Minimal Widget

I see that there is still a lively debate concerning our choice of user interface (UI) toolkit for Flash Player 9. To review, we selected GTK, mostly because the Player 7 codebase we started with already implemented a bunch of stuff with GTK.

Everyone has their own favorite toolkit. I just wanted to write this post to advise people not to get too hung up on this UI issue because Flash keeps its interaction with system UI toolkits to an absolute minimum. In fact, I am authorized to post a screenshot showcasing one of the major uses the Player has for a UI toolkit (click for full context, including Firefox browser window which depicts a small SWF from our vast internal testing suite that isolates Flash’s file upload muscle):

file upload dialog box

EXCLUSIVE!!! First screenshot of Linux Flash Player 9!!!

There is a file upload dialog, a file download dialog, and a few advisory dialogs. That’s basically it. Otherwise, Flash is famous (infamous in some circles) for being the engine upon which UIs are built.

Here is a hypothetical: what if the Flash Player were to detect during runtime whether it should use GTK or KDE/QT facilities? The biggest issue here would be reliably and automatically detecting which kit to use. Is there one standard method to query what desktop environment is running and which the user would prefer? Based on the Global Domination thread, I tend to doubt it.