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Re: [Gnash-dev] Gnash 0.8.2 on OLPC XO?

From: Aaron Whitehouse
Subject: Re: [Gnash-dev] Gnash 0.8.2 on OLPC XO?
Date: Sat, 12 Apr 2008 14:34:05 +1200

On 10/04/2008, John Gilmore <address@hidden> wrote:
>  And their kids rate the
>  OLPC, based on whether it can play the games that they are already
>  used to playing on web sites.  Many of which use Flash for eye candy
>  (kids love candy).

I thought that the OLPC project was aiming to get laptops to children
who otherwise wouldn't have had the opportunity to own one.  I doubt
that this audience is already used to many sites at all. The fact that
some wealthy kids are now getting some of them shouldn't affect the
projects aims. But ultimately, it is pointless to argue because we all
want Gnash to support every site out there. It doesn't. It needs more
work in order to do so. It needs more workers, more time and more
resources in order to have more work done on it. The problem is not in
recognising that some sites do not work.

>  Most places on earth now have Internet access near.  The countries that
>  are spending for laptops for their kids are also tending to spend for
>  Internet to make those laptops ten times as useful.

There is a difference between having internet access (for email and
wikipedia, for example) and having sufficient bandwidth to play flash

As far as Free software needing a good Flash IDE, my understanding is
that it does not. I see the role of Gnash as allowing people to view
the already-existing Flash files. I see it as equivalent to import
filters in OOo to allow me to view .doc files. Ultimately, Flash is a
closed format and the free tools will always follow the Free ones.
What Free software needs is an IDE that brings together existing open
standards to fill the same niche as Flash (SVG + video element tags
etc).  I am glad that the Free applications on the OLPC are
predominantly written in more open formats like C and Python. If
nothing else, downloading a Flash game every time that you want to
play it is usually pretty pointless - there is no need for a game to
be in Flash, on a website, unless there is a multiplayer element (and
even then, there are probably better alternatives). There is usually
even less justification for a website to be written in Flash.

I agree that the Macromedia tools to make Flash animations are great.
That is why there is so much use of Flash. If we are dreaming of a
user-friendly IDE to solve the world's problems, however, it would not
output Flash.


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