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64-Bit Flash On Linux: It's A Portal

And lo, Adobe did create a 64-bit edition of Flash for Linux. And it was good -- but now that appetites have been whetted for more Adobe software on Linux, what else may be in the pipeline? My take: Native Flash, yes, but native Photoshop, no. And not just because of Linux's currently marginal desktop market share.

And lo, Adobe did create a 64-bit edition of Flash for Linux. And it was good -- but now that appetites have been whetted for more Adobe software on Linux, what else may be in the pipeline? My take: Native Flash, yes, but native Photoshop, no. And not just because of Linux's currently marginal desktop market share.

Most anyone reading this is aware of the push away from individual desktop systems and toward the desktop being a kind of portal for the Internet. I have my own criticisms and trepidations about this conceit -- I think, like a lot of other things, people will dive into it nose first, experience culture shocks they never anticipated, and then pull back and find a better medium between the two. But it's happening to some degree whether we like it or not, and we're bound to pick up a few useful things along the way.

So with that in mind, I wouldn't be the slightest bit surprised if Adobe's big plans for Linux start and end at Flash -- much the same as a Linux client for Microsoft's Silverlight (the Moonlight projects). Why spend all this time and effort in writing applications for another platform when you can write a cross-platform application-enabling framework? Then you (or someone else) can create apps that work for the framework, and let people use them most anywhere.

This isn't a new strategy, of course; Java has been doing the same thing for nigh onto decades by now. Whatever else you want to say about Sun right now, Java's been massively successful in its own right; a number of the open source apps I use on a daily basis (like jUploadr for Flickr) are written in Java, and you'd never know it.

New strategy or not, it makes sense as a way to make applications happen on Linux. Build (or extend) a known framework to Linux, and let the existing applications deploy themselves.


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