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Adobe opens Flash to Firefox

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Adobe Systems is prying open its ubiquitous Flash media player to improve interoperability with the increasingly popular Firefox browser.

Adobe announced Tuesday it has released source code for the ActonScript Virtual Machine scripting language engine used in Flash Player to the Mozilla Foundation under Project Tamarin. Mozilla is to administer the project.

Tamarin will implement the final version of ECMAScript Edition 4, which Mozilla will use in Firefox's SpiderMonkey JavaScript embedded engine. ECMAScript 4 is currently in development the European Computer Manufacturers' Association, a standards group, with ECMAScript already in use in JavaScript and Microsoft's JScript.

Adobe claims more than 700 million internet-connected PCs and mobile devices run its Flash Player, which received a major update this summer. Flash Player 9.0 features improvements in start-up times, memory utilization, and debugging and error reporting to attract developers and users.

The Mozilla tie-up, though, comes as Flash Player's status as a provider of standards-based, rich internet viewing experiences is under threat from Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX). AJAX is increasingly the de-facto architecture for open source developers building interactive web applications and interfaces.

Coupled with the growing market share for Firefox, Adobe was compelled to open its Flash source code and work with Mozilla to at least stay relevant to the market. Integration at the code level is expected to improve compatibility and stability with Firefox.®

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