Adobe Opens Flash Format Specifications for SWF, AMF and Flash Video FLV (Open Screen Project)

Adobe is taking the inside lane in the industry it seems with the Open Screen Project. What does this mean? It seems like SWF and FLV formats are now largely open and licenses removed. With the XFL format possibly on its way (probably based on mxml) to replace closed .FLA files it is pretty clear that Adobe and Flash will see a large uptick in the mindshare. As well as looking to create a broader mobile platform for the flash player.

The Open Screen Project will address potential technology fragmentation by enabling the runtime technology to be updated seamlessly over the air on mobile devices. The consistent runtime environment is intended to provide optimal performance across a variety of operating systems and devices, and ultimately provide the best experience to consumers.

To support this mission, and as part of Adobe’s ongoing commitment to enable Web innovation, Adobe will continue to open access to Adobe Flash technology, accelerating the deployment of content and rich Internet applications (RIAs). This work will include:

  • Removing restrictions on use of the SWF and FLV/F4V specifications
  • Publishing the device porting layer APIs for Adobe Flash Player
  • Publishing the Adobe Flash® Cast™ protocol and the AMF protocol for robust data services
  • Removing licensing fees – making next major releases of Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR for devices free

This is big. It has mutiple prongs. Adobe would like to make Flash a common mobile standard, hrm no Apple on this list (it is probably a slight move there against that).

Adobe would also like to continue their lead of web video. And they finally are recognizing the closed format of SWF is not as desirable as an open one, there is still considerable control for Adobe over the player. But they get insights and contributions from many large companies to help make it work on their platform, engraining the format further. The providers, especially mobile and internet tv, will want to provide good user experiences to compete with the iPhone and regular T.V. respectively. Flash being open helps both of those markets.

Adobe is also moving further to open source key formats and technologies like the recent Flex 3 SDK and now the AMF format which was a roadblock. This is probably good news for servers like Red5 and also many other media servers and remoting services in many more place. AMF is particularly nice because it is a binary, extremely compact and limited bloat format. Without it being open it loses much of its benefit as a standard. Being open and a further crunching from the XML bloat services, this can be very good for many reasons such as throughput and faster services, apps and games with remote data.

Another reason is the desktop market. They want Flash to work flawlessly on Linux but they don’t’ have the manpower for a 2% market share. So this is a very smart move for the desktop players (AIR, and Linux Flash).

The only thing that partially makes it scary is the line up, Sony, Verizon, etc. As long as these are contributors and not partners in DRM crime then we have something. Hopefully they are in it to make better entertainment and mobile platforms cheaper.

Being able to peer into the code and a move to allow better open integration makes it a better platform, where better stuff can be built on top of that. Let’s hope it is done right. Everyone is making Apple look really closed and locked down lately.

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4 Responses to “Adobe Opens Flash Format Specifications for SWF, AMF and Flash Video FLV (Open Screen Project)”

  1. Tania Whitwam Says:

    The small telephone that has all the features this particular one has – is amazing. Email, via phone I is a last resport. Intelligence is of utmost importance and meeting are hardly longer than 3/4 of an hour these days. If I’m not able to remember what was said word for word in that time (I may get to the nearest bathroom and type up my minutes immediate), sorry you have employed an idiot. We have have to start using our own indivudual marketing and selling techniques – I don’t want to talk to a person that is constantly looking at a screen we could have had a video conference or just sent sales orders, received quotations and issued purchase orders. I love selling and believe once we put the personnal touch back. Not only am I extremely intelligent, (this is embarrassing – I am BEAUTIFUL as well as glamourous and totally professional). Perhpas you should consider making me an offer to be the liaion between your South African Marketing Operation and you major service provider – Another two plus points I have us that Im able to work with the best as well train and get really excited at the people who blosom – it takes a big person to that – there are no secrects. I trust you took the time to read this. I’m sure that you are quite happy with your company runs – but tou gave to stay there.

    Kind regards
    Tania Whitwam
    Electro & Mechanical Interface Administrator for and on behalf of Bombardier (Pty) Limited South African Division
    e: tania.whitwan@za.transport:
    c: Cell No: SA, JHB -072 193 6582 ** please try cell no first easiest way for you to get hold of me
    SA, JHB -011 997 8485

  2. drawk Says:

    Sunil, red5 is simply awesome… Fun, easy and now open.


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