Adobe opening up?

Adobe recently announced the Open Screen Project.

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

Is Adobe seeing the light that Microsoft isn’t? (The light that I personally think Sun is not only seeing, but adding their own luminance to.) Web developers increasingly “get” OSS and want it. They can use it as students with no money. They can use it inhouse without any licensing problems. (Personally, OSS was a wondrous tool for me when I worked for companies that would not invest a single dollar in software and the licenses to make us legal, and is indispensable in a library with very limited resources.)

There is tremendous benefit to be invested in learning technologies that the user can influence through their community, not being burdened and beholden to corporate control. AJAX is the buzz for this reason. Sun “got it” when they released Java initially as OSS and has more and more fully released control to the community.

I haven’t had a chance to blog about my Competitive Intelligence class, but the focus of my study was on Sun Microsystem, Inc. and I am impressed with their embrace of OSS. They understand that programmers are using OSS. The web by its nature is open and it encourages and demands open technologies. Applications are moving from the desktop  to the Internet with SaaS and the network is the computer as Sun Microsystem’s John Gage famously said over a quarter-century ago.



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