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[Gnash-dev] Re: 2nd try: How can Internet Archive flash script pick code

From: Benjamin Otte
Subject: [Gnash-dev] Re: 2nd try: How can Internet Archive flash script pick codec to use?
Date: Sat, 27 Sep 2008 23:40:17 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: Loom/3.14 (

John Gilmore <gnu <at>> writes:
> Have you actually tried to play a large library of video with <video>?
Ignoring the fact that your discussion about that is a straw man, this
discussion should probably be about what the correct way is for the Free
Software world to promote video on the web. Do we want to have it work in a
standards-compliant way inside the web browser, or do we want to encourage the
simple way of using Flash? Or both?

I can tell you that I want Flash to go away. I discourage the creation of Flash
content whenever possible. And I do that for some simple reasons: 
- Flash has no "View Source" key built in.
- There is no open process deciding about the features of the next Flash 
- Flash is not sufficiently documented. By a huge margin. Even if you consider
  Gnash source code as documentation.
So when somebody comes up to me and says "I care about Freedom and want to do
video on the web. What should I do?" I'm going to advise him to stay as far from
Flash as possible. I'd suggest using <video> if possible or <embed> if he wants
something that just works. And ogg videos do just work with the Totem browser
plugin these days.

> My proposed improvement
> in Gnash would provide the basic information needed for the Flash
> application to make that choice.
If I wanted to support anything like this, I'd have a completely different 
Set System.capabilities.freeFormatSupport to the integer value of the level of
Ogg supoort your Flash player provides. Then write a document of what setting
this to 1 means. That will liekly include the Theora/Vorbis ogg mapping for
NetStreams and probably Vorbis for Sound.loadSound. Maybe it will even include a
way on how to put vorbis and theora into FLV files (and with it, directly into
the SWF).
And then, when you want to revise that document (say, for supporting Dirac, or
subtitles), you would bump the number to 2.
I don't think youcould make this simpler for the Flash authors than "if
(System.capabilities.freeFormatSupport > 0) request_ogg_file() else


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