Spotlight on Gnash
Blue GNU interviews Rob Savoye, of the Gnash project, to provide readers an understanding of the project - how it began and where it is heading.
When and why was Gnash started?
Gnash initially was started as an embedded Flash player for a digital stereo system about 3 years ago. Then John Gilmore asked me if I'd be interested in turning it into a desktop plugin for Firefox, which I did. That attracted attention to the Gnash project, which has been under heavy development since. My main reason for starting Gnash was it seemed a great solution for embedded user interfaces for CE devices. That and it was getting impossible to navigate the web without a flash plugin, as I have always refused to install the proprietary one.
By Mitch Meyran
Gnash is the Free Software Foundation’s alternative Adobe Flash player. Version 0.8 is the third alpha release, and frankly, it rocks! It is also one of the first projects to be covered by the GPLv3.
Originally based on GameSWF, it is a reimplementation of Macromedia/Adobe Flash version 7, with some stuff from Flash 8/9 added. It is, right now, the most advanced free software implementation of Flash. And, as a matter of fact, it actually works well in many cases.
Nah, it's just me doing a coincidental look-alike.
A little over a week ago, the r500 reverse engineering project announced its first release. The driver is not yet functional and doesn't yet support the X1800 and above, but support is expected soon.
Why is this important to Gnash? Because a lot of people are interested in hardware OpenGL acceleration for Gnash graphics. Unfortunately, many recent 3D cards cannot be used with free software drivers, which is why some of our developers shy away from developing Gnash using the OpenGL backend.
The third alpha release of Gnash has just been made at version
Today I met Richard Stallman himself and a representative from FSF Europe, before he was giving a speech. To be honest Stallman had a though crowd during his speech on Copyright. Great guy, great mind, great logic. Really interesting and encouraging although some of the crowd seemed not to get his harsh criticism of the big companies and Digital Restriction Management. He also pointed out differences between Free Software (Free as in Freedom) and Open Source Software (Do you as me see a connection to Eric S. Raymond here? ;)).
In recent CVS, Gnash will play YouTube and Lulu TV video flash movies. Although there are still bugs to fix, the basic functionality (i.e., video playback :)) is there.
This is our main criterium for the next Gnash release, so after video playback has stabilised, we will be releasing a new Gnash.
Last night I added OGL support for OS X and fixed some build issues, now it's up 'n running albeit you must start X11 first.
Oh, gimme a home where the buffalo roam... Where the deer and the antelope play. Where seldom is heard a discouraging word. And the skies are not cloudy all day... or just a shot of Whiskey and Xanax would do just fine...