Flash

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Items about the Flash technology, the Flash player, or SWF movies.

Perlin clouds in Gnash

Perlin clouds in Gnash

A rendering of Perlin noise clouds in Gnash 0.8.10dev. See also the SWF with source code, or a moving version.

Weekend adventures in noise

Perlin noise in Gnash

My graphic design skills are poor, a fact all the more frustrating because I have a good enough eye to recognize when something looks bad, but not the aptitude to improve it.

Unlike less restrained people, I haven't inflicted the unreadable crimes of Word Art on my fellow humans since I was a teenager (though as previous work on implementing gradients for the MovieClip drawing API shows, when you have an excuse, playing with garish gradients is still fun!). But along with other design-incompetents, I'm fascinated by adventurous graphics and patterns.

SWF version 1: The Goddamn George Liquor Program

SWF version 1: The Goddamn George Liquor Program

The Goddamn George Liquor Program is a SWF version 1, published in 1997.

Flash versions

SWF version 1: The Goddamn George Liquor Program

For the age of the internet, Flash has an extraordinarily long history, stretching for almost 15 years since its introduction in 1996. It's had to adapt continually during this time, developing from a simple animation format with limited user interaction to add network connections, video, camera and microphone access, remoting and two separate versions of an extensive scripting language.

Gnash optimization

Gnash has recently been benefiting from some performance enhancements.

Sandro Santilli started profiling ActionScript execution and noticed some serious bottlenecks in the way Gnash handles property identifiers.

Responses to Gnash 0.8.8

The release of Gnash 0.8.8 met with a generally favourable response. Here are a couple of more detailed reviews:

Gnash 0.8.8 Released!

The release of Gnash 0.8.8 brings various improvements to rendering, ActionScript execution, compatibility, and flexibility.

But the most significant change is more of a removal than an addition: Gnash no longer has any AVM2 code. AVM2, the ActionScript Virtual Machine introduced in the Flash player 9, is increasingly used in new Flash movies.

It was becoming clear that the original implementation (started in about 2006) of the newer ActionScript Virtual Machine was fundamentally flawed. So fundamentally that it was obstructing code for the old virtual machine without any benefit to Gnash at all.

The FLA format: update

There is now a wiki page dedicated to the FLA format. It will always contain the latest known information about the format: currently not much more than when I published the original data.

If you can contribute anything else, feel free to add to the page!

Adobe: Flash is open! There's ... Gnash?

Now Gnash is part Adobe Flash's rich developer ecosystem ...

The page, "the Truth about Flash", claims:

Finally, the Flash Platform has a rich developer ecosystem of both open and proprietary tools and technologies, including developer IDEs and environments such as FDT, IntelliJ, and haXe; open source runtimes such as Gnash; and open source video servers such as Red5.
[2010-05-17]

Flash and freedom

Flash is neither free nor open. Despite Adobe's publicity efforts, its Open Screen project, and its attempt to document various parts of the Flash specifications, it is still closed and restricted.

Flash's lack of freedom is a combination of three things:

  1. it needs a closed player
  2. its sources are closed
  3. it is served in binary format over the internet
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