So I was tasked with writing an open source Android application for mobile and decided to write a Slashdot RSS monitor to keep updated with the latest from Slashdot. The app is in the Android marketplace and the complete source code and video tutorials are available (Just hit the info button on the application). So far no bugs and it has 5/5 star rating. Size = 768 kb which includes 450 kb of graphics so if you want a leaner app, you can take the source and pare it down yourself. Open license â" do what you want.
- Open and Accessible Data - the City of Vancouver will freely share with citizens, businesses and other jurisdictions the greatest amount of data possible while respecting privacy and security concerns;
- Open Standards - the City of Vancouver will move as quickly as possible to adopt prevailing open standards for data, documents, maps, and other formats of media;
- Open Source Software - the City of Vancouver, when replacing existing software or considering new applications, will place open source software on an equal footing with commercial systems during procurement cycles;
"MixMatchMusic's combination with Mix2r adds a lot of dynamic new music to our library and brings us closer to the critical mass of stems and community needed to fuel our next stage of growth," said Charles Feinn, MixMatchMusic co-founder and CEO. The end result - a real move towards open source music and a hit for the RIAA.
Countries voting positive with no comments: Australia, Bulgaria, China, Japan, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine. (9) Countries voting positive with comments: UK (13), USA (125), Germany (11), Switzerland (19). (4) Countries voting negative with comments: France (37). (1) Countries abstaining: Italy, Russia (2)
Total votes cast 14. 2/3's majority is required to pass so it was a large margin of victory (93%). For more information on the latest developments, check on this page:
- The Flash programming language (ActionScript) is 100% ECMASCript, a standard with multiple implementations and is open. You can script using ActionScript with a plain old text editor.
- The internal Flash Player VM, "Tamarin" is an open source project run by the Mozilla foundation (donated by Adobe).
- The Flash file format, *.SWF is a published format.
- The Adobe Flash Player (the reference implementation) is free. So are several others like the Gnash player.
- The Flash Player is available on Mac, Windows, Linux, Playstation, Nintendo Wii, Symbion, and many other platforms.
- An SDK for building, compiling, debugging Flash applications is available for free on Mac, Windows and Linux
- There are over 100 third party, free, commercial, open source and closed source products that produce, edit, generate, and otherwise manipilate Flash files, Flash Video files, etc.
- There is a very active Open Source community around the Flash runtime. For better or worse (I do work for Adobe -;) many many people take full advantage of the Flash Player without using any commercial products from Adobe (or anyone belse). See http://www.osflash.org/ to get a good view of this.
- Flash itself makes use of several standards such as JPG, AVI, GIF and PNG's as outlined here.
There are numerous web based services (You Tube, BrightCove, etc) that convert to, host, deliver Flash Video without requiring the purchase or use of any commercial or proprietary technology.
Now, all that said, the Flash Player as a whole is not open source. There are a number of reasons for this, at least as of today. 2 primary reasons come to mind right now, but these are not immutable:
i. The desire to avoid bifurcation. Right now one can produce a SWF from any one of many tools/servers/services from many vendors and be 100% confident it will run across platform and across browsers. We experienced the impact of multiple slightly (or largely) incompatible implementations of HTML/JS browsers and of JVMs and both had a major impact to slow innovation and usage. One of the things our customers (developers/desginers/publishers) have told is us not to screw up the compatibility and ubiquity that have been the hallmark of Flash since day 1. ii. There are technologies in the Flash Player for which we do not own the IP or the rights to open source it, for example, we have licensed our MP3 codec.
There is one more area where we are arguably not "open". This relates to our licensing strategy on non-PC devices (eg Cell Phones). On these devices, we do license the Flash Player for a royalty to device manufacturers and telco operators. It is still free from an end-user and developer perspective, but there are a lot of costs associated with these integrations.
My experience is that when people say they want "open", there are usually 3 or 4 things they really want or need:
* No lock in. They don't want adopt a technology that they may get "blackmailed" to pay money for in the future. I think we have addressed this fairly well by making the Flash Player and SDK free.
* Integration. They want the technology stack they work with to work with the rest of their stack and tool chain. This requires appropriate use of standards (eg. we support XML over HTTP, Web Services, ECMAScript, CSS, integration with multiple IDE and Source Code management systems, etc) and well crafted and well documented APIs. I think we have this area covered too, but I'd like to hear about concerns.
* Leverage existing skills. By using standards, one does not get locked into skills that can not be found generally in the market and that will be obsolete in the near term. This is why we standardized on ECMAScript. This is why we have an Eclipse based tool. This is why we enable development with a purely ASCII text format to fit into other systems. This is why we leveraged CSS in the Flex framework, etc. I think we have this covered too, but I'd love to hear your thoughts.
* Ability to fix bugs/issues without depending on a vendor. From a tool chain perspective, one can choose to work in an entirely open source toolchain for the creation of SWFs, so this is covered. From the runtime perspective, this is arguably a barrier. That said, I don't hear a lot of folks who have actual concerns about our "stewardship" of the Flash Player in this regard. I'd love to have your perspecitve.
Questions for the public:
* What does "Open Flash" actually mean to you? Have we done a good job of balancing the interests of implementers and developers without hindering innovation?
* What specific problem(s) does "Open Flash" solve that are not addressed by our current "openness"
For those of you who love a challenge, Adobe has sponsored a whopper. The Semaphore art project in San Jose is where art meets technology. Four large round glyphs rotate their position every 7.2 seconds while a simultaneous low power radio broadcast emits a coded message. Artist Ben Rubin's mind shred's message seems to follow a pattern. Each broadcast segment contains an audible analog tone, an audible analog pattern, followed by a string-integer hash. Several items vary during the broadcast including the tone of the woman's voice as she speaks the integers. The tones also change.
Here is a pattern:
Tone, dot pattern, click(ping), string, integer, ping
Here are some general observations that might help those trying to decode it. I also want to state that while I do work for Adobe, I have in no way had any internal knowledge of this project nor do I have any keys to the answer.
Semaphore is an ancient flag based signaling system. A person holds two flags and uses one rotational angle to act as a key while using a second flag to indicate a specific value. The comparison to the rotating glyphs cannot be ignored.
1. What is the significance of the glyphs changing position every 7.2 seconds? This could be a key or it could be incidental to the entire exercise. I would suspect that due to its' precise timing, it is a key.
2. Ben Rubin's education should probably be factored in. There are no details of him ever studying cryptographic techniques. Accordingly, I would presume the cypher's key to be less complex than Rinjdael's (AES) et al. I did find his master's thesis entitled "Constraint based cinematic editing" which may be a clue into his mind.
3.What possible significance does the tone of the woman's voice have? It seems to speak in two tones - one about one octave higher than the other. It this significant of some kind of logic gate?
4. What are the string-integer pairs. Here is an example:
Delta 04 (note repeat)
Pumpkin 02 ??
Note the pattern repeats certain characters (Delta 04's seem popular). There are alsio patterns of repetition that seem to repeat above a statistically normal basis. Based on this I would aver that the answer is a value of text. The same values suggest double letter combinations in the resulting text (example = Challenge has two "ll"'s)
While the Semaphore Flag code uses only 9 positions, note that the numeric values scale much higher. Could this be a revision of the code based on some key (7.2) to reflect the glyphs ability to provide a more precise rotational index? I did not encounter any numeric value over 16 while listening.
The Semaphore art uses the NATO phonetic alphabet.
Note that "Pumpkin" is not actually part of the phonetic alphabet. Perhaps I heard it wrong.
Good luck - anyone with Theories, please post them back to this blog. Maybe we can get lucky....