Welcome!

Adobe Flex Authors: Matthew Lobas, PR.com Newswire, Shelly Palmer, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: Adobe Flex

Adobe Flex: Article

Open Source and the Flash Platform: What Should Adobe Do Next?

Does open source enable the growth of the Flash Platform?

Red5 is currently in version .2, a prototype release. The Red5 team anticipates a 1.0 release by the second quarter of 2006. Currently, Red5 can stream video to the Flash client and has also been used to push a live stream.

RTMP (Real Time Messaging Protocol) is a proprietary messaging protocol developed by Macromedia. RTMP is employed in Flash Media Server, and will also be used for messaging services in Flex Enterprise Services 2. In order to make Red5 work, the Red5 team had to reverse-engineer the RTMP protocol, a process which is explained in detail on the Red5 website.

One thing that's not completely clear to the Red5 team is the legality of creating such a product. Project manager John Grden commented: "As far as legalities of protecting the actual protocol, we don't have an answer. We've been told that if we're using a protocol for interoperability then we are fine within US law. However, we've been told by Macromedia that they have a right to protect what they've invested in, which would include FMS and RTMP. That doesn't mean that they're threatening us; I think that they're trying to decide what they're going to do. I think one thing that's clear is that they're unprepared for open source, and Red5 has caught them a little bit off guard."

Grden stressed that Red5 was not a "replacement" for Flash Media Server: "FMS has edge and origin servers and tools for enterprise deployments. We have plans for that, but that's beyond 1.0. Right now we're just trying to come out with a server that does the basic things that FMS does."

Frameworks: ARP and Cairngorm
ARP and Cairngorm are two examples of pattern based frameworks for Flash development.

ARP, developed by OSFlash coordinator Aral Balkan, is appropriate for Flash or Flex development. Like Cairngorm and other frameworks, ARP provides a core set of lightweight classes to aid in design pattern based development.

Cairngorm is a framework for Flex application development, and has some commonalities with ARP. Cairngorm was developed by iteration::two (recently acquired by Macromedia). Alistair McLeod, RIA Practice Director (EMEA) at Macromedia and Cairngorm developer, noted that one key benefit of Cairngorm is the employment of accepted patterns. Cairngorm may be especially useful for Java developers who are transitioning to Flex.

"Cairngorm is based upon the design patterns used by Java enterprise developers and this makes it much easier for Java developers to reach across the divide into the Flash platform. We have already seen substantial evidence from clients that this framework has made it much easier for their enterprise Java developers to start working with Flex," said McLeod.

Balkan and McLeod both agree that the choice between ARP and Cairngorm depends on the project and the developers involved, and that in some cases a framework may not be appropriate at all.

ActionStep Component Framework
ActionStep is a project worth watching. Although not currently in a final release, the ActionStep team has made some interesting accomplishments in creating an open source component framework for Flash.

ActionStep is based on the OpenStep API specification created by NeXT which was later purchased by Apple. Developers familiar with Cocoa or GNUstep will have an easy time picking up ActionStep and diving into Flash development.

ActionStep promises some very exciting features, including layout components, a declarative layout language called ASML (a la MXML, XUL, or XAML), and simplified skinning. The ActionStep team, comprising Scott Hyndman, Richard Kilmer and Ray Chuan, anticipates that a beta release of ActionStep will be available for the New Year.

Screenweaver: Open Source Flash on the Desktop
Screenweaver started as a commercial project, but was later released as an open source project. Currently, Screenweaver 3 can be used to create Windows applications with SWF content.

An interesting development is the Screenweaver 4 project. Screenweaver 4 represents a shift away from the typical "SWF2EXE" approach and instead attempts to provide a toolkit for developers looking to create desktop applications that use Flash for the presentation tier.

On the difference between Screenweaver 3 and Screenweaver 4, developer Edwin van Rijkom comments: "SW3 is aimed at Flash developers who want to create Windows desktop applications using Flash. It does so by bringing Windows operating system functionality to ActionScript. Using this model, all application logic is contained in Flash and written by the Flash developer. At a high level, the SW3 GUI tool also offers several wizards for quickly putting together relatively simple projects like screen savers or small desktop widgets. SW4 is a platform for traditional desktop application programmers who wish to deploy Flash as a GUI for their application. As a result SW4 consists of a set of libraries these developers can link to. Additionally, the SW4 platform offers tools that manage the workflow between the traditional coder, and the Flash designer/developer that will be responsible for creating the GUI."

Screenweaver 4 is currently in Alpha release.

AFLAX: Flash, Sans ActionScript
Developer Paul Colton recently released a toolkit which supports a technology he calls AFLAX. The AFLAX project provides a small "bootstrap" SWF file which can be interacted with through JavaScript. The project is presumably aimed at AJAX developers who wish to use Flash for the drawing and video without adopting ActionScript into their workflow.

Using the AFLAX toolkit, a developer can instantiate ActionScript objects and create graphical assets using pure JavaScript on the client side. The Aflax.org website provides some compelling examples (most of which are ported from ActionScript examples) that are based completely in JavaScript.

But Wait, There's More
As with any platform, the role of the developer community is essential to the success of the Flash Platform. When we look at the open source community surrounding Flash, we see a dedicated group of developers working incredibly hard to create tools to shape the future of the Flash Platform.

It just isn't possible, in the ambits of a single MXDJ article, to cover all of the great projects that are going on in the open source Flash community right now. For a comprehensive list of these projects, or to get involved, visit the OSFlash.org website.

More Stories By Jim Phelan

Jim Phelan, a member of the Editorial Board of Web developer's & Designer's Journal, is VP of Development and Chief Architect for Stream57, a New York City based firm specializing in communication solution development for the enterprise. Jim's expertise in creating solutions for consolidation and collateralization of business communications has allowed his team to create applications for the management and delivery of live and on demand rich media content. He is a strong proponent of the Adobe Flash Platform.

Comments (3) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
aardvark 09/15/06 05:05:55 PM EDT

Adobe reserves the right to close the file format when they feel ready. They have NO reason whatsoever to be concerned about whether or not the open-source community might create a better set of tools that make for a better workflow. I'd say it is a great strategy to "stay the course" till they've built a larger developer base and then slam the friggin door on the file format. They'll loose some die-hard open-source hippies, but man will they have a flock of desparate developers with no alternatives banging down the door to keep products afloat and updated. Want to avoid that problem? AJAX it. Use flash to create your pretty animations, use industry, open, standards to develop your web-based applications.

Paco Hernández 04/03/06 05:57:06 AM EDT

I would like just to leave a link to a little step by step document I have written that explains how to stream video with OpenLaszlo and Red5. I think should be interesting for the people currently using OpenLaszlo.

The link is http://www.openlaszlo123.org/?p=4

Best regards,
Paco.

Das CIO Weblog 01/12/06 06:35:32 AM EST

Trackback Added: Zeitschriften unterst?tzen Blogger; Die Zeitschriften des SYS-CON Media-Verlages in den USA bieten Bloggern einen besonderen Service. ?ber jedem Artikel gibt es einen kleinen Button "Blog", der dann zu so einer Seite f?hrt (hier am Beispiel eines Artikels aus dem MX Developer's Journal...

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusic will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Fusic Co. provides mocks as virtual IoT devices. You can customize mocks, and get any amount of data at any time in your test. For more information, visit https://fusic.co.jp/english/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ryobi Systems will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd., as an information service company, specialized in business support for local governments and medical industry. We are challenging to achive the precision farming with AI. For more information, visit http:...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Keisoku Research Consultant Co. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Keisoku Research Consultant, Co. offers research and consulting in a wide range of civil engineering-related fields from information construction to preservation of cultural properties. For more information, vi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. B2Cloud specializes in IoT devices for preventive and predictive maintenance in any kind of equipment retrieving data like Energy consumption, working time, temperature, humidity, pressure, etc.
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Daiya Industry specializes in orthotic support systems and assistive devices with pneumatic artificial muscles in order to contribute to an extended healthy life expectancy. For more information, please visit https://www.daiyak...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Interface Corporation is a company developing, manufacturing and marketing high quality and wide variety of industrial computers and interface modules such as PCIs and PCI express. For more information, visit http://www.i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Mobile Create USA will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Mobile Create USA Inc. is an MVNO-based business model that uses portable communication devices and cellular-based infrastructure in the development, sales, operation and mobile communications systems incorporating GPS capabi...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Greg Gorman is the Director, IoT Developer Ecosystem, Watson IoT, will provide a short tutorial on Node-RED, a Node.js-based programming tool for wiring together hardware devices, APIs and online services in new and interesting ways. It provides a browser-based editor that makes it easy to wire together flows using a wide range of nodes in the palette that can be deployed to its runtime in a single-click. There is a large library of contributed nodes that help so...
Elon Musk is among the notable industry figures who worries about the power of AI to destroy rather than help society. Mark Zuckerberg, on the other hand, embraces all that is going on. AI is most powerful when deployed across the vast networks being built for Internets of Things in the manufacturing, transportation and logistics, retail, healthcare, government and other sectors. Is AI transforming IoT for the good or the bad? Do we need to worry about its potential destructive power? Or will we...
SYS-CON Events announced today that mruby Forum will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. mruby is the lightweight implementation of the Ruby language. We introduce mruby and the mruby IoT framework that enhances development productivity. For more information, visit http://forum.mruby.org/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Suzuki Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Suzuki Inc. is a semiconductor-related business, including sales of consuming parts, parts repair, and maintenance for semiconductor manufacturing machines, etc. It is also a health care business providing experimental research for...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Nihon Micron will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Nihon Micron Co., Ltd. strives for technological innovation to establish high-density, high-precision processing technology for providing printed circuit board and metal mount RFID tags used for communication devices. For more inf...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SIGMA Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. uLaser flow inspection device from the Japanese top share to Global Standard! Then, make the best use of data to flip to next page. For more information, visit http://www.sigma-k.co.jp/en/.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, will discuss how data centers of the future will be managed, how th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enroute Lab will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enroute Lab is an industrial design, research and development company of unmanned robotic vehicle system. For more information, please visit http://elab.co.jp/.
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
The Internet giants are fully embracing AI. All the services they offer to their customers are aimed at drawing a map of the world with the data they get. The AIs from these companies are used to build disruptive approaches that cannot be used by established enterprises, which are threatened by these disruptions. However, most leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rene Buest, Director Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Ara...