In the age of open there are many people who would rather not use proprietary tools because they don't want their money going to evil corporations. Open is free. Let me offer this alternative point of view. To paraphrase Scott McNeeley, open is free as a puppy is free. Those of us who really have to do business using the web, where writing everything from scratch is not an option, need supported, maintained software and SaaS.
As the Web has "gone mobile", and there are increasingly more that screens involved in sharing rich digital content and experience, it made sense for Adobe to think about ways to emancipate Flash. To that end, the Open Screen Project was announced May 1, 2008. This is a project and many other industry leading companies that want to reliably deliver rich Web and video experiences live and on-demand across a variety of devices. Adobe has open access to Adobe Flash technology, accelerating the deployment of content and rich Internet applications (RIAs), including:
- 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 future releases of Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR for devices free
I've copied the list of current partners from the Open Screen Project website below. I know I could paste a link to that page. But then I wouldn't be reasonably sure that you had seen who is a part of this initiative:
Burda Digital Systems
Disney Interactive Media Group
FOX Mobile Group
Research in Motion
The New York Times
Tomorrow Focus Technologies
Look. What a surprise. No Apple. And that matters. But pretty clearly Apple really isn't the only game in town.
There is no doubt that Flash will continue to evolve and change. I'm fairly certain that the HTML5 specifications will making today's plug-in tools unnecessary and that Flash as we know it today won't be around for the ages. We many never see Flash on iPads or whatever they evolve into. But knowing how long it takes for enterprise adoption of innovation to occur, I think many of us are going to keep Flash in our toolkits for a while.