[conspire] Utility to rescue formatted EXT3 partition & distribution, choice?
rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Mar 19 10:51:39 PDT 2007
Quoting Daniel Gimpelevich (daniel at gimpelevich.san-francisco.ca.us):
> The other night, I got YouTube almost-working on Ubuntu PowerPC Edition
> with a combination of Firefox, Gnash (from current CVS), GreaseMonkey,
> MplayerTube, mplayer, and mplayerplug-in.
I gather that it's been close for some time. Found this morning
via LWN: http://www.advogato.org/person/company/diary.html?start=35
Swfdec plays Youtube. Now what does that mean?
It means that when you grab the Swfdec library and the swfdec-mozilla
package out of git and manage to install it correctly, you will be
able to go to any Youtube video site and have it play back the videos
in your browser. The buttons don't work yet and it certainly doesn't
behave 100% like the Adobe plugin, but it certainly plays the videos.
Where's the release?
I intend to do a release soon, but I'd like to have a working pause
button and slider in Youtube. I'm hoping for a release at the end of
this week. For now, use git.
How close is Swfdec to being a complete Adobe Flash replacement
That really depends on your definition of close. For the definition
"implements all of Flash's features" it'll probably not hit 5%. For the
definition of "plays all the Flash files on the Web" I think it's 80/20
right now. Swfdec plays 80% of the ads and 20% of the real content. And
no, that wasn't on purpose. I've been following a simple rule for what
to implement: I take an interesting flash file and make it work
correctly. So if there's any Flash files that I might find interesting
and that you want to have working in Swfdec, don't hesitate to contact
me with URLs to those files. I'm always looking for cool Flash files.
Swfdec is the other free-software / open source (LGPL) Flash
One of the guy's earlier entries perfectly describes what it's like to
implement a pseudostandard:
Adobe has a spec for the SWF format, and they have lots of
documentation on Actionscript, so producing some spec would be easy.
But the problem is that the existing specs only describe correct
behavior, but not the more important part on how to treat errors.
Consider an example where the spec might say something like "height:
Integer - the height of the current movie". So what happens when your
code does height = new Object()? It's written down nowhere. In the
current closed world, the solution is easy: the accepted behavior is
what the Adobe Flash player does. So if you want to write an open
Flash Player like Swfdec, you don't need a spec, you need patience and
lots of test cases. Because there'll surely be a Flash somewhere that
does height = new Object () or height = height / 0 or height = "Hello
A good example of how hard it is to handle the unexpected right is
Acid2 for CSS. And in the case of Acid2, there even exists a spec about
how to handle all the errors. (I was going to link to something I read
by I think Håkon Lie about why having a defined way of handling errors
is important as opposed to just aborting, but I can't find it in
Google.) And error handling mechanisms are an important part of an
implementation. The Mozilla team needed 1.5 years to correct their error
handling. So if you figure out something new and exciting about Flash,
it can easily mean you have to redesign a large part of your player. So
it's important to know beforehand and should be part of the spec.
And while we're talking about necessary rewrites: A part that no spec
talks about is implementation complexity. If a function is O(1) in the
official player while it is O(N) in yours, you have a problem when
someone calls it excessively in a loop. And then there's probably code
relying on timeouts, data input or the phase of the moon.
Another thing I've been wondering about lately is the complexity of
implementing a standard. I have no clue how Flash relates to SVG in
complexity, but SVG has an open spec and that one is 4 years old. Do we
have any SVG compliant implementations by now? HTML has a free spec,
too. It took the Mozilla team 6 years from open sourcing to a release
for their browser. So if a complete Free Flash specification started to
exist tomorrow, would it take 5 years to implement?
An open Flash spec would definitely make Flash inch closer to World
Domination, but it'd still take a very long time to make it really Free.
Open sourcing the player would probably make that happen way faster.
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