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[Gnash-dev] Carlos Nazareno: Gnash 0.8.3 bugs - 767 + Flash developer pe

From: John Gilmore
Subject: [Gnash-dev] Carlos Nazareno: Gnash 0.8.3 bugs - 767 + Flash developer perspective
Date: Mon, 06 Oct 2008 23:54:03 -0700

Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2008 04:30:54 +0800
From: "Carlos Nazareno" <address@hidden>
To: address@hidden
Subject: Gnash 0.8.3 bugs - 767 + Flash developer perspective

Hi all!

I wasn't able to get sound working with Gnash 0.8.3 shipped with build
766 mostly because I wasn't sure what I was doing and was just
following the advice of the folks in the list.

Anyway, what I did was to install Fedora 9 in a VM on my desktop and
try installing Gnash 0.8.3 there (the version of Gnash that ships with
8.20 builds).

- Gnash installed when installed in Fedora 9 comes with no sound: so
far so good, similar with Gnash on the XO
- To get Gnash to run with sound in Fedora 9, I had to add the livna
repositories, then I installed gstreamer-ffmpeg gstreamer-plugin-good
and gstreamer-plugin-ugly. (I couldn't do the same in build 766
because the version of gstreamer it shipped with was older -- due to
problems with the mic in newer gstreamer builds?)

Okay, So far with Gnash 0.8.3 out of the box in build 767, 2 problems I noticed:
- some flash preloaders aren't working properly or load too late
- youtube videos won't play (I was hoping they'd run even just without sound)

Now since I couldn't do full testing for Adobe Flash - Gnash 0.8.3
compatibility on the XO due to my inability to get sound working, I
did my tests on Fedora 9 on the desktop instead, and just extrapolated
that performance on the XO would be much much slower.

Bugs on Gnash 0.8.3 with gstreamer sounds in Firefox 3 on Fedora 9:
- some flash preloaders aren't working properly or load too late
- Youtube videos load and play, but you cannot drag the playhead to
jump to different parts of the video. If you do so, video becomes
stuck in a paused state and the play button will no longer work.
Pressing the pause button will also result in the video becoming stuck
in a paused state -- the play button will also stop working. To play
the video again, you will have to reload the page.
- Looping mp3 sound with Flash Lite 2.0 content (basically modified
Flash 7 content) is broken -- the volume fluctuates and loud noise and
static will burst in the middle of sound playback. This is especially
bad because it is hoped that Flash Lite developers would participate
in Flash Dev on the XO, because the XO's specs are more like Flash
Lite-enabled mobile devices (Symbian Series 60, Windows Mobile 5 & 6,
etc) than modern notebooks or even UMPC/netbooks (cpu speed and memory
considerations). Flash Lite content plays flawlessly in the browser
with Adobe Flash 9 and release candidate 10.
- Script-driven sound event-triggers do not work properly. Sounds that
are supposed to loop seamlessly by playing again when the
onSoundComplete event fires only play once, and then stop playing.

Anyway, those are bugs I've encountered so far with Gnash 0.8.3. 0.8.3
is an improvement over 0.8.2, but with the impending release of the
Flash 10 plugin, Gnash will now be 2 generations behind instead of 1
generation behind.

Because of this, the bugs mentioned above, and the fact that Gnash
cannot play Actionscript Virtual Machine 2 (AVM2) content
(Actionscript 3-compiled SWFs in Flash 9 & 10), I recommend that users
and developers use the Adobe Flash Player 10 RC instead, which runs
without problems (barring cpu & memory issues) in both the Browse
activity and the latest version of Opera on the XO.


- for developers, Flash 9/10 Actionscript 3.0 AVM2 SWFs are more ideal
for the XO than older Flash 8 & below Actionscript 1.0/2.0 AVM1
content because the Flash AVM2 performs roughly 10x faster than the
AVM1, and given the XO's low horsepower, developers would be able to
author richer apps and users will get better experiences with AVM2
content because of its better efficiency.
- I was hoping that Gnash, which only plays up to Flash 7/8 AVM1
content could attract Flash Lite developers who primarily work with
Actionscript 1 & 2.0 content (all current Flash Lite player versions
only play AVM1 content), but because of Gnash's bugs, this may turn
out more difficult than initially thought.
- It is very difficult to get sound working with Gnash on build 765+
(any success stories so far? If so, can you guys outline the steps in
such a way that it can be followed by linux dummies and add it to
- It is so much easier to simply install Adobe Flash 9 or 10 than to
get sound working with Gnash 0.8.3 in 766. Can we make it so that
users don't have to jump through so many hoops in order to get sound
in Gnash working?
- Despite these, Gnash is still an interesting target for the XO
because it can launch SWFs fullscreen as a standalone program and
outside of the browser.

Carlos Nazareno

interactive media specialist
zen graffiti studios
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