See Vee

Some have wondered aloud in the comments section on this and other blogs, if this blog is a Machiavellian ploy to dupe Linux users into believing that there will be a Flash Player 9 for Linux. I certainly hope not as I would feel more foolish than anyone, given the amount of work I’ve been putting in so far to make Flash Player 9 work on Linux.

A few things you may care to know about me: I have been using Linux full time as my personal operating system since 1999. By 2000 I noticed that multimedia support was somewhat lacking. I did some multimedia homework and eventually started contributing to a few open source multimedia projects that you may have heard of, including xine, FFmpeg, and MPlayer (you can grep for my name in the source files).

Philosophically, I operate from the position that there is no technical reason that Linux can not have the same level of multimedia support as Windows or Mac OS.

In September, 2005, I happened upon Tinic’s blog post entitled “Porting the Flash Player to ‘alternative’ platforms” in which he mentioned in passing that Macromedia was looking for someone to port Flash Player to Linux. I applied for the job and now here I am.

20 Responses to See Vee

  1. Scott Baker says:

    You mentioned previously that one of your main concerns of flash on linux was performance. I’ve noticed that Flash 7 on linux pretty much uses 100% of the CPU and really bogs down my computer whenever I use any sort of flash video (google video, youtube, etc). Is that something you plan to address in Flash 9?

  2. sam says:

    Cool. It’s nice to know Macromedia cares about us Linux geeks who need their YouTube 😉

  3. Jure Repinc says:

    Personaly I don’t think this is a joke or a dupe and I thank you for all your hard work on bringing Flash to Linux users. Just keep the blog updated with status reports on your work. Oh and I hope you are not working alone on this. I sure don’t want you to get overloaded. Maybe you could also post some photos of the team here and of the working environment. Just keep up the good work, Mike Melanson (and the rest of the team).

  4. James C says:

    I just wanted to say thanks for your hard work.It’s good to hear from someone who really is involved in this after so many months of “linux support is coming, now hush and wait”.Any chance of general progress reports on the plugin or do you have to keep it hush hush (which is understandable)?

  5. David R says:

    Yes, some even some screenshots of an alpha running would be very exiting to many people I would think. But as above poster says, I understand if company policy prevents you from doing this. (I don’t think so though…as there were some alpha screenshots posted of Apollo)

  6. Finalhazard says:

    When is Flash Player 9’s beta coming out for Linux, anyways? The website has the Windows and OSX versions, but no Linux betas?What’s up with that?

  7. Scott B.: Regarding your inquiry about performance concerns, please refer to paragraph 3 of my post. To re-iterate, “I operate from the position that there is no technical reason that Linux can not have the same level of multimedia support as Windows or Mac OS.”

  8. Roberto says:

    Mike, that’s great to see that you are coding the Linux Flashplayer. May I suggest that you try to convince Adobe management to include the following open source codecs: speex for audio and dirac for video once it’s ready (or snow from ffmpeg, if that is still in active development and more mature)

  9. Sudrien says:

    To those who hope for screenshots – what do you expect to see? A screenshot of a flash 8 site dropped into konqueror?I was wondering if there were any functionalities that the initial linux version won’t support – and a bit about the technical reasons why.

  10. Gordon Miller says:

    Just give us a release date for an upgrade to the flash plugin for linux and quit stalling. Adobe has already lied about release 8.5 which never appeared. I repeat – give us a firm release date. If you can’t do that, then release the source and I’ll do it myself. That’s right, you’ve got some competition from an actual programmer.

  11. amd-linux says:

    Mike,I really wish you much success – I know that you will do your very best to get the stuff ported.However, one person for the whole port and maintainance of the Linux Flashplayer is a disappointment – obviously the Adobe management does not see the little Tsunami wave called Open source movement that is already growing and will become a monster when it reaches the shore.To me, Adobe will be the Compuserve/MSN/Prodigy of the new century – by not seeing a trend, they will be washed away with the wave as it happened to Compuserve et al when they did not see that the Internet will make their services obsolete.However, I should better adress this to the Adobe management – I know that you will do all you can to prevent this from happen.Maybe you could just talk to one of the Adobe counsels to ease the legal use of the Flash specifications – that would help a lot, until Adobe decides to open the sources of the Flash Player.Sorry for my bad English – I am obviously not a native English person 😉

  12. mark pinto says:

    Way to go, Gordon. What do you think you’ll gain by stepping on the toes of the *one* person who’s trying to help us out? Grow up.

  13. Daniel says:

    Thanks for your efforts!I was somewhat satisfied with the v7 flash player for linux released by macromedia, until more and more websites recently started moving up to flash 8. Now it seems most flash sites don’t work at all. (at least not on my two ubuntu boxes) So, we really need v9, and for the linux version to be kept in sync with the windows and mac versions. I guess I can dream! Thanks again for your work.

  14. marc says:

    I believe Gordon is right, and this is not a critic to Mike. Adobe must *really* commit to Linux and drop $$$ and resources to help Mike release as soon as posible a Linux ( and ohter platforms ) Flash port. MS is moving on, if Adobe really wants to compete with MS they must play the cards carefully and timely.( i.e.,1895,1914903,00.asp, )Learn from Google ( i have Picassa and Google Earth running on my Suse 9.1 box ). Google management use Linux and open source to leverage their competitive advantages over Microsoft. Learn from IBM, Oracle, and the list goes on.Linux is not anymore only for geeks. It is a true alternative product to Microsoft server and desktop offerings, look at Europe, Brazil, Asia, India, Germany. They are *replacing* lot of desktops and servers with Linux ( but sadly with a Flash player version very years old ).

  15. Mark says:

    I am glad someone is working on it, finally and your efforts are appreciated. But a single person to port all of Flash 8 to Linux? Are we going to have to wait another 2 years? This is seriously starting to hurt Linux as a modern platform, since so many websites are (unfortunately) switching to version 8. I am still quite angry with Adobe. It should have been a high priority for them to release versions for ALL major platforms AT THE SAME TIME or hold them all…

  16. Flash on Linux… right, let’s get on the clue train here, please.Micro$oft is betting the farm on a vector based presentation layer for Vista, it’s the only “feature” left in the upcoming release. They are spending billions trying to compete with the “platform.swf” tsunami, especially in the device/phone market which grows exponentially faster than desktop adoption rates, much less Linux.Flash, especially Apollo, might do the same thing for Linux – offer a vector based presentation layer for the OS. Except Flash uses just a few megs of memory for the engine vs. Vista’s pathetic set of hardware requirements.Who of the you Linux zealots has figured out how to do system calls From Flash to the Linux framework?Considering the push towards Linux by IBM, Oracle, Google and others of similar size – each using flash.swf as a preferred technology, it might be wise to skip complaining and get coding…Anyone familiar with market trends can see the ‘tension’ between Microsoft and Adobe is about this huge, total shift in technology from bitmap based presentation layers to vector based. YOUR interface design.swf or widget.swf stands every chance of replacing ‘the borg’s’ look and feel in part or across the board.When the time comes and Adobe’s products run best on Linux they will tear the heart out of Microsoft and move 20% of the market to Linux. Better that they should take their time and do it right.So what does your vision of the Linux future look like? …our’s is fly through –

  17. Ilya Konstantinov says:

    Dave Matthews, you obviously never looked into Flash, its format and its primitives. It’s very lightweight and full of those cute little hacks. The essense of SWF is around playing a movie, frame by frame, and it’s a wonder people manage to make all those applications with it :)With all due respect to Flash and its creators, it’s super-useful for web multimedia application but is simply not a good baseline for a general purpose programming framework.

  18. Well, I am pleased to hear that someone is working on it. But it’s only one person!Please, and this is not personal, give the GNU/Linux community the respect we deserve.After all it’s us that will suffer when showing off our beloved OS to a prospective new user. They’ll make the assumption that “Linux doesn’t work,” when the reality is completely the opposite: Open source works, closed source fails miserably!I would be very happy if you proved me wrong.

  19. Jo Longo says:

    Thank you for your hard work.I believe that all the Linux community is appreciating this.Will you use Cairo as basis for graphic stuff?

  20. Saul Goode says:

    I was reading up on Adobe’s eXtensable Metadata Platform (XMP) format ( and ran across the following statement:”The advantage of the proprietary system is the ability to exclude any application or solution vendor from doing any extensions. This narrow and exclusionary philosophy has never been part of the Adobe business philosophy.”Is MacroMedia aware that its closed proprietary Flash 8 format is in violation of the Adobe business philosophy?Seriously, talk to the new owners and get the Flash format (re-)opened. As a respected contributor to the Open Source software base, you should be well aware of how much easier it will make the task assigned to you.