Adobe announces Open Screen Project
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Adobe announced today the launch of their Open Screen Project
with aims to drive a consistent rich internet experience across
televisions, personal computers, mobile devices, and consumer
electronics. Currently the initiative is powered by the Adobe Flash
player but will also include Adobe AIR in the near future. The project
is supported by the who's who of the technology playground which
includes companies such as ARM, Chunghwa Telecom, Cisco, Intel, LG
Electronics Inc., Marvell,
Motorola, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics Co., Sony
Ericsson, Toshiba and Verizon Wireless, and leading content providers,
including BBC, MTV Networks, and NBC Universal.
Specifically, this work will include:
- Removing restrictions on use of the SWF and FLV/F4V specifications
- Publishing the device porting layer APIs for Adobe Flash Player
- Publishing the Adobe Flash® Cast™ protocol and the AMF protocol for robust data services
- Removing licensing fees – making next major releases of Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR for devices free
[img_assist|nid=2659|title=|desc=The Adobe Open Screen Project is an industry collaboration|link=none|align=none|width=550|height=178]
While this is a big and exciting announcement what does it mean for developers?
Kevin Lynch, CTO of Adobe, gave a short screen cast today detailing what the Open Screen Project is and what the benefits for developers will be. Right off the bat he stated that as developers we will now not only be able to deploy our Flash and Air applications across browsers and platforms but also across devices. One of the other big tasks is to make the experience across devices consistent and predictable, the complete opposite of what developers are currently experiencing. Looking at the above 4 bullet points this also means that you will be able to easily embed the Flash and Air technologies within any devices without concern over licensing restrictions or other related royalty fees.
Furthermore Adobe is working very closely with device makers to change the way the technology is being deployed to devices. Instead of having it burnt into the ROM and thus making updating the version of the platform very difficult or impossible, the next generation of devices will have the technology installed in such a way that it can be easily updated as is currently possible on the desktop. This will remove the current problem of new version of the technology introducing compatibility issues due to the problems mentioned above. Adobe, from their side, are also aligning themselves to ensure that this ecosystem stays stable and maintainable by, for example, merging the efforts of their mobile developers with their desktop developers. So the same engineering team that is responsible for the flash player on the desktop will now also be the same engineers working on the flash player for devices. The same stands true with regards to AIR for the desktop and AIR for devices.
Some more great news for developers is that because of the alignment of the engineering teams the capabilities of Flash and Air both on the desktop and devices will be equivalent. The virtual machine as well as Action Script 3.0 will both be available across devices and you will be able to utilize the Flex framework to target both mobile and desktop applications. From a tools perspective you will be able to use your current tools such as the Adobe Creative Suite and the Flex builder with much tighter integration as well as the launch of some new tooling support to enable developers to be able top truly build their application for all platforms and devices.
Adobe has also today officially lifted the licensing restriction on both the SWF and FLV/F4V specifications. More detail can be found by reading the the SWF file format specification and the FLV/F4V specification.
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