Petition to open source Flash and Shockwave spec
ActionScript
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README.md

Petition to open source Flash and Shockwave spec

Join the chat at https://gitter.im/open-source-flash/Lobby GitHub Stats

Edit: The first letter is being written. If you want to contribute to it, you can either make pull requests or join the Gitter chat to help us organize it

Adobe is going to stop distributing and updating Flash player and the Shockwave player. That's ok.

However Flash along with its sister project Shockwave is an important piece of Internet history and killing Flash and Shockwave means future generations can't access the past. Games, experiments and websites would be forgotten.

Open sourcing Flash and the Shockwave spec would be a good solution to keep Flash and Shockwave projects alive safely for archive reasons. Don't know how, but that's the beauty of open source: you never know what will come up after you go open source! There might be a way to convert swf/fla/drc/dir to HTML5/canvas/webgl/webassembly, or some might write a standalone player for it. Another possibility would be to have a separate browser. We're not saying Flash and Shockwave player should be preserved as is.

We understand that there can be licensed components you might not be able to release. Simply leave them out with a note explaining what was removed. We will either bypass them, or replace them with open source alternatives.

Star this repository to sign the petition. Pull requests are also welcome. Add cool Flash and Shockwave links here and reasons to open source Flash and Shockwave.

This petition will be delivered to Adobe.

Contributors and signers

Discussion

References

Flash and Shockwave as an art medium

Flash and Shockwave was a platform for creative expression in an exciting new medium with global reach at a time when sound and moving images were barely breaking into the internet. Many artists took the media and shaped it to their own style. These digital pieces were both mesmerizing and disturbing.

We do lots to save and restore old manuscripts so, why not consider any interactive artworks that were developed on this platform and can't be ported truthfully to just a video format.

Feel free to add other interactive art projects, websites, games and experiments that you think deserve to be saved:

Current state of Flash and Shockwave preservation

There's already some projects to preserve Flash. The problem is that they're not complete, because of the closed source of Flash spec:

Available analysis

Projects that don't preserve Flash as such but provide knowledge about the file format:

Active developers communities

These communities thrive with the Adobe AIR runtime. The Adobe AIR runtime enables developers to package the same code into native applications and games for Windows and Mac OS desktops as well as iOS and Android devices, reaching over a billion desktop systems and mobile app stores for over 500 million devices.

  • Starling - The Cross Platform Game Engine used by thousands to publish GPU rendered games, it also uses the same famous Flash api for display list.
  • Feathers - Feathers puts it all together in one package — blazing fast GPU powered graphics, an impressive number of skinning options, and an extensible component architecture to create a smooth and responsive experience.

Next generation community efforts for ActionScript

Here is a display of technologies, that are using ActionScript without being tied to Adobe

  • Apache FlexJS - The main application framework / layout engine configured with MXML. Originally created by Adobe, Flex is now open source and developed by the folks at Apache.
  • FlexJS description - for more details
  • OpenFL - OpenFL uses the familiar Flash API, but goes everywhere that Flash Player cannot. publishing native, Flash and HTML5 applications using one seamless toolset.
  • NextGen ActionScript - Use ActionScript in a web browser... without a plug-in. A website collecting tutorials and open source utilities for FlexJS and more.
  • blog post regarding the introduction of this website.
  • spriteflexjs You can convert flash API into HTML5 API and convert stage3d API into webgl API.

OpenFL can compile code in Haxe into SWF, which means someone knows how to hack these binaries spec. Theoretically, we can also use Starling to render into HTML canvas and WebGL instead of Adobe's Stage 3D and use the Apache FlexJS compiler to transpile it into JavaScript. This induces the following flow - migrating Flash based source code into the web.