Free Software

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Items associated with the use or understanding of Free Software.

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.

Gnash 0.8.9 released!

There's no official announcement yet, but the tarballs of Gnash 0.8.9 are available from GNU mirrors.

Gnash 0.8.9 brings many bugfixes and some new features, including:

  • Fixed playback for some MPEG4 streams, playback of PCM sound with the FFmpeg media handler and ADPCM sound with the Gstreamer media handler.
  • Support for embedded ScreenVideo.
  • Fixes for several crashes.
  • Improved ActionScript performance processing, especially for interactive applications.

Gnash under Windows XP

Gnash under Windows XP

Gnash 0.8.9rc4 (with SDL, AGG, FFmpeg) running under Windows XP.

Windows installer for Gnash

The Windows 32 builds of Gnash available from this website now use an installer for easy installation and removal of Gnash. Like the executables themselves, the installer is created under Debian GNU/Linux using only free software.

The Gnash for Windows installer is available in the download area. See also the page about Windows binaries for more information.

Gnash Windows Binaries

Gnash under Windows XP

I regularly build and publish binary executables of Gnash for 32-bit Windows. These binaries use standard, current Gnash sources with no extra patches, and come with the simple SDL GUI, FFmpeg media support, and high-quality AGG rendering.

The packages have some known shortcomings, including:

  • No plugin, so command-line only.
  • Various OS-dependent functions are missing, e.g. shared memory.
  • No 'headless' version for rendering to video.
  • Certain codecs are missing due to the GPL-licensed FFmpeg version.

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.

Gnash for Windows

Gnash now runs under Windows (32-bit). I've published binary executables with corresponding source archives in the download area.

The Windows executable uses SDL for the GUI and sound, AGG as a renderer, and FFmpeg (LGPL) as its media handler.

It is built using mingw32 under GNU/Linux and only minimally tested in a real Windows environment, so expect teething problems.

These are unofficial binaries and are not supported by the Gnash team. Please report bugs with the executables to me directly, not to the Gnash bug tracker!

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:

New features for Gnash 0.8.9?

3D Rally Racing

Six months ago I published a list of possible improvements for Gnash 0.8.8. The list was:

  1. Reliable text handling.
  2. BitmapData draw() function.
  3. RTMP.
  4. Dynamic focal gradients, gradient spread and interpolation modes.
  5. Playback of obfuscated SWFs.
  6. Direct conversion of SWF to video using ffmpeg.

The bad news first: only one of the list made it into 0.8.8. This was the gradient item, where focal gradients and spread modes are now implemented.

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.

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