What’s So Difficult?

What could possibly be so difficult about porting the Flash Player to Linux?

I’m glad you asked.

The executive summary of what follows would probably be: ensuring that a single plugin binary functions on the widest diversity of Linux/x86 distributions within reason. Read on for the details.

First, we take the existing Flash Player 7 Linux code along with the current revision of the main Player codebase, modify the Linux-specific stuff as needed, and get the plugin to compile in the first place. Then we upgrade the Linux-specific parts to take advantage of all the latest v8 and v9 features. Which APIs to use? That has already been covered in copious detail throughout previous posts.

While we have the plugin limping along on our development machines, there comes a point where we need to hand off builds to our QA team for testing. This is when we notice that the plugin works great on our dev boxes, but hardly or not at all on any other distributions. Generally, the problem is libraries, libraries, libraries. For example, the player dynamically opens libasound.so to dig out the ALSA audio functions. I recently learned that the ‘libasound.so’ symlink is only available on systems with the right devel packages installed. The proper file to open is ‘libasound.so.2’. Hopefully. Repeat for the rest of the dynamic library loads.

Things get more painful when the plugin refuses to load. The first line of debugging is the ‘ldd’ utility to see if the plugin is finding all of the libraries it wants on its new host system. A major problem has been that the plugin wants to find libstdc++.so.6. Certain older Linux systems that we are trying to support only have libstdc++.so.5. This is not something we can plausibly dynamically load at runtime as in the case of libasound.so.2. This is why I wanted to know how to statically link libstdc++.so.6 with the main binary– larger distro range.

Many thanks to participants on the Automake mailing list as well as my contacts at Red Hat, we actually figured out how to do this (it has to do with the way to toolchain is built vs. specific project built options).

Next problem: The plugin does not load on stock Fedora Core 5 or 6 systems. All the libraries are present and resolving this time. So what’s going on? These systems come “hardened” from the start and they don’t like binaries that contain something called text relocations (“textrels”). These textrels are caused by 2 things in this case:

  1. statically linking libstdc++.so.6
  2. manual assembly language optimizations

For number 1, we embarked on a new adventure to build a super-special custom toolchain that builds libstdc++.so.6 just right so that it can be static linked with the plugin without those nagging textrels. The ASM optimization bits are giving us some problems but Tinic thinks he has a way to make those functions play ball in order to create a fast binary. So now the plugin works on hardened Linux or SELinux or whatever the right buzzword is; it works with a Linux distro that uses the security feature of randomizing a program’s base address.

I hope I’ve answered your question.

118 Responses to What’s So Difficult?

  1. ArmEagle says:

    Ok, so it works. Time for a beta! :)…I enjoy reading this blog so I can follow the progress. Thanks for that, and speedy progress!

  2. Chris M says:

    How about the short answer:Because we *choose* to make it difficult…Chris

  3. digital says:

    Why there is a need for “ensuring that a single plugin binary functions on the widest diversity of Linux/x86 distributions”? Why can’t you make several packages, like Opera does for example?

  4. Todd says:

    why not release, find bugs, patch… release, find security flaws, patch… repeat ad nauseum. Seems to work for Microsoft.

  5. Zbigniew L. says:

    If you have to builtin static libstdc++.so.6 into flash player, please provide alternative ‘lightweight’ version without this blob.It would be nice to see ‘lightweight’ alternative flash player version without any hardcoded libraries.This is very important due to security reasons. I can install patch or updated library as soon as it is released. Sometimes in less than 24 hours to keep system protected.If binary flash will have all libraries builtin, it is wise to not install it, or just remove it when any security/stability bug will appear in one of libraries sticking inside huge flash plugin. Static libraries make programs very big.I understand that some older systems do not have required libraries and Adobe is trying to reach compability with as much distros as possible.Flash plugin for windows is not required to be compatible with MS-DOS 1.0 or Windows 3.11 so very old Linuxes should be avoided too.Linux is not Windows so security is really very important.For example take a look at skype for Linux. They provide dynamic and static packages.

  6. Victor says:

    I’m glad that there is some work going into the development of the flash plugin for linux. I find it quite unfortunate that it is so far behind the Windows and Mac versions.Perhaps the bigger problem lies with the content providers. Why do they require only the newest flash player? Google Video and YouTube work fine with the 7 player. Why can’t others follow along? Frustrating…

  7. matt w says:

    Adobe makes it hard for themselves because they stil don’t know what linux actually is.

  8. obviously says:

    Obviously, what would speed this up quite a bit would be open sourcing the effort, instead of relying on one guy. What jerks you are, though: you pervade the market with this hidden-source plugin, then fall out of sync with the Linux community, and still expect to have friendly relationships with the FOSS world? Why should anyone care about your stupid problems or your lack of ideas about how to do something that hundreds of other projects do (build packages that can install on various Linux distros)? Flash is a cancer on the web — on the world, for that matter. It is antithetical to everything Linux is about. All Linux users should avoid Flash like the plague, and support FOSS alternatives. Screw you and your lame, late, talentless effort.By the way, this isn’t an “off topic” “request” for you to open source the effort. This is an angry rant about the entire existence of your project. You are a jerk for participating, and for expecting any goodwill from the Linux community. I hope you get fired.

  9. Huey Van Iadore says:

    Cool. Thanks for keeping us updated on your progress.

  10. Stefan says:

    Mike, I think digital is right (and Ralf Wildenhues also pointed this out on the automake list) – why do you want a ‘catch-all’ binary? Just provide one for libstdc++.so.5 and one for libstdc++.so.6. And one statically linked, but that may cause problems – Ralf pointed them out.I’ve had similar problems on HP-UX, linking libraries compiled with standard C++ mode (-AA) with others compiled with classic C++ (-AP); short answer is: it doesn’t work, and you don’t want to deal with the unpredictable problems this kind of setup can cause.Also, as far as I remember, Adobe offers a custom version of the player for every Windows version you choose, so this wouldn’t be much of a pain.

  11. nauj27 says:

    Thank you for write progress here. I think this is the right way better thant make several packages for each distro.

  12. Rich says:

    Just hurry up! Nothing takes this long. The bottom line is that Flash has no intentions of releasing a linux version.

  13. Yarick says:

    Chris M: no. Because Linux people make every effort possible to ensure absolute incompatibility between different distros, even between single distribution+version of the distribution, but different level of freshness.

  14. arrgh.. says:

    This is starting to look more and more like vapourware. This is starting to look a little like another “Duke Nukem Forever”? If you have not heard about it then see here under “Development timeline” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_nukem_forever). Just when they think they are ready to release they find out another list of reasons not to release. There is no perfect software developed by Adobe or anyone else in the commercial software industry. People can only strive continually to make perfect software. If you do not release anything in the meantime you have vapourware.I heard no one make any claims to even try to synchronise releases of the future versions of flash. Who is to say that by the time flash 9 for Linux comes out (if ever) it will not be made obsolete by flash v25? This seems to be somehow wrong that flash has a built-in windows endorsement all of a sudden.I only hope a free (as in freedom) alternative or a complete replacement to the flash paradigm catches on soon. It may happen sooner than a current version of the adobe flash for Linux. Until then I will use: “Wine” + “Firefox windows” + “flash 9 for windows”. I know it is a pain but you can actually share saved information such as bookmarks using soft links between the windows and Linux versions of Firefox. It is better than chasing the flash 9 for Linux mirage.I am tired of seeing people beg for a almost current version of flash for Linux instead of understanding what is happening. Please do not beg, find other legal ways to make an effective protest.

  15. Pascal S. de Kloe says:

    The thing you notice by reading this blog is that you are always bussy with very simpel problems.A libstdc++6 dependency is perfectly acceptable for such a modern plugin. The more conservative users will stick with Flash 6 for a long time anyway.PSShow some respect towards hardening.

  16. Vincent says:

    Opera is not a one-click install from withing the browser. Plus, it’s a lot of work 😉

  17. SYNERGiST says:

    as the above person says, just do it like opera!

  18. hmm says:

    digital, let them cope with one as a beginning 😉

  19. Ben says:

    I agree with some of what “obviously” said.Open sourcing or simply releasing betas would speed up your effort significantly. The past 6 months I have worked with a few open source projects and the majority of bugs filled in these projects are from the community, not from the developers.There are a ton of people interested in Flash on Linux. Some of them are hostile and probably won’t do anything to help you but a great many more *will*. If betas are released people will file bugs. If the source is released people will write patches.Also, I suggest reading Eric Raymond’s “The Cathedral and the Bazaar” (not the book, the essay). It will reinforce what I’ve just said.http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/cathedral-bazaar/cathedral-bazaar.ps

  20. Have you recently taken a look at the license terms for libstdc++? Last time I looked, it was GPL. If you statically compile it in, you just forced the source release for the Flash Player, too. If you only dynamically link it in, since it’s considered part of the system platform, you only need to provide enough glue to enable “recompile” (or more accurately, relinking) against the latest, installed libstdc++ copy.Ie, what you REALLY want to do is to distribute in a form which can be linked to platform libraries at installation time. GPL zealots will thank you though if you continue with the static linking, but your employer might not…

  21. baczek says:

    Opera provides separate packages for different distros (and different versions of those) and a generic rpm/deb and it all works. I can’t really understand why you’re going over such big hoops other than trying to prove it’s almost possible 😉

  22. Ryan says:

    Obviously:Some people actually need to feed their families. Don’t judge someone for working for a company that does not open their software.As for flash being a cancer on the web: It just proves how good of a product flash is. You can have your opinion and never go to any sites that use flash. No one is stopping you from banning those sites for yourself.

  23. Derek Meek says:

    Just release one for libstdc++ 5 and one for 6 instead of statically linking – statically linking is a practice GREATLY frowned upon in the unix world and WILL cause problems, especially with critical security updates to the package you’re statically linking – becuase your module is vulnerable to the security exploit that would have otherwise already been fixed with dynamic linking when the person updated their system.You provide different binaries for each different version of windows, I’m sure you can have atleast two versions of linux.Or better yet, open source the player – there is no reason for the player to not be open source. Allowing people to write the player for their own systems gives your format wider reach with lower effort on your part, and then you can concentrate your effort on your authoring suite, thus allowing you to raise the quality of your authoring suite without additional costs.

  24. TiCL says:

    Some of these pro-FOSS comments are mind-numbingly dumb. It seems like a fusion between Slashdot+Digg trollers.

  25. David Finch says:

    If it gets too difficult supporting all major linux distros with a single binary, you could always release multiple binaries.

  26. Chris says:

    I’m so sick of the flash vaporware for Linux.Plenty of other companies release software for Linux, it shouldn’t take three years. Yes there are challenges, solve them and get moving or open source.Hopefully developers will avoid flash like the plague. Especially considering their Linux support history and Linux’s growing market share.I am glad that it is being worked on, but the half hearted effort is disappointing. Sadly you are going to continue to get a lot of crap for your companies poor decisions.

  27. Matt Rix says:

    An Open Source Flash player is a BAD IDEA. Flash’s main strength is that it works IDENTICALLY no matter where you run it. I don’t want to have to start developing Flash for multiple versions of the Flash player. It’s bad enough with HTML/CSS, and that’s child’s play compared to Flash.

  28. johnelgato says:

    Statically linking the libc++ is not a good idea.If you statically link to libc++, you need to honor the LGPL requirements : that is, you must offer to provide the binary of flash player for Linux as a set of object (.o) files so that people can recompile them (See the LGPL at http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl.html). The idea behind is that while the LGPL can be used in a proprietary software, end-users must have the ability to change this part of the program to suit their needs.

  29. WrongWay says:

    1. how long have you been working on this project?2. how many developers are working on flash for linux vs how many worked on flash for windows?3. Flash for linux is last app needed by my grandmother, to free herself from the microsoftopoly. How much is money is your employer getting from microsoft for dragging its feet with flash for linux?4. Do you really feel youve been given the resources you need to make this project succeed?5. If you do succeed, do you think flash v10 will make youre work a waste of time and effort?6. What happened to the original promise of simultanious releases on windows/linux/mac?7. Have you developed on linux before?8. Do you understand the GPL?9. Do you have a resume? Can we look it over to decide if this project is just lip service from adobe?10. Does all this harsh critisism get to you??? Or do you just ignore community feedback?

  30. Stoffe says:

    Thanks for the information, it’s very interesting to see how you are thinking, even though I also would like to see a dynamically linked version of the player in the absense of an open source one. And even more would like to lay my hands on a beta version so I could stop having to restart my browser after every flash film… please.Too bad about all the trolls you get – just know that it’s most likely very young kids thinking it’s the cool way to behave. In general, not even the hardcore die-hard free software proponents are like that, they just stay away from the program instead. Every “cause” has its (often juvenile) loudmouthed idiots.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Anyone who can’t bother to upgrade their libc is not a customer.

  32. webaugur says:

    libstdc++6 is licensed under GPL v2 with the special linking exception. Binaries may link or otherwise use libstdc++6 without that act causing the resulting executable to be covered by the GPL. Meaning, proprietary software (or any software under any license) is allowed to link against libstdc++6 without restriction (i.e., read the license included with libstdc++6 and you’ll see). This sort of special exception is used by quite a few libraries to make the library itself fall under GPL but not taint non-GPL code linking to it.

  33. netzkeks says:

    I don’t get the reason for libstdc++.so.5 because I don’t know which distro you try to support with it. Don’t forget, that Flash is a desktop tool and I’ve never seen a desktop older than the latest debian version. So please think about it again and don’t start with statical linked libs, because it’s a real high security risk.

  34. Simon C. says:

    For all the trolls who talk about the GPL and even ask if they “understand” how it works; I’ll just say that the STDLIB++ *is* LGPL-like *OBVIOUSLY* (more specifically, GPL+ no-linking restriction; just like, heh, all programming GNU stdlibs? what-a-surprise) so they *CAN* link with it without any license requirements. They can’t derivate from it without having the derivate code as GPL+no-linking-restriction (ie, keeping the same license), but hey, they don’t want to afaik.Cf (in any and all source files of the stdlib++ package):// As a special exception, you may use this file as part of a free software// library without restriction. Specifically, if other files instantiate// templates or use macros or inline functions from this file, or you compile// this file and link it with other files to produce an executable, this// file does not by itself cause the resulting executable to be covered by// the GNU General Public License. This exception does not however// invalidate any other reasons why the executable file might be covered by// the GNU General Public License.Linking “statically” or “dynamically” doesn’t change anything. So it’s perfectly legal (it would be better if Flash was F/OSS, but we know it’s not going to happen anytime soon).Please get a clue before posting. Thanks.Now, for people asking why it takes so long: surprise, getting software out sometimes takes time; stop complaining, and if you don’t care for flash, don’t whine :).They said early 2007, it may be before, just wait and hope YouTube doesn’t switch to Flash 8/9 before ;).Simon

  35. Simon C. says:

    Ah, I hadn’t seen that webaugur said it; heh I should read all comments but I couldn’t restrain myself with that much FUD ;)Oh, and please, yep, provide versions for different libraries with no stdlib++ within the package. I want Flash to have the smallest memory footprint possible. Please, pretty please? :)(You can still make the “all-in-one” package more visible on the website, just provide the lightest package possible for users and distributions who know what they’re doing. Thanks).

  36. amd-linux says:

    @obvious, wrongway, Chris M. et al:Please do not flame Mike or Tinic – while I think all these angry posts have their legitimation, you are “beating” the wrong persons.Better address that towards Emmy Huang, the Flash product manager. http://weblogs.macromedia.com/emmy/I am also beginning to wonder what prevents Adobe from releasing a Beta. The whole thing gets more and more smelly. As if the Acrobat Reader ever was perfect when released to the public….However, since obviously the counsels and not the sales persons dominate Adobe (just think about these ridiculous and (in German law) void restrictions for the Flash specs), I doubt that even Emmy would have the power to change things (if he wanted to do so, what I seriously doubt).Maybe we should start developing a Gnash like open player in a legislation where the legal restrictions for the Flash specs are void? I mean such as mplayer, libdvdcss etc.?

  37. anonymous says:

    In response to some previous comments I just have to point out the following:According to the documentation for libstdc++, it is GPL with a special runtime exception clause allowing for binaries to use it without having to be released as GPL themselves. This means its perfectly ok for it to be statically linked with a program that isn’t GPL.

  38. Gavindi says:

    Well amoungst all that has been mentioned such as static linking a GPL library & releasing two versions so .5 & .6 can dynamically link are quite valid.I think it’s time to drop libstdc++5 anyway as it is very legacy nowadays.I remember the stink when some distro kernels went to 4k stacks and everyones nvidia driver broke as a result.Sometimes you need to force progress.Thos who have to have libstdc++5 can stick with an older version of flash.I think the underlying matter is that these flash developers are under-resourced and they dont want to admit it. Adobe probably doesn’t see the value in giving themthe resources to make this product happen in a reasonable time frame.

  39. k12linux says:

    Another thing about libstdc++5/6 support. If there is something in v6 that you require for the plugin then you could always work more closely with the open source community. It may be possible to get libstdc++6 packages built for Linux distros going quite a ways back if needed. We’re not talking about hundreds of library files that would have to be installed here.Then you could release your plugin with a libstdc++6 dependancy and say go to this-or-that URL if the player complains that libstdc++6 is not found on your system.

  40. Erick Feiling says:

    As a Flash Developer and a long time Linux user. I really don’t like the way people are bashing Adobe. In fact just like most Linux users I don’t mind using the close source NVIDIA drivers. Why? Because I just want my system to work and I don’t plan on working on the Display Drivers anytime soon. So the same thing goes for the Adobe Flash Player. In fact if there was a better Flash plug-in out there I would have been using that one.I’m looking forward to the Flash 9 Player for Linux. Flash has a large user base making it easy to reach the users we want at the current company I’m working for. On top of that Flash is not just locked to one platform so everything I develop will work under Windows, MacOS X, and sooner or later Linux.

  41. Ceri Storey says:

    This is why I wanted to know how to statically link libstdc++.so.6 with the main binary–

    That might solve some of your versioning worries now, butthey’re just going to lurk in a dark corner like the child locked in a cupboard,and come back to bite you really hard down the line.And that’s assuming that the plugin only exports the symbols it needs to, soyou don’t end up with the program binding against the private version oflibstdc++. That’ll cause many problems, as you end up calling functions in the plugin version of libstdc++ with data formatted for the system version, which may well be imcompatiable, and hence the computer will end up talking the language of Chaucer to a modern englishman. Kinda.

    dynamically opens libasound.so

    Do you mean have ld.so link it in, or load it with dlopen? If the latter, thenhow are you going to handle loading a different major version of the library to the one you linked against? If you’re going to punt, then why not just use ld.so and weak references?

    These textrels are caused by 2 things in this case:

    If you’re going to do this, then the version of libstdc++ you link the plugin against should be compiled with -fPIC (to generate position independant code).

  42. Jon says:

    If you statically link anything in the GNU+Linux system into Flash, myself and hundreds of others will sue the shit out of you a thousand times over.

  43. freddfx says:

    I’m sure Adobe does _not_ own all the rights to every bit of code in flash, namely certain video codecs, meaning opening the source is a definate NO. so why do people keep bringing this up?also, they have to ensure that as many people as possible can install and use the plugin, because if it only works on 1 or 2 distros, then it would be a huge waste of time.Opera DOES NOT offer different binaries per distro, it’s the same binary… just packaged differently… deb’s for debian and ubuntu, rpm’s for redhat and suse, and so on…please cut the developers some slack, he posted a blog so people won’t be completely in the dark about the status of Flash9 for linux… appearently he cares

  44. macewan says:

    I think plenty of Linux users have given up caring whether or not Adobe releases Flash 9.The whole episode has been a marketing nightmare if you ask me. You’ve alienated a good portion of the Linux crowd by saying our platform is too difficult to deal with and you folks don’t really know when the hell you plan on releasing it to begin with.I for one will not beg a company to let us beta test their software – not one that has treated us in such a shitty manner.So how’s this, take your time in releasing Flash for Linux. Perhaps we’ll give a shit awhile after the release. Maybe just maybe I’ll consider using it again. As of right now I’m disabling Flash on my home desktop, my ibook and my office computer.

  45. 1c3d0g says:

    TiCL: that’s why we’ve excluded you from the community. Troll elsewhere freak.AMD-linux: it’s hard to do that if you don’t know the internals of the program. It’s only a matter of time though before the Gnash hackers surpass Flash in functionality/speed. And thanks for mentioning that manager, it appears someone is going to have a full inbox.

  46. lmf says:

    Ditto the questions about whether it is legal to do anything with libstdc++.Erick: Let’s suppose that you access the penguin.swf webpage using IE. For completely arbitrary reasons, the page is translated into Chinese. You get a message that says, “Use Linux to access this page.” Adobe has declared war on Linux by choosing to make the internet inaccessible. For some reason they like to support Microsoft’s monopoly and when you limit people’s choices, that gets them upset.

  47. pix says:

    isn’t the libasound.so -> libasound.so.2 symlink created by ldconfig? while it might technically be a problem of the distro if it is missing, would it be possible to include a run of ldconfig in the installer? (although this wouldn’t work for a user install, if you provide that option).i’m surprised you don’t just release a beta (call it an alpha, if that makes you feel better) for a nice modern stable distro like ubuntu and learn from the hackers that try and get it working on other distros. they will perhaps have to make strange ugly maneuvers, but you can do more graceful equivalents from the other side of the compiler.stand on the shoulders of giants, or at the least, some backroom hackers.by setting yourselves the goal of supporting a wide range of distros with your closed project, you are taking on the task of maintainer for all of those distros. most developers don’t even take care of this themselves, they leave it to a downstream maintainer.

  48. Jonathan says:

    Wow there are a lot of mind numbingly retarded, ungrateful, narrow minded biggots replying on here. Sheesh guys, if someone is doing a quality job for you and you’re not paying for it you have no right to complain.Thanks Adobe for considering such an insignificant market share. Thanks Mike Melanson for ignoring all of the ungrateful jerks out there.

  49. jwb says:

    Hi, I hate to sound negative, but it basically sounds to me like you haven’t got the foggiest idea how to build software for Linux.There have been lots of companies in the past that have tried to take their crusty in-house build systems and make portable Linux binaries. Invariably they find that their build systems are inferior to the standard automake system. And in the end, they will normally conclude that the best way to distribute the software is as a separate package for each major distribution or as a shell script that rebuilds/relinks the software on the user’s machine.

  50. proteus says:

    @lmf : I guess the equation is quite simple. What is the marketshare of linux in home computers ? What is the standard profile of a linux user ? Is it the main target for adobe/macromedia ? Simple ROI equation.Besides it has nothing to do with MS monopoly, Flash Player has always worked well on Mac OS for obvious reasons, and is not available on linux for obvious reasons as well.

  51. Bloody says:

    @jonWell, aren’t you a total asshole. It has repeatedly been said on this thread that statically linking libstdc++ is perfectly legal but you choose to ignore that just to spread more FUD.Where’s the heavier comment moderation we called for a while ago?

  52. Rob H. says:

    Jon, you aren’t a lawyer, so you won’t be suing Adobe for anything.Go back to Slashdot already with the rest of the anti-Flash trolls.Adobe may be slow with the Linux Flash player, but so was Macromedia with Flash 7. Looking forward to the public beta…

  53. Apage43 says:

    You could release not the source, but the compiled .o object files, with a script to link them to the correct libraries for the user’s system, and leave system-specific code. Many proprietary kernel modules do this, and have uncompiled ‘wrapper’ code so it can be compiled for the specific kernel, which is linked to the meat, already compiled, proprietary .o file.

  54. freddfx says:

    Adobe declared war on Linux??? How does one even come so such a conclusion?

  55. ahron says:

    lets face it adobe are corp. assholes that prefer other corp. assholes like apple and microsoft

  56. El Loco says:

    I think microsoft is behind all this …

  57. rummik says:

    Well, I’ve found it quite nice that I don’t have to deal with Flash 9 Ads… On the other hand, I would like to play some Flash games against my friends…*hopefully* this will come out soon, cuz I wanna play Dofus without sound lag. (speaking of Dofus, you guys need to fix the bugs that make Flash 9 incompatible with it before you release Flash 9 for linux XD (so much for perfect compatibility :P))Until then, I hope that you are able to release it soon. (and for the love of pearl, please hurry on this, I’d love to see some of the e-cards my friends send me)

  58. Abbas Khan says:

    It would be sad if the developers got discouraged because of some of the stuff people said and just decided to drop the linux flash player. Please be kind, and no more FUD.I’m just glad that the developers are trying so hard b/c i know from a practical standpoint adobe has nothing to lose if it dropped it’s linux flash player right now. (not to say that in the future they won’t need one… when linux rules the world…)

  59. Arrgh.. says:

    I would not bash the developers attempting get flash working under Linux. I am sure they are doing their best. There may well be others who can do more and better in the community, but these guys (both of them?) working on flash for Linux are all we have for the moment on our side. I doubt very much that they have a say in when to release flash for Linux, how much resources to dedicate towards the completion of flash for Linux any sooner or even for that matter, making flash open source. What they say on this blog may well be restricted to what they are allowed to say. Have you considered that some of them might even hold the same opinion as the angry Linux users here?If you want to be juvenile and vent at someone then find the pencil pushers in the upper management who have a say in these matters and fill up their inboxes. I only hope the management read these comments and take them to heart. Although, I am sure the pencil pushers there in adobe get paid big bucks whether there is a Linux version of flash 9 or not and they do not give a flying rats ass about the Linux or its users.

  60. Phy says:

    And Linux users wonder why the world hates them. -_-

  61. Bruno says:

    Hi Mike, just one idea that you might already have had:Instead of making the plugin work with many different distros in many different config, couldn’t you just build one good enough build that compiles in your Gentoo stable arch machines, and then tell the distros how they should work with the plugin?It’s easier to give everyone the prerequisites to make your program work with then than you try to please greeks and trojans at the same time.

  62. John says:

    “Just release one for libstdc++ 5 and one for 6…”You ought to do that. It makes sense, it’s easy and it covers everyone. Yes, idiots may not understand which one to download, but you could just link the right version to the right distro; like ‘fedora core 5 download here’ would link to the right libstdc++Surely that makes sense!

  63. Yarick says:

    Mmm.. All the “open source Flash, let community file bugs” crowds – please, do us a favor, join Gnash devteam. Can’t do this ? No skills, no time, no money ? Then shut the fsck up, you just don’t know what are you talking about.Mike and everyone @ adobe linux team – just do it right, don’t listen to crybabies – their cries are nothing more than kid’s disappointment his flashy (sic 🙂 new toy isn’t right here right now. Community of grownups patiently waits .

  64. Anonymous says:

    As this fiasco goes on and on, and the excuses get lamer and lamer, I realize that Adobe has hired a complete linux programming newbie to port one of their most popular and pieces of software.Sounds to me like they want to see this fail miserably. Where did they get this guy? Can’t even load a linked library? Doesn’t use automake? These are simple problems to pretty much any seasoned linux programmer.

  65. Anonymous says:

    @proteus I guess the equation is quite simple. What is the marketshare of linux in home computers ? What is the standard profile of a linux user ? Is it the main target for adobe/macromedia ? Simple ROI equation.Besides it has nothing to do with MS monopoly, Flash Player has always worked well on Mac OS for obvious reasons, and is not available on linux for obvious reasons as well.Do you know how this whole flash thing works? They give away the player and make money by having websites that use flash. And how many mac users are out there? Most studies show Linux with a bigger market share than Mac. They want to reach an audience that uses multimedia heavily. Are you really telling me that elementary school teachers are the heaviest multimedia users? There is no “ROI” calculation that would suggest mac is better than linux. When you make the web inaccessible to linux users, yes, you have declared war on them, even if that is a result of complete indifference to linux. Monopolies make everyone worse off, not just existing linux users.

  66. Fenix says:

    If disliking opensource and not wanting to share API specs with projects like gnash.. Why not porting the player lib to Java? In our days Java is fast enough to do the rendering and audioprocessing stuff, it works on every platform pretty much the same and C(++) source is not too hard to port to it in most cases. Furthermore Java runs on mobile systems – so flash media could be played *everywhere* with it. Of course it would be hard and expensive to get the grip with it at first – but later developing becomes pretty easy.

  67. jwb says:

    Regarding the market share of Linux: Adobe actually has more to lose than you realize. Flash is used in embedded devices like the Sonos music player, which runs Linux on a SuperH CPU. So they need to keep developing Flash for Linux regardless of the indetectable market share.Of course, I bet those licensees get access to the source code in order to build their own specialized versions of the Flash Player 🙂

  68. NoTiG says:

    If adobe is bothering to port flash, why not shockwave as well??

  69. jbus says:

    Fellow Linux users… It looks like it’s time to cut our losses and move on. Maybe this is for the best. Maybe better open alternatives will come out of this huge gaping hole that Adobe has left and is making very little effort to patch up.I actually had some hopes that Adobe was going to to succeed in releasing Flash 9 in a reasonable time period a few month back. Sadly though, that doesn’t appear to be the case at this point. Seriously, some of these “issues” that are holding up the release are just instances of Adobe making things much harder than they actually are. Listening to their endless excuses, one would think that they were porting all their applications to Linux, rather than just a browser plugin. Mean while, whole distributions will be born and developed in in the time it has taken Adobe to release a measly browser plugin. What a disgrace.Mike, I have nothing against you personally, but I think Adobe has set you up to fail terribly by not providing you the necessary resources to complete this task and not really taking your project seriously enought to back it effectively. Ultimately, I think if and when Flash 9 for Linux is actually released, version 10 for Windows and Mac will have already been released or imminent, rendering your current work osolete and starting us on the same drawn out path all over again.

  70. q says:

    Linux communities are known for many things, but wanting a single binary is usually not one of em :)just getting mighty tired of the “you don’t have the right flash, get it here”Nowadays I get these about hourly ..booo at Adobe

  71. Samn Liddicott says:

    Most distro maintainers will surely repackage what you provide, ebem if they do it in a subtle/sly way like debian/ubuntu and have the package installer do the download.With this in mind, the libc 6.0/5.0 problem need not be your worry.Let the packagers put a 6.0 dependancy in their package and leave it at that.At least do a dynamically linked version for package maintainers to use.

  72. Erick Feiling says:

    LMF, I can understand where you are coming from. At the same time I feel that Adobe is not blocking the Internet from Linux users the Web Developers are. The Web Developers could choose to compile their Flash content in Flash 7 or just use HTML and JavaScript. Flash 8 is faster, has a lot of cool filters and better support for video. I hate knowing that when I have to develop content under Flash 7.NoTiG as for your comment you have to stop looking at the Adobe Flash 9 Player port like the WINE or Mono projects under Linux. As for right now Adobe Flex is really the only tool that compiles stuff out in Flash 9. Even if a Flash 10 Player comes out you think it would be hard for them to use the Flash Player 9 code base and update from there?I for one do not stand beside Linux/GPL zealots when it comes to trying to open source this plug-in. In most cases a lot of Open Source developers are being paid by some of these big companies like IBM,Novell and even Red Hat to work on an Open Source project. It’s not like I don’t understand the joys of Open Source software. However not like most people on this form I do understand that these developers need to make a living.Now could Adobe Open Source the Flash 9 Player and pay these developers to work on it still? That’s something I really don’t know and the people on this form should ask Adobe that. The only thing I would really want to ask is for a 64-bit and maybe even a PPC Flash plug-in. Now, I don’t own an old Mac but it’s still about reaching more people. I don’t see why people are not even pushing for that.

  73. ricar says:

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY—————–Releasing Adobe Flash Player for GNU/Linux distros is difficult because is not free software.Period.

  74. GNEMAN says:

    Thanks for your hard work and your patience with our comments.I really don’t want to contribute to a flame war about the GPL and libstdc++, but I do really hope you make sure it’s legal to distribute your propietary code statically linked to that GPL+exception code. Because for what I understand, it’s legal to dynamically link to it, but not to distribute it statically linked with propietary code. That goes against the very core of the GPL.Here’s what they say about the exception:http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#LibGCCExceptionMy advice: drop libstdc++.so.5 and link dynamically to the latest one. I can’t imagine any desktop user using the old one and still wanting flash player 9.

  75. Chris Lees says:

    There’s not really a need for supporting very old desktop distributions, when they are mostly free to upgrade.The trolls should get a life, too. Flash Player 9 for Linux is not vapourware, and it cannot be open-sourced. Operationally, it is a success; now the installation issues must be addressed.If Flash Player 9 was “another Duke Nukem Forever”, then it wouldn’t have been demonstrated to a large crowd. Adobe has made a committment, and upped the ante.And let’s face it, if we’re nice, Adobe might consider getting a larger team to port Flash (the authorer program) to Linux too.

  76. Joeri Sebrechts says:

    I’m embarassed I was ever part of the linux community when I read these comments. You come across as a bunch of elitist pricks.Mike, you’re doing a great job. Keep up the good work.Critics: Not having binary compatibility across distro’s is a bug, not a feature. Automake is a workaround, not a better design. And if you think flash is so evil, provide me with an alternative, because I’ve looked at them all (gnash, svg, …) and none of them do even half of what I need for my projects.

  77. Jethro says:

    I can understand why Adobe wants a static player in the sense they want to make it as easy as possible to install and across the various distros. It does feel odd that Adobe is willing to increase (massivly) overall player download size though, given the fact Linux users are used to software having dependancies and like other posters have pointed out, the distro maintainers themselves will most likley want to package the app up themselves into there own package format. It also seems odd that Adobe are happy to delay release based on finding a way to staticaly link the whole thing based on the above points.Now I’m not knocking the Adobe Flash Linux team, but it does appear they all have little Linux development experience. Given this fact and the fact they are forced to work closed-source, I think they are doing exactly the right thing by seeking help from the Linux community. I really hope they listen hard to what everyone has to say as we then might actually see a decent FP9 come to Linux, within a sensible timeframe and something that is fairly easy for Adobe to update and maintain.

  78. By the time you learn the basic details about software development on POSIX/GNU, we won’t need anything from you anymore.Everyone who reads this, please help promoting and completing Gnash, the free (as in freedom) replacement for Adobe Flash.http://www.gnu.org/software/gnash/

  79. Keith says:

    Just make sure it works against the Linux Standards Base (LSB) and everyone else be damned!

  80. Sync'd Release across platforms says:

    Flash is already a blight ont he web, replacing standardised, accessible HTML with a proprietary hindrance to content. If you care at all about equality, you would get the latest version of flash working on ALL modern desktops before releasing on any, and make more of an effort to discourage it’s use on websites, except for embedded media. That way, everyone has access to the same content at the same time. Even then, you should be moving flash (the editor’s) output format to SVG+Ecmascript, if you care about the future of the web, and not just about building a monopoly and lining your own pockets. The situation with shockwave is even worse. Personally, I can’t wait to see flash replaced with standards.

  81. Arren Lex says:

    To all the “Flash is a cancer on the web” people:You’re absolutely right, I couldn’t agree with you more. I would like to personally thank you for having the courage to flood the poor Linux developer’s blog with these wise and insightful comments. This is, of course, the best place to put them — no one could be more responsible for the horror that is Flash than this man. I appreciate you not harassing the pencil pushers telling him what to do, or the webmasters who implement Flash; they have nothing to do with the problem. The sole cause of all our problems is the only guy seemingly working on the Linux version, and I totally agree that harassing him with accusations of incompetence will definitely make Flash happen faster, and make everyone appreciate the principle and people in the Linux community. Again, thank you so very much for standing up for what being an asshole implies you should believe in. I assure you that you do not go unapperciated. Amen, my brothers, amen.

  82. Jonathan says:

    Thanks for the update and working on getting flash on linux. Robert Millan has the right idea – anyone who complains should just join gnash and do something or shut up.

  83. One suggestion for Obviously: Flash BlockNo one is forcing you to use flash. Some respect man!As for Mike and friends, I get the impression that you are making this harder that it really is.First, distros could find ways to install the player, second you are FREE to exclude folks wo/ some-freaking-library.AND, it’s not that you’re asking install std++ v4 Alpha XXX Build to run the player.Focus on performance stuff, asm stuff, etc… NOT library versions and distro incompatibilities.AND please erase any silly/disrespectful comments from your minds .Keep up the good work.We need Flash 9 to get by.

  84. curto says:

    Interpretation of these comments may vary..The way I see it, a lot of webcontent is in flash, and it’s frustrating, certainly to people that want to use Linux without being pro’s. And we all want to be able to see the latest trendy clip when we hear about it.Most of the heated reactions just indicate the desire there is for this software.Who’s to blaim? Surely the content providers are to some extend. However flash does presents itself as being cross platform. Many content developers count on the fact that other OS’s follow withing a reasonable amount of time.What is reasonable? Surely this is where most debate is about.Some flame ‘hey it is free’ so you should shut up. This is a rediculous radical view, it would be the same as only supplying food to people of a certain religion in a refugee camp.I believe most people would aggree it’s normal that linux is supported within a reasonable amount of time.personnally I deem it reasonable if it is there within say 6 months or so.I sure as hell don’t blaim you two, who are developing/porting the flash player.A critic might addapt the view that adobe is putting just enough money in porting to stay ahead of FLOSS solutions which would not carry their brand.This blog is a friendly interface, but it isn’t the end of the world.Either you support it cross platform, and then you can’t deny that Linux is a player.Or you don’t, I don’t like this hibrid situation.

  85. Static linking is bad in the form of mass distribution on diff environments, as has been said in earlier comments you’ll end up causing yourself and your team more problems in the long run. Including legal ones, please see http://people.redhat.com/drepper/no_static_linking.htmlThe general recommendation is to release and just state dependencies as others have stated

  86. bdrell says:

    Here’s something lots of people seem to be forgetting:A single binary is necessary because of Firefox’s new plugin-handling architecture. If you start with a fresh install of the newest version of firefox, you can (and should be able to — it makes the user experience consistent across operating systems) just point-and-click install the current version of Flashplayer 7 for Linux, no distro installer, no scripts, no hassle. In fact, this is the *only* way it can easily be installed on a multiuser system on which the user doesn’t have root access — a distro-specific binary would, by definition, require the user to be able to tinker with the OS package manager, something which we can’t all do at work.I do agree, though, that Adobe should be *very* careful with the licensing terms of the c++ library. It would be bad for future Adobe Linux projects to have Eben Moglen on their ass. And it really might just be easier to link agains the version 6 library — those who said that systems that use version 5 are obsolete are right, in that the only ones that still use that are very conservative, usually server/cluster machines. Any desktop will be fairly up to date. (This is the upshot of not paying the $500 Microsoft Tax for an upgrade to the operating system!) Any desktop system that’s not up to date ought to be, by all rights.Please try not to let the zealots get to you. Quite a few of us use Linux because of the control we can have over the system, not because of any philosophical motivation. We just want it to work.And I should probably note that we’re likely to be a lot less in-your-face than the other crowd. Just because they’re vocal doesn’t mean that they speak for us all.

  87. rob enderle says:

    In fact just like most Linux users I don’t mind using the close source NVIDIA drivers.= = = = = = = = = = = = = =I say we use closed source drivers, closed source software and closed formats and standards since its obviously a waste of time explaining the adage asking an inch and taking a mile.Its a slippery slope like the guy who says hes just gonna try heroin once. It wont hurt you once…but after that its another story.Your atittude will never force Adobe to get off their effing ass.Adobe’s atittude reminds me why closed formats are bad.Whether theyre vital or just eyecandy.And to they guy from CRN who has nothing else to write about but trolls on a blog: “Whaaaaaaa, he’s being me to me…..Whaaaaa, I want my mommy!”If any software is hindered by what some douchebag like myself says about Adobe on a little blog, then maybe you should unplug your computer and chuck it in the river.

  88. For people who say use Javascript and SVG as standards – this is great for animation for those using Firefox, but how about all the Windows users using Internet Explorer? And the problem with Javascript compatibility has always been Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox which starts a new version of Javascript with each major version making previous code incompatible and needing a rewrite. Another problem is the lack of Internet Explorer for platforms other than Windows so I have to buy a whole other machine just for testing with if I don’t want to lose all my data due to a virus. Flash makes it possible that things will work on Windows. There are also many other problems that Flash solves for delivering content in many formats. The main reason why I offer format in Flash Paper as well as PDF and HTML is because the Mozilla products don’t support Adobe Reader or Preview embedding on the Mac and installing the non-free plugin that does so makes it so PDF embedding doesn’t work with Safari. All my content is viewable on Linux and I do not use higher than Flash 7 and all of my Flash works on Linux perfectly. In fact I switch between Linux and the Mac all the time for development and I now use almost solely open source software for development except for a few Apple ones and a few others like Flash Paper sometimes.

  89. Simon J. Rowe says:

    For example, the player dynamically opens libasound.so to dig out the ALSA audio functions. I recently learned that the ‘libasound.so’ symlink is only available on systems with the right devel packages installed. The proper file to open is ‘libasound.so.2’.

    If you’re so in the dark about basic facts like this then you ain’t the person to be porting code to Linux. Step aside and let someone else do it.

    This is why I wanted to know how to statically link libstdc++.so.6 with the main binary

    Let me see:rpm -qi libstdc++6 | grep LicenseSize : 878148 License: GPLOh good, that means you will be releasing the source code to the plugin then.

  90. yoda says:

    Just note that some of these abusive comments are probably not from legitimate Linux users anyway. It is probably another tactic from some other company to portray Linux users as idiots.Anyway, Adobe keep up the good work. The Adobe software that I use on Linux is great.

  91. Ilya Konstantinov says:

    I told you that once and I’ll tell you again: Do not explicitly link to libstdc++. Use ‘gcc’ and not ‘g++’ to compile your C++ code and you’ll end up with the same result, sans the libstdc++ depdendency. Since your consumer, Firefox or nspluginviewer, will be linked in runtime with the appropriate libstdc++ anyway, you’ll have access to the libstdc++ symbols of whatever version is loaded. If your libstdc++ usage is not very high and complex, you’d have a much easier job just using whatever is being offered by your host.

  92. Someone says:

    With all the whining going on, why not just stop letting these people post comments. Keep up the good work on the next version of Flash for Linux, and release it when it’s ready.

  93. Bloody says:

    How many more idiotic comments about no static linking of libstdc++ do we have to endure? Can’t people read a freaking license? libstdc++ is released under the “GPL+runtime exception” license which ALLOWS for static linking of non-gpl works.

  94. bebop says:

    It sounds like this is the first linux guy they hired and he doesn’t really know what he’s doing. It also sounds like Huang doesn’t know diddly squat about anything that isn’t from Redmond.Why don’t you assholes spend more time and money on getting this done instead of making fake excuses everyone here can see right through? Seriously. Are you having issues developing the windows version of flash 9 because of all the backward compatibility issues related to supporting DOS3.3 ans WinME?If you are going to hold us hostage to your program, but you can’t keep up with the development to the point where a whole community of users basically can’t use the product they’re being held hostage to, then it is your responsibility to release the source so we can provide ourselves with our own solutions. Otherwise, it just looks and feels like you guys are dicking us around. You’re like the dick with the ball who won’t let anyone else play unless it’s your way.When Adobe finally gets it’s head out of it’s ass and makes photoshop for linux, how many of us do you think will abandon gimp and run to you given your history with the linux community?

  95. Bloody says:

    People here are hopeless. I’m really beginning to believe, as someone else pointed out already, that the majority of those commenting here are a bunch of adolescent elitist pricks who have never touched a line of code. Furthermore, it doesn’t look like most comment-posters can read either as Mike HAS ALREADY STATED that he was a big contributor to the FFMPEG project. I wouldn’t call that no experience.

  96. Nael says:

    To all of you who are blindly assuming Mike has no Linux experience: did you bothering reading this interview where Mike states he regularly used Linux and has worked on several open-source multimedia projects, including xine, FFMpeg and Mplayer before getting hired by Adobe? Also, I don’t ever remember a rule stating knowing how to static link was a prerequisite to be an experienced Linux developer.

  97. Ygor says:

    Well,Keep the good work… and It’s ready when it’s ready… those are basically the most seem things around here… it seems like we are coming to the point of a community disagreement just because the LONGGG delay of the Flash for Linux development.First of all… as it isn’t open source software nor a Mike’s weekend development play, the “It is ready when it is ready” is simply unnaceptable.Why?Well… there are many answers to this question… some states that flash is essential for today’s navigation on the web, some says that this fact even can bother some Business operations (those which unfortunatelly depends exclusive on Flash, etc…) and of course, the most-users point of view… they simply wants to watch google video, youtube, play games, navigate on new (unfortunatelly) 100% based flash sites and things like it…So, basically, Adobe isn’t putting much respect on a community proven to be hard and that surely will last for a long and long time…. Adobe simply doesn’t states anything at all about that and sometimes this blog just appears to be a April 1st joke…Well, as it is not open source software, developed for nothing but the act of sharing information, but instead a closed source plugin which earns millions to Adobe… the more sensate thing to say is… this is inexorably delaying our lives for a multimedia world on linux browsers which sucks with the current flash player…Just figure that…Of course I will never leave to use Linux (I’ve been using Linux and Linux only on my desktop at home, at work, at school and converging people to our brighter, better, free world for about 6 years…), just for stick with Flash. Personally I think that Flash sucks… but it is not the point here… the point is… The Linux community, not only the developers, systems admins and architects, but also the regular users (and believe-me, this number is growing fast as a jetplane), are just waiting unhappy with Adobe and their solutions for a CRITICAL compatibility problem on a entire platform….You show here Screenshots, CDs, say things about compilation, ask things about sound and etc…But still we haven’t seen any f*** demo of something that REALLY exists….So please, release a beta and cut the b***s***t or tell Adobe you need help… because customers are SEVERELY unsatisfied and the Community is hugely prejudiced by a stupid plugin… as regular users seems to adore it… (unfortunatelly…)Please… release something or tell Adobe that it is time to “let something imprudently escape out of your cvs’s…”Also… the community is happy to help you, but we have not received any respect… at least a nightly release of your cvs or svn or whatever you use to manage your code is expected on your blog or adobe labs area… Adobe releases alphas and betas of several products… it is time for flash now… or I will have to say, that you guys will loose much respect…

  98. Nicolas says:

    Well, I hope the flash plugin will be available for 2010.Adobe is really disgusting. I hate the fact that only 1 guy is working on the project. That proves Adobe isn’t interested at all about Linux.They probably want to release that flash plugin just to reply to some of their customers’ complaints (ie large website running flash).Anyway, youtube already switched to something else than flash. Other website should follow.

  99. jckdnk says:

    If you are having such difficulties with various distros, y not release an alpha an let us do the testing? Who knows, some of us might actually be able to contribute something to this project … that is the essence of the Linux xommunity afterall.I know you want to avoid be bombarded with crap you already know about, but doesn’t seem a little silly to keep this community away from the software? I mean, you are in fact writing this for us right? Then why not let us test and give feedback? Even on a limited basis I think this would help you. I have no false sense of hope that this would ever be open sourced, but the OSS community is a powerful resource and you are basically putting your palm on our collective forheads like some a-hole big brother.Just my thoughts … take ’em or leave ’em.

  100. Nael says:

    Nicolas:Really? YouTube’s videos are still using the Flash video player as I’m browsing it right now.

  101. Jon Scruggs says:

    I am going to agree with some of the comments above. Building and statically linking libstdc++.so.6 into the plugin is a not needed on your part. The various packages for Linux (RPM, DEP, ebuild …) all support dependencies. Simply make it a dependency. If a person does not want to install libstdc++.so.6, then they cannot run the plug in. It’s the easiest thing in the world for you to do and the right one. If some people do not want to install a new libstdc++, then chances are they do not want to install the new plug in. The point of libraries is to make it so you don’t need to a) worry about them and distribute them, and b) re-invent the wheel. All distros should have a prebuilt package for libstdc++.so.6, so you do not need to worry about that. Also a bonus feature of using the distros binary is that it will either be built regularly or with all SELinux features, so this eliminates all the hard worl of making a compatible binary without textrel issues. Thus, allowing the better development of the plugin and making a smaller pluging — smaller = faster. ;)So, in conclusion, please do yourself a favor and take out libstdc++.so.6 from the binary and just depend on it.Thanks.

  102. Nar says:

    What do your site-building customers think about your Flash player support if you let the Linux build slip for so long? I mean, jeez, you’re pulling a Netscape 4 here. You’ve had years to get it done, and you’re still working on trivial build issues.

  103. Ilya Konstantinov says:

    Jon Scruggs, do you realize that this would break horribly when the host Firefox is built with libstdc++.so.5, which is still the case with Firefox builds from Mozilla.com?

  104. Nicolas says:

    jckdnk: You’re right, youtube still uses flash. But some days ago, their videos wasn’t displayed on Linux. Now, the videos can be played even with an old flash plugin version, and therefore we can see them on Linux.What about creating a campaign on our websites, stating that Flash isn’t used because it’s not supported by Adobe on Linux..?

  105. gnu says:

    Reguarding not opening sources of the player due to the requirement of it working the same on any system: most TCP/IP protocol stacks are free software, and we still have the Internet!Just release truly open specifications and you’ll get the compatibility.I think the whole task is hard for a single reason: proprietary nature of the code.

  106. MamiyaOtaru says:

    “An Open Source Flash player is a BAD IDEA. Flash’s main strength is that it works IDENTICALLY no matter where you run it. I don’t want to have to start developing Flash for multiple versions of the Flash player.”ugh. Those asking for it to be open sourced don’t want it opened so they can fork and create incompatibilities. They want the source, so they can compile it for their platforms.When this eventually comes out, it will be Linux x86 only, Linux on PPC will be left out. If we are lucky, AMD64 will finally be supported (can’t be bothered to look for it)if we had the source, AMD64 would already be supported, and PPC as well.It is a matter of portability.

  107. Rhialto says:

    So… after all this trouble for a Linux version, when can I expect a NetBSD version? For my amd64? For my Alpha? For my PPC? For my VAX? And FreeBSD? And OpenBSD?(hint: the implied meaning is that releasing the source will be much, much much easier. And yes, I have all of those architectures.)

  108. Scott says:

    Not to sound insensitive, but I wouldn’t waste to much time and resources on libstdc++.so.5. And I can’t place what distro would not be able to use libstdc++.so.6. Having used a good variety of distros, it seems like libstdc++.so.6 is standard.Lastly, don’t knock hardened linux. Security is a good thing- we’re not Microsoft here.

  109. badllama says:

    I am glad people are supportive but let’s be somewhat realistic. How long has it been since flash 8 had been released. This is the worst release schedule I have ever seen. While Emmy is a competent programmer I am sure if Adobe was really taking this seriously they would hire someone with a significant amount of experience to bring this to linux. Although I am not sure if this is a problem in Adobe or a carryover from Macromedia. Both this program and acrobat reader are prolific, but the latter has been far better maintained across platform. Look at the current version of acrobat reader, 7.08 on Windows, Linux, and Mac. While it is great Emmy is working on this project, let us not forget that is why he receives a paycheck. This is not a noble effort by an open source programmer, so defending a complete lack of the ready skills to be bringing this to linux is inexcusable.

  110. Np237 says:

    Oh, and about the libstdc++ issue, this is something that simply cannot work *at all* without releasing the source. Let me explain.Some widely used distributions still use libstdc++.so.5. And even if you add libstdc++.so.6 to the distribution, the Mozilla binaries remain linked to the libstdc++.so.5. The two libraries are completely incompatible, and the name mangling function is different when using different versions of the C++ compiler. Which means a plugin linked to libstdc++6 cannot work on a browser linked to libstdc++5. Whatever the plugin can be (the same goes for e.g. GTK+ input methods).Yes. There is no binary portability for whatever has C++ in it. Going this way, you’ll end up insane and without hair. You want portability across distributions? You want support from them? Give us the source. We’ll make something working.

  111. Samus Aran says:

    To the person that said Opera does not provide different binaries for different operating systems:That is incorrect.Simply download several different packages, extract the files, run ldd on them.The staff at Opera have a few distros on which they compile their releases. These various releases link against different versions of some of the basic system libraries. In addition, Opera provides both statically and dynamically linked Qt libraries, for each supported distro.Also, Opera releases Betas and Technology Previews on a regular basis, and has a very active Forum/Newsgroup to discuss the development process.Opera is about as good as you can get for a developer of a proprietary product.

  112. fen says:

    Forget all the haters. Stay the course and best of luck. I can’t wait to see what comes of it.

  113. Brian Turner says:

    If the player were simply put in the community maintained packages for each distribution this would be both simplified and complicated.The simplicity comes from being able to specify which packages are requried. Therefore compatability would not be a problem. Updating the player would also be automated for the end users. This is complicated for the developers because they would have to provide the player to each linux distributor’s community maintained packages.Also for those of you arguing whether it would be good or bad to open source flash, there is already an effort. GNU has been working an open source version of the flash player. The project is called Gnash.

  114. probono says:

    Excellent blog entry. The libstdc++ guys don’t even get the most basic essentials of good platform building practices: Staying backward-compatible.It bothers anyone who wants to provide binary-compatible software for Linux. Ask the autopackage and klik projects.Why don’t you just build for libstdc++5 and forget about ++6? Adobe Reader also runs on ++5, and I’d prefer everyone not to use ++6 since it breaks compatibility.How long will it take until the libstdc++ guys invent ++7 which will, in the worst case, again, be binary incompatible?Why don’t we start a fork of libstdc++ that is guaranteed to remain binary compatible forever?

  115. Joshua Rodman says:

    You linked against libasound.so ? Surely there is someone on the dev team who has developed for linux/unix in the past. A sysadmin even?I’m kind of baffled as to how you could not know about the meaning of the library SOname. This is runtime behavior 101.

  116. Np237 says:

    probono, this isn’t possible because a plugin linked to libstdc++5 will simply crash on a libstdc++6 distro.

  117. Tom Horsley says:

    You know, it really feels good when you stop hitting yourself: Why not give up on the one size fits all scheme and instead introduce the open source libflashsupport library that provides a unalterable binary interface for the use of the proprietary core of flash? All the linux distros could do whatever voodoo they need to do to build the flash support library from source, and flash would work more places than your one flavor scheme will ever support. With care, you could even use the same support lib interface on Windows and both linux and windows would be in sync forever.

  118. Blue Leader says:

    Someone allready said the only true solution.Use the Linux Standard Base Environment to create a LSB certified Flash Plugin and ALL your problems will be solved.Look at here, all those Distribution do support LSB ver. 3.1 or will support it in the near future:http://www.freestandards.org/en/LSB_Distribution_Status(ok the Gentoo folks won’t, but that’s their problem)And Firefox with its libstdc++5 is not a big problem at all, because we can assume, that the Mozilla Foundation will release new binarys of Firefox compiled against libstdc++6 as soon as flashplayer 9 is out.You can read a lot more about LSB on the LSB Developer Network (LDN):http://www.freestandards.org/en/Developers