Linked by Kroc Camen on Thu 6th May 2010 07:54 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems In 2009 ARM showed off prototype netbooks "capable of driving HD content, can surf the web for 8 hours, and will cost round and about 250 USD". Yet still, none have made it to the market. Why do you think this is so? Because ARM signed a deal with Adobe in 2008 to bring Flash and AIR to the ARM architecture, a promise they will finally deliver later this year. And you wonder why Apple won't have Flash on the iPhone when it can hold back an entire product category for two years.
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Flash Existed BEFORE 2008!
by tomz on Thu 6th May 2010 15:47 UTC
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I'm not sure about the original n800, but the Nokia n810 had WORKING flash "out of the box", and that was released for the n800 and all that was long before the above agreement.

With a small hack to enable the feature, it even worked with the camera.

So I have no idea what you are talking about "Waiting for Adobe". I don't know what that agreement said, but I would note:

ARM is not one architecture like Intel - there are enough subtle variants that an executable optimized for one version of the chip will not necessarily run on others.

Even two years ago, the higher native ARM clock speeds were rare, expensive, and killed battery life. You had to use the DSP and/or video acceleration cores and they presented an even larger set of variables.

I will blame Adobe for this at least - they seemed to hate or ignore Linux for a while (on all platforms). They seem to be getting better but that camera thing (flashcam) was because they refused to update to use V4L2 instead of the more ancient API. They limited Linux support, and you don't run Flash by itself, and most ARM platforms ran Linux.

And this exposes the lie of Adobe's "openness". It only runs on linux when THEY choose to compile it for Linux. They need not be opensource, but if their policy was wherever a working firefox browser could be brought up, they would attempt to provide the current flash player and work with the community. (Think old PPC Macs).

In Adobe's defense, I don't know of any effort by ARM to standardize the architectures sufficiently (look at the arch/arm/ tree in the linux kernel) to make it reasonable to create a high-performance version of flash for all ARM architectures.

Or perhaps it was the licensees. It generally was each chip manufacturer refusing to release some details about their specific core or features or individual users like Nokia adding the proprietary bits so the thing would work.

It is a lot like Apple complaining how slow Adobe does video while refusing (I think they since relented) to publish an official video acceleration API.

Flash on ARM? Which flavor? Which audio system? Which video accelerator (how can we tell, is the API for this one public, ...).

And for that matter, I'm quite sure someone will eventually get one of the Android versions of flash onto a jailbroken iPud and it will run as well as the equivalent Android hardware.

The only reason Flash is not on the iPhone is because Steve Jobs doesn't want it there.

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