[conspire] Utility to rescue formatted EXT3 partition & distribution, choice?

Rick Moen 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
  World" or...

  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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