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Lightspark 0.4.2 Open Source Flash Player Released 172

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the gotta-start-somewhere dept.
suraj.sun writes "The Lightspark project has released version 0.4.2 of its free, open source Flash player. According to Lightspark developer Alessandro Pignotti, the alternative Flash Player implementation is 'designed from the ground up to be efficient on current and (hopefully) future hardware.' The latest release of Lightspark features better compatibility with YouTube videos, sound synchronization support and the ability to use fontconfig for font selection. Other changes include plug-in support for Google's Chrome/Chromium web browser and support for Firefox's out of process plug-in (OOPP) mode, which was added in version 3.6.4 of the browser."
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Lightspark 0.4.2 Open Source Flash Player Released

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  • Project page (Score:5, Informative)

    by nacturation (646836) * <nacturation AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @10:43AM (#32978632) Journal

    At least link to the project page rather than a rehashed "news" story: http://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/lightspark [sourceforge.net]

    • by deniable (76198)
      They can't link to Sourceforge. It's got a bad reputation. You wouldn't want Slashdot associated with that, would you?
  • ...would be blacklisting for sites that serve ads and popups. I'd settle for restricting flash to site domain only.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by farlukar (225243)

      I'd settle for restricting flash to site domain only.

      What a novel concept! [mozilla.org]

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      On a feature level, for the entire browser+addons stack, I agree that that is an extremely useful feature. Sturgeon's law applies, hard, to flash and most of it deserves to be blocked.

      Architecturally, though, isn't the flash renderer plugin a silly place for blacklisting/whitelisting/domain control features? The browser is responsible for issuing the HTTP requests, rendering what it can, calling plugins for what it can't, and so forth. Why should the browser download the flash blob, load the renderer, an
      • The browser is responsible for issuing the HTTP requests, rendering what it can, calling plugins for what it can't, and so forth. Why should the browser download the flash blob, load the renderer, and then have the renderer check a blacklist and allow or refuse rendering of the object?

        Because that blob calls 800 other flash files from around the web. The biggest problem is one flash file including cross-domain other-flash. And Macromedia used to understand that and forbid it. Then, the content producers

        • I wish that I were more surprised by that; but then I think back to what Adobe is doing to PDFs, which are slowly growing into a script-driven monstrosity with virtually everything embedded in... Why yes, Adobe, I've always wanted to embed fucking videos in a document format designed for accurate printing...
          • Why yes, Adobe, I've always wanted to embed fucking videos in a document format designed for accurate printing...

            In Adobe's defense, I want to embed fucking videos in everything.

          • by deniable (76198)
            The fucking videos fit perfectly with all of the stroke settings. Where's the problem?
    • Already exists for Firefox:
      https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/433/ [mozilla.org]

  • embrace and extend (Score:3, Insightful)

    by goombah99 (560566) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @10:51AM (#32978728)

    Now that open source has embraces the flash standard, no doubt Adobe will add proprietary additions so sow incompatibility.

    The protentially nice thing about this howerve is that if
    1) it's efficient
    2) not buggy
    3) supports DRM

    then it answers apple's complaints about flash and Youtube's complaints about H264. The problme for apple was that it would be insane to make your player beholden to a closed 3rd party app, espeically one from a company that hsitorically dragged it's heels in incorproating your platforms new features. Apple thrives on offering distinguishing features and adobe smothers them if they don't incorporate them.

    But if the source is open apple is free to make sure it keeps up. So long as it is not as buggy as flash was.

    Likewise youtube complained they could not monetize Video under H264 as well as under flash. the ability to have linking and overlays and such was required for the cash register.

    Again this is now possible if this supports DRM.

    One nice thing is that since apple already has a sandboxing system in both OSX and iOS, having it open source may allow them to get a tighter sandbox. No need to count on Adobe's sandbox working.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Now that open source has embraces the flash standard, no doubt Adobe will add proprietary additions so sow incompatibility.

      The protentially nice thing about this howerve is that if
      1) it's efficient
      2) not buggy
      3) supports DRM

      4)has the potential to run on 64 bit and ARM platforms.

      • by Nursie (632944)

        Flash on 64 it linux has been ok for a while, though it's borked again at the moment whilst adobe re-architect. As for ARM....

        Works fine on my N900!

    • by natehoy (1608657) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @11:01AM (#32978844) Journal

      It won't, however, answer Apple's biggest reason for not wanting to support Flash.

      Flash is, simply, a proprietary format that they don't have any patent control over. They want h264, which is a proprietary format controlled by a consortium they are a major member of.

      Apple wants Flash dead. They don't want it open, they don't want it closed, they don't want it with cherries and whipped cream on top. They want it dead. It's something they cannot control, and therefore it must die.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by sortius_nod (1080919)

        If you had used flash on a mac you'd probably change your tune. Adobe have almost abandoned apple when most of their apps started on mac os. I can understand apple saying "fuck off" to adobe after the bullshit they've pulled over recent years.

      • by unix1 (1667411) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @11:58AM (#32979636)

        They want h264, which is a proprietary format controlled by a consortium they are a major member of.

        I'm not sure what you mean by "major" but Apple only has 1 patent in the h264 patent pool that looks like nothing but a placeholder patent to satisfy the membership requirement.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by samkass (174571)

        Flash is, simply, a proprietary format that they don't have any patent control over. They want h264, which is a proprietary format controlled by a consortium they are a major member of.

        h.264 and Flash aren't incompatible. And Apple's a minor member of that consortium with almost no patents in the game. Apple just wants the best products and doesn't want to have to depend on others to get them, and Flash is the opposite of both of those things.

        Considering how much Apple has contributed to open source over

        • by molnarcs (675885) <molnarcs AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @12:44PM (#32980308) Homepage Journal
          Apple's browser engine? How many times does this myth have to be corrected? KHTML was a pretty complete rendering engine before Apple adopted it under the name WebKit. It was the only major free software contender to gecko, and Apple was not the first to notice it. NOKIA used it to replace gecko in their handhelds (and they sent a nice thank you letter to the khtml mailing list). Yes, Apple did contribute a lot of code, but they did not write it. And as of now, they are not the only contributors either. So webkit is a bad example for Apple's contributions - they basically forked KHTML (and the first few releases of Safari were pretty much KHTML + a few patches) and they had no choice but to maintain it as free software because KHTML was GPL.
        • From wikipedia: WebKit was originally derived by Apple Inc. from the Konqueror browser’s KHTML software library for use as the engine of Mac OS X’s Safari web browser and has now been further developed by individuals from the KDE project, Apple Inc., Nokia, Google, Bitstream, Torch Mobile and others.

          Heck, their biggest competitor in their fastest-growing market is basing their entire web experience on Apple's browser engine, so it doesn't seem like Apple is too worried about competition there.

          A couple of problems with this statement:

          1. It's not Apple's browser engine, it's the community's. Just because Apple is a major member of that community does not mean they own the project. If anyth
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by eldavojohn (898314) *

        They don't want it open, they don't want it closed, they don't want it with cherries and whipped cream on top.

        Adobe's Flash
        - a poem by eldavojohn

        I bash Jobs, Jobs I blash

        That Jobs-I-bash, That Jobs-I-bash!
        I do not like, that Jobs-I-bash

        Do you like Adobe's flash?

        I do not like it, Jobs-I-bash.
        I do not like Adobe's flash.

        Would you like it on your iPad?

        I would not like it on my iPad.
        I would not like it if it's a fad.
        I do not like Adobe's flash.
        I do not like it, Jobs-I-bash

        Would you like it open or closed?
        Would you like it
        virtually imposed?

        I do not like it open or closed.
        I do not like

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by h3 (27424)

        >Flash is, simply, a proprietary format that they don't have any patent control over. They want h264, which is a proprietary format controlled by a consortium they are a major member of.

        I think you got the Apple v. Flash "war" mixed up with the HTML5 v Flash war...

        I'm pretty sure Apple's objection to Flash on their iOS devices has more with it being an alternate development platform that they can't control and little to do with the specialized use case of video delivery. In other words, they want to mak

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          More like Apple would like its iOS devices judged on the performance that can be achieved when compiled code is used (*their* dev tools is GNU gcc well actually GNU Objective-C) instead of being penalized for the poor performance experienced with Adobe flash. Sure they make Xcode, but I don't know anyone who seriously uses it.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Yvanhoe (564877)
      Open source software is technically incompatible with DRMs.
      • Unfortunately, that depends... For classic "Hey, let's try to obfuscate on top of a standard OS running on general purpose hardware and hope nobody with a clue attaches a debugger" style DRM, OSS is indeed technically incompatible. Obtain code, recompile version with locks removed, go home happy. Game over.

        However, if the code is under one of the OSS licenses that allows Tivoization(GPL2, among others), and if embedded hardware controlled by the vendor comes into play, you have a very different story. Th
        • by Yvanhoe (564877)
          Well, we are talking about a flash runtime here...

          Ok let's be more precise. No OSS solution with a licence acceptable to the Debian project can implement DRMs on a regular PC (and be more than a joke).
      • by goombah99 (560566)

        Open source software is technically incompatible with DRMs.

        Uh no.

    • How can open source DRM work? DRM relies on the source being closed to slow attempts to reverse-engineer it. Open-source DRM could be cracked in minutes.

  • What about license? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DMiax (915735) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @10:56AM (#32978796)
    I seem to remember that the real problem Flash clones is that documentation is not completely free and if you read it you have to be under strong NDA for the rest of your life. This should also be why Gnash always lags behind. How did he overcome this issue? Or are we waiting for a lawsuit to strike as soon as the plugin becomes usable?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sreekotay (955693)
      That was historically true, but is no longer the case (I believe they changed the license coincident with the Open Screen Project release). See here [adobe.com]. There are still the H.264 and On2 (as well as Nellymoser and other specific media codec) issues, but not any with open implementations of Flash itself.
    • Solution (Score:5, Funny)

      by neoshroom (324937) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @11:58AM (#32979634)

      I seem to remember that the real problem Flash clones is that documentation is not completely free and if you read it you have to be under strong NDA for the rest of your life. This should also be why Gnash always lags behind. How did he overcome this issue? Or are we waiting for a lawsuit to strike as soon as the plugin becomes usable?

      The creator of the project trained a chimpansee to understand code, a literal code-monkey if you will or rather a code-ape to be more accurate. This code-ape then reads the Flash documentation and explains it with sign language to the project creator. Since the code-ape cannot be properly held to an NDA the project continues unencumbered by draconian laws or demonic contracts.

  • by jabuzz (182671)

    How does this compare to the FSF sponsered Gnash then?

    • Re:Gnash? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @11:08AM (#32978960)

      Gnash does not support version two of the Actionscript Virtual Machine. (Most new Flash content uses that AVM version.) Lightspark is intended to support exactly that. There are many other differences, but that's the main one.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ink (4325)

      Gnash doesn't support ActionScript 3. Lightspark does. There has been talk [gnu.org] on the Gnash list for a hybrid solution.

  • which one (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    By my count there are atleast 4 opensource flash project. Most of them seem to exist just for the developer's own benefit. Is there any analysis or review and comparison of the several open source flash clones?

  • by tenco (773732) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @11:07AM (#32978942)
    ...is it secure?
  • by RevWaldo (1186281) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @11:09AM (#32978972)
    Chico and Harpo on the problems with Flash substitutes

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5Ovh18nYwc [youtube.com]

    "Alright never mind c'mon we work without it.."

    .
  • Has anyone done any benchmarking? Is it hardware accelerated (video, vector etc) on Linux?
  • Hulu (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TechwoIf (1004763) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @11:13AM (#32979032) Homepage
    Will it work with www.hulu.com?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Just compiled and installed on debian squeeze. Works with youtube, and thats about it. Hulu, pandora, grooveshark all crash firefox.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jonwil (467024)

      Any open source Flash clone that added support for the encrypted version of the RTMP streaming protocol (which is what Hulu and others use) would be hit by a DMCA lawsuit.
      If Adobe doesn't do EVERYTHING it can legally do to prevent programs that can save encrypted RTMP streams (or programs that can be modified to save such streams) sites like Hulu will go to their competitor or shut down altogether.

      Hell will freeze over before NBC, Fox and ABC (the owners of Hulu) will allow their content to be distributed i

  • Mixed bag (Score:5, Funny)

    by noidentity (188756) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @11:40AM (#32979372)

    The good news: it's an open-source Flash player

    The bad news: for better compatibility with web browsers, it's written in Flash

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      I feel dirty for asking this particular question, but did they make some change to mafia wars that requires flash? It's been some time since I played it (and I have no intention of starting up again regardless of your answer, I just want to know how well-informed you are in this case)

      • I "play" farmville to maintain connection with a couple friends. I've blocked mafia wars and had the medieval games. I'm not sure if they use flash.

        FV has gotten very annoying lately. You click on "send gifts" and it inserts other pages in the flow to force you to participate in the tuscan wedding.

        I am down to about 1 day out of 4 now. The recipes and bushels and other activities are starting to sound like EQ trade skilling and don't match my '20 minutes a day' metric.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          The interstitial stupidity is a part of the reason I stopped playing those retarded games. the fact that they're lame had something to do with it too. Now I'm playing another lame game without any added stupidity called dragon's call [gamedp.com].

    • I just tried it, and the plugin is just grey for Mafia Wars and Farmville.

  • PulseAudio (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I'm trying to build it now and in case anybody wants to bitch about audio systems, it appears to use PulseAudio.
    Of course I have ALSA.

    Shit is going to ensue.

    • by loufoque (1400831)

      Then run pulseaudio on top of ALSA, like everyone. You can still use ALSA directly if you want to.

  • by Dwedit (232252) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @03:56PM (#32983102) Homepage

    Flash Player is a bloated slow pig of a program. Windows users need a Flash Player alternative just as much as Linux users do.

    So when I hear about a release, I look for the Standalone EXE player, which unfortunately doesn't exist.

    I also wonder how this compares to Gnash. I've tested out Gnash, and it crashed on several SWF files I played through the program on Windows. Gnash also obviously wasn't designed at all to run on Windows, since it is missing the essential feature of Drag-Drop files onto the standalone player window.

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