In the past Open Web proponents have criticized Flash and Flex because the SWF specification – while being published and publicly available – limited what readers could do with the specification. More specifically the agreement to view the specification required that readers not build programs that would run SWF files. The intentions behind this were good – Adobe does not want Flash to have inconsistent and incompatible implementations.
Today Adobe Systems has announced that they are removing those restrictions on the SWF and FLV specifications! This is very exciting news and something I’ve been lobbying for since I started working for Macromedia (actually I think I began bugging Emmy Huang about this before I started working for Macromedia). Flash has become the standard for sexier web experiences with RIAs, video on the web, and interactive web content. Today that standard is truly open!
Adobe has also announced the Open Screen Project which aims to create an open and consistent layer on top of the countless small device platforms including consumer devices, phones, MIDs, and set top boxes. This is an extremely exciting project that will hopefully do for the world of small devices what the browser did for the PC world. You could also call this the “RIA Everywhere!” project. :)
Software keeps getting more exciting and the Open Web just got sexier and smaller!