Adobe Systems moved another step closer to open-sourcing its Flash Platform. Or did it?
Adobe Systems moved another step closer to open sourcing its Flash Platform. Or did it?
Critics of Adobe have long called for the company to open-source
Flash. While that is unlikely to happen any time soon, Adobe announced
two new Adobe Flash Platform-based open-source initiatives for
developers, media companies and publishers on July 21, said Tom
Barclay, senior product marketing manager for the Flash Platform at
Adobe, in an interview with eWEEK.
Adobe takes pride in touting the "ubiquity" of the Flash Player.
Barclay said Flash Player 10 is now on 87 percent of Internet-connected
PCs, a feat that has taken only seven months since the company released
"We're seeing great traction," he said. "Flash is the No. 1 way to
watch video on the Web. And we're opening up the platform to the
Indeed, the pressure mounts for Adobe to open up even more. The
company's new moves to bring another layer of the Flash Platform out
into the open indicate Adobe's willingness to engage the community. But
how far will it go?
For his part, Barclay said one of the technologies Adobe is
releasing to open source is the Open Source Media Framework (OSMF),
which is part of the project previously code-named "Strobe." OSMF
enables developers to quickly and easily build more robust,
feature-rich media players optimized for the Adobe Flash Platform, he
said. The other technology Adobe is open-sourcing is the Text Layout
Framework (TLF), which helps developers bring a variety of typography
capabilities to Web applications. Both OSMF and TLF are now freely
available as open-source software.
"Adobe is committed to providing core Flash Platform technologies to
the community as open source," said Dave McAllister, director of
standards and open source at Adobe, in a statement. "By releasing OSMF
and TLF as open source, we are helping facilitate the creation and
sharing of best practices for media players and rich text-based Web
application development. We believe these efforts will strengthen the
industry and lead to the next generation of Web applications, content
and video experiences."
The goal of the OSMF move is to establish an open industry standard
for media player development, Barclay said. Among the key points for
??Ã The flexible OSMF
architecture enables developers to easily create unique playback
experiences that can leverage plug-ins for advertising, reporting
metrics and content delivery along with standard video player features
such as playback controls, video navigation, buffering and Dynamic
Streaming. OSMF provides standard functionality along with plug-ins
from third parties so content providers have the flexibility to adapt
monetization strategies to specific content and the needs of their
??Ã OSMF includes an
API for partners to build plug-ins for value-add services. OSMF will
enable more innovation around media experiences on the Web by allowing
partners to easily experiment with new services for content providers,
which spans content delivery, presentation and monetization.
??Ã OSMF source code
and pluggable software components are available immediately under the
Mozilla Public License and available at www.OpenSourceMediaFramework.com.
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.