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 the technology.
"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 community."
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 OSMF are:
"??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 audiences.??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."