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Re: [Fsfe-uk] BBC trial of embedded Flash video

From: Jon Grant
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] BBC trial of embedded Flash video
Date: Mon, 21 May 2007 00:27:25 +0100
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20070103)


Ciaran O'Riordan wrote on 20/05/07 14:58:
Jon Grant <address@hidden> writes:
GNU supporting Adobe's Flash format is a shame.

The goal of the GNU project is to make it as easy as possible for people to
choose to never use non-free software.  This means we need free software to
do the jobs that people use their computers for.

Agreed, the pragmatism prong of an broad strategy, to help those who are
not convinced on a purely FS "ideas" basis.

If I were them, I would
have put all my effort into

This is where campaigns differ from corporate initiatives.  When a
corporation starts an initiative, they know how much resources they have.
With campaigns, you're relying on external support, and you can't predict
what that will amount to.

On this issue, both approaches were tried.

Do you mean trying an initiative and a campaign? or trying to develop a plugin and
media component of a browser at the same time?

Gnash is the GNU project to develop a free Flash player.  Surprisingly, its
developers have raised ten million euro in funding for it's development.  So
this effort has been more effective than any planner could have predicted.

10M, great! I hope some of that money can be put towards a migration
path away from Adobe's Flash, to a modern media, animation, scripting
system which is Free Software and cross-platform compatible.

For the other approach, FSF have launched http://playogg.org

This looks like a good counter to MS's PlaysForSure, I raised an idea along
those lines with RMS (back in 2004 as I remember it).

GNU don't promote Word
documents now that OOo has great support for the file-format:

True, and I don't think they will ever promote Flash either.

By developing a single pronged "implement flash plugin" strategy isn't
that what they've done though? Also they would not put up an "anti flash"
statement, like they did with MS-Word. Maybe they've not seen how many sites
rely on Flash now...

...if the strategy does change, they may be stuck with all their code in
a plugin based format, and not written as part of the browser
framework/core/engine etc.

I expect that when GNU Flash is complete, Adobe will accept that there is
no gain from proprietary Flash plugin then, and open it up to us. Shame it
always takes a replacement implementation to achieve that! ... but then
we still won't have the modern, media capable browser software I was
hoping for!

Cheers, Jon

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