Basic Beta Briefing

Our current schedule for releasing the final version of Flash Player 9 for Linux is early 2007. Many readers have understandably requested a beta version before that time.


Yes, we do plan to release a beta version in advance of the final version. However, it will be a beta in the classical software engineering sense– i.e., a version that we believe to be largely bug-free and submitted to the users in the hopes that the last of the bugs will be found and reported.

Why are we stubbornly refusing to release, say, an alpha version now? Primarily because there are known bugs in the Linux Flash Player, and because we know what the bugs are, and we are on track to fix these known bugs. If we were to release an alpha now, we would likely be inundated with reports about bugs we already know about. We think that processing such redundant reports would not necessarily be the most industrious use of our time.

So, the beta will come. Watch this space.

68 Responses to Basic Beta Briefing

  1. Kavey says:

    Right on. Keep up the good work. I’d love to get my hands on Flash 9 sooner, but I agree with the sentiment. People are just impatient. I’m trying my best to remain patient, but it’s hard. I already can’t visit quite a few flash based sites anymore.

  2. Arrrgh. says:

    If bugfixes for known bugs are on track.. then how about a schedule for a alpha/beta release?Releasing an alpha release with a set of known bugs may actually be worth while.A bugreporting system similar to bugzilla may be useful.Disabling the buggy features is an option also for an alpha release. Get the features you know to be working tested at no cost by others. These are people willing to have their systems crash to test your product and ruin months of uptime.

  3. Anders Aagaard says:

    sweet, I was under the impression the beta would be internal. I’ll be looking forward to watching flash with audio in sync 😉

  4. SixDays says:

    Get a move on! We are eagerly waiting!

  5. Trip Ericson says:

    Fantastic news! I, for one, am more than happy to wait, knowing that a beta WILL be coming out and that you’re working on known bugs prior to release of said Beta.I know some are less patient than I am, but I’ve lived this long without Flash audio; I can wait a little bit longer.

  6. Ron says:

    5 or 6 months, eh? Very disappointing.But… it’s free, so I can’t complain too much.Thanks for the update. We all actually do appreciate the info.

  7. Will the beta be done here like Flash Player 7 for Linux? possibility of a Standalone Projector for Flash Player 9 this time?(The last projector was in version 6. We are currently running it within xulrunner for our kiosk app to strip away all the browser short-cut keys etc…)

  8. David says:

    Better late than never I guess. Sounds like a lot of work has gone into fixing all the stability, compatibility, and performance problems.I own a copy of Macromedia Flash, but I use Linux now, so I haven’t gotten much use out of it recently. It’d be nice to someday see that ported as well, but having an updated Flash Player for Linux is a good start.

  9. Rob H. says:

    How about releasing a Flash 7 FLV movie that shows the Flash 9 alpha!Heh.Seriously though, a Linux-compatible projector would probably go over well with the community.

  10. Mubashir Cheema says:

    Your reasons for not releasing an Alpha are sound.Here is another idea. Release an alpha and let people know that you will not be accepting bug reports on the alpha release. It would be worthwhile because the flash player that people are having to use today is really really bad. Just about anything would be an improvement over what we have today.

  11. Neil Calkin says:

    I am so sick of sites that use features of flash that I can’t runthat I would be *happy* to run abuggy alpha version. Heck, I’llpromise *not* to submit any bug reports!Neil

  12. Mubashir Cheema says:

    I too would love to see a standalone flash player 9 for Linux.

  13. Jim says:

    Any word yet on it supporting text better than flash 7? Because thats my only real problem with it.

  14. jon says:

    Awesome. Just awesome.Keep up the good work fellas.

  15. macewan says:

    I think most Linux users understand preBeta software glitches.

  16. Dakota says:

    I was gone all day, trudging through school work and web design work, and I come home to this great news!I can’t wait. (unfortunately I have to).One problem I have with Flash 7 on Firefox in Ubuntu is that I can’t have more than one flash animation load. Any others, on the same page or in other tabs/windows will not load until I close the tab with an active flash player movie. To be honest I have not tried to fix it much myself so I don’t know if it is a flash problem, a firefox problem, or just something funky with my installation.

  17. Aarrrg.. says:

    Dakota: I think it must be something specific to your setup. I am able to play two or more flash animations using different tabs from using flash 7 under Gentoo.

  18. Jairon says:

    Thank you =)

  19. Nick says:

    I could not agree more, a buggy, crashing, partially working alpha of flash 9 would be much desired among the community.I am willing to donate server space and bandwidth to host a bugzilla and keep all bug reports outside of adobe until an official beta comes.

  20. Jonathan says:

    Thank you so much!

  21. Dave Shuck says:

    As hard as it has been to be patient, it is has really been made easier by how open you guys have been about the project. Thanks for the updates.

  22. David says:

    Awesome, thanks for the info!

  23. Tim Lewis says:

    I’ve been following this blog, as many others have, in silence. I get the impression Adobe has a fairly negative view of Linux users. I believe you said we should consider our selves lucky that Linux is being treated as a first class OS, or something along those lines. That just isn’t fair. Linux is a very viable OS solution. It’s not the OS’s fault vendors don’t support it. I think it is quite signifigant how many people use it considering, for the most part, it is a DIY operation to get Linux up, configured, and optimized.With that said, I do hope your opinion changes. A lot of people will be very greatful you are putting this player out. Just between you and me, I dream of the day the Adobe Linux comes out. You could have a creative suite Linux that is configured and optimized for the creative suite, one optimized for video editing, one optimized for web authoring, etc. Leave out all the crap that bloats other OS’s and workstations. You would have the swiftest, most acurate, most cost effective workstation out there. I know I’m dreamin…but let me dream.

  24. Arren Lex says:

    Again, I think you’re confusing Linux users with your regular audience. Your regular audience expects polished perfection that does exactly everything it advertises. If they don’t get it, it will be a PR scandal, explode into a fiasco, Flash will lose all sorts of credibility, and cause headaches, frustration and support issues for all sorts of companies from all sorts of home users.We Linux users just want SOMETHING. ANYTHING. Just throw ANY BINARY at us from ANY POINT in your version tracker and we will be delighted. I don’t want a Flash player that has camera support and pixel-compatible rendering and perfect display of text. I want Strong Bad’s freaking mouth to move when he says things and not five seconds after! If it crashes so be it. If it’s buggy so be it. If it’s not feature-complete so be it. AS LONG AS IT’S SOMETHING! Tell us not to file bugs! Tell us we will not be supported! Tell us there are rendering errors! Tell us we will burn in the firey lakes of Hell for all eternity if we download the file. Just LET US DOWNLOAD IT! PLEASE! Is it too much to ask?!*weeps*

  25. Robert Mibus says:

    Looking forward to the beta! 🙂

  26. Just an echo of many of the things already said really.Great that there will be a beta before GA release (this really helps us as developers to test before the users get it).I still don’t understand why you can’t just open up the bug db, even read only, maybe even have the community clean out dups for you, and then you could release (say) last nights snapshot. I know what ‘alpha’ means, and I know how to rollback to Player7 if it goes bonkers, and I don’t care if its not feature complete. I just want something that mostly works, which it sounds like you have.However – I am in no sense your average Linux user, who probably just wants it to come when its ready and Just Work.

  27. inventedeye says:

    Thanks for the update. Under the circumstances, good call not to make work for yourselves by releasing early. However, after the release of LFP9, you should consider doing what RealNetworks have done with the Helix community ( The player is open source, and the release schedule is the same for all platforms.

  28. asd says:

    ADOBE HATES LINUXCome on man! Get a move on!!”Early 2007″ is a so far date..

  29. rhc says:

    It appears the day of many dreams when reading up on this thread. Give us a flash player for linux and we dream about all the other adobe code ported as wel ;).Seriously now, I’m not going to cry for alfa’s. I view flash as something that just has to work for an acceptable web experience. To that end I appreciate the work, and the communication in this blog. However I am somewhat irritated by the timing(seeing as hit has been a while since flash linux ‘just worked’).I appreciate the work, and the communication, and although SE dictates that adding coders makes late projects later (as mentioned in the interview). SE also has these intresting chapters on Planning and resource management.. If adobe wanted to really pamper us I’m sure they could have spent some more without upsetting too many stockholders. And have the projects virtually in sync. However we are a minority on the web .. so I’m not complaining.Conclusion: adobe good, not perfect; Linux Flash player … we’ll have to wait for that beta ..

  30. Jim says:

    I too am looking forward to the beta. However, I don’t think that Adobe’s justification for not releasing an alpha holds any water. As linux users we have be stuck with alpha quality software with Flash 7 for Linux for quite some time now, for which adobe has received many complaints and bug reports. Adobe doesn’t seem at all concerned that we have been using this buggy software for ages, but now we are supposed to believe they are concerned about exposing us to bugs in an alpha of Flash 9?If Adobe is worried about too many bug reports, then make it clear that you aren’t accepting bug reports. It’s clear to us that Adobe is hell bent against getting any help from the community (even if it’s just bug reporting) so this isn’t much of a surprise.But this is not a reason to furthur extend the Flash hell that Linux users are going through at the moment. I for one am more then willing to set aside my age old Flash 7 bugs in exchange for some fresh flash 9 alpha bugs, and I’m sure there are many others who feel the same.

  31. ubi says:

    RESPECT! 😉

  32. 1c3d0g says:

    Alright!/me patiently awaits a download link… 😉

  33. Jeremy says:

    in regards to the post by Arren Lex -I know you’re in a hurry to get this product, and I know you’re just as eager as I am to have a WORKING flash player for Linux, but you really should be greatful that Adobe cares enough about its Linux userbase that they want to put out a Flash player that’s relatively bugless. I’m extremely heartened that they’re even bothering – Flash is one of those Absolutely Necessary items for Windows migration to me and many home users.I am psyched, personally.

  34. What about my time??I’m trying to get Flash Sound back since hours! Come on… every offical Release of Flash Player for Linux had some visible Bugs… your current unstable cant be more worse then the current Flash 7.x for Linux. I dont want to speak about the many Flash Content i cant access cos Flash 7.x is too old :-|Just do not put it as offical download and write with big red letters “This Software contais known Bugs and has no final state”

  35. Intangir says:

    i think its great that adobe is supporting linux!

  36. n3ldan says:

    That makes sense, you know there a problems, so you fix the problems, then release a beta.Just hurry up 😉

  37. Humma Kavula says:

    Come on, release an alpha version already! I don’t care about bugs, better a version with bugs than none at all. Some people at adobe really don’t have a clue.Each day more and more websites are switching over to flash 8 as a minimum requirement. 2007!? How could they have a nerve to announce a release date that far away?

  38. Hells_Dark says:

    Just thanks to pay attention to ours comments. Keep the good job, and we’re waiting for you for a alpha (what about a pre-alpha ? ;).

  39. Mick Charles Beaver says:

    I love you guys for working so hard on this. Thank you!

  40. grumpy says:

    Will that be around the time Flash 10 for Win/Mac is released so us Linux users will have to wait again for a new version?

  41. RQ says:

    Uh, great! /me waits eagerly.I have a few considerations you haven’t answered yet.One is: will there be a standalone Flash Projector? I see Windows and Mac versions are now only distributed along with Flash. I really really hope Adobe would make an exception for Linux (we don’t have Flash yet, do we?) and release a standalone Flash Projector for Linux along with the browser plugin.And the other one concerns the licence/distribution. I remember you were asking something about it, and now I got an idea – I think it would be best if Adobe would provide the Linux Flash Player along with a license, that would permit repackaging. No reverse engineering, no hacking, but simply putting the player into a package. That would be best for ALL linux distros, IMHO.Please consider these concerns with your managers. And keep up the good work! 🙂

  42. Stoffe says:

    > But… it’s free, so I can’t> complain too much.Nah, it’s just gratis. ;-)The specs still have that ugly restriction on not making any players of your own, which is very non-free, and the code is of course closed.It doesn’t matter to most people I guess, but it is a bit sad that the technology of tomorrow is handled with the licenses of yesterday…

  43. Havokmon says:

    Mike, you ROCK! I just don’t want to ask how long it took you to find those nifty alpha and beta graphics.. Hopefully it was something Adobe just had laying around 🙂

  44. Josep Febrer says:

    First, congratulations for your hard work Mike.I read for a while on the Tinic Uro blog that with the Flash 9 plugin it was using the system cursor and not the hardcoded one, see: want to ask you if this will also be true in your port for Linux and if Flash 9 plugin for Linux will be compatible with XCursor?Also, which plugin API will use Flash 9, netscape4 or netscape6?Thanks, Mike

  45. dag says:

    I don’t agree with the reasoning to not do an alpha release. Whether it’s Open Source software or closed software, everyone gains if more people try it out and the sooner the better.If you’re concerned with known issues, just make those available as well. And who knows people might improve on the internal bug-reports. Even bug-reports can contain bugs, and even multiple end-user bugs can be addresses by the same bugfix.The reasons for not doing an alpha release are yet another insult to the Open Source community, where releasing often is part of the development cycle and important to be able to release something that is stable and production quality in less time.If Adobe is simply not used to Open Source development principles and is not using them internally, just say so. But don’t tell us alpha-releases (or regular releases) do not work because of the sheer volume of known bugs, because that is what we have been doing for 10+ years and it has worked out very well.It’s ironic that Adobe does not release often because it fears to bring out a crappy product. Because not releasing often is known for crappy closed software.If you don’t want the Open Source community to help out in development, that’s your choice. If you don’t want the Open Source community to improve bug-tracking, I guess that’s your choice too. But you’re not doing anyone (including yourself) a favor. And while we’re waiting we might have made Flash obsolete by the time it does arrive.

  46. So, if I understand right you think Linux users a stupid? Well, we are not. Some of us even are programmers as you are, and can very well see the difference between words and working code. We also know all the tricks to delay a release, and to keep other people out of the development.Personally I don’t like being treated stupid. That’s why I decided to not use Macromedia/Adobe products any more. That’s why I actively promote open source alternatives, and that’s why I influence others to follow this path. We have done many years of unpaid promotional work for your company by spreading your product – it’s over now.Go and try to find new slaves – we are not available any more.Greetings,Chris Hildebrandt

  47. jayKayEss says:

    I think the Portland project is working on this problem; for the time being, though, you’re probably better off w/ GTK. Thanks for thinking of us KDE users though.

  48. Andrew Isaak says:

    Dear Adobe,am I right in assuming a beta release in late 2006 of the Flash Player 9 for Linux?**That is NOT spelled out in the post**We in the Open-Source community are very proud of flash technology and fond users thereof.If you get done with beta 1by November we will love you even more!!Best RegardsA. Isaak

  49. Devlin L. says:

    I hope it comes soon… I have removed all the flash from my website due to most of my friends as well as I myself can’t even view it now that the hosting site switched to FP 9 already.Right now I’d take a buggy version over no version.

  50. NetVicious says:

    Hi! I readed in the interview adobe will add the videocamera option to the linux flash plugin v9. I understand this option should be in the plugin. But now more and more webs are using Flash 8 and 9 and the Linux users couldn’t view those webs. So I think videocamera it’s not so important as flash viewer, and this option should not take time and delay the exit of the plugin. So IMHO flash viewer should be first finished and the videocamera option could be added after.

  51. BuKToP says:

    Nightmare!Adobe is just like M$ :(So many Linux users and they threat us like a “second hand” people.Don’t release it at all. A company like Adobe can not release a new Flash Player for almost an year. Bla-bla…Well I think Adobe can do it, but maybe it needs more developers. Not just two or three home workers.For one year people can release a whole new distro, a whole new kernel. But Flash Player?! Nooo… The hardest piece of soft in the world. The most difficult code around. Come on!Don’t release it at all! I don’t care! I am not a second hand person… The Linux will continue, Adobe will not! So sooner or later I will be the winner.

  52. badllama77 says:

    I love that flash is free, buut we could really use an improved release schedule in the future. This one is pretty long, and while I have confidence in its release in early 2007, we are a full version and a year behind right now. I didn’t care til recently but with the current market penetration more sites are switching to the latest technology and preventing us poor linux user from viewing them properly if at all.

  53. Mr Fiddlehead says:

    Add me to the list of annoyed linux users concerned about the number of sites that require flash 8, or don’t seem to properly detect the version and just plain don’t work.Good luck to you in your bug list. I know what it’s like, although I have always tried to write code without bugs in the first place, but thats another issue 🙂

  54. “Go and try to find new slaves – we are not available any more.”My god, the unbridled rage and sense of entitlement within the Linux community never ceases to amaze. Where do these people come from?Mike, I don’t know why you even bother to post, but thanks for your efforts. You must have the patience of a saint…

  55. Jetpeach says:

    Regarding the rage of the linux community- I think it’s just how sick we all are of dealing with secondhand products from companies. It certainly frustrates me a lot that linux is held at a small market share almost entirely because of incomplete/crummy 3rd party software and drivers.And so some have vented their frustration here, but I would guess they will almost all be happy once Adobe is offering a quality linux flash version, regardless of what they’ve said here. We can see that the companies that have poorly supported linux (or not at all) have generally been this way for economic reasons – it still has a small market share.So being trapped in this state, held down simply because we are small, is very frustrating and we rage at times. But I think we can all feel very positive future. Once Adobe and other companies see that linux’s desktop market share has grown and is rapidly growing, I’m sure they’ll dedicate yet more developers to linux products (and you’ll get a promotion 🙂 As most of us are delighted to see here, Flash is already well on it’s way. so I hope our bitching hasn’t annoyed you too much and you continue to keep all of us informed. I certainly appreciate it!

  56. Scott Williams says:

    Why notuse the traditional Linux software classification: Stable & Unstable???Release what you have now and don’t accept bug reports and list it as unstable (so enterprise linux types won’t complain), and that way the Linux community can at least have some better flash functionality.Also, a good alpha can greatly help the beta process…

  57. Mike Hodson says:

    I also wish that you would release a “unstable” binary just so that I don’t have to depend on crossover office + IE6 to browse the bloody internet nowadays. Today alone I’ve been told to upgrade my flash player 5 times. HELP PEOPLE LIKE ME LIVE WITHOUT MICROSOFT!

  58. sphelt says:

    I do not condone the rage some have expressed here, but I understand it. I have come to expect some difficulty at times by sticking with a Linux-only setup. Unfortunately, my wife and daughter do not have the same patience or willingness to stick it out. I just had to explain to my daughter why she can no longer visit/use the Disney Channel website. She does not understand or care about software support or compatibility. All she knows is that she can’t use the computer and I can’t tell her when she will be able to. I do not harbor ill feelings toward Adobe, you are working toward the solution. I do harbor ill feelings at Disney though, they should have waited until they can service all of their loyal base before forcing the use of the upgraded Flash.

  59. Sprite_tm says:

    I agree with what’s been said before: it probably is better to release an alpha-version than to let us wait half a year: most of the people are glad the flash-8-movies will ‘sortta’ play instead of getting the omnipresent ‘Download Flash 8 now!’-banner. If you’re worrying about the bug-reporting-system getting hammered, just make the alpha expire as soon as a new version is available, and start every Flash movie with the notice ‘This is an alpha version. Don’t file bug reports’. As a long-time Linux-user, I’m used to some bugs, non-working things and inconsistensies in my programs, so I’d much rather get a Flash 9 beta now than getting working flash movies only half of the time.

  60. Baczek says:

    i’d kill for a beta and cripple for an alpha… provided it won’t leak memory, firefox is kinda enough ^^

  61. Flash4PS3 says:

    Flash on the PS3?I just want to say that Adobe has put together a great group of Devs, headed by Mike Melanson. They are doing more for the Linux community with their products than the former owners ever thought of doing.The PS3 will be launching in November in the U.S. and it will not only have a Linux kernel based Browser in the Hypervisor, but will feature Linux installed on the harddrive as well.In a matter of a few short months the Linux community will grow by millions and it will be family based from the sofa. So I hope that a Flash Beta will be available by then and I’m sure Sony is hoping as well.But I’m sure Mike and his crew along with the entire Adobe Family are aware of this and are doing their best. As Sony knows only too well you can’t rush quality !Keep up the great work, and remember people, Mike is of our Linux family as well.P.S. No I don’t work for Adobe, nor do I know anyone that does personally, but I am an Open Source Developer and know coding from the inside! ;D

  62. cushioncritter says:

    The decision to get Flash developers moved to Flash 8 long before having any Linux player for that content may have Linux users promoting partial alternatives to Flash like SVG, since they might reasonably expect this pattern to be repeated in the future.We are tireless promoters of PDFs over Word docs, for example, because we need to be able to interoperate with Windows users without using Windows. But new versions of Flash and acroread will have DRM, and will apparently lag far behind the content we need to view. So Adobe will force us to use Windows, but not the Office suite. I think promotion of Adobe formats pdf, swf by Linux users will be ending.

  63. cynical says:

    i’ll believe it when i see it.adobe hasn’t exactly given us many reasons to take their word for alpha and beta would at least show me that someone is doing something on the project.

  64. reza says:

    its not like the current stable version works any better than an alpha … i for one would be happy if i had something i could watch all the nonworking pages.. even if they work without sound or with bugged graphics or whatever.dont get me wrong i appreciate the work but everyone seems to praise work they have never even seen. not to mention the design choices i for one would never even have done. to me that “were trying to make a perfect release” thing sounds like… ah well nm i guess you get the pointbottom line: frustrating … better than nothing … yet very frustrating

  65. RomeroGT says:

    If we were to release an alpha now, we would likely be inundated with reports about bugs we already know about.So you will have a lot of bugs you do not know about reported late, so Adobe will end releasing FP9 in late 2007. Betas work in advance to final releases, it seems you want a Candidate Release.

  66. David says:

    I agree with RomeroGT! Give us your “alpha” and call it beta. There will be 100 work arounds for the bugs your facing within days. We don’t need a RC release to provide useful feedback!

  67. Sarah says:

    I can’t wait to spread the Beta around. My site get’s many hits from Linux users – it’s a shame they can’t see any of the content though! (Flash 8).Keep up the good work and we will do the rest with the Beta when it’s out.

  68. Sun Joo says:

    Any stand alone flash player version for linux platform yet supporting swf games ?