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Re: [Gnash-dev] Gnash, Flash, Adobe, and cash

From: Rob Savoye
Subject: Re: [Gnash-dev] Gnash, Flash, Adobe, and cash
Date: Tue, 04 Mar 2008 14:22:50 -0700
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20071115)

James Northcott / Chief Systems wrote:

> 1.   What is stopping the Gnash team from fully implementing the Flash 9
> file format?  Where could we help the most?

  Time and resources... We do have a swf v9 parser, but we need to work
on the ActionScript 3 library, and probably more debugging of the VM to
handle the things v9 does differently. Some simple v9 sites do work,
most don't yet.

> I understand there are some legal issues with those who have agreed to
> the Adobe EULA making contributions to Gnash.  I'm also sure that there
> are manpower issues, as well as funding issues.  I would appreciate
> someone taking the time to explain where the largest issues lie.  We
> have some programming resources available, although we have no
> experience with the Gnash codebase at all, as well as a potentially
> large number of sample Flash movies that play correctly in the Adobe
> player but not in Gnash.

  If you run Gnash with "-v", you'll get many "unimplemented" messages
as a rough guide as to what doesn't work. Any developer that has aver
agreed to the Adobe/MacroMedia EULA can't contribute code to Gnash,
although if they're not in the US, this isn't as much of an issue. I'm
not sure about Canada.

> 2.   What kind of monetary investment would be necessary to
> significantly speed up Gnash development?

> I realize that this may be a difficult question to answer, but we are
> quite serious.  We were prepared to pay Adobe to license their player,
> but this seems to have hit a dead end - could our contribution to Gnash
> help speed up development, and if so, how large a contribution would be
> required to overcome the blockers for Flash 9 support?

  Well, we've recently setup a non-profit to handle funding for Gnash,
including donations of money and equipment. So the brief answer is
donations would go to trying to funding more developers to work on Gnash
full-time. That organization is Open Media Now!,

  I'm talking to several other companies that want the same thing,
namely flash v9 support on embedded devices. So hopefully if everyone
interested in this helps fund this work, the cost to each is lower, and
we can add the resources we need to get there faster.

  There are limits of what we can do by throwing resources at, sometimes
too many too fast causes problems, Gnash has a learning curve, etc...
but right now there is only a small handful of us working on it, so
progress is good, but slow.

  But with some additional resources, yes, we could get to having an
adequate v9 support working in much less time.

> We understand the open source model, and we are not interested in owning
> the copyright or changing the license of the Gnash code.  We are simply
> willing to pay to get Flash 9 playback in our product, if this ends up
> being within our budget.

  As Gnash is a GNU project, the copyright has to be assigned to the FSF

        - rob -

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