Posts Tagged ‘open’
Here’s a look at another interesting flash player implementation by Joa Ebert using Java with OpenGL rendering support. It is at an early stage but has the right idea in hardware rendering to OpenGL which is easily cross platform and mobile capable with speed.
This project is pretty new but there is work to make it web browser capable either in a java applet or a plugin for IE/FF/WebKit/etc but there are also others that are out there using alternative renderers. Most of these are in early development with varying support and do not currently compare to Adobe’s Flash Player versions. However the hardware rendering ones like JITB may beat it fairly quickly once all the other features are added. Complete OpenGL based renderers like Unity or WebGL are fast and can run pretty heavy rendering because of hardware acceleration for all drawing and native support.
Other Flash Player implementations:
- AS3 script via LLVM
- Written in C++ (very portable for native)
- OpenGL accelerated rendering
- limited support
- Firefox plugin
- Early development
- flash 7-9 support
Flash Players that use OpenGL as the renderer are nice because cross platform support is easier. The reason why OpenGL is a great idea is it is so cross platform on desktop and on mobile, it is also coming soon in WebGL for the browser hopefully.
Versions of OpenGL and support
- OpenGL ES
- OpenGL ES 1.1 = OpenGL 1.5 and lower (fixed function)
- iOS devices 3rd gen and lessx
- OpenGL ES 2.0 = OpenGL 2+ (current version 4.1 – shader capable).
- iPhone (3GS or later), iPod Touch (3rd generation and later) and iPad
- Android 2.2+
- OpenGL ES 1.1 = OpenGL 1.5 and lower (fixed function)
There is still a clear open field for an open source player to match something like Moonlight for Silverlight or hardware rendered canvas. WebGL would be great to have in time if it gets support but it is also nice to have a compiled language in the content that works in the player faster than scripting but with the ease of scripting. Plugins are still very relevant if they can address that.
Alessandro Pignotti’s project looks to be the start of something good to come. Lightspark Open Source Flash Player [github]has some really nice features that should influence the Flash Player and maybe even draw some interest from Adobe? Maybe it can be like the Moonlight player for Silverlight only broader.
One such awesome feature is OpenGL GLSL hardware rendered shaders for elements of flash. Flash has Pixel Bender which is pretty nice but having GLSL shaders and the use of OpenGL directly is great.
- JIT compilation of ActionScript to native x86 bytecode using LLVM
- Hardware accelerated rendering using OpenGL Shaders (GLSL)
- Very good and robust support for current-generation ActionScript 3
- A new, clean, codebase exploiting multithreading and optimized for modern hardware. Designed from scratch after the official Flash documentation was released.
Adobe will essentially open up the RTMP protocol officially. RTMP has been used in other tools such as Red5 and haXe video for some time now. But officially having it open will make it possible for more products built on it. I am sure that most of this is to combat silverlight and to gain more video users that can play flash formats. RTMP spec will be posted here when ready.
RTMP provides an enhanced and efficient way to deliver rich content. Developers and companies will have free and open access to the documented RTMP specification to help enable unparalleled delivery of video, audio and data in the open AMF, SWF, FLV and F4V formats compatible with Adobe Flash Player.
Adobe has also been working on more real-time protocol tools based on UDP instead of TCP (which RTMP is based) that fall under RTMFP using ordered UDP that will be interesting to watch evolve. Stratus is so far a sample of what is to come there.The UDP based real-time tools will be able to beat the capabilities of TCP based real-time tools when using authoritative servers.
But with the RTMP announcement, multiuser and video applications should thrive even more with an open RTMP spec.
Nicolas Cannasse has released haXe 2.01 that now has flash 10 support with a simple switch including the new Vector class.
Another very good news is that haXe has now complete support for Flash 10.
You only have to use
-swf-version 10as commandline parameter to be able to access the new Flash10 APIs (don’t forget to install first the FP10 from labs.adobe.com).
I think it is very possible for haXe to catch on big time, but it takes time as stated. Just remember that Python was worked on almost solely by Guido van Rossum for about 5-years, and then 10-years later it was picked up by Google heavily and the rest is history. I think it takes 10 years for anything to really catch on from standards to languages.
Colin Moock an actionscript brain since the great Flash 4 advances that brought all sorts of fun to flash, like games, has mentioned XFL an open format for flash from a discussion with Adobe product managers.
This would be a format that would be able to import, export and allow compile to SWF. MXML for Flex does this now but bringing the two together into one common format and allowing for all sorts of open source and third party contributions to making flash will let it literally explode in support.
I recently met with Flash authoring product-manager, Richard Galvan, to talk about Diesel, the next version of Flash (i.e., Flash CS4, or version 10 for those counting). Adobe has already demonstrated a bunch of high-impact features for Diesel, including inverse kinematics, a new tweening model, 3D “postcards in space”, and advanced text components (see MAX 07 keynote, FOTB 07 keynote, and FITC Amsterdam 08 keynote). But Richard was keen to talk about a lesser known feature quietly percolating behind the scenes: XFL.
Since its inception, the Flash authoring tool has stored documents in a binary source-file called .fla. Historically, interchanging source with the Flash authoring tool has been virtually impossible for third-party software because the specification for .fla has never been public. But things are changing in the next version of Flash. Flash CS4 will be able to export *and* import a new source format called XFL. An XFL file is a .zip file that contains the source material for a Flash document. Within the .zip file resides an XML file describing the structure of the document and a folder with the document’s assets (graphics, sounds, etc). The exact details of the XFL format are not yet available, but Richard assures me that Adobe intends to document them publicly, allowing third-party tools to import and export XFL.
If this is a market test or check of interest I think that everyone I know working with flash would be very excited about opening and unifying the flash format and allowing great IDEs and tools to help produce better flash content more quickly. Also, with the competition Silverlight using XAML (uncompressed) this also allows a competitive advantage maybe making Silverlight add better compression and loading tools beyond their downloader object.
I hope this is also in the plans for Director. If they used similar formats it could be very nice and something to watch as an emerging market to prepare for.