GNU is actively developing Gnash, an open source Flash movie player distributed under the GPL license. Based on GameSWF, Gnash will eventually provide complete support for SWF version 7 compliant Flash movies. Implemented with OpenGL and libxml2, Gnash will be avilable as a standalone Flash player, and as a Firefox plug-in. In order to avoid any potential intellectual property conflicts, the Gnash developers are not using any Macromedia tools to facilitate faster development. Instead of reverse engineering Macromedia technologies, the Gnash developers are basing their implementation on the SWF specification.
GNU Is Developing an Open Source Flash Implementation
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2006-01-25 7:54 pmklynch
Well, assuming you’re using FireFox to browse the web there’s always FlashBlock or something that will automatically block them (unless you click on the Flash Object).
2006-01-25 9:35 pmCelerate
Don’t Mac users get flash support through Quicktime?
I’m pretty sure one time in Windows when I didn’t have flash installed quicktime took over the job of displaying the flash content. It was pretty cool to be honest needing one less little browser addon to view web-site content.
2006-01-26 6:03 amma_d
Generally, a ‘!’ before something indicates a negation. So what he said reads:
“Alternate OSs (!Linux, !MacOS)…”
And it becomes:
“Alternate OSs, other than Linux and MacOS,…”
Flash is also functional on Linux, not just Mac, from Macromedia.
.. didn’t think so. huge f**king waste of time.
This based on gameswf which is in public domain. So GNU has basicly took a public domain program, relicensed it under GPL and renamed to Gnash. Sounds pretty weird that they are forcing GPL on this program.
2006-01-25 8:38 pmthebluesgnr
That’s not what they did, actually. If you read a little you’ll find why gameswf was forked, and you’ll also find that they will contribute fixes back to the gameswf project:
2006-01-26 12:37 amJed
I’m familiar with GNU and the GPL.
2006-01-25 9:35 pmTemcat
And this is wrong why? If the proggy is public domain, you’re free to use it in your software and license however you please.
2006-01-25 9:39 pmCelerate
“Sounds pretty weird that they are forcing GPL on this program.”
The GPL is not being forced on this project, it was already under the public domain and someone decided to use the existing code to found a new project, it’s called forking. The original software is still under the same license it was under before, and no one can change that except the original copyright holder(s).
2006-01-26 6:07 amma_d
Incorrect. No one can change that … including the original copyright holders. You can’t take back rights you already gave (certainly not putting it into the public domain, you might get away with a clause in your license saying you reserve the right to remove rights; but I sincerely doubt that’d hold up).
But you can always relicense your new code added to it! And you can always stop making the public domain code available in hopes it will be forgotten.
2006-01-26 3:32 pmCelerate
That depends on how you look at it. You can change the license on your own copyrighted work, but people can still distribute your public domain version, and depending on the license the software was under before you may still be obliged to provide the public domain version’s source code on request. So for the current version that doesn’t make much difference, but if you keep working on the software and roll out a new version, that new versions if under a new license doesn’t need to have its source code released, even on request.
I really don’t see why they are doing this. There is already flash for Linux. Not only that, if they REALLY wanted to do something useful, why don’t they make a GNU version of Flash Player 8. There’s alot of content out there that only WinDoze folks can look at because it’s done in Flash 8.
2006-01-25 8:27 pmthecwin
Alternate architectures (64 bit Linux on PPC), alternate operating systems (FreeBSD, Solaris…), better support for the system (more optimisations, ALSA/Gstreamer/whatever else). For some reason, closed source software usually just sucks on Linux
It’s free as in speech for those who want a completely free system, or who want to modify it for themselves. Probably more flexibility too… exporting flash movies as different filetypes might just become a lot easier.
Also, don’t forget less dependency on a single manufacturer. If Macromedia decided they couldn’t be bothered supporting us any more, then we’d be at a severe disadvantage since we’d be starting completely from scratch at that point. If we’ve got a free one being maintained then if they choose to discontinue support we can just switch to this straight away.
I’m sure that they’ll support Flash 8 eventually, but Flash 7 is the first hurdle.. once that’s done then onto Flash 8. Gotta take it one step at a time.
2006-01-26 12:28 amJed
I see your point. Yeah it is true that it will be nice to have an alternative if Macromedia decided to stop supporting Linux.
2006-01-26 6:09 amma_d
Not to mention if Macromedia decided to EOL Flash in general. Sure would be nice if you had something to run your flash code on!
You laugh, but how do you think VB6 developers feel right now. Companies do lose interest in products and cut them: This is why developers are often attracted to free platforms because of their tendency against EOL.
2006-01-25 8:40 pmthebluesgnr
You’re clearly not familiar with the GNU project or the Free Software Foundation and their goals. The GNU Manifesto is a good place to start:
And you can read more at http://www.fsf.org.
2006-01-25 9:31 pmyouknowmewell
why don’t they make a GNU version of Flash Player 8
What do you think this is?
2006-01-26 12:30 amJed
don’t know, smart ass…. :-p
2006-02-01 12:31 pmaesiamun
A GNU version of Flash player 7…and not a fully supported version of Flash player 7 either.
2006-01-26 10:03 amFooBarWidget
I am glad that they started this project. Apart from the fact that Macromedia Flash can’t be included in distros like Fedora, there’s also one practical reason:
Macromedia Flash for Linux’s support for non-Western languages SUCKS!
Last time my dad went to a Chinese banking site, he asked me why he couldn’t view the Chinese characters on some page. It turned out that that page contains Flash. Dude, this is 2006! Every single modern Linux apps supports UTF-8… but not Macromedia Flash.
the reason is to have a FREE (unencumbered) flash player
why? I dont know…YUCK!
Time to play chase the moving target – swf format
Linux isn’t the only alternative OS in this world. FreeBSD, for example, can finally run flash natively. And what about Debian, whose policy doesn’t allow non-free apps in the main repo?
One less piece of proprietary software on my computer is always a good thing.
If a full OSS implementation of Flash doesn’t existk, do you guys just browse the web without Flash?
Granted, I hate Flash as much as anyone, but I couldn’t imagine trying to view web sites who use Flash for navigation purposes. (Granted, most of this is quite useless, but I consider Flash to be a necessary evil, unfortunately .. at least until/unless the web ever goes back to substance over style.)
2006-01-25 10:42 pmSodki
If a full OSS implementation of Flash doesn’t existk, do you guys just browse the web without Flash?
I’m a Linux/PPC user, so there’s no Flash for me, even if I want to use it. So, yes, I browse the web without Flash. At first I thought it would be hard, but the only “real” problem is that I can’t see those cute humorous Flash videos.
Fact is, I don’t really miss Flash at all.
2006-01-26 6:05 amma_d
Of course that only shows the Linux download if your browser doesn’t lie and tells it you use Linux.
Where is this myth that flash isn’t available for Linux from? I’ve been using flash on Linux as long as I’ve been using Linux (3 years).
They just get a bit behind on some releases, and the plugins are moderately crappy as far as working with browsers.
2006-01-26 10:06 amFooBarWidget
Their Linux version doesn’t properly support Chinese characters.
2006-01-26 8:12 pmsorpigal
If there is no GNU or compatable implementation I do without. I have wrestled with the morality of it and come down on the side of it being okay to watch flash videos my friends play on their systems. On the basis of that I am very interested in a Free flash player.
I think this is great. The GNU guys know what they’re doing, and there is no way they intend to follow Macromedia’s plan for the future. They’re building an alternative viewer for a type of content which is all over the web, then they’ll take it in whatever direction looks good. That’s how we take back the commons from proprietary, standard-defining corporations.
To the real clever people who judge OS projects so quickly, read up before taking a swipe at projects please. There are a heap of us who despise Macrodobe because they don’t support our platforms. You guys suck.
I’m not sure how useful a project like this can be using GPL license… LGPL looks like a better option (as in GPLed .MPC format and .OGG [vorbis] BSD-licensed… MPC never take off…) for something like this. In fact, there’s already a project doing that with LGPL license and with connections to GStreamer, wich connects lots of other programs and OSes (Linux, Solaris, as I recall now… probably Windows port soon too IIRC).
How about GPLFlash http://gplflash.sourceforge.net/ ?
Edited 2006-01-26 17:05
I use Macromedia Flash for Linux. I use Epiphany as a browser.
One disturbing thing I find, is that if I open a bunch of web pages with flash adverts (a disturbing number of them do), it will often freeze my browser and max out my CPU. Admittedly I’m using an older system (1 GHz), but Flash on my Athlon 750 in Windows doesn’t have this problem. Does anyone else have this problem?
It seems poorly written, or there’s something wrong with my system. I look forward to an alternative which runs a little more efficiently.
The only reason I have it installed is for things like Homestar Runner. As a routine part of everyday websites, however, Flash is a foul trend. Flash adverts in particular, above and beyond the problem described above, can be particularly irritating. I have never clicked on one.
2006-02-01 10:52 pmpsilo
It’s not your system. Macromedia flash is crash-prone on linux. I don’t understand why some sites only use flash for a navigation bar. Some aren’t even animated! What is the point?
This is one thing I don’t like about Opensource. Duplication, what is wrong with working with GPL Flash and improving on that. Why reinvent wheel every time and give it a wierd name GWheel.
Edited 2006-01-26 19:51
2006-01-28 5:01 pmFooBarWidget
And I suppose closed source software prevents duplication? There ain’t no tons of Photoshop clones, are there? Paint Shop Pro doesn’t exist, right? And there is only one single closed source text editor, right? And only 1 closed source HTML editor, right?
This will be of great benefit to users of Alternate OSs (!Linux, !MacOS) without support for Flash.
Though I highly enjoy browsing the web without the seemingly constant annoyances deployed in Flash, it will be nice to have it available.