Week In Review

Where we’re at (major end-user visible items):

  • Sound sounds great thanks to a new, 100% ALSA framework; look at that beautiful A/V sync!
  • Thanks to all the responses on Penguin Eyes; after trying 3 different webcams (it’s not like we don’t have loads laying around the office) I found one that works with the spca5xx driver (also, thanks to the Gentoo Portage system for making driver installation simple); one of the other cameras made my Linux machine crash; anyway, the webcam support works again in Linux Flash Player via Video4Linux (API v1)
  • ActionScript 3.0 engine runs

Quick question: Does anyone know why the bcm5700 network driver, GPL-licensed and available for download from HP, is not included in the Linux kernel? Long story but, wow, it would sure help our development process if it was.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that this has been a big week in Flash-land. Flash Player 9 is officially released for Windows and MacOS X/PPC. Further, MacOS X/Intel Flash Player was released as beta this week.

Flash Player 9 for Linux is still… in process.

50 Responses to Week In Review

  1. cartman says:

    V4L v1 is about to be get kicked out of kernel for 2.6.18 if not then its going out soon in June afaik. Because its deprecated long enough. So unless you want to be outdated use V4L v2.And it sucks still no Linux player, though it promised to be released along others *sigh*

  2. Ismail: Today is the last day of June. Perhaps the removal is scheduled for June of next year?

  3. somebody says:

    The file Documentation/feature-removal-schedule.txt from the kernel source has July 2006 as its removal date.

  4. cartman says:

    s/June/July sorry, thank somebody 🙂 But note that it never happens on time, so it might be in 2007.

  5. Lee Revell says:

    Regarding the BCM5700 driver, see this LKML thread from 5 years ago.It seems that the code was not of acceptable quality to be merged, and no one ever fixed it. (The kernel developers won’t just merge any buggy driver – the author has to submit it for review and fix any problems that are raised. Apparently no one bothered to do this.)

  6. Lee Revell says:

    Actually, you can delete my previous post. The tg3 driver supports this hardware.

  7. Lee: Actually, I tried the tg3 module and it doesn’t take. I wonder if there are special options I need to make this particular hardware work (a NC324I gigabit)?

  8. BobSnopes says:

    Doesn’t the tg3 driver work for bcm57xx just fine aswell? But not with such crappy code.

  9. BobSnopes says:

    Disregard my above comment. Damn caching, or late acceptance of the comments before me.Cheers.

  10. Jethro Zappa says:

    Flash Player 9 for Linux is still… in process.Posted by Mike Melanson on June 30, 2006Can you throw out an ETA? Guess?

  11. Area51Mafia: No worries; these suggestions are motivating me to dig a bit deeper…I see that the tg3.c kernel module specifically mentions a number of 57xx models. This is with a 2.6.16 kernel. The install media I am using for this new computer is based on 2.6.12; I wonder if the driver was updated in the interim? I tried using lspci to identify the devices and everything related to Broadcom (bridges and ethernet controllers) are listed as “unknown devices”.

  12. Jethro: Please see what the Flash product manager has to say about official release dates:http://weblogs.macromedia.com/emmy/archives/2006/05/yes_virginia_th.cfm

  13. I suddenly find myself learning more about PCI than any normal end user should have to know. Like the fact that Intel has a vendor ID of 8086. Nice. Anyway, the master PCI db at:http://pciids.sourceforge.net/does not list the IDs for these Broadcom devices (not yet, anyway). That doesn’t seem to bode well for support. Or does it?

  14. BobSnopes says:

    It doesn’t have the IDs? The pci.ids file has the ID for the NC324i Gigabite BCM5714 as:103c 7039.

  15. Lee Revell says:

    I don’t know about pciids.sf.net, but bcm5700 hardware is definitely supported in recent kernels. 2.6.12 is ancient!

  16. Sterling Christensen says:

    Woohoo, A/V sync! Thanks for the good news. Can’t wait for an alpha/beta.

  17. Steph says:

    Well ,I had a bunch of comments about all the people complaining abou this and that, but the last blog wouldn’t let me post.. and now everyone seems to be making constructive comments instead!I do have a suggestion:Please consider releasing partial build, Alpha (or pre-alpha builds) to test just individual components.For example, when you have the re-written audio framework going.. post an alpha with all the video disabled, just the audio and let us check that everyone’s computers can play sounds ok.. I’m sure there are plenty of very experienced users out there who know how to swap around plugins in our browsers to test a single part of a flash player so you can get some feedback.Undoubtedly you will get loads of “x y z doesn’t work.. you suc” message from people who failed to read the readme with a partial build, but hey, you will get plenty of usefull feedback too.

  18. cem ozturk says:


  19. Nick says:

    I could not agree more with releasing early alpha builds. We’d love to see it and track the progress, even if crippled audio is the only thing working.Understandably though, Adobe’s legal dpt. might throw a fit without having each user go through a 20 page disclaimer and waiver of damages. If that’s all that’s holding back pre-alpha builds, just hint at it and we’ll start bugging them on a daily basis to write us one.

  20. Yeah, that card should work FINE with the tg3 driver. We use a lot of them.My mailserver right now is running the BCM5702X chip using the stock Linux tg3 controller on a gig port and we have no trouble at all.0000:02:03.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM5702X Gigabit Ethernet (rev 02)0000:02:04.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM5702X Gigabit Ethernet (rev 02)Module Size Used bytg3 84996 0This is under SuSE, which has a funkmeister kernel, but I also have a newer board running the BCM5704 chip that I built and ran under Slackware with a stock korg kernel and it works fine. We transfer about 4tb to it a week.

  21. danboarder says:

    Thanks for all the work. Wish I could join the team and help develop…I’m using Eclipse and a lot of tools from http://www.OSflash.org to build Flash-based web apps, contributing to more Flash users around the world :)Anyway, keep up the great work.

  22. kaida says:

    It’s always frusturating having to start the Windows version of Firefox+Flash8 to get to watch youtube and such.Thank you guys for your work on the linux port for 9.I can’t speak for other linux users, but I really appreciate it.

  23. ryan says:

    sooo with such a HUGE company as say, Adobe, you would think that they would be able to release a crossplatform application all at once. What’s the hold up, seriously? I appreciate what you are doing but honestly, no new flash since version 7? And now we still wait? Many could have very well passed away waiting for this version 9 to supposidly come out.

  24. mBG says:

    I suppose there’ll be no Linux/PPC version again…

  25. Hi Mike,keep up the good work! I want to be one of the first to test the Flash Player 9 Alpha/Beta for Linux when you release it. 🙂

  26. macewan says:

    This whole thing has become very insulting to the Linux community.Our time line is pre-release late 2006 with full release early 2007?

  27. Limulus says:

    Sterling Christensen has the right idea with the partial builds; consider http://www.catb.org/esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/cathedral-bazaar/ar01s04.html“Linus was treating his users as co-developers in the most effective possible way: Release early. Release often. And listen to your customers.”If you have something that is even remotely usable, please post it for testing!

  28. ryan says:

    Don’t take me wrong, it’s nice that there is some progress on this, but you would think from a large-scale company such as Adobe that they will actually put out? Seriously, if we were promised flash 9 for linux why can’t it be released along side of all the other platforms? I’m sure it can’t be that hard. Here we have been stuck with stoneage flash 7 for such a long time that maybe even some of those that have been waiting have passed away from natural causes or accident.It has been made clear that linux users would enjoy to sink their teeth into some new material and here we still sit as we try to wait for a huge corporation to complete a simple task. Some OSS projects have even been creeping up on successing this development. And I just HAVE to ask, whenever this flash 9 for linux comes out, how much longer until we get 64 bit?

  29. PapaMoomin says:

    Adobe should dedicate more man hours to the Linux version of Flash Player. With full respect to the team, as I am sure they ware working hard on this, it seems the only real reason for slow development time is a lack of developers working on it. I won’t suggest Adobe should open source it as I am sure they have no intention of doing that any time soon, but getting at least a couple more Linux developers on the team wouldn’t hurt too much.Cross-platform support for your products now, will help you in the future against the mighty Redmond.

  30. nandhp says:

    I’m not sure this is the right place to ask about this, but is it possible you could fix the font problem? On many flash animations (e.g. jkrowling.com or About Flash Player, right under “Adobe Flash Player is Installed”) the text appears in some unreadably minuscule serif font instead of something readable. I’m using FP7 on Ubuntu Dapper. I know this problem can be fixed by reconfiguring fontconfig or xfs or something in some bizarre way that I can’t remember, but that really shouldn’t be necessary. Thanks, nandhp

  31. Agreed with Steph, we (the community) are mostly made up of very experienced, technical people.Even if you wont Open Source the player (I know that decision’s not your job) you could at least let us do some unit testing for you.The Open Source community are a very highly motivated, skilled workforce, prepared to work for free. Adobe would be mad to not take advantage of such an offer.

  32. Sorry for double-posting but have you seen GNU Gnash? It’s at: http://www.gnu.org/software/gnash/Am sure we’d be interested in your thoughts on the matter, and you’re impressions if you’ve tried the product.Is it better written than the Adobe version? 😉

  33. RQ says:

    Great!Can you expose any more details on the plugin, like the whether or not you’re going to use any toolkit for its interface, and so on?Btw., i’m sure this is not the correct place to ask, but would it be possible to make middle click in a flash link open the link in a new tab, not new window? This should, of course, be consistent throughout all the supported platforms…(btw., your blog errs too often when submitting comments)

  34. Johnny says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate what you’re doing here, but I have three concerns.Why are you wasting time worrying about network drivers? I see no reason this has anything to do with the development of Flash.You’ve been told that v4l v1 is being phased out, and you’re still coding it in!? This seems like a complete waste of time whether or not it’s July 2006 or July 2007. Either way, the code will have to be revised to work with newer kernels, resulting in an even longer delay.Last, have you thought of asking for help from the people developing Gnash? I’m sure they would be more than happy to help get this out the door as soon as possible.

  35. matteo says:

    I’ve just bought a SonyPSP and i’ve discovered it has a web browser to surf via wireless.Then it downloaded FLASH PLAYER FOR PSP and now can play swf sites.WTF you bother the linux port being difficult when you already ported flash player on a stupid MIPS machine with 32MB ram, no MMU and very weird/unusual hardware??Lier…

  36. Mark says:

    Hey, great to see you’re posting more often now — I had checked a couple of times after your initial post but gave up after a while…Anyway, can you say something about future versions?What I mean is, once you’ve got FP9 ported, can we expect to see future versions closer to the Win/Mac release dates? And, thinking about the assembler syntax problems Tinic wrote about almost a year ago, is there some of your work even going back to the Win/Mac development, i.e., will they use GCC from now on to faciliate development of future versions for all platforms in parallel? Finally, will the Linux player perform (at least 🙂 as fast as the others?Thanks for your work and for keeping us updated!

  37. bloody says:

    Sorry if I’m hammering on this but I still want to know about AMD64 support. Wrappers don’t work well and using a 32-bits browser is not the best solution as you have to have all 32-bits plugin (i.e.: totem integration doesn’t work)

  38. macewan says:

    This is almost funny at second look. Linux itself is a work in progress.Where would we be if all the different projects out there had waited until they were ‘finished’ with perfect code. GNOME, KDE, X.org – hell for that matter – Firefox, OpenOffice.org?How long has Google been in beta? Like 46 years or so?

  39. nonnano says:

    ALSA? You used ALSA? DAMN!That will be horrible to get working on FreeBSD and Solaris 🙁

  40. Adam says:

    This is called Penguin.SWF. Its for Linux porting, not FreeBSD and Solaris. And quite frankly, ALSA sounds a lot better on Linux than OSS (not that I am trying to dismiss any-BSD or whatever).Maybe its just me, but Linux is getting less and less UNIX-y, and more of its own system, which is neither good nor bad, but just how the community is choosing to develop. But that does means that other platforms might not get the free ride they once got before :-(Of course, for TRUE cross-platform programming, he could have used gstreamer, but that would anger KDE. Or maybe SDL, or anything else, but there will always be some drawbacks to whatever tool is chosen.

  41. TonyB says:

    A modularized audio system would probobly make everyone happy, allowing for anyone to write a shared object file for the output method of their choice, like gstreamer, oss, alsa, esd, or any odd sound system.

  42. kevin Stange says:

    I may just be wasting my energy here, buy why are so many people FLAMING Adobe for re-porting their player to Linux? Why nitpick about release dates and availability on other platforms. The POINT is that Adobe is bringing Flash for Linux back into play, and you all who have wanted it so passionately should be excited. Angry makes no sense.

  43. IVANCSO Krisztian says:

    We want Flash Player 9 ASAP for x86_64 also! 😉

  44. Just a quick note here: 100% ALSA framework sounds as if Flash 9/Linux will completely drop OSS output.This will mean however that it cannot be used any longer on the *BSD operating systems, where running whole browsers or just the plugin in a linux binary compatibility layer has been common practice for a long time – the *BSD sound subsystem only supports the OSS API.

  45. EnviroTO says:

    I’m not sure if you read comments attached to old posts but this posting mentioned V4L v1. I hope V4L v1 is an intermediate step to implementing V4L v2 in the final Flash Player 9 for Linux. V4L1 was sheduled to be removed from the kernel in the 2.6.15 release but I gather it hasn’t happened yet. In any case, since Flash Player 9 is just being developed it doesn’t make sense to code to a depreciated API even if it hasn’t been pulled out yet.

  46. John Gaunt says:

    Great to see Linux is finally going to catch up version-wise. Is there a beta list to get on? I’d like to get a copy as early as possible. I work on the linux version of Songbird and right now Flash is the only thing that works for us (allows us to access it’s methods via js). But the v7 oss implementation is apparently causing trouble, anxious to get a version that plays nicer in the sandbox.Cheers,r5

  47. RG says:

    It looks like it will be another 6 months for a Linux to be available, and you already know we all wish it were going to be sooner. I won’t push you guys there, I’m sure you want to see Flash on Linux as much as we do.But our basic problem is that many sites are going 100% Flash and require Flash 8 or later. I understand that Flash 9 includes features that are not necessary for viewing websites (i.e. videocam support). Is there any way you guys could release a limited featureset Flash 9 as an interim release? What I’m envisioning is something that would let users browse Flash 9 sites that don’t make use of (many) new Flash 9 features. I’d be comfortable if it didn’t get me 100% of such sites, since right now I’m at 0%. Flash 9 Intermediate would have disabled menu items for new features that aren’t ready yet. This might even be the current Flash 7 player updated to pretend as much as possible that it’s Flash 9 when talking to websites. Sometimes this would work, sometimes it wouldn’t. But right now a growing number of prominent sites don’t work at all.The engineer in me is screaming that VMWare got multimedia/a VM/etc. working on Linux, what’s taking Adobe so long???I was just starting to not hate Flash, and then I moved to a Linux desktop…

  48. Bert says:

    As a lot of people I wonder why flash for linux takes such a long time. It’s not only that a couple of geeks aren’t able to consume websites deployed for flash 8+.We’re just decided not to use Macromedia Breeze for eLeaning-purposes at university, because lots of workstations (they all have good Quickcams, Headsets to use with ekiga) are running Linux and we were not able get the Quickcams to work with Flash 7.Adobe should mind that these decisions rest for the next lets say three years, where thousands of students won’t get in touch with Breeze and a lot of them may multiply their experiences…

  49. jec says:

    About the bcm57xx driver, it will *never* go into the kernel! The TG3 driver is in fact a rewrite of the bcm57xx done right. The bcm57xx driver is just crap according to jerlen developers.At the beginning, it was closed source, so the TG3 driver was made, with less cards supported. Later, the bcm57xx driver was released open-source and the question of integrating it in the kernel was raised. But the network drivers developers said NO because cleaning the bcm57xx for inclusion would mean making the tg3 driver…So use the tg3 driver, forget the bcm57xx one.

  50. Pascal says:

    I may just be wasting my energy here, buy why are so many people FLAMING Adobe for re-porting their player to Linux? Why nitpick about release dates and availability on other platforms. The POINT is that Adobe is bringing Flash for Linux back into play, and you all who have wanted it so passionately should be excited. Angry makes no sense.The web should be open to anyone! Many sites are unavailable becouse of Adobe’s secret specifications and closed source!SVG might be the answer. 🙂