[sf-lug] Ubuntu Flash 9 and other issues -- try the Ubuntu Forums?

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sun Dec 23 15:19:16 PST 2007

I wrote:

> The main problem is that Adobe Systems, Inc. refuses to make available
> specifications for any recent version of the Flash language except
> under NDA.  So, open source / free software efforts such as Gnash and
> Swfdec are obliged to reverse-engineer newer (post v.7) features and
> support them after figuring them out.

Here is Robin Miller explaining the (nasty) problem in greater detail:

Essentially, post v.7 Flash is a completely different animal, dependent
on an extremely proprietary codec that Macromedia / Abobe chose to
license from a highly uncooperative company, On2 Technologies, instead
of the much less restricted H.264 codec.

This outcome isn't really surprising:  Both Adobe and Macromedia have
always been control-freak companies, ultimately hostile to open source
/ free software platforms and solutions -- and they have a stranglehold
over Flash v. 8 and v. 9 for the foreseeable future.  I therefore think
you can forget about Linux support for those formats, including using
proprietary tools.  It's just not happening.

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