Klein writes, "The writing of the code to run the Flash DLL is the next big step!"
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Excellent!
by e-co on Thu 27th Nov 2008 23:26 UTC
e-co
Member since:
2006-01-03

Cool! Flash plugin + safe internet surfing (no viruses) => eComStation is the best internet platform now -:)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Excellent!
by mmu_man on Fri 28th Nov 2008 02:49 UTC in reply to "Excellent!"
mmu_man Member since:
2006-09-30

s/is/will be/ (it's not running yet, is it ?)
Can't they just make an Haiku version then ? (I would probably not use it anyway though :p)

Heck, the back/forward button is the least of annoyances...
worst being it's not usable by blind people and not indexable.
And of course it sux cpu.
http://revolf.free.fr/img/why_I_banned_flash.png
http://revolf.free.fr/img/why_flash_sux_even_on_linux.png

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Excellent!
by grfgguvf on Fri 28th Nov 2008 03:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Excellent!"
grfgguvf Member since:
2006-09-25

Actually Google does index text in .SWF now; and how exactly do you convey vector graphics and video to blind people? It's not really Adobe's fault that you can't...

That said I hate Flash and I hope YouTube adopts Theora at some point...

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Excellent!
by darknexus on Fri 28th Nov 2008 11:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Excellent!"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

how exactly do you convey vector graphics and video to blind people? It's not really Adobe's fault that you can't...

Actually, that's not what we mean at all. As a blind person, I'm damn well aware that no amount of audio is going to convey a vector graphic to me and further, I really couldn't care about the graphic. But, flash is used for much more than that, usually used where it should not be. How about web site navigation, where the entire nav bar is flash buttons? How about media player controls such as play/pause, forward, and backward? On most web sites, these are implemented in Flash. These controls, and not the vector graphics, are what we mean when we say flash isn't very useable.
For the record, this isn't quite true and hasn't been for a few years, but the site has to be coded correctly in order for accessible Flash to work at all... and guess how many web sites aren't coded according to the standard? ;)
He might have also meant that EComStation isn't useable by blind people, I couldn't tell from his message. In that case, as far as I'm aware, he'd be dead right--most of the major operating systems are accessible--OS X, Windows, *NIX with CLI or Gnome but not KDE ;) --but none of the minor ones really are. It's really a shame, as there's a lot of them out there I'd like to play with--Haiku, SkyOS, EComStation, and MorphOS just to name a few. I'd even lie to play with ReactOS, and this should eventually be at least possible once the required API hooks get implemented into it as they will have to be to achieve their goal of full Windows compatibility. OS X does the job for me just fine, but hey I'm a geek and a geek can never have enough operating systems and/or computers on which to mess around.

Reply Score: 7

RE[4]: Excellent!
by mmu_man on Fri 28th Nov 2008 18:07 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Excellent!"
mmu_man Member since:
2006-09-30

Indeed, I've still yet to see any accessible flash... besides, the fact that it requires a plugin that is proprietary makes it impossible to use on some platforms, that is it is 100% unaccessible there, regardless the efforts Adobe might have put in it.

So I'm sorry but Adobe might say what they want regarding accessibility, but as a non-blind using BeOS and Haiku it's definitely not accessible for me:
http://revolf.free.fr/img/shot_NetD_catalogue_flash.png
(for those who can't see it's just a browser with a plain white page :p)

Clueless "web" designers putting "skip flash" links inside the flash themselves don't help either...

I found quite strange the website for Unadev http://www.unadev.com/ (french association for blind and visually impaired) have a big "f" logo as partner...

Yes the "specs" are supposedly open, and there are FOSS implementations but I've yet to see one that works, and is portable. Both gnash and swfdec have an insane amount of dependancies making them totally unportable.

And I don't know which browser you use, but I don't think the flash plugin is usable from lynx or links when used on a braille tty.

I don't think the text indexing google does carries any meaning if they just index the strings found in the binary without trying to interpret it and read them in order... at least it can help.

So for all intend and purpose flash is not interoperable and thus not accessible.

As for eCS I have no idea about how accessible it is.

Gnome ? I noticed several times that some controls are unaccessible by keyboard navigation... (typically the url bar in epiphany... at least TAB can't get me there without the mouse, didn't dig the docs for other shortcuts).

As for Haiku, well, accessibility was't much thought in BeOS. Window Manager actions were not keyboardable (unlike windows' system menu with ALT-space...). OTH, controls should be fully keyboard navigable, those that TAB can't reach are accessible with Win-TAB. It also has a well thought input method system. I've been thinking about possible things to help there, but we should probably have a large discussion on it.
Thanks to the scripting interface, it should be possible to have a daemon monitoring applications and ask them for control text to speak them out loud for ex.
Feel free to come to irc.freenode.org #haiku and help ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Excellent!
by darknexus on Sat 29th Nov 2008 01:30 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Excellent!"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

To be fair, accessibility != cross-platform. Having said that, though, I certainly take your point ;) .
As a note of interest, Adobe has done nothing for accessibility. The work in the flashplayer itself for this, what little there is of it, was actually done by Macromedia back in Flashplayer 7. The little work that has happened since then has been on the browser end, integrating the accessibility APIs Flash uses into certain browsers. Adobe have done nothing since, including making it accessible on platforms like OS X and *nix. Nothing. They're taking credit for what Macromedia did shortly before Adobe acquired Flash, and this is why the state of this problem has not changed in a few years.
Perhaps something could be done with Gnash in this regard, but seeing as how it lags behind Flash in certain areas it wouldn't be the end-all of solutions at least not yet. Given how badly misused Flash has become and what a resource hog it can be, I wouldn't be sorry to see it go in any case. Not very likely, though, but hey I can dream. At least Silverlight runs a lot better, might be one of the few things Microsoft will get right in recent years.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Excellent!
by UltraZelda64 on Fri 28th Nov 2008 21:43 UTC in reply to "Excellent!"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Cool! Flash plugin + safe internet surfing (no viruses) => eComStation is the best internet platform now -:)

Huh? I don't get it; how is eComStation supposedly "better" than, say, Linux, Mac OS X and other UNIX-like systems out there, just because it's finally getting Flash support--something that could be done for a while now on other systems? It's even possible in FreeBSD as far as I know, using the Linux compatibility layer to run the Linux version of Firefox (or Wine and the Windows version, but there goes security...).

Are those OSes somehow insecure, prone to getting damaged, and easily infested with viruses? I think not. Plus, they don't cost a whopping $250+ bucks just to use (well, a Mac might, since you need the hardware too...). I would guess there's less software selection on eComStation too (I don't recall ever, EVER seeing a download link to an OS/2 or eCS version of *any* program. Ever.).

So seriously, how is it better? It sure doesn't win on cost against Linux, and I seriously doubt it has much/any better security compared to any of the others.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Excellent!
by Johann Chua on Sat 29th Nov 2008 04:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Excellent!"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

Did you miss the smiley?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Excellent!
by cmost on Tue 2nd Dec 2008 19:10 UTC in reply to "Excellent!"
cmost Member since:
2006-07-16

And Linux would constitute...what?!?? Since Linux has far better software / driver support than eComstation (or OS//2) it would constitute the best web browsing system. :-P

Reply Score: 2

Sigh...
by ValiantSoul on Fri 28th Nov 2008 15:33 UTC
ValiantSoul
Member since:
2005-07-20

eCS before FreeBSD?!? I'm sad...

Reply Score: 3

RE: Sigh...
by steampoweredlawn on Fri 28th Nov 2008 17:20 UTC in reply to "Sigh..."
steampoweredlawn Member since:
2006-09-27

If it's any consolation, it's the eCS guys doing all the work, not Adobe. It's the same basic principal as using nspluginwrapper to use the linux flash binary with a *BSD browser

e.g. http://www.erikd.se/freebsd/freebsd-flash-in-firefox/

Reply Score: 2