[Disclaimer: I work for Adobe Systems. I have nothing to do with the
Flash Player. I'm a grunt who works on other stuff. This is my personal
opinion as a long-time FreeBSD user and I'm not making any statements
for Adobe.]

> -----Original Message-----
> [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of Jona Joachim
> Sent: Saturday, June 07, 2008 4:58 PM
> To: freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
> Subject: Re: Flashplugin
> Flash is a big pain IMO.
> The Flash question has been asked *a lot* of times on this list.
> The answer usually boils down to "use www/nspluginwrapper" or "use
> linux-firefox". Both "solutions" are far from optimal.
> My solution is to simply ignore Flash content. It makes your 
> "online experience"
> much more enjoyable. This is my personal choice of course.

I'm afraid that's the age-old question of demand. If there was enough
demand out there, I'm sure that any software manufacturer would consider
FreeBSD a platform that needs to be supported. 
Providing support for the Flash Player on FreeBSD is not a one-shot
thing. You don't have some summer intern create a port of the current
version of the player, release it and then be done with it. If a
platform is officially supported it means dedication of a lot of
resources: engineering and especially testing. Once a platform is
adopted it needs to be rev'ed whenever the other platforms are updated,
otherwise you end up again in a situation where a certain application
that requires new Flash Player features does not work for you. This all
means time and money. Adobe as any other public company has to justify
its actions to its shareholders. If anybody scrutinizes the books and
sees a substantial amount of engineering and QA resources being
dedicated to a platform that has very little desktop market penetration
and because of that some other important high-reach features were
dropped, I'm sure that public company would have to answer some
questions about it. 

Since the last discussion I actually contacted the Flash Player team and
asked what it would take to get an official port for Flash Player on
FreeBSD. I was asked to provide numbers that would indicate how many
*desktop* FreeBSD systems are out there and how many of them are used on
a *regular* basis. So, if anybody on this list can provide those
answers, I'd be more than happy to do my part and relay the answers back
to those people who can actually influence decisions in this area.
Again, I'm not speaking for Adobe, I'm just offering to help as much as
I can as a happy FreeBSD user (well, if it wasn't for
http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/query-pr.cgi?pr=123735 on 8.0-CURRENT). 

> I think it is rather reducing when you have to beg unkind 
> vendors to eventually
> consider that you exist.
> I don't think proprietary binary formats have their place on 
> the web. The WWW is
> an information exchange platform, why would you want to 
> diffuse information
> around the globe when you know that a lot of people will not 
> be able to decipher
> it? It's a bit arrogant I think.

That's simply wrong. The Flash format byte-code is *not* proprietary. If
you want to, you can go ahead and create your own Flash Player. The
specifications for the format are freely available at:

And Gnash (http://www.gnu.org/software/gnash/), which was started before
the spec was available, will certainly benefit from this. 

And to address a previous message: if your bank requires you to use the
Flash Player to make a transaction, then you will need to get in touch
with your bank and not blame it on the non-existence of the Flash Player
on your platform. A disabled person with a text-only browser or a
screen-reader will certainly have the same issues. 

My offer stands: if anybody can provide the numbers above, I'm going to
forward them to the right people and work things from my end. 

Don't beat me up, I'm for the support - even if I'm not using FreeBSD as
a desktop OS. 

Thanks and happy weekend - Tobias
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