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Linux Now an Equal Flash Player 437

Posted by timothy
from the cheek-by-jowl dept.
nerdyH writes "As recently as 2007, Linux users waited six months for Flash 9 to arrive. Now, with Microsoft pushing its Silverlight alternative, Adobe is touting the universality of its Flash format, which has penetrated '98 percent of Internet-enabled desktops,' it claims. And, it today released Flash 10 for Linux concurrently with other platforms. Welcome to the future." Handily enough, Real Networks released this summer RealPlayer 11 for Linux, the first release for which they've included a .deb package, and offers nightly builds of their Helix player, for which Linux is one of the supported platforms.
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Linux Now an Equal Flash Player

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  • yay competition! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @04:14PM (#25388663)

    Now make them do the same with Photoshop.

    • by Jherek Carnelian (831679) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @04:17PM (#25388723)

      Now make them do the same with Photoshop.

      Tomorrow MS will announce that Windows Paint runs under wine!

      • by Virtual_Raider (52165) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @12:03AM (#25394279) Homepage

        I don't see a great number of professional graphic artists willing to brave the murky linux technowaters. They love Apple because to them it's basically a TV.

        No, wait, hold your flamethrowers! I don't mean it isn't a powerful OS, what I mean is that they don't have to do anything to make their tools work. When was the last time that you needed to upgrade, configure or recompile something to watch a show on a consumer television set? Yes, the signal goes digital so you ditch the old box and get on with the shinies. Exactly as in the Mac world. Need more functionality — channels — then get cable, satellite, TiVo, younameit. No messing about with the appliance itself, just plug the add-on and bother about using it. Want a car analogy? You need know nothing about carburetors or lack thereof to drive. As long as you heed the lights on the dashboard and shell out at the mechanic when the issue goes beyond them, all a user needs to know is how to operate the thing, not how to service it.

        The average /. enthusiast's personal anecdote is irrelevant because they are a vanishing small percentage of the target market. For instance, Automakers don't cater to blingers, modders and assorted $YOURHOBBY$ers, those are a niche markets serviced by niche players.

        I believe this is the reason you won't see Photoshop on linux until there is a rock solid OSX-like distro that the userbase (the pros, mostly) can use with a kitchen microwave level of ease. If you are an enthusiast you'd be MUCH better off supporting GIMP with both your time and bug reports as with your bucks donating to the project. Check out 2.6, its orders of magnitude better than, say, 2.4 (my previous version).

        I only wish they'd change the name to G-Imp or Imp/G or even GNU-Imp because most of the time the stupid name is the biggest objection people cite to not even give it a chance. English being my second language, the name means jack to me, but I've encountered the argument often enough...

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by hsa (598343)

        Tomorrow MS will announce that Windows Paint runs under wine!

        Only if they use licensed technology provided by Novell for maximum compatibility.

    • by bconway (63464) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @04:41PM (#25389221) Homepage

      Looks like they changed it during they beta to require glibc 2.4-based Linux distributions (RHEL 4, CentOS 4, Debian 4 are out) for stack-smashing protection.

      Link [adobe.com].

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Mad Merlin (837387)

        RHEL 4 and CentOS 4 are 99.9% the same, there's no point in counting both. Plus, the number of people who use either on desktops are in the extreme minority, I would think, as they're not desktop oriented distros.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Prof.Phreak (584152)

        Indeed.

        ERROR: Your architecture, \'x86_64\', is not supported by the Adobe Flash Player installer.

  • RealPlayer? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Thelasko (1196535) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @04:15PM (#25388687) Journal
    What's that?
  • by rotide (1015173) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @04:15PM (#25388689)
    And this is a good example! Why change, update, or innovate if you have no competition? Throw a little in there and all of a sudden the things people actually wanted, are given!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Non-ascii text input has been broken forever.

    http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/FP-40 [adobe.com]

  • by maliqua (1316471) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @04:16PM (#25388709)
    We need a proper Open Source flash as a BSD user I am still jaded by flashes lack of support
    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @04:42PM (#25389249) Journal
      I'm mainly a BSD user, but I do have a couple of Linux boxes, so I might install it on that. They do have an ARM version, right? Nope, it seems it's just x86 (not even x86-64).
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Machtyn (759119)
        Well, while you are complaining and raining on their parade, it is a step in the right direction. I will applaud and support the move. Yeah, so they're binaries, perhaps the open source will come... give it time.
      • by shtrom (1251560) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @10:00PM (#25393527) Homepage

        Same issue with PPC.

        Well, I guess we can say "Same issue with [insert here any Linux-supported architecture which is not x86]"...

        Actually, I find it quite misleading to say that "Adobe [..] released version 10 of its [...] Flash Player [...] in a variety of convenient packaging formats for Linux". Adobe didn't. "Adobe released version 10 of its Flash Player in a variety of convenient packaging formats for some version of Linux running on the x86 architecture" is the correct wording.

        Binary releases are simply not a viable solution for an open-source based system.

  • The future? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jaavaaguru (261551) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @04:17PM (#25388715) Homepage

    There's still no 64-bit version yet!

    • no kidding. I'm sick of restarting firefox in a 32-bit environment just to use some fucking flash navigation system.

      • Re:The future? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @05:56PM (#25390721)

        *cough*Opera*cough*

        But seriously, Opera now has a native 64 bit build but it runs 32 bit plugins without any special voodoo. "OMG it isn't open source" you say... well neither is flash.

    • Re:No 64-bit (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Omnifarious (11933) <eric-slashNO@SPAMomnifarious.org> on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @04:24PM (#25388905) Homepage Journal

      My theory is that Adobe's Flash player is a horrible hack that is so utterly fragile and bug-ridden that Adobe can't actually make a 64-bit version without doing a full rewrite.

      • Re:No 64-bit (Score:5, Informative)

        by greg1104 (461138) <gsmith@gregsmith.com> on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @04:55PM (#25389507) Homepage

        I hate to disrupt a good theory with references, but What's So Difficult? 64-bit Edition [adobe.com] claims the main issue is that rewriting the JIT compiler to emit 64-bit code is non-trivial.

        • Re:No 64-bit (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @05:38PM (#25390385)

          Maybe a post from 2006 (summarizing an explanation from 2005) is not the best thing. At the end of the day, the excuses seem lame. Java had 64-bit support out pretty quickly (are you telling me the JIT in Flash is more complicated than the Java JVM, of which the JIT is a minor portion?)

          The reason is that Adobe doesn't feel there's a big enough market for 64-bit platforms, thus it doesn't throw many resources at getting a 64-bit version, end of story.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Thaelon (250687)

          Why couldn't you just quote it like this:

          64-bit support is not just a recompile away. And no, this is not due to treating memory pointers and 32-bit integers interchangeably. There are assorted non-portable pieces that need to be upgraded first, notably the JIT compiler in the virtual machine (transforms ActionScript into native x86_64 code) and the garbage collection engine. Tinic outlined these items in this post.

          --penguin.swf [adobe.com] (Penguin.SWF tracks development status and issues regarding the Linux version

        • Re:No 64-bit (Score:5, Insightful)

          by PitaBred (632671) <slashdot@pitabre ... g ['s.o' in gap]> on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @05:53PM (#25390659) Homepage

          That was also written, oh, two fucking years ago! They haven't figured out how to make their JIT compiler work in two years? What kind of incompetents are they? I'm sure it's a hard problem. Lots of problems are hard. But somehow Firefox and Opera and even IE managed to get their Javascript code working on 64bit platforms in the meantime. Why is Flash somehow special?

          • by greg1104 (461138) <gsmith@gregsmith.com> on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @05:58PM (#25390767) Homepage

            What kind of incompetents are they?

            The kind who would think the Flash player was a good idea in the first place.

    • Re:The future? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Artraze (600366) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @04:25PM (#25388931)

      Indeed; that was the first thing I checked upon reading this story.

      I'm sorry, but I'd rather have a 6 month wait and a 64-bit version than concurrent releases. Linux has been running on AMD64 for what now? Three or four years? And now that Vista runs on 64-bit as well there's even less excuse for this. Hell, they're even got a version for the Sparc.

      I don't mean to belittle the fact this story. It is pretty cool that Adobe seems to at least recognize linux as a worthwhile platform*, it's just that support is still rather lackluster.

      (*While I would think that this would have to do with the increasingly common use of linux on embedded devices, the fact that there's no ARM version seems to contradict this. However, I suspect there's a (secret) version somewhere since I'm seen embedded linux devices that play flash.)

    • Re:The future? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @04:34PM (#25389119) Homepage Journal
      64 bits is the present. A 128 bit version would be the future. Until, of course, it's the past.
  • No deal. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Massacrifice (249974) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @04:18PM (#25388765)

    But still not open-source. So if you need it on PPC Linux, or FreeBSD, you are still SOL. Give us the source guys, and we'll maintain it for you. Or if you absolutely cant do that, publish a spec that somebody can use to write compatible player.

  • Dear Grandma, (Score:4, Informative)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @04:18PM (#25388767) Homepage Journal

    Did you fix the cookies [slashdot.org] yet?

  • by LibertineR (591918) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @04:19PM (#25388777)
    Now, I can watch my CPU's max out, and my systems become unresponsive on EVERY platform!
    • Not on PPC (unless you have OS X)... or on SPARC for that matter.

    • Flash 10 is better (ive been using the betas)*, i mean i still wouldn't touch it without flashblock (for performance reasons not security unfortunately) but its much better than 9.

      *Hopefully with the flash 10 release websites will stop telling me to install flash

    • by radarsat1 (786772)

      This is a real problem for me. Currently my laptop doesn't handle heat very well (freezes up on me), so I'm having to be extra careful about the CPU usage spiking. Unfortunately this happens pretty much any time I want to watch a flash-based video player on a website. Strangely, some sites are better on the CPU than others...

      I find youtube's actually not bad for CPU usage.

      Anyways, probably a better fix is to clean my laptop fan. But I find the CPU usage in Flash to be very annoying.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by idontgno (624372)

        Currently my laptop doesn't handle heat very well (freezes up on me),

        +1 Ironic

        Flashblock. Seriously. That way you get to selectively enable Flash media rather than being carpet-bombed on pageload.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by schwaang (667808)

      Seriously. On my gf's Vista machine, Flash hanging in IE is *the* major reliability issue over the past 6 months.

      [Vista has this "system reliability" thingy which is actually cool (oops there goes my slashdot karma). It gives an overall score on how reliable the system is and charts it over time, showing what apps crashed or hung to reduce the score.]

      Still, I have flash on my linux desktop which will never, ever, ever have silverlight installed on it.

  • by forevermore (582201) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @04:20PM (#25388803) Homepage
    Some of us have been waiting a lot longer for flash9 and still don't have it for wii, iphone, and I believe even the Opera web browser.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by riyley (1122121)
      My thoughts exactly. I'd really like to turn my Wii into a Hulu box, but the one browser I actually paid for doesn't have flash compatibility. What gives?
    • Flash 10 is supported for Opera on Windows [adobe.com]. Not for other Operating Systems, though (apparently).
  • If only... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @04:22PM (#25388839) Homepage Journal
    Adobe would just encourage more webmasters to write actual code instead of relying on flash for their entire websites.

    But of course there wouldn't be much profit incentive for Adobe to do such a thing...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Thousand (1351647)
      Firstly, what the hell is a webmaster? What is this, 1998?

      Secondly, apparently you've been too busy bashing Flash to actually pay attention to how far it has come. Flash these days requires actual code, and is not something Joe GeoCities can just pick up and use anymore. AS3 is a massive and mature language at this point. gotoAndPlay() is not exactly a cornerstone function anymore. Google a little app called Spatialkey, and tell me with a straight face if you think it's little more than a badly keyframed
  • which has penetrated "98 percent of Internet-enabled desktops,"

    Nice to know that in addition to cats [nytimes.com], I'm a trendsetter in not having Flash installed [slashdot.org].

    So this is what the linux crowd feels like on a daily basis.

  • Equal? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mweather (1089505) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @04:23PM (#25388891)
    So they fixed the transparency problems in Linux?
    • by JCCyC (179760) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @06:05PM (#25390883) Journal

      http://www.oiloja.com.br/ [oiloja.com.br] - Brazilian cellphone carrier I use. They had a transparent Flash that covered everything - now it WORKS!

      http://www.formula1.com/ [formula1.com] seems to be OK too.

      Anyone has other sites with that problem so we can test more?

  • This is News (Score:5, Interesting)

    by steve_thatguy (690298) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @04:24PM (#25388893)
    Complaints about lack of Photoshop and a 64-bit version aside (it's interesting how much Slashdot resembles a sewing circle of old ladies in the complaints department), this is actually pretty significant news. Especially if this is the beginning of a new Way Things are Done for the Flash developers. With most major video sites using Flash-based players and the other wealth of Flash content on other websites, Flash support is pretty essential for desktop users. This is a major stepping stone. Hopefully Adobe will see enough rewards from doing this that will encourage them to embrace the Linux platform even more.
  • where open source is used as a bargaining chip in a commercial pissing contest. i guess linux developers alone werent enough to spur adobe to invest, so how if at all is this a win for linux?
  • by Lord Byron II (671689) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @04:26PM (#25388959)
    If I recall correctly, it was six months after the release of Flash 9 for Windows when Linux got it, but there wasn't even a Flash 8 for Linux. Linux users had actually been waiting for a new release since the release of Flash 7.
  • by Drake42 (4074) * on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @04:26PM (#25388963) Homepage

    Competition is good and all, but this is just annoying. It only exists to muddy the waters.

    I'm just waiting for MS to announce that they will no longer speak english, but will communicate only in Anglush-Sharp. A language in which every noun is copyrighted by Microsoft and only MS approved verbs will generate an intelligible response.

  • Great news but... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rzei (622725) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @04:27PM (#25388985)

    First of all, as some have already pointed out, where's the *BSD binaries and 64-bit binaries?

    Why doesn't Adobe go (L)GPLv3 with their flash plugin, keep all the products that produce flashes commercial and watch how other people (while being angry at their original plugin's performance) fix their bad code?

    In all seriousness, what bad could releasing flash renderer as a GPLv3 or LGPLv3 mean for adobe? They have the market for 90s style websites (one big graphic) and 100% of Internet's video sites already, their actual closed source not so well performing plugin is the first reason why people don't think flash is great for anything other than attracting teenager users.

    If the do not open source it, one day it will a better alternative will grow out of the open source community or flash simply ceases to exist as it's replaced by more open standard X or better renderer Y.

    • by mweather (1089505)

      First of all, as some have already pointed out, where's the *BSD binaries and 64-bit binaries?

      They're on the same download page as the 64-bit Windows binaries.

  • BRAVO! (Score:2, Funny)

    by sinserve (455889)

    Well done Adobe! Now we're talking. Help us help YOU keep Silverlight still-born.

  • by Pr0xY (526811) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @05:02PM (#25389613)

    So did they fix the *really* annoying problem where on linux firefox configurations that flash objects appear ontop of *everything* else in the page? This annoyance has made many pages very much un-usable (especially ones with drop down menus where the menu gets hidden behind the flash object :( ...adobe's own site fits into this catagory).

  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @05:09PM (#25389757)

    Now do the same for Shockwave Player so it can be on linux as well.

    Time line for flash on iphone?

  • by not already in use (972294) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @05:09PM (#25389759)
    ...But please, lets be realistic.

    In your minds, if company Z doesn't support Linux, they lose. If they do support linux, they lose even worse. They get screamed at for not releasing specs, not GPL'ing the source, not supporting a specific distribution, not supporting 64-bit... the list goes on.

    Now if you're going to take the time to respond to this, please answer me this: Why should company X spend the most time supporting a platform that has the least marketshare?

    Linux folk see the problem being that software vendors don't support linux. The fact of the matter is Linux doesn't support ISV's. There are a million different distro's with no standardization. You already have your market share working against you, and you realize that. What you don't seem to realize is that your platform is the hardest to develop for and support.

    You really should do something about this before you scream with a sense of entitlement that some company should spend time and money supporting your platform when it is not likely to be financially viable.
    • by NullProg (70833) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @06:05PM (#25390881) Homepage Journal

      Now if you're going to take the time to respond to this, please answer me this: Why should company X spend the most time supporting a platform that has the least marketshare?

      At one point back in 1995, the Microsoft Windows market was only 20% of the PC market. The other 75% of the market was OS/2, QNX, DrDos, Novell and a few others. Windows was an emerging market so we coded for it.

      Linux is now an emerging (or growth) market. Ignore it if you want. Your competitors are not.

      There is a reason that google has released Picasa and GoogleEarth binaries for linux and its not because of a bunch of hippies yelling at them demanding the code. There is a reason that Dell is still continuing its Linux line of products. Asus, Adobe, Quicken, Oracle, Real, etc, do not make their product support decisions based on a bunch of screaming smelly basement dwellers.

      What you don't seem to realize is that your platform is the hardest to develop for and support.
      Linux is the hardest platform to develop for if all you know how to code in is Microsoft based technologies.

      Enjoy,

  • by nog_lorp (896553) * on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @05:26PM (#25390141)

    Just what I've always wanted, RealPlayer on a computer that I own! Can we have QuickTime too?

  • by roystgnr (4015) <.roystgnr. .at. .ticam.utexas.edu.> on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @05:34PM (#25390299) Homepage

    And the benefits (even on Flash 9 sites, without the new features in 10) are significant:

    Better performance and smoother graphics
    The fullscreen video mode is no longer choppy

    Unfortunately, there's a significant drawback as well:

    Often crashes my browser as soon as I visit a page with Flash.
    (or at least crashes the plugin process, when using a browser smart enough to isolate plugins from the main system)

    Obviously I got to enjoy Flash 10 for a while before it started dying on me. Wiping my .macromedia directory doesn't seem to restore the stable behavior. Neither does reinstalling flash. Did Hulu change their video format in some subtle way that breaks just my system? I don't know, but he official Flash 10 breaks too, not just the betas. Unless anyone here has any good ideas, back to 9 it is.

  • by ink (4325) * on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @06:28PM (#25391273) Homepage

    Gnash 0.8.4 was released yesterday, but I guess that doesn't merit a slashvertisement:

    http://gnashdev.org/ [gnashdev.org]

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