Aral Balkan was his usually energetic self and did a great job representing the open source Flash movement at Spark (along with Nicolas Canasse, John Grden, Luke Hubbard and the rest of the community of course). His first session was on the "Open Source Flash Revolution". After briefly covering the history of how osflash.org came about he went on to cover some of the amazing open source projects they host and how to go about creating SWF content without touching the Flash IDE (though you still can if you want to). If you're handling everything through code (loading external assets etc.) you can use the MTASC compiler, if you want to embed assets into your SWF there is Swfmill to help you accomplish that.

Other things worth mentioning are ASUnit (that does a great job with unit testing for ActionScript projects and integrates with the Flash IDE), Screenweaver for creating desktop applications, screensavers etc. (version 4 will have support for Mac), LuminicBox FlashInspector for logging your application and of course Xray which is indispensable for debugging your Flash projects.

Macromedia appears to be very supportive of the movement, with their own "Flash JavaScript Integration Kit" hosted as an open source project on osflash.org and the extremely liberal licence they're using for their examples on labs.macromedia.com. They also benefit greatly from the active open source community that is willing to share, and of course its good publicity to slowly try and "re-educate" the flash-bashing slashdot crowd ;)

As you would expect there were a few reservations though, and as expected the legal situation of some of the projects hosted there was discussed at the open source panel. A few things became apparent from that discussion:

- The open source Flash community does not want to hurt the commercial interest of Macromedia - Just because no objection was made to certain open source technology before does not mean Macromedia will not take steps to protect its intellectual property later on. - We need a point of contact at Macromedia to get official feedback on the position they take regarding certain open source developments.

Of course as with any company legal departments are a slow moving machine, as Mike said it is not their intention to spread FUD.

Personally I would love to see some sort of official statement from Macromedia (before everything is handed over to Adobe) that highlights some clear guidelines on what open source developments they accept, maybe even encourage, and to what they take objection.

Posted
AuthorPeter