☞ Leaving a bad taste

Comments:

It's incredibly amusing that Adobe's conversation about openness with the community has resulted in 0 comments on the blog post so far. I'd guess that's not for the lack of trying.

Posted by Dalibor Topic on February 08, 2010 at 09:58 PM PST #

Sorry, I'm not sure I'm understanding what you're saying there... you acknowledge that Adobe licenses third-party technology for distribution within Adobe Flash Player, but then say it should be "opened"? Can you clarify?

(The use-case you describe, "Release full source and let the community plug in Theora and Vorbis, for example", seems to have difficulties too... you can only affect your own installation, not the general public definition. It would be easier to make an Ogg Theora decoder available in NSPlugin and ActiveX wrappers, so that anyone could install such capability directly into their own browser. But that's a plugin, and philosophically distasteful to some, and then you have the whole issue of all browsers dealing with the VIDEO tag atop that. Can you clarify?)

Can you describe what you yourself would like to do, rather than describe how you think others should be labeled?

tx, jd/adobe

Posted by John Dowdell on February 09, 2010 at 06:06 AM PST #

Hi John - there's a limit to how much text can be preloaded into delicious for posting here.

What I mean is, provide the Flash source but stub out the H.264 code since you aren't entitled to distribute it. Then leave the open source community to sort out the stubs in the way they think works best. My guess is their solution will involve a pluggable build system that includes Theora & Vorbis, but it may also involve a way for distros to bundle their own chosen H.264 solution, especially if they are from a country without software patents - who knows. Open the code and see what happens.

That's what we did with the Java platform, and the IcedTea community quickly and efficiently came up with solutions for all of the stubs Sun had to leave unimplemented becuase of encumberances. The result was a fully Free implementation that was then able to be contributed upstream and integrated into OpenJDK, and which then unlocked Linux as a Java platform. I suggest Adobe try the same strategy.

Posted by Simon Phipps on February 09, 2010 at 09:13 AM PST #

John: I note that umpteen commenters have made the same suggestion[1] now Dave's blog comments have been un-constipated. It's definitely something Adobe can do if it's committed to "open". I'll be looking forward to Adobe's reasoned response.

[1] http://bit.ly/cTMF2C

Posted by Simon Phipps on February 09, 2010 at 09:33 AM PST #

Okay, so you're telling me to tell Adobe to document and publish all the parts other than the codecs. To what practical end? We've already had the most significant part, the Tamarin logic engine, out for a few years, and not only did it not result in contributions, there was... well, maybe I better not characterize it. ;-)

And the reason this should be done is... because Java did it?

(Yes, I did see Dave had gotten snagged by an overly-strict spam filter... remember when we were all surprised when spam first appeared?)

jd/adobe

Posted by John Dowdell on February 09, 2010 at 10:44 AM PST #

I'm afraid if you don't know at this point after getting all this feedback from so many smart people, I doubt I will be able to explain why it's a good idea for Adobe to team with the open source community to increase acceptance of Flash. I'm not saying you should do it because Java did; I'm saying the approach we took with Java provides a pattern you might follow in the event you want to embrace the open source community.

Until then, please stop trying to pretend Flash is open. It's not. It is not an open standard, it is not open source, it does not use open video and it is not created in the open. The only thing vaguely open about it is documentation. The world has moved beyond the standards frame that binds Adobe spokespeople, as you can see by the response to Dave's claim of openness.

Posted by Simon Phipps on February 09, 2010 at 11:00 AM PST #

> That's what we did with the Java platform, and the IcedTea community quickly and efficiently came up with solutions for all of the stubs Sun had to leave unimplemented becuase of encumberances.

Slight correction here. The community came up with _some_ solutions. Most of the plugs for encumbered code was done at Sun (fonts, color management, etc).

Posted by Dmitri Trembovetski on February 09, 2010 at 02:09 PM PST #

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