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Coder cooks up Java-built Flash Player

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A version of Flash is being built using Java, two years after Adobe Systems opened the player's closed formats to external inspection.

Programmer Joa Ebert has demonstrated a Java build of Flash executing SWF. The player is apparently called JITB, and it was recently unveiled at an event in San Francisco.

While there's still plenty left to do, Ebert hoped others might become involved in the project if he shared his work in its early stages.

"Maybe some OpenGL guru wants to take care of the Display List rendering or someone else likes to help implement the Flash API in Java," the coder blogged here. The code is here.

JITB is currently able to translate a subset of Adobe's ActionScript scripting language into Java bytecode he said would run at nearly the same speed as native Java. He blogged:

"I am also shooting for Java interoperability at some level so that you can call Java classes from within ActionScript. Hopefully you will be able to use JITB on your desktop machine, on a server or on an Android phone. Basically everywhere Java runs."

Adobe in 2008 lifted restrictions on SWF for use in multi-media and vector graphics and FLV/F4V, for video on Flash. The company also published Flash Player's device porting layer APIs, the Flash Cast protocol and AMF protocol for the exchange data between a Flash application and database. In addition, Adobe pledged to eliminate all licensing fees for the next major releases of Flash Player and Adobe Integrated Runtime, which are due later this year.

Adobe didn't exactly open-source the technologies - it just allowed outsiders to read them, and to implement them without changes as non-Adobe versions of Flash Player. The company did so as it formed the Open Screen Alliance to encourage device makers and programmers to put Flash and its Flash-based Adobe Internet Runtime (AIR) on more non-PC devices.

Shout out to Reg regular Tim Anderson for flagging this up. ®

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