Two approaches to Flash

Two approaches to Flash
The free software community has two independent projects working toward the implementation of a free Flash player: Gnash and swfdec. There has been some talk recently about these two projects, their goals, their accomplishments, and whether it makes sense to have them both. In an effort to bring more light to the situation, LWN held a conversation with the principal developers of both projects.

An outline on a manifesto for the free (digial) world:

Eric S. Raymond once wrote: "Shut Up And Show Them The Code". But this is not getting us anywhere as long companies are able to force restrictions upon us, the end-users. Having this in mind I'd paraphrase him and write: "Shut up and GPL the code".

After all we'll beat down the closed-source community with this bat,
after all we own the hardware and therefore we must be able to know
what's running on top of it; After all the information will become free
as in freedom.

Stallman anticipates Gnash video support

In an interview with Groklaw, Richard Stallman mentions Gnash:

"The popularity of Flash has been a big problem for our community, and we've been urging people not to use Flash for anything. However, we've just about solved that problem and we're soon going to release a version of Gnash which can even handle YouTube."

And we're inching closer to solving this problem every day.

Spanish article on new technology

Rob was recently interviewed about Gnash for an article in the 'new technologies' section of a Spanish consumer news site.

The article discusses how flash has become commonplace, and why an open alternative to the Adobe flash player is needed. There is a brief history of Gnash and a mention of its portability. Finally, the author discusses the future of flash on mobile phones.

Gnash on OLPC

Thanks to Rob's efforts at CCC, Gnash was ported to OLPC (one laptop per child). They blogged about us at OLPC News.

It's also mentioned here.

Update: There is also this photo of Gnash running as a plugin to the web browser on an OLPC.


I finally managed to get Cygnal to compile with --pedantic --ansi and fixed some bugs.

Gnash configuration complimented

Deanna of OpenBSD complimented the Gnash configuration:

I don't really mean to condemn anyone here. I have no right to complain about what's given freely, and if porting were simple and mindless, it wouldn't be any fun. The time I spent working on Gnash made it very clear to me how hard it is to write portable code -- it seemed like those guys committed as many autoconf macros as they did actual program source. The resulting configure script was 1.5MB (!) and it runs on everything from IRIX to RISC OS to Haiku.

The full time work at has been taking up some time, I'll catch up this weekend... ;)

Gnash for BeOS (Take 2)

Original link

Here's an article with several nice screen shots of a Gnash port to the Haiku OS.

Second Alpha Release of Gnash

The second alpha release of Gnash has just been made at version 0.7.2. Gnash is a GPL'd Flash movie player and browser plugin for Firefox, Mozilla, Konqueror, and Opera. Gnash supports many SWF v7 features and ActionScript2 classes. Gnash also runs on many GNU/Linux distributions, embedded GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, non x86 processors, and 64 bit architectures. Ports to Darwin and Windows are in progress for a future release. The plugin works best with Firefox 1.0.4 or newer, and should work in any Mozilla based browser. There is also a standalone player for GNOME or KDE based desktops.

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