Schedules of Open Screen Project

There was lot of attention given at Techmeme today to the HTC Hero announcement. I saw a few headlines with ambiguous titles, though, which could confuse readers.

Mobiles with regular Adobe Flash Player 10 capability are expected to begin shipping in volume in 2010. Adobe expects to provide a developer preview version of this engine at the MAX conference in October. Manufacturing partners in the Open Screen Project have already received earlier versions of this work. Current shipments will be using the current version of the mobile-specific profile, Flash Lite 3.1.

We’re in a transition year. Adobe combined mobile and desktop Player teams to pursue this effort early in 2008, and publicly announced the Open Screen Project in May 2008 (more info).

This year we’ll be seeing more mobile Flash capability delivered in the existing mobile profile. (It’s shipping, release-quality software.) Towards the end of this year we’ll start seeing real results of having a common engine across desktop and mobile. But it’s really next year when the volume of this mobile integration starts to become significant.

It’s hard to know precise schedules. Look at the manufacturers involved in the Open Screen Project — their release schedules are their own, and they each make different decisions on when they need to lock down their production schedules, when they make public announcements. I was surprised by the Internet television announcements made in January. These partners have a wide range of interests. We’ll see specific news on their schedules. Best advice may be “Be prepared to be surprised.” 😉

Some asked today “Why did it say Flash, instead of Flash Lite?” That’s because it’s all now, at base, just “Flash”, whether mobile or desktop, Flash or Flex or AfterEffects or whatever. The ecology is far bigger than a single development workflow or a single delivery channel… we’ve seen a grand unification of the different niches over the past year. The “Flash Lite” version basically boils down to a versioning difference, one which we’ll soon erase. It’s all the same Flash Platform.

But the above is the general schedule. We’re significantly along in development now, working closely with a variety of important partners, and expect to have a public preview later this year, with widespread deployment next year. Until then most shipments will be of the existing mobile version.

The goal is to make it easy to publish to any screen. SWF is first, rendered by Adobe Flash Player, and the goal is to follow this with HTML in AIR. Whichever way you wish to construct a screen, a presentation, an application, a service — it should just run, on any type of digital display device.

Should be a fun ride. 🙂

8 Responses to Schedules of Open Screen Project

  1. richard says:

    I appreciate the branding unification of Flash and Flash Lite from a marketing perspective, but won’t this ultimately lead to more confusion for the consumer (and developers) as the mobile player will inevitably have a subset of the functionality of the desktop version?
    [jd sez: Good point. We’re moving away from fragmentation of the codebase across devices, but will always have profiling of the current device — instead of codebase versioning, we’ll be asking “Does this device have an accelerometer? a large screen?” etc.]
    Also, what kind of 2010 handsets are we talking about here? Both Android and PreOS seem to have fairly comprehensive development environments using technologies other-than-flash.
    I’m afraid the end result might be similar to Flash on the desktop: while it is far more capable than people realize, the vast majority of Flash implemented on the web is banner ads and videos (for which Flash is becoming increasingly redundant). Are we just going to end up in a situation where “Flash on mobile” means “banner ads on mobile” (and a tiny minority of decent applications?)
    As a long time Flash developer, I’m seeing a lot more promise in alternative development environments (Cocoa Touch, PreOS, AJAX, etc.) than continuing proprietary development in Flash. [jd sez: They’re all “proprietary”, with some measure of “fragmented” added.] Added to the news that Adobe is faltering economically, this doesn’t give me much confidence in Flash as a platform for the future.

  2. Asa Dotzler says:

    jd/adobe, if they’re “all ‘proprietary'” which entity would you say owns and exercises private ownership and control over Ajax?
    – A
    [jd sez: Another attempt to score points on extraneous material in comments? This has nothing to do with the Open Screen Project and mobile delivery. Regardless, “Ajax” is a marketing label applied to Microsoft’s text-retrieval, after it became fashionable by being added to Firefox years later. It’s not a runtime in itself, but is executed by various groups’ runtimes, each of which is controlled for self-interest in its own way. (ie, the idea “Ajax” is not “proprietary”, but is expressed by each controlled browser brand.)]

  3. Asa Dotzler says:

    jd/adobe,
    I’m still confused. So which entity would you say owns and exercises private ownership and control over Ajax? You’re saying it’s Microsoft? Mozilla?
    [jd sez: You’re ‘way off-topic, persistently so, and you raise the reading costs for people actually interested in Open Screen Project. Still, as noted above, “Ajax” is not a thing like a runtime is, but the various “Ajax” runtime vendors each control their individual “Ajax” runtimes. See “Let’s Use Microsoft Runtimes!” for more on such basics.]
    I mean, proprietary means that someone owns it, right? And that that owner exercises control over it, right? So maybe you can use smaller words and shorter sentences that I’m more likely to understand.
    Or maybe you could do one better and just provide a one word answer: the name of the entity that owns and exercises control over an important set components of the Internet Web browser runtime commonly referred to as Ajax.

  4. Asa Dotzler says:

    jd/adobe,
    I’m not responding to some off-topic commenter. I’m responding to your words at this post which are misleading at best, and intentionally so at worst.
    Ajax is a set of Web runtime techniques and capabilities that are mostly well standardized and implemented with solid consistency across browsers.
    The techniques are owned or controlled by no one organization and so cannot fairly be said to be proprietary the way that features of the Adobe runtime are.
    Your attempts to mislead deserve comment and you make them “on topic” when you post them in the comments here.
    If you don’t want people responding to what you write in a blog post or comments in a blog post, then why not just ban comments?
    Or you could just arbitrarily delete comments that bother you and invent various ex post facto justifications.
    [jd sez: One online debating tactic is to keep going off into half-a-dozen different topics, trying to pick fights when the main issue cannot be addressed. It’s more persuasive to address one issue before diverging into the next.]

  5. Asa Dotzler says:

    jd/adobe,
    I thought I addressed the main issue quite well. You asserted that Ajax was proprietary and I called you on it.

  6. Brian Lesser says:

    The Open Screen Project is, at least in part, about bringing the full Flash Player to as many devices as possible. I imagine it has required some serious re-engineering work to make the Flash Player perform well on mobile processors that are not only slower but have a lot less cache than desktop CPUs. That work, and solving other problems, has taken time. Consequently we won’t see the results until the fall. In the mean time developers like Richard may consider developing native mobile applications or using AJAX.
    The word proprietary means that an owner exerts control of their property. When looking at mobile development options, which are certainly related to the Open Screen project, some developers will consider using proprietary solutions (to develop native applications) and some will prefer not to use them. In my view calling AJAX proprietary was incorrect. However, it was not always so. Microsoft introduced a proprietary Active X control called XMLHTTP. Other browser providers introduced the XMLHttpRequest object and a draft XMLHttpRequest proposal was finally written:
    http://www.w3.org/TR/XMLHttpRequest/
    Finally, IE 7 shipped with native support for the XMLHttpRequest object. In my view after IE 7 support was added and a W3C sponsored working draft was written, XMLHttpRequest was no long “proprietary” nor was it seriously “fragmented.” It is now something every browser provider must support along with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Each browser may be considered proprietary because it is effectively controlled by an individual corporation, but each must implement certain W3C recommendations which no single company has complete control over. XMLHTTP requests started as a proprietary feature but is not proprietary as of sometime last year.
    jd, for what it’s worth, I didn’t read Asa’s response to your “jd sez” as off topic or particularly distracting.
    As for the Open Screen project, I’m looking forward to seeing what Adobe has accomplished – in my case I’m especially interested to see if there are significant ActionScript performance improvements.
    In the mean time I’m working on some modest AJAX mobile applications because they work across many devices while I wait.

  7. John Dowdell says:

    Hi Brian, the original quote in a comment up there lumped together apples and oranges (a device, an OS, a loose set of JavaScript features) and compared them positively to “proprietary” Flash. I pointed out that each of them has their own “proprietary” aspects, as well as exclusionary aspects.
    Asa was involved in digressions on two previous blogposts in which I had to close comments. Particularly as he objected to something that was an extraneous aside in someone else’s comment, it’s rilly off-topic to the material discussed above. I don’t feel like having my blog become a publishing site for anyone who wants to ignore what I say, while creating irrelevant fights.

  8. Asa Dotzler says:

    [jd sez: Note to readers, this isn’t about Open Screen Project either.]
    “I don’t feel like having my blog become a publishing site for anyone who wants to ignore what I say, while creating irrelevant fights.”
    I wasn’t ignoring what you had to say. I was, as a matter of fact, responding specifically to something you DID say — here in this discussion.
    Or maybe I wasn’t responding to you. Maybe it was this person claiming to be called “Richard” impersonating you with the bold text that said “[jd sez: They’re all ‘proprietary’, with some measure of ‘fragmented’ added.]”
    (can anyone type bold content here and pretend to be you?)
    [jd sez: I’m not really jd/adobe. Heck, I might not even be Asa impersonating jd/adobe. Without some authentication here, I’m as good as anonymous.]
    (apparently so.)
    If that was so-called “Richard” pretending to be you then I apologize.
    If, on the other hand, it was actually you, then I most certainly was not ignoring what you had to say. I was doing just the opposite and paying very close attention to what you had to say. What you had to say was bs and I posted a comment expressing that.