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Smokescreen, a JavaScript-Based Flash Player

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the now-to-optimize dept.

Media 356

Tumbleweed writes "How to make Steve Jobs your mortal enemy: Smokescreen, a 175KB, 8,000-line JavaScript-based Flash player written by Chris Smoak at RevShock, a mobile ad startup, and to be open-sourced 'in the near future.' From Simon's blog: 'It runs entirely in the browser, reads in SWF binaries, unzips them (in native JS), extracts images and embedded audio, and turns them into base64 encoded data: URIs, then stitches the vector graphics back together as animated SVG. ... Smokescreen even implements its own ActionScript bytecode interpreter.' Badass!"

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Impressive (5, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421500)

Very impressive! However, given Flash's performance issues even when compiled natively for mobile devices, this is more of a proof of concept then something usable.

Re:Impressive (3, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421540)

Hey, now those flash ads can bog you down EVEN MORE, and just in case you left Javascript on with flash uninstalled, you get the benefit of it as well!

Honestly, I think this will force most people to turn Javascript off if nothing else.

Re:Impressive (5, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421602)

most people or most nerds? I don't think most people even get ABP, even if they run Firefox, let alone actually know what Javascript is or that its something that can be disabled. Turn off JS these days, and practically nothing works. better would be a plug-in which just prevents Smokescreen from being loaded in particular.

Re:Impressive (5, Informative)

Dan East (318230) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421640)

Unfortunately, you're exactly right. From the blog:

(sic)"It’s stated intention is to allow Flash banner ads to execute on the iPad and iPhone, but there are plenty of other interesting applications (such as news site infographics)."

There would be a lot of money to be made in cajoling those flash-based banner ads onto iPad / iPhone. Yep, lots o' money...

Re:Impressive (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421744)

On a side note, why are people suddenly so in love with the term "infographic"? Can't we call it a "graph" or "chart"?

Re:Impressive (1)

hesiod (111176) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421948)

That's, like, so Web 1.0!

Re:Impressive (4, Insightful)

God'sDuck (837829) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421950)

On a side note, why are people suddenly so in love with the term "infographic"? Can't we call it a "graph" or "chart"?

It is because your boss's nephew knows how to make graphs and charts. Never word anything in a way that might cause you to be replaced by your boss's nephew.

Re:Impressive (1)

blai (1380673) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422144)

Infographic doesn't necessarily have charts. Sometimes they are just pretty essays saved as JPG instead of Word.

Re:Impressive (4, Informative)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421704)

Adblock seems to make smokescreen stop working.

Re:Impressive (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421784)

It's probably noscript, not adblock. I allowed a script from smokescreen.us and it's working albeit very slow

Re:Impressive (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422136)

It depends on your subscriptions/past blocking history. I am using easylist on adblock on chromium from the daily ppa (the beta I had installed started leaking all my memory, the current dailies are working nicely for me on lucid) and only had to enable scripts, didn't have to disable adblock. but the page explicitly says to disable adblock if it's failing. nice sneaky way around flashblock but noscript &c are still proof against.

Re:Impressive (2, Insightful)

Twillerror (536681) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421894)

Bog down? And an 8000 line JS program isn't?

Are you running a lappy 386 like in the video?

I don't know about you, but I go to sites with lots of flash and it doesn't bog me down...maybe your on dialup or something....

You can be annoyed with Flash ads sure...but on a free content site like this one STFU...it's free...just ignore them. Bunch of cry babies out there.

And like it our not Flash has brought me and millions countless hours of enjoyment thru YouTube, Hulu, etc. Even strongbad was cool in it's day. In the words of John Kimble....stop whining!

Btw, I don't see the webcam tag in HTML 5...or microphone tag....so Flash isn't going anywhere at least for a few years. Heck HTML is barely out.

Re:Impressive (5, Interesting)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421902)

> Honestly, I think this will force most people to turn Javascript off if nothing else.

Which just might be the point. Turn JS off and the browsing experience is degraded to the point of unusability on most of the current net. So now the choice is Flash delivered via the plugin or Flash delivered via this JS thing which will be REALLY slow and make i* products look underpowered when compared to competing products viewing the same content. Game, Set and Match. Flash is now going to run on Apple products, His Steveness's only remaining choice is does he want it to run well or not.

Re:Impressive (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32421560)

However, given Flash's performance issues even when compiled natively for mobile devices, this is more of a proof of concept then something usable.

What performance issues are they?

However wrong your claim might be, it is absolutely true that dynamic HTML 5 performance (e.g. SVG/ Canvas) is horrific on the iPhone / iPad, where such a technology would have the most utility. Which is why it's a bit humorous that Jobs talks it up, while delivering a replacement technology (he was talking up HTML5, right?) that is dramatically slower than the Android implementation.

Re:Impressive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32421676)

What performance issues are they?

Go play a moderately complex flash game with animations - Fantastic Contraption comes to mind. You'll get significant slowdown even on a desktop machine running Google Chrome.

Re:Impressive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32421862)

The OP says "even when compiled natively for mobile devices". Where have they ever benchmarked this?

I suspect that they simply bought Jobs' claims hook, line and sinker.

Re:Impressive (1)

xfurious (832436) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421956)

Are you talking about Flash *with* the plugin? Because that game does not "signficantly slow down" anything. What kind of computer are you using, a Commodore 64? I just know my (very stock these days) Core 2 Duo with Intel GM965 laptop is doing Just Fine. That being said, the GP is right, it's quite funny to see for myself (with these new demos on my iPhone 3G) how slow the canvas implementation is. I only got one of the strongbad demos to work on my iPhone 3G (the servers are quite stressed atm) but I would imagine that adverts (which are less intensive) would run better after it's all optimized.

Re:Impressive (2, Interesting)

xfurious (832436) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422040)

Op, just got one of the ad demos to work on my phone and it runs just fine, no slowdown in scrolling, a very slight slowdown when zooming. 20MB of free memory though, with one tab in Safari, Phone, and Springboard running.

Re:Impressive (1)

kithrup (778358) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421612)

Or not... clicked on the link on an iPad, it then said "No Smokescreen :(".

(Okay, let me amend that -- it is, in fact, very very very impressive, and my hat off to the guy. But as a demo of "Flash on iDevice," not so much.)

Great news for Intel and AMD. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32421644)

This is fantastic news for Intel and AMD. Crap like this is why we need to buy a new computer with a faster processor every year, just to do the same shit we were able to do last year.

You know, I could watch streaming video just fine back in 1995 using RealPlayer on my old HP-UX workstation. That workstation probably has less computing power than a shitty clamshell phone today. But times change. Now it's 2010, and my computer from last year will barely have enough power to suitably run this JavaScript video player monstrosity.

It's not that we can do something that we couldn't do 15 years ago, it's just that we take an absolutely moronic approach these days.

Re:Great news for Intel and AMD. (4, Funny)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421794)

Crap like this is why we need to buy a new computer with a faster processor every year, just to do the same shit we were able to do last year.

But this is a NEW way to watch those 15 year old videos! That alone makes it better.

Re:Great news for Intel and AMD. (1)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422198)

But this is a NEW way to watch those 15 year old videos! That alone makes it better.

Yea, nothing like re-living the Age of Consent Tour in HD on the iPhone.

Re:Great news for Intel and AMD. (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422072)

That's nice, your comment just shows how ignorant you are.

Don't worry, I'll get off your lawn.

Re:Great news for Intel and AMD. (1)

xfurious (832436) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422124)

Oh wow, why did we never think of that! Your right, we should dump Flash player and HTML5 and VP8 and h264. Who needs em? The world would be better served if we all just picked up a copy of RealPlayer. :-P OK but seriously. Smokescreen is not a video player. It's a vector graphics advertisement player. Which you only need on platforms without Flash. Like the iPhone. Running video frames through a Javascript engine is moronic, but that's not what they are doing. Someone mark as informed troll and we'll all move on.

Re:Great news for Intel and AMD. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32422202)

Realplayer didn't come with the DRM capabilities of Flash though...

Re:Impressive (5, Interesting)

JackAxe (689361) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421726)

Flash 10.1 runs quite well on my Nexus One. Overall its performance is excellent for being beta and for me it's been a non-issue.

The mobile player uses the GPU for both animation(vector, bitmap, etc.) and video playback. JavaScript also runs fast on my Nexus, but when compared to Flash 10.1, it's downright slow.

Re:Impressive (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421830)

Funny but from what I have heard the performance is pretty hit or miss.
Just about every review I hard also said it made the phone hot and really did a job on battery life.

As an Android users that just got 2.1 I really want 2.2.

Flash without the memory leak !?!? (2, Insightful)

opencity (582224) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421524)

This sounds better than the actual Flash player! I've been playing with canvas in an effort to get away from Actionscript but this, especially open sourced, sounds like the best of both worlds.

Re:Flash without the memory leak !?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32421712)

are you being sarcastic or are you retarded?

Re:Flash without the memory leak !?!? (1)

Bryan3000000 (1356999) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422058)

No, he's probably just a designer. You know, the people who need to use design tools, and who do things that can only be effectively and efficiently done in Flash/ActionScript presently because no good design tools exist for the alternatives? Design tools, not development tools. There is a difference. While development tools are ultimately better in some sense, designers are only worth their pay if they can be extremely productive, and design tools allow that kind of efficiency coupled with an interface tailored to the way designers think and work. It's Adobe's bread and butter. Adobe does, after all, have a working business model selling design tools which wouldn't exist if this were not a tremendously large need.

It's hard having to explain that things got the way they are for a reason. Everyone, even designers, wishes that it hadn't ended up this way. Probably even Adobe wishes it had ended up better, but they rightly see that it would not be cost effective to actually fix Flash. They plan to continue cornering the design market whether it's Flash or HTML5 or something else. Get it? They literally don't make any money from Flash - they give it away completely free. They don't even make royalties on things designed in/for Flash. They only make money selling design tools, and Flash has dominated because it has been the only effective and efficient way to design and implement the kind of dynamic/interactive content that real designers make, and must make and change very quickly in order to survive.

Re:Flash without the memory leak !?!? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32421990)

Seems like vapourware to me. Open sourced version due out in 10-15 years.

Re:Flash without the memory leak !?!? (3, Informative)

JackAxe (689361) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422192)

The problem with a JS based player, besides being very limited, is performance and of course cross-browser/cross-platform inconstancies. HTML 5 AJAX is way slower than Flash Player 10.1 on my Nexus One. It's slower across the board when compared to Flash, weather it's a newer PC, or old Mac.

What memory leak? From my experience, especially in recent years, it's been the developer's inexperienced bloat that's been an issue. It's up to you to manage your loops, listeners, objects created, and so on, as to keep memory and cpu usage low. It just takes competence and experience, which most of these so called Flash guys lack.

Flash Player 10.1 mobile actually prevents the poorly developed bloat from using up too many resources, even on the pages that have more than one SWF running at once. The desktop version will hopefully implement this soon.

Your comment about canvas to me says you're not that experienced with Flash. ActionScript 3's drawing API is a huge step up from Canvas. It's years ahead of SVG, or canvas, and it's not at the mercy of the browser for what it can do.

Too slow or just me? (1)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421526)

The demo from HSR is way too slow to be useful. Is this the popular experience?

Re:Too slow or just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32421618)

Just you. My computer the core the process was running on never went above above 1%

Re:Too slow or just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32421634)

Odd, the first time through it was poking along (1 fps?), however, after a refresh it played through very nicely.

Re:Too slow or just me? (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421648)

To be fair, this may be one of the few times people actually try to read the article, so I'm sure that's at least contributing to the problem (reduced speed of downloading the JS script before it can be executed)

Re:Too slow or just me? (1)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421802)

As the server is currently undergoing a slashdotting, I'd be inclined to advise you to let it load for a bit, then refresh.

On several of the demos, I did notice that the flash would start first, but partway through the demo, flash would freeze for a moment and the javascript ended up taking the lead. This would seem to relfect the opposite of what you're experiencing.

Re:Too slow or just me? (4, Informative)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421880)

Runs fine for me (OS X 10.6.3/Safari 4.0.5).

CPU usage averages 15% (of one core) on the Strong Bad demo, except during the first bit with the Cheat, where it spikes to ~40%.

Using Flash 10, CPU usage averages 8-9%, but during the same scene jumps to ~30%.

Which is pretty damn impressive for an emulator. And proves that there's really nothing Flash can do that HTML 5 can't.

Re:Too slow or just me? (1)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422302)

And proves that there's really nothing Flash can do that HTML 5 can't.

I agree with everything you said, except this last statement.

Apple just updated its EUA... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32421538)

Apple just updated its EUA to exclude javascript, Steve Jobs reports that this will improve the user experience

Re:Apple just updated its EUA... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32421848)

All joking aside, it probably would. It's time for Apple, Google, Mozilla and Opera to step up to the plate and ditch JavaScript. Toss it out of the browser, and replace it with a real programming language. It doesn't matter if that language is Lua, Python, Ruby, Scheme, Haskell, or Erlang, the main thing is that JavaScript needs to go, and it needs to go now. It's a piece-of-shit technology that needs to be replaced.

Re:Apple just updated its EUA... (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422162)

Tossing it out isn't possible at this point - there are far too many pages that depend on it. The best you can hope for is providing a migration path and getting the major browser providers and the W3 to agree to it.

JavaScript is the scapegoat for the DOM (1)

Millennium (2451) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422194)

What needs to be replaced, if anything, is the DOM, not JavaScript. When you don't have to deal with the DOM and the resulting browser-compatibility issues, JavaScript is actually pretty awesome. It's not without its warts -no language is- but it's surprisingly capable.

However, that raises the question of what the DOM should be replaced with, and I don't have an answer for that.

I only wonder how the speed will be (3, Insightful)

gearloos (816828) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421550)

I just wonder how efficient it will be for the rendering times. Some flash is already bordering on bloatware. Add in taking it apart and re-rendering and I start to wonder if its worth it to wait that long.

Re:I only wonder how the speed will be (2, Informative)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421940)

http://smokescreen.us/demos/sb45demo.html [smokescreen.us]

Just open it in Chrome. I can't tell the difference between the flash and the javascript version.

(Also oddly enough the source code is right here? http://smokescreen.us/demos/js/smokescreen.0.1.3-min.js [smokescreen.us] or did he mean he'll clean it up...)

Re:I only wonder how the speed will be (2, Interesting)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422084)

http://pastebin.com/vuRxVfbx [pastebin.com]

Here it is after running it through a javascript beautifier. ... From what I see, yeah, he implemented it.

Re:I only wonder how the speed will be (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421994)

I start to wonder if its worth it to wait that long.

I'm very sure the answer is "no".

Re:I only wonder how the speed will be (1)

xfurious (832436) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422280)

Yeah see this is what I don't believe. Why would they have that process occur billions of times in the browser instead of doing it ahead of time... I mean, why don't they build a native precompiler which takes in an SWF and spits out a specialized Javascript. Then simply use the tag with the original SWF(s) and include the javascript for the SWF right below the object tag. Then when it runs, the Javascript could determine if Flash is available-- if not it would replace the with a and do it's thing. Hell, maybe that's what they're doing and the blog just had it wrong. Won't know until the source is out and they spit out some more documentation on how it all works.

One of Apple's Major Complaints was Performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32421566)

so this isn't going to fix anything, besides forcing apple to create a workaround so their mobile platforms don't get destroyed by JAVASCRIPTING FLASH.

No, they'll be Steve Jobs' Best Friend (5, Insightful)

mveloso (325617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421576)

Jobs doesn't care about flash content, he cares about flash. If the flash content can be used without flash itself, well, that'd be great.

Not sure why, but slashdot's headline writers are starting to sound more and more like tabloid writers. Why not say "Smokescreen to Adobe: flash off!"

Re:No, they'll be Steve Jobs' Best Friend (5, Insightful)

famanz (1447895) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421686)

Jobs doesn't care about flash content, he cares about flash.

Sorry but that's just not true. Did you miss the recent uproar about the new iPhone SDK agreement [slashdot.org] ? The new agreement bans any applications that were not natively written in C/C++/Objective C. This updated agreement was released only weeks before Adobe CS5 was to debut with advanced tools that would allow the porting of flash apps to the iPhone. If flash itself was the problem then such a clause would not have been added.

Re:No, they'll be Steve Jobs' Best Friend (2, Interesting)

mini me (132455) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421916)

Who says it has anything to do with Adobe or Flash [bigzaphod.org] ?

Re:No, they'll be Steve Jobs' Best Friend (1)

gaspyy (514539) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422016)

not weeks before -- it was released on a Friday, with CS5 launch on next Monday.

Re:No, they'll be Steve Jobs' Best Friend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32422026)

Jobs doesn't care about flash content, he cares about flash.

Sorry but that's just not true. Did you miss the recent uproar about the new iPhone SDK agreement [slashdot.org] ? The new agreement bans any applications that were not natively written in C/C++/Objective C. This updated agreement was released only weeks before Adobe CS5 was to debut with advanced tools that would allow the porting of flash apps to the iPhone. If flash itself was the problem then such a clause would not have been added.

Because that's still Flash. It's just bundling the Flash runtime with the content and calling it an app.

Apple has no problems with web apps at all. There's a full web browser (shock!) with JavaScript (horror!) included on the iPhone.
It even has a feature where you can turn a web page into an app icon on the home screen. (Gasp!)

Re:No, they'll be Steve Jobs' Best Friend (2, Interesting)

GreyLurk (35139) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422240)

No, it was compiling to native ARM bytecode from AVM3 bytecode. Very different. Apple does have a problem with Flash Content, because it threatens their API Lockin. All of the fluff about user experience and running slowly is just a smokescreen for the lockin problem. If it was a performance problem, due to bad software development, then they would catch it in their App Review process before putting it on the store.

Re:No, they'll be Steve Jobs' Best Friend (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422034)

Adobe CS5 was to debut with advanced tools that would allow the porting of flash apps to the iPhone. If flash itself was the problem then such a clause would not have been added.

Funny, you say advanced porting tools in your first sentence, then flash itself in the second. I think Apple is really more concerned about losing control of the iPhone/iPad development environment. I don't think they even particularly care to exercise their own control, just keep it away from outsiders. I mean, if they wished to really lock it down, they could pick one language, one IDE, and stop pursuing HTML5, right? Just my own opinions, and Apple is very hard to read.

Re:No, they'll be Steve Jobs' Best Friend (1)

sjonke (457707) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422218)

I'm not sure I understand what else it's about if it's not about Flash itself. Flash does suck. I don't like it on our Macs. Either it performs poorly, it crashes or the arrow keys don't work, or all the above (we experience all of these on our Macs at home, the latter being just as irritatingly vexing as the other two issues). But what is the reason for not wanting Flash apps to be convertible to iPhone apps? iPhone apps, if sold, make Apple money. if they aren't sold, they don't, but there's lots of free apps available so Apple doesn't have a problem with free games and other apps. The claims that access to free Flash games and such on the web are what Apple doesn't want are ridiculous. Just look at the app store. There are not only a ton of free games and apps, but Apple is *paying* to distribute them. Clearly Apple believes that access to free apps adds value to the iPhone. Flash apps on the web would cost Apple nothing at all to provide access too... except that Adobe has never produced a reliable flash plugin for any Apple product, and in fact has shown no interest or motivation ever in providing such, and that would lead to higher support costs and also a reduction in customer satisfaction with the iPhone. Apple's concerns about a Flash plugin are justified.

So why are they blocking non-natively built apps? One guess I have is that Jobs does not want apps, or what appear to be native apps, that don't conform to the interface of the iPhone, which I presume is what we end up with via Flash conversions. He doesn't want native apps that don't work like native apps.

Re:No, they'll be Steve Jobs' Best Friend (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422252)

And you can include an Objective C app that has nothing but a UIWebView window loading a SWF file from Javascript.

Re:No, they'll be Steve Jobs' Best Friend (0)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421870)

Steve cares more about Flash's ( lack of ) performance. If Flash wasn't such a resource hog/security risk, you would see it on Apple media devices

I'm not so sure about that... (3, Insightful)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421954)

I don't buy your take on things.

I think it has a lot more to do with being the gatekeepers for content (and continuing to get a cut of the profit) than with flash content itself. They don't want people using apps and games on their platform that you didn't buy from the app store, hence no Flash or Java on the i-devices.

Re:No, they'll be Steve Jobs' Best Friend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32422020)

There is a way to use flash content without flash. Adobe (flash) CS 5 implemented a way to compile the .fla as a natively build iPhone application. But Apple banned did not like this so much ;-(

Re:No, they'll be Steve Jobs' Best Friend (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422098)

No, he cares about iAd.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IAd [wikipedia.org]

He doesn't want others from profiting where he wants to be the gatekeeper.

no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32421590)

I know every time slashdot runs a story on some crazy hack, we always get the people that don't get it asking why?

And we invariably have the 267 comment thread debating "why" vs "because it's cool".

But I'm afraid I'm going to have to put my foot down. This isn't so much a epic hack as a unholy kludge. This is as if Hitler killed 9 million Jews "because they were there".

Re:no. (4, Interesting)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421964)

The point was to prove HTML5+Javascript can do everything Flash can do.

Now the next step is to do it better.

Javascript trumps Flash? (4, Insightful)

RLBrown (889443) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421606)

My take is that this proves, perhaps to a significant degree if not completely, that Javascript/HTML5 can do anything that a native Flash engine could do . So why build in Flash? Go straight to Javascript/HTML5. I do not think Steve Jobs will be unhappy about this at all.

Re:Javascript trumps Flash? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32421684)

Airplanes? Pah, clearly a car can do anything they can do better. I've seen planes taxiing on the runway... my car can go MUCH faster than that!

Re:Javascript trumps Flash? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422104)

Yet, I heard no sound during these demos. Without sound strongbad is not so great.

Re:Javascript trumps Flash? (1)

hesiod (111176) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422130)

I did. Perhaps you need to turn your speakers up.

Re:Javascript trumps Flash? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422276)

I got it working in Chrome, in firefox I had no sound and it was very slow. I am running adblock there though.

the iPad needs this (3, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421632)

A certain sort of video (the kind you can't find on Youtube) comes primarily in Flash format. This sort of video seems to drive the adoption of new technology. If this can bring said video to the iPad, sales are certain to engorge.

Re:the iPad needs this (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32421764)

Youporn implemented HTML5 video:

http://www.intomobile.com/2010/05/21/youporn-jumps-on-the-ipad-bandwagon-with-html5-videos.html

Re:the iPad needs this (1)

Bryan3000000 (1356999) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422180)

Now people will finally have a reason to bring the iPad into their bed and make it an intimate device, as Jobs envisioned.

Good test of 'open platform' (4, Interesting)

DavidR1991 (1047748) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421636)

Adobe insisted Flash is an open platform: This will be a good test of their claims. Will they compete admirably against a JS re-implementation of their own wares (and improve their own runtime - hence Smokescreen as competition to foster improvement) or will they fight dirty?

Re:Good test of 'open platform' (2, Interesting)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421724)

There are already other open-source Flash players, notably Gnash, and the GPU-powered one that was discussed on /. recently. None of these is a complete implementation, but I like to think that competition between different OS projects will make things better.

Re:Good test of 'open platform' (1)

DavidR1991 (1047748) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421860)

Oh yeah, I know of Gnash et al. - but I think this is going to hit a nerve much more than those projects because it has "You are obsolete" written all over it: Not only can JS displace Flash, it can bend over backwards and run Flash itself. It's a big statement. I don't think Adobe will take kindly to it (or not as kindly as they've accepted generic FOSS re-implementations)

Re:Good test of 'open platform' (3, Insightful)

Jer (18391) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422030)

Why should Adobe care? As far as their history goes, I think Adobe would love it if they didn't need to support a flash plug-in. They certainly don't seem to want to invest a lot of time/money into keeping it up-to-date.

Adobe makes their money on Flash development tools. They give the plug-ins away for free to sell more dev kits. I could see them kicking up a fuss over open source compilers, but not interpreters.

Slow on Firefox (4, Informative)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421646)

This is running like a dream on my Mac running Safari, but I tried it on a co-workers Mac running Firefox, and it crawled...

Just for reference if you're trying this on Firefox.

Re:Slow on Firefox (1)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421738)

Same here with firefox 3.6.3 + Windows (vista). crawwwlllll

Re:Slow on Firefox (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32421776)

Slow on Firefox at initial attempt.
Then I turned off AdBlock (as it visibly recommends), refreshed and it's as fast as it gets.
So it's possibly some anti-adblock check, not a problem with Firefox.
Which makes sense because those guys are advertisers and would like to see adblock go away.

Re:Slow on Firefox (2, Informative)

BZ (40346) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421896)

It also uses broken browser-sniffing, so it's not possible to easily test what it would behave like on development Firefox versions....

Re:Slow on Firefox (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422022)

Sounds like a job for Chrome 4 and its supposedly lightning-fast JS/HTML5 engine.

Re:Slow on Firefox (1)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422120)

I want to throw in that it's really slow in Firefox under XP as well, but it runs great with Chrome.

I think they are suffering from the slashdot effect though. It took a few tries to successfully load.

runs slow but takes little cpu (1)

Erno_Rubaiyat (585746) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421654)

Okay this is a pretty good proof of concept and it runs super slow. I looked over at my cpu usage though thinking it was hogging it like flash and cpu usage was almost non-existent. I would love to see this implemented well, but OTOH I would probably start running noscript to block ads eventually too.

Re:runs slow but takes little cpu (1)

Jer (18391) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422244)

What browser are you using?

I'm using Firefox 3.6.3 and it started very slow, but I reloaded the page and it was as fast as running it in flash native. So I think the issue might be un-related to the script itself and actually in the javascript implementation or maybe in the interaction of various plug-ins I'm using that required a reload to make it go away (after allowing it through temporarily for noscript).

Welcome addition (1)

ezratrumpet (937206) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421658)

If the player will work without being slow, then it's a welcome addition. Just a thought - what if it grows up to be faster in later editions?

mirror: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32421666)

/.'d pretty quick for me. this isnt quite a mirror but it is a video of the guy that coded it showing it working on an iPad:

http://vimeo.com/12014368

Gordon? (5, Informative)

Jorl17 (1716772) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421688)

What about Gordon [paulirish.com] ? That one *is* open-source. Is it different from what TFS refers to in terms of goals (not current state)?

Why on apple.*? (4, Insightful)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421740)

Other than Apple's non-support of Flash on the iPad, this has nothing to do with Apple. This is an Adobe Flash emulator written in JavaScript.

Re:Why on apple.*? (1)

mini me (132455) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421982)

Because it proves (again) that Adobe can bring Flash to the iPhone/iPad without breaking agreements with Apple. It shows that Adobe would rather cry about the situation instead of actually supporting the product they claim to stand behind.

More efficient?? (1)

MarkRose (820682) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421774)

Interesting. It seems to use less CPU in Chrome on my Linux box than the actual Flash plugin, too!

Badass? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421854)

More like 'slowass'.

Chaos Theory (1)

MoldySpore (1280634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421888)

The Internet Finds a Way.

This isn't so much about Apple as it is about users finding a way to run the apps and code they want, where they want, when they want it.

Although if it doesn't suck up resources, this could enable flash on Apple iDevices, and I doubt Steve Jobs will ignore it if it catches on.

Re:Chaos Theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32422064)

Users? RTFA. It was designed to render advertisments on devices that don't support Flash, you pillock. Why the hell would you be happy about that?

Very slow on iPhone 3GS (1)

sjonke (457707) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421890)

Pretty nifty anyway, and if the browser has (much) faster Javascript, maybe it will run well? Did anyone try this on an Android 2.2 phone which is suppose to have such?

Rube Goldberg (5, Funny)

MrTripps (1306469) | more than 4 years ago | (#32421920)

It opens SWF binaries, unzips them (in native JS),follows a little ball down a wire track, knocks over domino that begins a chain of falling dominoes, the last of which frightens a chicken into laying an egg, which rolls down a ramp, cracks into a frying pan, flipped by a spring loaded spatula onto a plate with bacon attached to a remote control car, that drives it to the kitchen table. Then a counter weight pulls up the plate, puts on the table, then extracts images and embedded audio and turns them into base64 encoded data. That is a lot of trouble just because Jobs is being prissy about what runs on his over priced under powered eye candy.

Still useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32422092)

Very impressive but can he solve the three main problems with Flash?
1) Performance
2) Ads
3) Uselessness

The real problem is Flash content is garbage. The fact that hit hogs resources while being garbage is just all that much worse. Running it as a Javascript interpreter will be all that much worse. Blah.

Doesnt appear to be due to browser speed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32422138)

Chrome 6.0 64-bit dev build
Ubuntu 64-bit
3Ghz Quad-Core Phenom II

and it's dreadfully slow. (almost nil cpu tho!)

yes I have tried refreshing it.

And Adobe can't do this, why? (5, Interesting)

tk77 (1774336) | more than 4 years ago | (#32422226)

This works pretty well under the released version of Safari for OSX 10.6. In fact, in some of the samples where the flash version is provided as well, the Flash ones use more CPU then the HTML5 ones.

There is a bit of degradation in some of the graphics, but hey its better then not seeing the graphics (ok, that really depends ... if its an ad and you prefer not to see it ... whatever).

Now the question is, why can't Adobe add a feature to the Flash authoring tool to just output the HTML5 and whatever is needed, that smokescreen does in the browser?

From some of the samples it would seem like you could just "drop in" the converted version with minimal loss of quality and reach a much larger audience.

I would still prefer Flash, for the most part, go away, and this won't help that too much (initially anyway). But it seems like this would be a good way for many web sites to start using HTML5 now, while support and implementations mature, as well as giving all the Flash devs time to learn to write natively in HTML5.

uhoh, almost "open source" already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32422250)

If you post your JavaScript source, even minified, without a server component then you've given away all your secrets. Reverse engineering an 8,000 line JavaScript program is not that difficult. But I must say, that's an impressive coding effort!
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