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Mozilla's Open Source Project Shumway To Translate SWF To HTML5 57

An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla currently has an experimental project on github called Shumway to try to interpret SWF (aka Flash files) using browser-standard technologies like HTML5 and JavaScript. All I can say is please and thank you! 'Shumway is an HTML5 technology experiment that explores building a faithful and efficient renderer for the SWF file format without native code assistance. Shumway is community-driven and supported by Mozilla. Our goal is to create a general-purpose, web standards-based platform for parsing and rendering SWFs. Integration with Firefox is a possibility if the experiment proves successful.'" It's not the first such attempt; here's a post from a few years back about one called Smokescreen, and another about QuickTime programmer Steve Perlman's subscription-based workaround for iDevices.
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Mozilla's Open Source Project Shumway To Translate SWF To HTML5

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  • Shumway? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Skarecrow77 ( 1714214 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @09:32AM (#40218549)

    ALF, is that you?

  • Google Swiffy (Score:5, Informative)

    by aaron44126 ( 2631375 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @09:35AM (#40218589) Homepage
    Google has a project going along these lines, called Swiffy []. Looking at the demos [], it appears to work pretty well.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Swiffy is a service that "compiles" into a json file that a browser plugin can then use. I would imagine a closed source server side solution is even less appealing to mozilla than a closed source client side solution... It is to me at least.

  • by Lord Lode ( 1290856 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @09:41AM (#40218645)

    If it can translate every game and movie on e.g. Newgrounds, and be playable, then it's awesome!

  • by yincrash ( 854885 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @09:45AM (#40218669)
    The racing demo is the only one that worked for me. The other two examples did not work. Still pretty neat
  • by ArhcAngel ( 247594 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @09:45AM (#40218675)
    I guess it's a good thing API's can't be copyrighted or this would have been DOA. Perhaps Adobe could get behind this as well. What could be better than still being able to sell your developer tools for Flash and not have to create clients for all the different platforms anymore.
  • by jspenguin1 ( 883588 ) <> on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @09:50AM (#40218713) Homepage
    I can't wait to watch Shumway [] on Shumway...
    • by Dwedit ( 232252 )

      I was about to post that exact flash! So here's the link to watch it on Newgrounds [], as uploaded by the original creator.

  • []

    Despite everyone's hatred of Flash, it exists because there was no other way to get that type of functionality on the Web until relatively recently. I remember when FutureSplash came out in 1995 and it was very impressive compared to state of what you could do on the Web at the time. When Macromedia added the programming capability it was even more impressive. However, the time has come to move on to next great

  • by caspy7 ( 117545 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @10:10AM (#40218957)

    Whatever you think about Mozilla's products, experiments or strategies, they are working for a free web.
    It's more than admirable, it's good for the web to have them around.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    There's still quite many things that can't be done in HTML5 + JS. I've been hosting a real time web audio application since 2005. It's implemented in Java, and I've been waiting for a low-level JS audio API ever since I made the app, but the API offering is still a bunch of non-standard hodgepodge. And the JS performance isn't quite there for real time audio. Until the API offering is good enough, I don't understand the drive to port stuff from working plugin-based solutions to broken HTML.

    Eventually, we're

    • It doesn't matter if the browser can natively do everything. It just matters whether or not it can do everything you need it to do in a particular case. Most SWFs are well within that range.
    • GWT + bst-player has worked well for me. I bet it would suit your needs just fine (albeit, not to the degree that a plugin solution would). You will at least be able to abstract any kind of media interactions from the browser. Also, GWT is what google uses for all their web apps, so the technology should be relatively sound.
  • Great (Score:4, Insightful)

    by StripedCow ( 776465 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @10:29AM (#40219137)

    Now we only need a project that converts HTML5 to something that can be rendered uniformly on all major browsers.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @12:07PM (#40220497) Homepage

    The Macromedia Flash interpreter gets more done with less code than almost anything else in computing today. Until a few years ago, the executable was under 1MB. The file structure allows execution before the entire file has been read in. The timeline and assets stream organization makes this possible. It's an elegant little system for doing animation with a low-bandwidth stream. Yes, today it tends to be used mostly for its video codec, but that's an artifact of YouTube. (And the fact that Apple turned the QuickTime plug-in into a way to force people to install iTunes.)

    The Flash format isn't even proprietary. There are third-party Flash interpreters. They're widely used for the 2D interface components of video games.

  • I thought they had commercial versions of these up and running in special web browsers for iOS devices.
  • Are they going to call it SWF.js?

    I hope it ends up being a few orders of magnitude faster than PDF.js is at rendering.

  • From what I've seen, the built-in HTML 5 video of Firefox performs very poorly, nowhere near the performance of the Windows Media Player plugin, and is even worse than Flash, especially when a page is scaled.
    Since Flash itself does a decent job at rendering vector animation, I wonder if Firefox can reach that level of performance? Flash itself is still slow, and has much room for improvement, so the sky is the limit to making a better Flash player.

    • The flash people already donated Tamarin to Mozilla, which uses NanoJIT in their current JavaScript VM. So speed should be similar to the flash plugin.

      • The flash people already donated Tamarin to Mozilla, which uses NanoJIT in their current JavaScript VM. So speed should be similar to the flash plugin.

        Yeah, it's unfortunate the Tarmin license was incompatible with Apache. I didn't realize it went to Mozilla though. It seems like it would be some interesting code to tinker around with. I might have to go pop into Mozilla's neck of the woods and check it out.

      • by BZ ( 40346 )

        Actually, Mozilla stopped using NanoJIT with Firefox 9 when they dropped their tracing JIT.

  • Why waste time on this, instead of contributing to Gnash/Lightspark.

Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject -- the actual enemy is the unknown. -- Thomas Mann