Monday, 31 July 2017 09:18

Call for Adobe to open source Flash spec

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Developers are calling on Adobe to open source Flash following the company's announcement on 26 July that it would be retiring the software by the end of 2020.

A developer who goes by the pseudonym pakastin has opened a page on GitHub with a petition to open source the Flash spec.

"Flash is an important piece of Internet history and killing Flash means future generations can't access the past. Games, experiments and websites would be forgotten," he wrote.

"Open sourcing Flash spec would be a good solution to keep Flash projects alive safely for archive reasons. Don't know how, but that's the beauty of open source: you never know what will come up after you go open source! 

"There might be a way to convert swf/fla to HTML5/canvas/webgl/webassembly, or some might write a standalone player for it. Another possibility would be to have a separate browser. We're not saying Flash player should be preserved as is."

He said he understood that there were licensed components that could not be released. "Simply leave them out with a note explaining what was removed. We will either bypass them, or replace them with open source alternatives."

The developer pointed out that there were some projects that had tried to preserve Flash but they were not complete because the Flash spec was not open.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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