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Salasaga Fills Flash Creation Hole for Linux 112's Bruce Byfield is reporting that Salasaga, the renamed Flame Project, is attempting to fill the functionality gap of Flash creation for Linux in addition to being a cross-platform tool. While it still lacks the spit-shine of more mature apps, it is going a long way to filling yet another hole in Linux software. "Opening Salasaga, you could easily think you are in a slide show program. Individual slides display on the left, and the current slide appears on the bottom right. On the top right is information about the layers on the current side. Menus are logically laid out across the top of the editing window. From the editing menu, you can set the defaults for new projects, including the default display size of finished projects, the preview width, and the default background color. After adjusting these settings, you proceed logically from the right as you develop a project, progressing from Screenshots for importation through Slide and Layer to Export. This progression is so logical that few viewers should have trouble teaching themselves the basics of the software and producing a test project in less than 20 minutes -- and saving it in native .flame format or exporting it to Flash or SVG formats."
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Salasaga Fills Flash Creation Hole for Linux

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  • Link and Summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by 26199 ( 577806 ) * on Monday March 24, 2008 @05:49PM (#22850480) Homepage

    On the off-chance someone was going to RTFA, here is the FA [], since it doesn't seem to have made it into the story.

    The following line probably tells most people what they want to know:

    Also missing are features that those familiar with Flash Professional or Adobe Captivate might expect, such as drawing tools, a scripting language, and support for sound and video.

    So what does it do? Well, slideshows. Handy, but not hugely exciting.

    • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @06:05PM (#22850622) Journal
      If the only aim was to generate swf files, this was already possible using vnc2swf. If the aim was to produce a replacement for Flash, then it seems to have failed.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Definitely. I mean it's a cool looking app, but the "slides -> layers -> export" model.. i'm sorry, it just sounds like a terrible idea. Maybe some flash presentations could be done slide-by-slide but most can't, and without actionscripting it's pretty much limited to being nifty but useless.
        • Maybe some flash presentations could be done slide-by-slide but most can't
          But it might be interesting to see what some creative artists can do with it. Like many, I've found Flash to be a common irritant on the Web, but I've seen some wonderful work done with it, and I think it's got some value as an artistic medium.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by h4rm0ny ( 722443 )

            I'm sure some people can do some nice stuff with this, but what I'd really like to see is decent animated SVG in an open format. Can you imagine what Inkscape [] would be like with support for animation? Incredible - that's what. If some rich company (Google, Sun) wants to knock FLASH flying and bring about an open standard, that would be the short route to go.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Salasaga seems to be about authoring slide shows in SWF format. In which case, it will need to do a better job than the Export function of the Open Office Impress application.

    • by mrbluze ( 1034940 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @06:07PM (#22850634) Journal

      being a cross-platform tool
      That's what we used to call the people who jumped tracks instead of taking the overpass at the train station.
    • Re:Link and Summary (Score:5, Informative)

      by someone300 ( 891284 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @06:12PM (#22850688)
      Seems that Flex [] provides a more complete Flash creation tool than this software. What's more, Adobe are supporting it under Linux, and you can pick up an alpha version of Flex Builder based on Eclipse already.

      To me, it seems that this software would be more suited to a plugin for Impress.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by chromatic ( 9471 )

        Adobe are supporting [Flex] under Linux...

        If by supporting you mean "have thrown an alpha or two over the wall for 32-bit x86 processors back in December", then yes, Adobe supports Linux with Flex.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mjbkinx ( 800231 )

          If by supporting you mean "have thrown an alpha or two over the wall for 32-bit x86 processors back in December", then yes, Adobe supports Linux with Flex.

          Personally, I'm very happy about them releasing alphas. It's already quite usable.
          Also, there's another commercial IDE [], the SDK [] itself is under the MPL, and there are alternative (non-Adobe) tools [] as well.
          Anyway, I highly recommend haXe [], it's a fine language that you can also use to generate JavaScript, with a great type system.

      • Re:Link and Summary (Score:4, Informative)

        by bcrowell ( 177657 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @07:14PM (#22851176) Homepage

        Trying to do OSS development on the Flash platform is kind of a nightmare in terms of licensing.

        Re Flex, check out the EULA [], e.g., "No Modifications, No Reverse Engineering." The swf spec [] says "a. You may not use the Specification in any way to create or develop a runtime, client, player, executable or other program that reads or renders SWF files." If you look at the list of codecs that are supported for Flash, or that may be supported in the near future, it's a mixture of totally proprietary codecs and others that are not quite as proprietary, but are not totally free and open either: mp3, a modified version of h.263, AAC audio, H.264 video, Nelly Moser. The EULA for the player [] says you can't modify it or reverse-engineer it, and can't run it on a portable device. As of a year ago, there were also a lot of compatibility and licensing issues with the Version 2 Components.

        If you want to do totally OSS development on the flash platform, you can also do it using mtasc, haxe, and gnash. However, you then have to accept that mtasc supports an old version of actionscript, and haxe isn't the same language. I.e., you can't buy a flash book and expect to get the examples working.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by X0563511 ( 793323 )
          People need to learn that anything intending to be a web standard should NOT be proprietary.

          Imagine if javascript, PHP, or html was a proprietary binary blob? You see the issue I'm sure...
        • Or you can use Ming [], which is what I do all my Flash development work with - mostly the Flash editor for OpenStreetMap []. Ming is actually the underlying library for Salasaga, and if you're at all familiar with scripting languages, you may well prefer direct access to the library rather than working via a GUI.

          It's an even older version of Actionscript - AS1 vs mtasc's AS2 or commercial Flash's AS3 - but AS1 and AS2 have the same functionality, and personally (much to the exasperation of my co-devs ;) ) I p
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by markdavis ( 642305 )
        OpenOffice already has the ability to export Impress presentations in Flash :)
        • OpenOffice already has the ability to export Impress presentations in Flash :)

          Is that so? Damn, I should have read the manual.

          markdavis, your comment alone was worth my visit to Slashdot today.
    • What about a player? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Epistax ( 544591 ) <> on Monday March 24, 2008 @06:33PM (#22850822) Journal
      Here I am in amd64... can I have an integrated flash player that WORKS please? Gnash is utter crap (arg please don't say contribute, I haven't the time to do anything but work and flame on slashdot). I don't want to make a chroot 32 environment / install every 32 bit library in existence...

      Does anyone in my situation have a suggestion? I've also tried broken firefox add-ons, including: Magic's Video - Downloader, Media Pirate - The Video Downloader, and Video Download. I can watch about 1/3 of youtube videos. 1/3 don't work at all, and 1/3 only show the first frame. I haven't seen one interactive flash that works. Some flash completely freezes up firefox. Maybe I'd have luck with a different browser :P
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by cortana ( 588495 )
        Install the i386 port of your distro.
      • I'm in the same boat. Somehow the non-free flash plugin for Ubuntu magically started working (hacked to ignore the 32 bit only restrictions? I'm too lazy to find out). It randomly crashes, more so the more complex whatever it's trying to load is, but usually works again after restarting firefox. Atleast shit works right when it doesn't decide to choke and die (gnash I'm looking at you...).
        • by oatworm ( 969674 )
          Sounds like the Flash plugin that runs under the 32 bit version of Ubuntu. :-)
          • On an i386 system, I recommend installing the old 9.0-r48 version of the Flash plugin. It's decently stable, which is more than can be said for the latest releases.

            On a 64-bit system IIRC there is a wrapper for using 32-bit plugins.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        i am in amd64 too, in your same situation, I think adobe will never release the 64 bit plugin, so just ignore content in this closed, propietary and non-portable technology.
        • download flash. extract the .so file from the tarball.

          sudo apt-get install nspluginwrapper
          sudo nspluginwrapper -i
          It worked for me, I did it earlier today. Youtube seems to work, no firefox crashes yet. Ubuntu 7.10, Firefox, about:plugins should display the following once it is installed:

          File name:
          Shockwave Flash 9.0 r115
      • I don't know what distro you use, but I was like you: no acceptable flash player for AMD64. I use Ubuntu, and following an upgrade to Gutsy, installed flashplayer (or whatever it's called) via synaptic, and it handled all the nspluginwrapper stuff automatically. I was quite impressed. Of course I found the need shortly thereafter to install flashblock (or whatever it's called) to tone down certain sites.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by 26199 ( 577806 ) *

        No idea, but here's one tip: mplayer will play the videos.

        Visit the youtube page with a broken flash implementation and it may still download the file to your browser's cache. (It does in opera). Drop to command line, launch mplayer ... yeah, okay, it sucks. But there ya go.

        • by sowth ( 748135 )

          I second mplayer. All the flash video I've thrown at it plays well, though I admit I haven't tried a huge amount.

          I'm certain there is a firefox plugin for mplayer. I've seen mentioned. I don't use it because...well I am on dialup and I think video in web pages is evil!

      • by Device666 ( 901563 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @07:55PM (#22851522)

        Epistax: "Can I have an integrated flash player that WORKS please? [...] arg please don't say contribute, I haven't the time to do anything but work and flame on slashdot"

        If you don't have the time to contribute, how important is that integrated flash player for you? Contribution doesn't neccesary mean it will cost you time, contributing money (even a small sum) can be a way too. Or you could send Adobe a polite email, asking them to add support for your platform. Adobe is increasingly paying more attention to linux. A friendly reminder of lots of people helps

        Epistax: "Gnash is utter crap"

        There are people on projects like Gnash, GPLFlash player, etc who tried or still trying to solve your problem. It's not easy to build an open source flash player. It takes a lot of effort from people with very busy lifes who make the time to contribute code. If all open source developers had your attitude, we all wouldn't even have something like a amd64 open source distribution. So please don't say open source x or y is utter crap, but you don't have time to contribute.

        • by Epistax ( 544591 ) <> on Monday March 24, 2008 @09:30PM (#22852230) Journal
          Your comments are well taken, but..

          If all open source developers had your attitude, we all wouldn't even have something like a amd64 open source distribution.

          I'm not an open source developer, so that's not a fair comparison. I actually did try to help out in a few before but found the politics to be distasteful. My comment about gnash wasn't fair. Gnash is the best thing I've found for amd64. However, it doesn't deserve the pedestal that I've seen people put it on.

          Again, my apologies to any gnash developers. It's just not usable yet.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by niteice ( 793961 )
        Use nspluginwrapper []. It takes a little effort to set up but runs Flash and a few other proprietary (32-bit-only) plugins with ease.
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Hatta ( 162192 )
        I have a suggestion, quit using flash. The internet is much better without it.
        • Unfortunately, flash has become the de facto standard for posting movies on the internet -- and rarely does one see a clear link to the video itself to simply load into mplayer. The grandparent talked about various hacks for downloading the video, which is what I often use when visiting YouTube, but they only work sometimes. So, there is no easy way to get out of using a flash player. And, no, "Don't watch videos on the internet." is not a sane workaround.
        • I've seen some funny animated videos using flash. Small file size and very sharp picture. Half of the annoying pop up "close here [x]" ads I see are javascript now. If the web were in flash we would have pixel level precision in how pages appear. I think any designer would love Flash over html. No work-arounds for different browsers.
        • Can you please explain your position why? I don't think the same reasons we had 5 years ago are as relevant today.
        • by Epistax ( 544591 )
          Hey I agree I think flash is a horrible way to implement what's supposed to be a website. Then again, it makes since for youtube. Flash games are fun too. I don't think I ever claimed to want to use flash for anything other than fun things. :-)
      • by iammisc ( 946727 )
        Have you tried using nspluginwrapper? It works perfectly for me. I can watch almost every flash video except those that check for windows or something stupid like that.
      • Here I am in amd64... can I have an integrated flash player that WORKS please?
        Geez, and people in hell want ice water. I mean, some people are just never satisfied.
      • by Golthur ( 754920 )

        I use nspluginwrapper [] and the 32-bit Flash plugin, it works fairly well, although occasionally Flash "goes away" (blank window with no content) and you need to reload the browser.

        That being said, it's certainly better than most of the other alternatives.

      • Like any sensible person, I don't install Flash. As for Youtube, youtube-dl [] works quite well.

      • by Linegod ( 9952 )
        Use nspluginwrapper. Flash 9 works flawlessly here on Mandriva 2008.0 x86-64.
      • by tbf ( 462972 )
        other alternative: swfdec. it seems to make good progress recently.
      • I'm with you on gnash is crap. With the 32-bit wrapper I can see all youtube videos. It crashes once in while (like 1 time in a month) but it solves the problem about flash in amd64 linux
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jambarama ( 784670 )

      So what does it do? Well, slideshows. Handy, but not hugely exciting

      Not only that, OpenOffice can already export slideshows into .swf files. When .swf support was first added I thought it was so neat I went and created a short animation - flipbook style. As it turns out, requires you to click, to advance to the next slide - which is the only added feature of salasaga AFAICT.

      From the project homepage

      An Integrated Development Environment for producing eLearning. Imagine a free, easy to use GUI authoring environment that helps you create visually impressive and actually useful learning material. The short term goal for this project is to provide such an environment, and we're well on the way to a first release for doing that.

      To me, this seems to suggest this is designed as an educational tool, not a linux flash replacement. But it fails to show (at least to me) why it is any better t

  • URL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @05:49PM (#22850482) Homepage Journal
    Where the fuck is the URL?
  • The link? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 24, 2008 @05:50PM (#22850488)
    The link is a lie.
  • by rucs_hack ( 784150 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @05:51PM (#22850496)
    After all if I did, someone would only mark it as native .flame bait
    • by WarJolt ( 990309 )

      It in fact depends on that library.

      It's not only about flash.

      * Glib and GTK+ - version 2.10 or higher of both is known to work
      * Pango - version 1.16 or higher is known to work
      * libxml2 - version 2.6.30 or higher is known to work
      * Ming - version 0.4.0.beta5 or higher is known to work
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Tetsujin ( 103070 )
      Well, it's not really that it fills one specific hole... If anything it's kind of a double-penetration thing...
    • Considering ming is a LIBRARY and not an IDE, i'd say it's pretty much a shovel, but there's no dirt to fill the hole yet.
  • by overshoot ( 39700 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @06:17PM (#22850732)
    At first I thought it meant the light that comes out of 'puters with the magic smoke.

    I never noticed that Linux had a problem in that regard.

  • Do not forget to mention, that Salasaga [] is Free (as in free speech) Software licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License. This program may be still lacking several important features, but at least everybody is free to contribute and improve this piece of software.
  • This [] seems better than Salasaga at the moment, if you want something similar to flash. At least its an interesting project(project page here []). Would be better if you could play with it without all the adverts though.
  • Other Options...? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wasbridge ( 1190863 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @07:05PM (#22851110)
    Salasaga is cool, but I am not totally sure that it fills the Linux community's need for a Flash IDE, though it does do a good job of creating web based interactive learning environments. I do not want to steal the light, but I want to get a word in. I have a more traditional (Open Source GPL) Flash IDE project which is based off of the Open Source Flex SDK. Its in C# .NET and via MonoDevelop, Cairo and GTK+ will port well to linux and OSX. Porting is on my list of TODOs for the next 2 weeks. Check it out at []
  • Misread (Score:4, Funny)

    by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Monday March 24, 2008 @07:08PM (#22851136)
    Am I the only one who read this as Sausage Fills Flash Creation Hole for Linux?
    • Yes...and I think Freud might have had something to say about this.
    • That would have been a GLORIous HOLE to fill indeed.
    • Am I the only one who read this as Sausage Fills Flash Creation Hole for Linux?

      I read it as "Salsa Saga". (I think it's the next-gen console sequel to the NES game "Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom".)

      Why must open source software projects have such silly names? Yes, I know that many commercial products have silly names too--but why should their lead be followed?
  • They go from the relatively cool Flame Project... to Salasaga!? Am I missing something here?
  • by sega01 ( 937364 )
    While Flash is used in so many places, I really don't see it as essential. You can do a lot with SVG's and the existing web standards, and embed video with an open codec. My main problems with it are that it is completely proprietary. I try to run a pure open source system, and consider any boxes of mine that use the proprietary Flash plugin to be compromised (at least, on the level of the user than runs it). I would really like a Flash, Perl, Python, C++, .NET, Ruby, and Basic free world :-).
    • I would really like a Flash, Perl, Python, C++, .NET, Ruby, and Basic free world :-).

      While I can understand your desire to rid the world of Flash, your obvious bias against scripting lanuages has me irked. I'd hate to live in a world where the only language available was C. Why don't we just get rid of HTML and image formats! Maybe we can be rid of window managers, too! All anyone ever needs is a 80x25 text console.

      Yay 1981!
    • "I would really like a Flash, Perl, Python, C++, .NET, Ruby, and Basic free world :-)"

      Amen to that. :)
  • It was designed for trolls to post slideshows. Why otherwise would the file extension be .flame?
  • [] Large list of open-source flash-related projects, alot (most?) of them are cross-platform.
  • It would be nice to have an open standard that allows people to create animated crap that doesn't require slurping from the adobe teat. Something any browser could run, with, or maybe even without a plugin.

If I have not seen so far it is because I stood in giant's footsteps.