> Toby A Inkster wrote:
>> The SWF specs have been published, but:
>> 1. You need to agree to a fairly restrictive licence,
>> promising not to use them to build a competing
>> player; and
>> 2. FLV is not included in the published specs.
> FLV can't be, as Adobe have to license the codecs it uses. They can't
> give that away for free.
True -- but it was their choice of codec that made this the case. There
are plenty of other codecs they could have used with fewer licencing
issues, such as MPEG-4 AVC or Ogg Theora.
>> The Flash Player is only available for Windows 98 and above, Mac OS X
>> and x86 versions of Linux, and because of the restrictions on the spec
>> licence, third parties can't use it to produce players for other
>> platforms -- they need to reverse engineer the format instead, making
>> it effectively no better than a closed, proprietary format.
> At the same time this is a good thing. It has kept the player extremely
> small and fast. OpenSource isn't all good! :)
I mentioned reverse engineering above: Gnash is a project to produce a
GPL SWF player. It's got near 100% Flash 7 support.
flash-plugin-7.0.63-1.i386.rpm 2 192 140 bytes
gnash-0.8.0-1.fc6.i386.rpm 1 595 251 bytes
gnash-plugin-0.8.0-1.fc6.i386.rpm 21 331 bytes
(Gnash Total) 1 616 582 bytes
Haven't compared their speeds.
Free software has a proven track record of staying smaller and faster than
proprietary software. The only exceptions I can think of are Mozilla-based
browsers, which are significantly larger and slower than Opera; and
OpenOffice.org, which is slower, but smaller than Microsoft Office.
Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
[Geek of HTML/SQL/Perl/PHP/Python/Apache/Linux]
[OS: Linux 2.6.12-12mdksmp, up 41 days, 12:49.]
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