Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 29th Aug 2007 21:55 UTC, submitted by deanna
Multimedia, AV The fourth alpha release of Gnash has just been made at version 0.8.1. Gnash is a GPL'd Flash movie player and browser plugin for Firefox, Mozilla, Konqueror, and Opera. Gnash supports many SWF v7 features and ActionScript2 classes. Gnash also runs on many GNU/Linux distributions, embedded GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, non x86 processors, and 64 bit architectures. Ports to Darwin and Windows are in progress for a future release. The plugin works best with Firefox 1.0.4 or newer, and should work in any Mozilla based browser. There is also a standalone player for GNOME or KDE based desktops.
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by sc3252 on Wed 29th Aug 2007 23:29 UTC
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Why does it seem like every oss project is able to port their code to other platforms, or even extensions such as 64bit, but the proprietary companies such as adobe have trouble porting to just 64bit windows?

Reply Score: 6

RE: Porting
by dylansmrjones on Wed 29th Aug 2007 23:55 in reply to "Porting"
dylansmrjones Member since:

To some extent because these systems are all posix-compatible to a fault ;)

Another one is that FLOSS-persons are geeks. They are doing it for the fun of it.

And a third: FLOSS is often developed after the KISS-principle.

And a four: Don't underestimate the amount of man-power available for FLOSS. Adobe doesn't have that kind of man-power available.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Porting
by Cymro on Thu 30th Aug 2007 11:31 in reply to "RE: Porting"
Cymro Member since:

I wouldn't be surprised to see Adobe open-source the Flash Player before Gnash gets ActionScript 3.0/Flash 9 support.

In my mind, everything points towards that. The Flex SDK is open-source and the ECMAScript interpreter for ActionScript was donated to Mozilla. Their AJAX framework, Spry, is open-source (rather than just being viewable JavaScript with a restrictive license). I can't imagine Adobe feel they've done too badly out of the PDF standard either.

Then there's the competition. Microsoft are open to the Moonlight open-source project right now - they're smart enough to know it promotes Silverlight more than it promotes Linux. Being "unofficial" support, they get goodwill from Mono developers and people who like open-standards, but crucially they keep control. Meanwhile Windows Update does its work.

Of course, there are risks, but open-sourcing the Flex SDK was extremely telling IMHO. It's easier to build a Flex Builder replacement on top of Eclipse than it is to build a full Flash authoring app so they seem ready to face those concerns.

Flash Player 9 itself is effectively two players in one. The ActionScript 3 side is a nice new code-base that's ideal for open-sourcing. If Adobe are smart they'll act swiftly.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Porting
by s-peter on Thu 30th Aug 2007 01:20 in reply to "Porting"
s-peter Member since:

It's not so much that they have trouble but they don't do it simply because it's not profitable for them. For example, spending an additional 10-20% or more to deliver a Linux port is not worth for getting maybe 3-5% additional customers (numbers are just examples). It's even worse for 64bit versions as practically any user can just run the 32bit version (no additional customers). However, both may change as/if the adaption rate for 64bit platforms and alternative OSes increase. (As the shift to 64bit architectures is evident, I'd expect most vendors to release 64bit versions from the next major versions of their software, but not spend any additional money to deliver 64bit versions of existing apps unless it significantly increases performance for that app.)

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Porting
by anda_skoa on Thu 30th Aug 2007 12:05 in reply to "Porting"
anda_skoa Member since:

...but the proprietary companies such as adobe have trouble porting to just 64bit windows?

In the case of Flashplayer, I'd say the main difference is new code on the side of the OSS project vs. tons of old legacy code on the proprietory side.

It is one thing to keep new code portable (easy) and another thing to make old code run on new platforms (hard, requires porting, etc)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Porting
by Morin on Thu 30th Aug 2007 16:15 in reply to "Porting"
Morin Member since:

Because OSS and portability are a good match. With every platform that a program is ported to, the project gains more developers.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Porting
by abraxas on Thu 30th Aug 2007 19:24 in reply to "Porting"
abraxas Member since:

Why does it seem like every oss project is able to port their code to other platforms, or even extensions such as 64bit, but the proprietary companies such as adobe have trouble porting to just 64bit windows?

A lot of proprietary code is crufty and old due to backwards compatibility. Free software code is usually cleaner and refactored more often. In addition to cleaner code free software always has someone who wants an application bad enough on their platform to port it themselves.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Porting
by Ford Prefect on Thu 30th Aug 2007 21:27 in reply to "Porting"
Ford Prefect Member since:

The OSS projects write portable code in first place.

Many companys have the "get it running on our reference machine, we will fix the glitches on some other machines later" attitude.

Developers need more time for really portable code (although its much easier on POSIX platforms). In a company, they want you to get the job done, and do it fast. The job is the target machine/platform, and nobody will ask you about another OS or platform because it isn't in their business plan anyway. So you use every single (non-portable) feature of the target platform that shortens your work.

But if I code for free/fun, I want to write nice/elegant code, not only fast code.

Reply Parent Score: 3