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Interview With Linux Flash Player's Lead Engineer

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the because-everyone-loves-flash dept.

222

An anonymous reader writes, "Ryan Stewart of ZDNet has an interview with Mike Melanson, the lead engineer behind Adobe's upcoming Flash Player 9 for Linux. It covers what the plans are for the player, what kinds of things won't be in the Linux player that are in the other players, and ways to give Adobe input on the Linux player."

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222 comments

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Cool, corporate webmasters' (0, Flamebait)

Ph33r th3 g(O)at (592622) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006254)

favorite eyecandy machine, complete with a new spyware vector and unblockable ads is coming to Linux. Please join me in celebration of this auspicious day.

no hard questions asked.... (-1, Troll)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006258)

Like, why does flash 9 for linux suck horribly compared to all the earlier releases? When are you going to release a fixed version that actually works right or at least comperable to the mac or windows versions?

Re:no hard questions asked.... (3, Funny)

Lussarn (105276) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006271)

Is there a flash 9 for Linux, where?

Re:no hard questions asked.... (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006902)

And don't all Flash presentations suck anyway? That's what Flashblock is for...

Re:no hard questions asked.... (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006286)

Or, ya know, release the source code so the community can fix it.

Re:no hard questions asked.... (-1, Flamebait)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006303)

Or, ya know, release the source code so the community can fix it.
Nothing is stopping "the community" from writing an open source Flash player just like people did with the xpdf reader for PDF documents. Or you could stop complaining and, ya know, just get a Mac.

Re:no hard questions asked.... (4, Informative)

damiangerous (218679) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006365)

That's not a comparable situation. The PDF format specifications are freely available for anyone to use. Not so with Flash. The specifications are available, sure, but the license to get them includes a provision about not creating a player. Therefore the only way Open Source players can exist is through reverse engineering. Some do exist though, like GNUFlash, but it's not an easy task.

Re:no hard questions asked.... (3, Informative)

doti (966971) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006849)

Is this GNUFlash the same as Gnash [gnu.org] ?

Re:no hard questions asked.... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006415)

> Nothing is stopping "the community" from writing an open source Flash player just like people did with the xpdf reader for PDF documents

Errr, yes there is: The flash documentation is explicitly not allowing you to write a player based on it.

Re:no hard questions asked.... (3, Interesting)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006570)

But shouldn't that be easy to circumvent?
  1. Group 1 writes some open source code to create Flash animations, using the licensed documentation. If I understand correctly, this is allowed.
  2. Group 2 doesn't receive the documentation (and therefore isn't bound by its license), but reads the source code of the Flash creator from group 1, and thus can make a player which can play anything the creator from group 1 can produce. If group 1 has done its job well, this means, the player of group 2 can play Flash without ever being exposed to the Flash documentation.

Re:no hard questions asked.... (3, Interesting)

StarkRG (888216) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006444)

Stopping? No, you're right. However it's not the same as PDF, PDF was (is) an open standard, they told people how to make viewers on various platforms with various tools, it's the main reason it caught on so quickly and so strongly.

As a friend of mine explained, the computer world is much differrent now, there isn't umpteen different OSs that companies have to deal with, in fact, they could (and do) get away with only supporting one. The percentage of Windows users is so high as to make everything else not even appear on many charts. The second and third places are covered by OS X and Linux, but those are so small compared to Windows that many companies don't even take a second glance.

I think this is very bad as it only makes people gravitate towards Windows more, thus making a vicious cycle. I think it would be wonderful if more companies started seeing the advantages of open standards and open source. Apple doesn't make the money on iTunes, it makes it from the store and iPods, so why not make the pprogram open source?

I got really pissed at Adobe recently for their idiotic canned support emails ("You seem to be having trouble with , you can find help with that at our FAQ, if you need more help please reply to this email" Dude, if your FAQ had the answers I was looking for I wouldn't have emailed you...). It sucks that a) there hasn't been a new flash player for linux for quite a while and b) there has never been one for AMD64. Having had several back-and-forth emails with Adobe support I got the sinking impression that the Linux versions had been dropped and were never going to be updated. I'm glad this is not true, and I applaud Adobe for doing the (mostly) right thing in releasing a Linux version of their player. Of course, if they opened the standard we'd get better flash players quicker and they wouldn't have to pay as many people to do it, win-win, if you ask me.

I don't understand why more companies aren't seeing the advantages of open source, but at least some of them aren't ignoring us completely.

There is a open source flash player, though it doesn't work too well.

Re:no hard questions asked.... (3, Insightful)

mshiltonj (220311) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006537)

why does flash 9 for linux suck horribly compared to all the earlier releases?

There *isn't* a flash 9 for linux, sucky or not. It doesn't exist. That's what the dude is working on.

When are you going to release a fixed version that actually works right or at least comperable to the mac or windows versions?

TFA said "early 2007." That's what he's working on right now!

Sheesh.

Re:no hard questions asked.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006552)

sorry but it will SUCK. they put a half hearted and half assed attempt on all their linux releases.

the best one was 5. it was an official product that actually had a dev team. 7 is completely crap goat nuts that sucks.

BTW, he could be a alpha/beta tester. did you ask before flaming? or maybe he meany 7 which does suck horribly.

Re:no hard questions asked.... (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006551)

Like, why does flash 9 for linux suck horribly compared to all the earlier releases?

How the hell did drivel like this get modded +4, Insighful?

There is no Flash 9, and Linux Flash 7 is a hell of a lot stabler than 6.x ever was.

Re:no hard questions asked.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006956)

how the hell do you ever get modded anything but troll?

Obvoiusally he meant flash 7 and it does suck HORRIBLY. Flash 5 was their pinnacle and went down from there.

Quit trolling you dweeb.

ALSA support? YAY! (5, Interesting)

Zarhan (415465) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006260)

Good, no need to start my browser with alsa-oss anymore if I want the mixer to work (So that multiple sound sources can play at the same time), or having the flash hogging the sound device.

He threatens me (2, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006263)

How big is the team working on the Linux version of the Flash Player?

There is a core team working on porting and testing. There are various volunteers within the organization who have jumped into the effort out of general platform enthusiasm; and if we need any advice with particular areas, we bring in people from the rest of the Flash Player team as needed.

Of course, we're not making cheese sandwiches here. Throwing more programmers, any programmers, at the problem will not necessarily speed the process along.


Shit.

More Programmers Needed (5, Funny)

totallygeek (263191) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006366)

Throwing more programmers, any programmers, at the problem will not necessarily speed the process along.


It's like giving nine women the task of gestating a baby in one month.

Re:More Programmers Needed (1)

castlec (546341) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006457)

It's all about the pipeline. You just have to make sure there is never a branch to mess up the continued gestations :o)

Branigan's Law versus Brooks' Law (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006514)

> It's like giving nine women the task of gestating a baby in one month.

Zapps "We'll need an army of super-virile men scoring round the clock. I'll do my part. Kif, clear my schedule."
(Kif takes out an etch-a-sketch and shakes it) ;-]

Re:More Programmers Needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006711)

You've obviously never met my ex.

Added irony: the captcha for this message is charge

Let me be the first to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006266)

About bloody time!

Gee, more no news (-1, Troll)

larrystotler (998217) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006291)

What a load. Not that I even have Flash installed on anything since it's a useless piece of adware. 80% of Flash usage is for annoying ads. And when it is used for something other, it is slow, cumbersome, and unneccessarily complex. Try removing Flash and see how many ads go away. It's so nice. But, anyway, we have someone talking about how this Linux version is supposed to come out WHEN? Why even bother if they aren't gonna release it? Gee, they have to release it as a binary because they don't want us to compile it because we would be able to see the source code and probably make it better for them. While I agree with the point about the packaging problem in regards to Linux, if they are gonna support it, then they should just compile it for all the distros and versions of the distros like everyone else does. Even the popular Youtube site just uses Flash as a wrapper for WMV files. Anyway, they will only support x86-32, so all the other Linux users who want it like x86-64, PPC, etc will be let out once again. If they would release it as a compilable program, it could actually be used on all kinds of platforms. Oh well

Re:Gee, more no news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006949)

If you used a browser that doesn't suck [opera.com] , you could whitelist which sites you want to allow flash to play.

64 bits please... (5, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006292)

So tired of shit not being developed for x86_64. Get with the times. Didn't RTFA but I assume they'll ignore it like they always have...

Tom

Why is he a troll? (1)

suso (153703) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006321)

Why was the parent comment marked as Troll? He has a valid point. Its like how jBase (an obscure database no doubt) prides itself on getting to 64-bit in their latest version........ 10 years after all other enterprise databases did.

Adobe/Macromedia/Coke/Taco Bell: Come on, get with the program.

...i think it was this bit... (3, Funny)

andyr0ck (847274) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006364)

"Didn't RTFA but I assume..."

that aside, it's a valid point.

Re:Why is he a troll? (4, Insightful)

picklepuss (749206) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006545)

He's a troll because the article specifically mentions at one point exactly what to do if you want a 64-bit player. You keep pounding the adobe wish list with requests.

Re:64 bits please... (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006472)

I'm not 100% sure if this will work but why don't you just cut your 64bit processor in half use dual core instead?

Re:64 bits please... (1)

ppatrice (901063) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006625)

I use this [gibix.net] to have flash working with my 64 bits firefox. It works... more or less, it crashes firefox sometimes :-(

Re:64 bits please... (1)

Ixe (547791) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006734)

Yes, please. I signed the online petition, I begged on the forums, now I've pretty much just given up. I have to use another computer or reboot to another operating system whenever I want to go to a site that requires flash. There are more 64bitters than people think.

Re:64 bits please... (1)

SuseLover (996311) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006747)

Why does anyone need a 64-bit version anyhow? Will it need to use more than 4 Gb RAM? I don't get this when 32-bit versions will run perfectly fine on 64-bit systems. I always thought that 64-bit didn't mean faster, it just allows more memory addressing.

Re:64 bits please... (2, Informative)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006828)

Assuming you're not trolling...

You can't call 32-bit code [that is, code compiled with 32-bit pointers and registers in mind] directly from a 64-bit application. Even if you don't use 4GB of memory you still have 64-bit pointers [well 48-bit on AMD64]. Then you have registers. The ABI [application binary interface] for x86_64 specifies that you pass a certain # of arguments as registers and not on the stack, etc.

You need a "thunking" layer to call 32-bit code [like WoW ... er Windows on Windows when 16-bit device drivers were the norm].

Assuming Flash isn't all spaghetti code it should really be a matter of just rebuilding with a 64-bit compiler against 64-bit libraries.

Tom

huh??? (0)

Polly_Morf (868942) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006311)

"I got into Linux when I wanted to use a free relational database called MySQL for a web project"

Uh? Are you sure it's called that? I have never heard of it...

An obscure database known as MySQL (5, Funny)

suso (153703) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006312)

I got into Linux when I wanted to use a free relational database called MySQL for a web project

Why does this quote remind me so much of Data (from Star Trek, an obscure TV show):

Data: "It is from an obscure language known as French"
Picard: "Data, the French language for centuries represented civilization"

Re:An obscure database known as MySQL (2, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006339)

Obviously today is asshole moderation day. Since you are probably going to read this and moderate it down too, read this: People take the time out of their day to write comments that contribute in a positive way to Slashdot. Either by being funny, interesting or insightful. They are all important. When you mod those people down, you are making those people become frustrated with this site to go away and then everything goes south. Think next time, every time you mod a comment down that doesn't *need* to be modded down, you are helping to slowly lower the bar on what constitutes a worthy comment.

Re:An obscure database known as MySQL (5, Funny)

Sqwubbsy (723014) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006410)

I know I'm burning what little karma I have (and I also know it doesn't apply to you) but this comment totally deserves a "you must be new around here", so...

You must be new around here.

Re:An obscure database known as MySQL (3, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006450)

Perhaps we just need a -1 I Don't Get It mod. Then they at least have the opportunity to be honest about it.

KFG

Re:An obscure database known as MySQL (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006661)

I knew I wasn't the only one who finds tedious off-topic references to Star Trek, South Park and Futurama just a litte dull.

Re:An obscure database known as MySQL (4, Funny)

Fearless Freep (94727) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006371)

Professor Hubert Farnsworth: This is my Universal Translator. It could have been my greatest invention, but it translates everything into an incomprehensible dead language
Cubert J. Farnsworth: [into the translator's microphone] Hello.
Universal Translator: Bonjour!
Professor Hubert Farnsworth: See? Utter gibberish!

Re:An obscure database known as MySQL (0)

jml75 (923531) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006870)

You should not state things that are not true and you should not make fun of other people's language. There is propably about 10 000 languages out there in the world that are still alive and english is just one of those. No mother thong has what is needed to be a good and neutral internationnal language. Think about that for a while! I encourage you to be more humble.

Have a nice day!

Re:An obscure database known as MySQL (3, Informative)

the unbeliever (201915) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006971)

Score -1, Joke Flew Over Head

It's a Futurama reference.

Allow me to rain on this parade... (2, Interesting)

STDOUBT (913577) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006313)

Big Corp.(tm) is awakening to Linux. One of these days, one of these "upgrades"
from one of these companies is going to contain a rootkit tailor-made for Linux.

I, for one, will not forget why I'm using a free (Open Source) platform. It sure
as hell aint for viewing snazzier adverts. Let's also not forget alternatives like
http://www.gnu.org/software/gnash/ [gnu.org]
This is not an indictment of Mike, I'm sure he's a nice guy.
I'm not a zealot --I use closed video drivers, but these kinds of needless (IMO) upgrades
just smell like trouble to me. And for the record, Flash 7 has performed flawlessly for me
on Debian Testing...

Re:Allow me to rain on this parade... (2, Interesting)

bodger_uk (882864) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006346)

If gnash would allow me to go to video.google.com and view the content then fine and great. But it doesn't, so it isn't. Alternatives and moral viewpoints are fine, but when they don't cut the mustard they aren't alternatives.

As for flash 7 performing flawlessly, try going to the above google site, and see how long it takes you to get annoyed with the out of sync audio.

Re:Allow me to rain on this parade... (4, Informative)

Sancho (17056) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006416)

You can get in-sync audio by using alsa-oss. I'm sure if you Google around, you'll find the solution to your problem.

The out-of-sync sound on Linux annoyed me to no end until I installed Ubuntu on a notebook to see what all the fuss was about. I was having problems getting Flash sound to play /at/all/ and hit the forums--sure enough, there was a solution to that /and/ the sync issue. I was ecstatic!

Why Linux isn't more popular (0, Offtopic)

4solarisinfo (941037) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006487)

Since this thread seems to be about burning Karma, may as well go way out on a limb here...

What to know why Linux isn't catching on faster?

You can get in-sync audio by using alsa-oss. I'm sure if you Google around, you'll find the solution to your problem.


Only in the world of Linux would it seem like a good idea to avoid the software being specifically written to do X be avoided by having to google to find a tweak to an old program by loading another program. I appreciate the benefits of open source, but Macromedia created flash for a specific form of content, and is writing a driver to allow everyone in Linux to see it better, why does this need a workaround? Is it just too simple?

Re:Why Linux isn't more popular (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006613)

So Linux isn't more popular because the developers of Linux distributions haven't bent over backwards to make the Flash 7 plugin keep working in spite of the fact that every other component of the system has moved on since it was released, and in spite of the fact that the thing never worked properly in the first place? Yeah, that makes sense.

Come on. How the hell are Linux developers / distributors responsible for what Macromedia does?

Re:Why Linux isn't more popular (1)

4solarisinfo (941037) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006676)

No Linux isn't more popular because the 1%s here are actually here badmouthing Macromedia for trying, and think a 4 step system requiring tweaks to replacing it is a better idea.

There is a lot of room between being a fanboy cheerleader and badmouthing a developer who is trying to support a small market.

Re:Why Linux isn't more popular (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006846)

I definitely think that Linux (in its current state) is for tweakers and fiddlers. I used to take great joy in tinkering and getting things to work under Linux and other OSS operating systems. That joy is starting to wane as I get older and my time becomes more valuable (working >40 hours/week does that, I think). At this point, I think I'd rather things just work rather than changing options in a configuration file and messing with my OS to try to get something simple like synchronized audio and video working. My current issue is with WPA/WPA2-Radius. In Windows, it works great with my router. In Linux, I constantly lose my association before I can even grab an IP (though the logs on the server side indicate successful Radius authentication).

I'm thinking of making The Switch to OS X. My peers seem to think that it's the perfect balance of tinker/tweak and things simply working. It's gotta be better than reinstalling Windows all the time or fighting with Linux to get my wireless working....

Re:Why Linux isn't more popular (1)

orasio (188021) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006920)

They plan on releasing by 2007.
Flash player 9 doesn't exist.
They are not trying hard enough.
I'm replacing flash player with gnash as soon as gnash plays youtube and google right, and that is not far into the future.

Re:Allow me to rain on this parade... (3, Informative)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006592)

You can get in-sync audio by using alsa-oss. I'm sure if you Google around, you'll find the solution to your problem.

In case anyone is interested, or just too lazy to look themselves, here's the link

http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=18659 4 [ubuntuforums.org]

Re:Allow me to rain on this parade... (0, Flamebait)

black mariah (654971) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006356)

Shut the fuck up, you goddamn luddite douchebag. Fucking seriously... are we all supposed to be happy with everything because it works for YOU? Fuck off, grow up, and maybe one day you'll be old enough to understand that outside of your fairy fuck Linux jerkoff world, people care about ADVANCING TECHNOLOGY.

Allow me to rain on your parade... (2, Informative)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006405)

... but one of the reasons Flash is so successfull is that it's considered the securest plugin (tm) in existance. Flash allways has been extremely picky about security - that's one of the reasons why it's the easiest cross-plattform VM to deploy in corporate enviroments.

Re:Allow me to rain on this parade... (4, Insightful)

BFaucet (635036) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006418)

Gee I didn't know you represented the needs of everyone. I had no idea Flash was completely useless as I've often enjoyed watching documentaries, news clips, home brew animations and interacting with stimulating websites that utilized Flash as a delivery medium.

I better uninstall that useless piece of junk right away!

Re:Allow me to rain on this parade... (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006452)

Flash 7 for Linux is almost completely useless. Here's hoping that Flash 9 for Linux is sweet and comes out soon, or (better yet) the gnash team gets it going to the point that Linux users don't need to rely on Adobe for flashy goodness.

Re:Allow me to rain on this parade... (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006600)

Flash 7 for Linux is almost completely useless.

Oh Great Oracle, pray tell us why Flash 7 for Linux is almost completely useless!

Re:Allow me to rain on this parade... (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006759)

Oh Great Oracle, pray tell us why Flash 7 for Linux is almost completely useless!
If you'd ever used it, you'd know, but I'll explain.

- The audio and video are out of sync which makes many videos unwatchable.

- It's rather unstable and can cause frequent browser crashes.

Some people have found workarounds, or their system works better with flash and doesn't crash as much, or the audio sync bug just doesn't bother them. That's the "almost". For me, it took me hours to stop it from instantly crashing my browser whenever I went to a page with flash and get sound to play (the sound problem was actually causing the crashes, flash's OSS doesn't work well w/ Ubuntu's default ESD) but the syncing problem is really bad and it still crashes occasionally. It's not really worth it to me to find a fix; I just find videos that aren't flash.

Re:Allow me to rain on this parade... (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006856)

If you'd ever used it, you'd know, but I'll explain.

I've used it since soon after it was released.

- The audio and video are out of sync which makes many videos unwatchable.

The a/v have never been out of sync for me.

- It's rather unstable and can cause frequent browser crashes.

Flash 7 is incredibly stable. While Flash 6.x crashed Mozilla constantly, Flash 7 and FF are a marvel of stability.

Maybe Debian "Unstable" is just more stable than the distro you use.

Re:Allow me to rain on this parade... (1)

scum-e-bag (211846) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006698)

Please understand that closed source has the potential to fork linux.

Closed source flash on linux is exactly the same as firefox running on windows.

Re:Allow me to rain on this parade... (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006823)

Please understand that closed source has the potential to fork linux.
I'd like to see gnash or another open source flash program get good enough that linux users don't even consider Adobe's. That would be much better than us sitting around waiting for Adobe to release a half-baked linux version, or not.

Closed source flash on linux is exactly the same as firefox running on windows.
I don't understand what you mean.

Re:Allow me to rain on this parade... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006765)

It has been near useless to me for the last month. Sites that I use that rely on flash have moved to Flash 8 only. Macromedia was just a better steward is all...hopefully I'm not the only one who wrote Adobe...maybe this long delay won't happen again. Linux has an equal or greater marketshare than Apple, yet we were left out. It does make me question their resolve to keep Flash cross platform compatible.

Re:Allow me to rain on this parade... (1)

SavvyPlayer (774432) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006427)

It took roughly 6 months for Sony's rootware to surface on a closed system with relatively few kernel-mode experts. I'd venture to guess that if such a payload were targeted at an open platform, it's discovery would be measured in the space of hours or days, not weeks or months. Surely the brand-loyalty of the F/OSS community is worth more than the eternal-alienation of this growing market segment.

Re:Allow me to rain on this parade... (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006436)

If they want input, then I have some:

Change the license on the Flash spec to allow it to be used players as well as generators. I don't care about their plugin, but I do care about using open formats.

Re:Allow me to rain on this parade... (0)

scum-e-bag (211846) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006665)

Please mod the parent up.

Closed source will r00t us all.

Re:Allow me to rain on this parade... (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006801)

I think your being overly paranoid, who in thier right mind would want to 'pull a sony' on Linux.
discovery of a rootkit would be rapid, fixed and the company that did it would never get its products on Linux ever again.

To be honest I feel better about a company that is prepared to invest time and money on a linux version of thier product. Of course it's better still when they open source thier product and best of all when they open source thier product and work with the linux community.

Flash is just one of many things which needs to just work to attract new users to linux.

New users are important to attract hardware and software developers to support the linux platform. If you look at firefox as an example, there are now enough firefox users to ensure that the majority of sites are accessable with firefox.

more users == greater incentive to develop for linux, which makes things easier for the rest of us.
not everyone can be a developer but most of us could write an email thanking a manufacturer or developer for contributing to Linux, or explaing why you bought a competing product over thiers due to lack of support on thier part for linux.

ALSA (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006361)

Please. I beg you. Please make it support good ALSA support. Please.

Hopefully... (1)

Chineseyes (691744) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006391)

They'll push out an x64 flash player before I die of old age

Slightly confused... (1)

DarkIye (875062) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006392)

Why does everyone say these adverts are unblockable? I've used AdBlocker's Flash overlay function to select any Flash banners and block them at load level, just like any other banner. Anyway, on topic. Whenever I'm wanting to watch Flash movies, I'm usually on Windows (Linux, for me, isn't for fun and games). But when I do use Linux to view them, I can usually view even movies I thought were restricted to Player 9. Me being dense, no doubt, but maybe someone could clear the air as to version compatibility?

Re:Slightly confused... (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006503)

But when I do use Linux to view them, I can usually view even movies I thought were restricted to Player 9. Me being dense, no doubt, but maybe someone could clear the air as to version compatibility?
Most websites still use Flash 7. There's very few websites that have 8 or 9, but they're there, and you'll get a message to upgrade your flash when you find them. What's probably happened is you just haven't found any 8 or 9 sites, and you're just assuming that the site has upgraded its flash when it hasn't.

in true slashdot style (2, Funny)

aristolochene (997556) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006399)

Yes, but does it run on linux?

Re:in true slashdot style (1)

nwbvt (768631) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006556)

Of course not. Don't be silly.

Open source player. (5, Informative)

phoebe (196531) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006411)

It does not sound like he has heard of Gnash:

Gnash is a GNU Flash movie player. Till now it has only been possible to play flash movies with proprietary software. While there are a few other free flash players, none supports anything higher than SWF v4 at best. Gnash is based on GameSWF, and supports many SWF v7 features.

Features

  1. Runs standalone: Gnash can run standalone to play flash movies.
  2. Firefox plugin: Gnash can also run as a plugin from within Firefox.
  3. SWF v7 compliant: Gnash can play many current flash movies.
  4. XML Message server: Gnash also supports an XML based message system as is documented in the Flash Format specification.
  5. High Quality Output: Gnash uses OpenGL for rendering the graphics.
  6. Free Software: Gnash is 100% free software.

Re:Open source player. (1)

karmaflux (148909) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006488)

SWF v7 compliant

Not good enough. Macromedia already made flash 7 for linux. What's the point of switching to gnash if it comes without flash 8 support?

Re:Open source player. (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006546)

Not good enough. Macromedia already made flash 7 for linux. What's the point of switching to gnash if it comes without flash 8 support?
I believe it runs on ppc and amd64 linux, which Macromedia's flash doesn't.

Also, it's the concept of using free (as in speech) software. And hopefully, with enough work and support, gnash will be current enough and good enough that linux users can use gnash instead and won't have to wait for Adobe to not release the latest flash versions for linux.

Re:Open source player. (3, Insightful)

cortana (588495) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006853)

Works on architectures other than i386. Can actually display text reliably. Sound and video in sync. Doesn't crash the browser.

Re:Open source player. (4, Insightful)

Wylfing (144940) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006629)

It does not sound like he has heard of Gnash

I bet he has heard of Gnash. I also bet that one of the 2 main reasons for Adobe spending effort on a Linux Flash player is the capabilities of Open Source Flash players. It would be quite horrible for them if Gnash surpassed the current Linux offering from Adobe in functionality. Great for users, but bad for Adobe. They would stand to rapidly lose control over the Flash platform in a big way.

(I think the 2nd reason, from an executive standpoint, that they are developing this is because if they stop short of the "credo" of Flash, that Flash content can be played anywhere, they sell fewer dev kits. Also, the growing market of dedicated gadgets that run Linux, e.g., phones, which has great potential to be a big target platform.)

PPC Linux Flash ? (1)

reaktor (949798) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006432)

Still no mention of flash for PPC Linux. Is this going to happen?

Re:PPC Linux Flash ? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006740)

What the hell is PPC? Some old, arcane hardware? Is that like an Amiga? Damn, you guys _never_ shut up, do you?

Re:PPC Linux Flash ? (1)

orasio (188021) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006994)

No.

The sound synchronization (3, Informative)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006441)

The only problem I have with the current Linux Flash is that the sound is out of sync with the picture. This makes using Google Video or You Tube a bit a hassle. So my question is

Has the sound synchronization problem been fixed?

On a side note, if you don't like flash ads with screaming sound, just install Flash Block [mozdev.org] .

But install Firefox first [mozilla.com]

Re:The sound synchronization (1)

Anthracks (532185) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006505)

From TFA:

A close runner-up for most requested feature is proper audio/video sync. And Linux users will get that this time around, thanks largely to the purging of the OSS audio API in favor of the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA).

Re:The sound synchronization (1)

jcupitt65 (68879) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006526)

From the article:

A close runner-up for most requested feature is proper audio/video sync. And Linux users will get that this time around, thanks largely to the purging of the OSS audio API in favor of the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA).

Re:The sound synchronization (1)

CheechWizz (886957) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006585)

from TFA:

"I think the feature most often requested is an open source Flash Player. A close runner-up for most requested feature is proper audio/video sync. And Linux users will get that this time around, thanks largely to the purging of the OSS audio API in favor of the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA)."

Still vapourware until *something* gets released.. (4, Interesting)

rklrkl (554527) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006473)

...I've got to say that this long-winded dragout of the next Linux version of Flash Player (hey, isn't both 8 final and 9 beta out for Windows already - neither of which we've seen in *any form* for Linux?) is getting rather tiresome. Sadly, the current Linux Flash development "team" (who is involved exactly in writing the Linux-specific code? The article doesn't really spell it out - you do suspect only one person has been assigned to do that and Adobe don't want to publicly admit that) haven't helped by spinning things out with their blog.

I find it amazing that "obvious" steps haven't been taken by the Linux Flash team, namely:

* Some sort of release schedule announcement - don't care if it slips by a few weeks here and there.

* A set of pre-releases (heck, have them time-bomb out if you don't want them being used in the long-term) coming out to showcase its current alpha/beta/RC status. Note here - Windows gets beta releases, why can't Linux?! It's utterly shameful there is no pre-release version for Linux, especially since the latest Linux Flash blog entries brag how stable the player now is at all the major sites it's been tested on!

* A definitive statement on whether they'll support 64-bit (i.e. "it'll be released at the same time as the 32-bit version" or "it'll be released X months after the 32-bit version" or "it'll never be released"). Sadly, Adobe are somewhat pig-ignorant w.r.t. the 64-bit platform and don't even have a 64-bit version for XP!

* Explain the exact differences between, say, Windows Flash 9 and Linux Flash 9 - there's some woolly stuff on this in the article really. After all this time in incubation, you'd have thought that the two platforms would have identical version 9 players, but I wouldn't it past Adobe to release a half-baked Linux Flash 9 player, since they have not yet demonstrated to anyone at all that they take Linux seriously (does the word "vapourware" mean anything to Adobe? That's exactly what Flash 8/9 on Linux currently are).

* Start a merge of the Linux development environment and the Windows one, so that ultimately they work from the same codebase to avoid the ridiculous delays in platform releases we've seen in the past. It's not clear to me if the Linux effort is fragmented - have we been told how much code is common on all platforms and how much is specific to Linux (and how they keep the specific code to a minimum)?

* Open Source the player! If Adobe have coded the entire player in-house (which I believe they have), then why not Open Source it...it's a free download after all! Even if they've patented some methods used in the source code, they own the patents and the copyright on the source code, so that shouldn't stop them open-sourcing it surely? Just exactly what is Adobe's objection to open sourcing the player? Sheer bloody-mindedness?

Re:Still vapourware until *something* gets release (1)

LinDVD (986467) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006719)

Despite their link saying they are working on it [adobe.com] , I'm a little skeptical about a Flash 9 player as well. At least until a beta is released anyway. Sun Microsystems helped develop Flash 7 for Linux [linuxinsider.com] , nearly 18 months after the Flash 7 IDE was released, so I don't think Adobe is doing what they could with this.

Re:Still vapourware until *something* gets release (2, Insightful)

Peter La Casse (3992) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006826)

* A definitive statement on whether they'll support 64-bit (i.e. "it'll be released at the same time as the 32-bit version" or "it'll be released X months after the 32-bit version" or "it'll never be released"). Sadly, Adobe are somewhat pig-ignorant w.r.t. the 64-bit platform and don't even have a 64-bit version for XP!

They've made [adobe.com] their position [kaourantin.net] on 64-bit support pretty clear.

Ignoring the 64-bit world seems shortsighted to me. Sure, most users are 32 bit at the moment, but are new 32 bit machines even sold any more? Old stock, maybe, before current models push it out of the supply chain. Even Semprons are 64 bit now.

Keyboard (2, Informative)

protomala (551662) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006477)

The major problem I got with Flash for Linux is that keyboard simply don't work! There are a lot of mini-games out there that use keyboard for controlling the character, but I get nothing trying all the keys. Maybe it's because I'm using a pt-BR (ABNT2) keyboard, but it dosen't seem to be a problem for Flash Player in Windows :-(

Re:Keyboard (1)

Carnivore (103106) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006816)

I get this sometimes, too. Right-click on the flash object to bring up the menu, then left click off of the menu. This usually lets me use the keyboard.

don't mess too much with it... (1)

brunokummel (664267) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006515)

if they can get youtube's Audio and Video to synch again that's good enough for me!

Seriously, folks... (1, Insightful)

Wylfing (144940) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006528)

what kinds of things won't be in the Linux player that are in the other players

The other players can play movies, and the Linux player...can't!

ways to give Adobe input on the Linux player

All comments may be directed to /dev/null. We'll respond as quickly as we can!

Oh, alright, I'm only kidding. Kind of. I actually read (present tense) the Linux Flash developer blogs and at minimum what we'll be getting is a player that is vastly better than anything we've ever had before. I am just a little irked about Flash being so rotten on Linux for so long. I try to evangelize family and friends and get them to dump Windows, but Flash is a frequent deal-breaker. "Oh, Flash works like crap? Forget it then, I need YouTube and the kids are addicted to the games on Noggin and MyLittlePony." Sigh.

P.S. I never understood the reluctance of companies to go ahead and use ALSA.

Forget ALSA; Go JACK-IT (1)

Dark Coder (66759) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006549)

Why push for ALSA support? Jack-It is the future.

All quality sound players (MythTV, Audacity, Gxine, Xine, XMMS), sound servers (alsasound, Gnome, KDE) and sound device (ALSA, ALSA-OSS) support JACK, (recursive for Jack Audio Connection Kit).

Even the professional musicians touts their superior audio latency, excellent patch panel, hundreds of audio filters (not that any normal user would want them, but its crispy and never choppy).

I'm getting tired of switching audio server JUST to use Flash/Mozilla/Linux. All other media applications play nicely with JACK.

Can we see jackd ported into Flash BEFORE ALSA?

muwahahaa (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006589)

last post again suckaaaaz!

Why macromedia wont let you build players (4, Interesting)

jonwil (467024) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006679)

There are 2 big reasons why it is unlikely that Macromedia will change and allow the spec to be used to build players.

Firstly, just like with Sun and Java but much more so, flash truely is "develop once, run anywhere". Any web browser on any platform running the relavent version of the flash player plugin for that platform can play any shockwave flash file out there. (which is probobly why web designers love it so much...)

And, just like Sun and Java, if Macromedia goes open source or open specs, how can they be sure that "GnuFlash" can play ALL the flash files the same as how the Macromedia player can.

The other reason is the mobile devices space (PDAs, cellphones, smartphones etc). Right now, Macromedia is pushing heavily into the mobile space and trying to convince mobile device manufacturers to ship "flash for mobile devices". I dont know details but I imagine mobile device makers have to pay Macromedia to ship "flash for mobile devices" in their device (especially when a source code licence is required and its not just a binary provided by Macromedia). If the specs or code were open, the mobile device manufacturers wouldnt need to pay macromedia.

so Open Source is non-compliant with standards? (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006983)

"how can they be sure that "GnuFlash" can play ALL the flash files the same as how the Macromedia player can."

I tend to be suspicious about closed standards and the "compatibility" reason given for it. If it were in Macromedia's interest for the Open Source community to develop a GNU flash player that "can play ALL Flash files", then they should just hand out the specification and tell them to go ahead.

It's not like OS developers can't be trusted to comply with standards. It's in the developers' own interest to make their player compliant (and keep it updated), because they have no competition to lock out, but plenty of people to convert.

Isn't it more likely that the standards remain closed (and the development of a new player prohibited) in order to retain control of the player and the media? I don't blame them since they produce a passable player themselves, and don't spike it with malware or security flaws. But this explanation really sounds more like an excuse.

As usual... (1)

ilzogoiby (997881) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006682)

People need an open clone. Or else, we'll be condemned to wait for the whole eternity...

Mike Melanson? (1, Redundant)

Mitchell Mebane (594797) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006761)

Is this the same Mike Melanson who contributes to ffmpeg and runs multimedia.cx?

The distro question (2, Insightful)

rockhome (97505) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006835)

The whole question about wanting the player to "just work" on other distributions really brings up a question that the linux world has been avoiding for at least 10 years, and that is the question of why so many ideosyncratic distributions exist. What makes open source so powerful and effective has also made a mess of interoperability where Linux is concerned.

Why is that each distribution of Linux has to be so ideosyncratic that a body cannot produce a binary installation that "just works"? Why should that even be a question? Isn't this a stumbling block in terms of mainstream, desktop adoption of Linux? Sure, if you can ./configure --put-this-there --this-is-there --look--for-this-here --my-init-scripts-are-here --use-this-and-not-that;make install everything yourself, you'll not be bothered by a lot of this. But suppose you are the mythical, mainstream Linux dekstop user who doesn't know wnaymore about Linux than it installed from the CD no problem. If you are looking for a piece of off the shelf software are you reall going to see something on the label akin to the following :

Compatible with RedHat Linux, SuSE, Slackware, Debian, Gentoo, Mandrake, Ubuntu,SlackHat Redbian, Mandrux, Unbonux, Seus, ZuSE, Debware, Mandhat, Slackdrake, Jesux, Paulux, Vitamin-C, and Bean Crock Enterprise

Even though you can really categorize most into a few base types, what is to gurantee that my Rhinestone Pantux will run something as easily as my Blue Sude Linux even though they are both based on RedHat?

Why won't they support Gstreamer? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16006881)

The current (but outdated) Flash player 7 for Linux has big problems with audio/video synchronization. They are hoping to solve this by getting rid of OSS support and using ALSA exclusively. This is a good move. But I also see that they do not plan to support the current version of Video For Linux (V4L2), although the older V4L is being phased out of the kernel. And in that engineer's blog, I saw a brief statement about the fact that the Flash player will not use Gstreamer. This is bad.

Why don't they use Gstreamer? This would solve the synchronization issues (the current gstreamer-0.10 is very good at keeping everything in sync, unlike other multimedia frameworks) and it would also provide good support for both V4L and V4L2. In addition, it would provide a good cross-desktop integration, because Gstreamer will be supported in KDE4 (through Phonon) and in GNOME.

Currently, Gstreamer allows me to configure multiple sound cards correctly and decide in one place which one is the default one. If the new Linux Flash player ignores Gstreamer and codes for ALSA and V4L directly, then I bet that it will have problems picking the right sound card automatically. And it will probably ignore my gstreamer filters as well, which is a pity. Not to mention that it would force me to keep the obsolete V4L code in my kernel instead of using V4L2 (gstreamer would do the switch transparently), just like Flash Player 7 forces me to keep the OSS API (alsa-oss) while all other programs have moved to a more mature interface (ALSA).

By the way, I have read some comments in the blog saying that Gstreamer should not be used because its API or ABI is not stable. I say: bullshit. There were some incompatibilities while moving from gstreamer-0.8 to gstreamer-0.10, but this was a long time ago and the interfaces have been stable since then. If I remember correctly, the Gstreamer developers stated that they intend to keep the interfaces stable now. So those who reject Gstreamer for that reason are just spreading FUD.

wish (4, Funny)

doti (966971) | more than 8 years ago | (#16006938)

But one suggestion I would make to the community is to use the Adobe Wish Form to make specific feature requests, such as support for 64-bit and PowerPC platforms and alternate OS such as FreeBSD, so the comments are more productive.
I, for one, wish Flash to die a horrible death.
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