News
News
11/6/2006
07:14 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Adobe Opens Flash Scripting Engine Code

Adobe plans to open the source code for the scripting engine in the Flash Player, which will be incorporated into a new Mozilla open source project called Tamarin.

Adobe Systems plans on Tuesday to open the source code of its ActionScript Virtual Machine, the scripting engine in the company's ubiquitous Flash Player, and offer it to the Mozilla Foundation, where it will be part of a new open source project called Tamarin.

"Between Flash Player and Mozilla, we're unifying the scripting engine and really giving developers a platform that cuts a very wide swath across the Web community," says Pam Deziel, director of product marketing at Adobe.

ActionScript is a motion graphics-oriented implementation of the ECMAScript programming language standard, which is also the basis of JScript, the scripting engine in Microsoft's Internet Explorer. It's also closely related to Sun's JavaScript. "There are a number of implementations of ECMAScript out there," says Deziel. "We had one, Mozilla had one. It didn't make sense to be operating in two separate silos."

Adobe claims that a key advantage of its scripting engine is its execution speed. "In terms of performance, we think this is going to be pretty much ahead of [JScript]," says Deziel, who adds, "I think both Mozilla and Adobe would be overjoyed if Microsoft were to participate in the project and pick up the code and incorporate the engine into IE."

Speed is critical for online rich media applications because users expect it, having become accustomed to highly responsive local applications. It's also significant in the browser war between Mozilla's Firefox and Internet Explorer—neither organization wants to have slower software.

In a statement offered via e-mail, Satish Dharmaraj, CEO and co-founder of Zimbra, claims Adobe's contribution to Tamarin will keep Firefox ahead of Internet Explorer. "According to our performance testing, Mozilla Firefox is already the fastest browser for rich, Ajax applications and this open source contribution will help Mozilla Firefox perform even faster for these rich applications."

A Microsoft spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

Adobe's decision to open source the Flash scripting engine can also be seen as an effort to counter Windows Presentation Foundation/Everywhere (WPF/E), a subset of Microsoft's graphics display platform that will compete with Adobe's Flash technology.

The biggest threat to Flash, says Richard Monson-Haefel, senior analyst at the Burton Group, is Ajax and Microsoft. "I think what they've realized is Ajax has just taken off," he says. "It's either jump on the Ajax ship or get left behind."

The Tamarin project will implement the final version of the ECMAScript Edition 4 standard language, which Mozilla aims to use in the next version of SpiderMonkey, the scripting engine in Firefox. SpiderMonkey developers can access the Tamarin code at the Mozilla project page.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
InformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business really views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. Our results suggest IT leaders should worry less about whether they're getting enough resources and more about the relationships they have with business unit peers.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014
InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A roundup of the top stories and trends on InformationWeek.com
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.