Flash Player 9 on OpenMoko?

Philippe De Swert philippedeswert at scarlet.be
Thu Mar 22 19:09:41 CET 2007


First of all apologies for my webmail client who broke the threading. I
am at home now where I do not need it, so hopefully this will be
respected now.

On Thu, 2007-03-22 at 13:28 -0400, hank williams wrote:
>         So you admit being one of those "evil" people that make
>         websites inaccessable.
> Ah yes, you don't mean to flame, but flash and I are evil. Well in any
> case you have just invalidated everything else that you say which
> follows. 

Seems irony is lost on you. If I meant to say you were evil I would not
have put it between quotes. That phrase was also the reason why I
pointed out I did not want to flame. However this seems to have allowed
you to ignore my point about accessability for blind and vision impaired
people amongst others and write an angry mail. And getting back to my
point the fact that Adobe's EULA and licensing is soo horrible bad does
not help. (And yes there are a few, next to useless accessability
features in the recent flash versions before you attack me on that.)

>         A quick glance at the system requirements (for Linux as they
>         seem to be a bit
>         lower for Windows). 800Mhz cpu (which means x86 based with
>         floating point), 
>         512Mb of ram and 128Mb of graphics memory. Lets look at the
>         Neo. 200Mhz ARM
>         WITHOUT floating point, 128Mb ram and no real graphics
>         memory...
> Adobe produces a mobile version that is not yet flash 9 compatible.
> The resource requirements are different. As I said before flash 9 is
> not ready for mobile (ARM) devices. 
Yes, for WINDOWS mobile. And as I pointed out the performance
requirements are much lower for windows anyway. On top of that it still
eats away battery life and devices have trouble keeping up with it. 
As flash will loop constantly (by default) it keeps the cpu busy (among
other things) which in turn makes that the device cannot sleep ==>
shorter battery lifetime. And due to its closed nature nothing much can
be done about it.

It also does not change the fact that the OpenMoko is not a broadband
device (yet), so downloading big flash files is not really helpful.

>         Unless you work for Adobe you are part of the flash user
>         community...
> How stupid. I am a developer. Meaning I write code in actionscript and
> flex. I am a part of the  developer community because I have actively
> contributed to flash *developer* communities for the last 4 years. I
> do not consider myself a flash "user" any more than I consider myself
> a "C++" user. I am a flash developer and a C++ developer, and I am
> part of the community of flash developers who talk every day about the
> tools (both open and closed source) and help each other solving
> technical and development issues. Perhaps this concept is foreign to
> you. 
I am a developer and mostly use C... This does not mean I develop C, so
I am not part of the C developer community. Same applies to you. You
develop WITH flash (actionscript and whatever). It is completely
different from developing flash. Developing with != development of.

>         It is true that flash has some nice features, however using
>         something that is
>         open and standardized has a lot more possibilities. Lots of
>         things that can be
>         done with flash could also be done with SVG etc...
> Many more things *cant* be done with SVG that can be done with flash.
> actionscript, video, audio, and incredible tools are all things that
> SVG cant compete with from a capability or productivity perspective. 
Well that is true, and I also admitted that earlier. However SVG is a
W3C standard (which sadly is not completely implemented yet) while flash
is not. And there are lots of better alternatives for audio and video.

>         As I pointed out there are also valid technical reasons like
>         performance and
>         battery life. Also licensing, access to the source code for
>         optimisations and 
>         patents are an issue.
> Its clear you know nothing about flash, which in its current mobile
> version is implemented on 200 million devices currently world wide.

Because lots of devices have shipped with Java that makes it mobile? I
guess you never experienced the slowness caused by Java on restricted
devices. And as you stated earlier it is a handicapped version of flash.
Which in todays world is next to useless seen the huge amounts of flash
8 and 9 content. So we will need to features and this does not change
anything about flash being a resource hog especially on mobile devices.
The proof for flash slowness on Linux platforms is there. Just look at
the Nokia 770 and n800 which are a lot more powerful than the OpenMoko.

>  But the religion about open licenses is in my view counterproductive
> since there is no open platform that comes anywhere near flash. 
> Gnash is the closest and it is in the stone age. So optimizing
> something so old and out of date is hardly a good trade off. 

Gnash starts to support some flash 8 stuff, however it is really hard to
do as the Adobe documentation about it actually forbids you to use it to
do a free implementation.

> And I have no idea what patents have to do with this. You just seemed
> to throw it in to be open source religion compliant. 
This has nothing to do with Open Source religion. I tried to point out
to you that this is not only a Free Software issue. Adobe has tons of
patents and you can be sure they have stuff in flash for which they have
patents. Which can be a reason not to ship things, just like a lot of
Linux distro's don't ship mp3 support by default because of patents. And
there are lots of Free and open alternatives for mp3 around. 

>         I would rather say the internet survives despite closed source
>         and
>         non-standard apps and tools.
> You must be too young to remember that the computing and
> communications worlds have been around a lot longer than open source
> and thrived without it. I am obviously not against open source, but
> this religious stuff is like the Taliban. 

You seem to forget that the internet has been built on open standards.
Flash is not one of those. If flash was an open standard people could
have their different solutions, different technical approaches etc...
unrelated to being open source or not. Fact is we have to go to Adobe,
get a license, pay tons of royalties and hope it will run fast enough to
be useful. 


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