View Full Version : The Flash barrier
01-24-2007, 08:51 AM
Adobe. Nokia. Opera. (Listed alphabetically.) Which of these companies is to blame for the Nokia N800 Internet Tablet's woeful Flash situation?
Does Adobe disdain us Internet Tablet users? Is it dragging its feet in supplying the most current software for this revolutionary device?
Is Opera unable to offer a small-enough, powerful framework? Or is there a licensing (read: money) issue?
Is Nokia pushing Adobe and/or Opera hard enough? Does Nokia need to swallow hard and pay stiffer fees to get the current capabilities?
Somewhere in here is some intransigence or ignorance that needs to be overcome.
What can we IT users do to get Flash all the way? And who is it we need to pester?
Because this is just not acceptable.Read the full article. (http://www.internettablettalk.com/2007/01/24/the-flash-barrier/)
I all the way with you on that one RogerS. There's no acceptable reason flash support for mobile devices in general is so poor. I mean how powerful does a mobile device have to be to get version 9 if the N800 barely made the jump from 6 to 7? And by the time a capable mobile finally receives version 9, how obsolete will it have been?
01-24-2007, 09:48 AM
The only reason Flash is anything, is because of IE, Firefox and, I guess Opera (barely). If browsers didn't support it, it would be abandon-ware. I think Adobe wanted it to be a stand-alone application framework, but is has simply become just an eye-candy dispenser for web pages.
I would rather websites stop using it, or simply have alternative non-Flash views. It is not just my 770 that can't use Flash - my cell phone has internet access, and it won't run Flash, either.
An alternative is for folks to save their Flash pages in version 6 format. Can they do that? I guess?
01-24-2007, 10:18 AM
Flash 9 was only recently released for Linux. Until then, Flash 7 was the most recent version.
The speed difference between the two is pretty amazing, as well -- I've seen it said that the new version is 10x faster (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070117-8642.html). It's not necessarily the case that the new version is that much more blazingly faster, but that Flash 7 was so dog slow.
Since the Nokia N800 is still a pretty slow and underpowered machine compared to recent powerful desktops and laptops (with good reason: portability, battery life, etc.), of course a port of the already slow Flash 7 for Linux to the Arm will be pretty pathetically slow. Those modern Linux desktops even had some issues playing flash video with Flash 7, by-the-way.
I think that it probably wasn't expected to take so long for Flash 9 to become gold, and Nokia had deadlines to ship the device. They're probably (hopefully) testing Flash 9 for the N800 right now. The delay for it being available for the device is most likely due to:
Porting to the Arm
Testing and fixing bugs for the Arm port
Possibly rolling Flash into a system update with other fixes
I believe that Flash 9 will be available soon for the N800 device. Adobe just released Flash 9 for Linux on Jan 17, 2007 (http://blogs.adobe.com/penguin.swf/2007/01/flash_player_9_for_linux_x86.html), after all.
Also consider that the release date for the Nokia N800 was Jan 8, 2007 (http://www.nokia.com/A4136001?newsid=1096861).
Just be patient. YouTube will work, eventually.
01-24-2007, 11:09 AM
Flash 7 [is] so dog slow.
[And] the Nokia N800 is still a pretty slow and underpowered machine ....
They're probably (hopefully) testing Flash 9 for the N800 right now....
I believe that Flash 9 will be available soon for the N800 device.I'd be happy if that assertion could be verified. Is there any way to find out?
My old teacher used to say that we should work towards making the difficult easy and the easy beautiful.
Nokia's done a wonderful job in making the web fit into our pocket. Now they've got to do the job of making it work really well.
And without a better, faster, more-compliant Flash, it's not ... well, perfect.
So I'm content to lobby Nokia. But is that the pressure point (to change metaphors)?
01-24-2007, 11:20 AM
Yes, the only people who've got any leverage here are Nokia. Adobe are just an ISV providing a system component, any lobbying at Adobe will be fruitless (if not counter-productive).
Opera have nothing to do with it: it's just a standard plugin.
So, that leaves Nokia. Therefore, the people associated with the visible face of ITT have the best option (i.e. people who can get interviews with Ari Jaaksi at CES ;-))
01-24-2007, 11:51 AM
Andrew, are you suggesting we draft Daniel (thoughtfix) for this lobbying effort?
01-24-2007, 11:57 AM
Dear Nokia: Flash 9 for Linux is final, ask Adobe to port it for the N800 (http://www.ringnokia.com/2007/01/dear_nokia_flas.html) from ringnokia.com
Comments regarding Flash 9 on N800 from John Dowdell who apparently works for Adobe concur with Andrew:
"The device manufacturers themselves are the major stakeholders in the budgeting for any such work, though, which is why both partners need to see the potential benefits to prioritizing that work. Letting the device manufacturer know is the starting point."
01-24-2007, 12:15 PM
The thread at RingNokia seems to say that
Nokia needs to license the more recent Flash player from Adobe
Adobe does the porting
There's likely a fair amount of hand-tuning to get it to work on the CPU, OS, browser and hardwareAnd, obviously, somebody has to fork out the money for development, testing and maintenance.
It always sounded to me like Adobe's attitude was, "Sure, we'd like to have Flash everywhere, but we're not going to spend a lot of money on small markets."
Is Nokia being penny-wise and pound-foolish in not going for a richer license?
Or is Adobe asking an exorbitant amount of money to do the work?
Or is something actually happening already and we just have to be patient?
These are the questions I don't see answers to. But it seems crazy for people with less-powerful devices on smaller screens to be getting a better web experience than users of an 800x480 device running full (not embedded) Linux.
01-24-2007, 12:19 PM
I have to agree with michaelalanjones above: Instead of "improving" flash-support on any device, i'd rather have websites stop using it. Disabling Flash is the first thing I do on a new browser. I can't see what it's for - except commercial ads.
It's also kind of strange how people take all the benefits of an (almost) open platform but then complain they cannot use all the proprietary plug-ins they want. If the plug-in were an open project, one could port the most recent version to maemo and improve its speed by optimizing it. As it is not, you just have to live with what the involved companies release. Period. Stop whining.
Adobe is not to blame, neither is Nokia. The "bad guys" are those who use technology that eventually forces people to use certain hardware and certain operating systems: the authors of a few websites.
01-24-2007, 12:29 PM
I still think that by putting all flash movies automatically to the low quality mode by default, would help most of the 'normal' flash stuff like banners and such. And for the movies, it would help if nokia could provide instuctions on how to make an opera plugin. Then someone (perhaps serge) could make a mplayer opener plugin for opening youtube videos and such in mplayer with touch of a button on the web page.
just my 2 (euro) cents.
01-24-2007, 12:35 PM
I fully agree benny and was just thinking the same myself. For the most part Flash is an *annoyance* for me and I'd just as soon its use was drastically minimized. I'm tired of large intrusive ads that fly out over web pages and don't allow themselves to be closed. I'm tired of cute animations that wander all over the page, taking their sweet time to settle into a fixed ad frame. Enabling newer Flash technology on the N800 will be a double-edged sword. Personally I'd rather see the money and compatibility efforts go into java, ajax and asp.
01-24-2007, 12:44 PM
I agree with texrat and I never use flash on my 770. But if there would be a movie only plugin (open the movie in mplayer), that would be just perfect for me. No annoying flash stuff, but fast movies (and fullscreen) when you want to watch them.
01-24-2007, 12:51 PM
More than a month ago, I sent a few emails to Adobe's Macromedia Flash Developers Kit folks and never got anything back. I told them specifically what I wanted: A Macromedia Flash 7 SDK to port to the Nokia 770.
I got nothing back from them. Absolutely nothing.
Then the N800 comes out with a built-in Flash 7 port.
I'm pretty much certain that Nokia and Adobe have a licensing agreement already in place which precludes letting the public have a crack at expanding the 770/800's capabilities. Certainly not an open source solution...
01-24-2007, 04:51 PM
Let's put this into perspective: Is there a device with a comparable CPU that actually displays Flash video FASTER than the N800?
01-24-2007, 05:54 PM
Let's put this into perspective: Is there a device with a comparable CPU that actually displays Flash video FASTER than the N800?Not sure you're allowed "comparable" if you specify CPU. I think you have to allow for anything in the same price or size. If Nokia put its money in the screen and not the CPU, and somebody else chose the reverse, you've got to compare the results across the board.
But anyway, yours is not a question I know the answer to. It certainly seems like I have read remarks asserting that in various forums elsewhere. But maybe it was video in some other form being spoken of. Or maybe it was Flash Lite on a cellphone.
I've been saying for months, "Ha! The UMPC is so-o-o expensive compared to the internet tablet." Hadn't you better tell us straight out that the Flash side of the internet is better on a UMPC than an N800?
At least I'll be prepared when someone sneers, "Which 'internet' is your tablet for again? The non-moving 'internet'? The mono-media 'internet'?"
01-24-2007, 06:11 PM
A 320MHz ARM processor should be well up for the level of processing needed for Flash games and, almost certainly, video (e.g. YouTube).
I believe Flash 9 implements a JIT on x86 to get its new performance, unfortunately that just further complicates an ARM port.
01-25-2007, 04:46 AM
Ari Jaaksi has today (25 Jan) blogged (http://jaaksi.blogspot.com/2007/01/status-report.html) about updated Flash and Opera:
Some people are also asking about new Flash versions, new browser versions and so forth. These components involve customer and business partnership relations, technical work, and other things that make it impossible to tell exactly what is gonna happen. However, our goal is to make Internet Tablets as interoperable with internet services as possible.
01-25-2007, 08:18 AM
I would pick out this part of his blog as the salient part —:
However, our goal is to make Internet Tablets as interoperable with internet services as possible. This includes services ... support for major internet formats, and a brilliant browser.Given that Flash is the most ubiquitous plugin on the internet, that the adoption of Flash occurs at 4x that of IE7 (http://weblogs.macromedia.com/jd/archives/2007/01/adoption_rates.cfm), and YouTube's role in things (owned by Google, don't forget), I'd decode this as Flash Lite, Flash 8 or Flash 9 is on the way already.
Added later: I didn't get to the comments till late afternoon. Someone mentions there that Opera 9 for devices is out. Is that the brilliant browser?
01-25-2007, 07:35 PM
Can someone answer why free Flash updates are available and downloadable for OSX, Windows, Windows CE and not ITOS?
Does Apple and Microsoft have to pay license fees to Adobe to have them provide the latest Flash plugins?
Why didn't Nokia provide a version of Opera that would allow for plug-ins (or maybe it does and I haven't found any)?
01-25-2007, 07:48 PM
I read this week on an Adobe blog (http://weblogs.macromedia.com/jd/archives/2007/01/player_embeddin.cfm) that the Flash players are free to consumers, but the device manufacturers have to pay for Adobe to develop the plugins.
01-25-2007, 07:48 PM
Okay, I don't know all the detail, but here is my cut:
For example, Opera is free on desktop, but not on small devices. Companies use those popular platforms to attract users, establish their products and then sell their products somewhere else or complementary products on the same platforms.
For Adobe it's worth spending their money on Flash player for Windows, but on a platform like Maemo, the platform owner (e.g. Nokia) should cover the costs of porting, tuning and testing.
01-29-2007, 07:20 PM
I I can't see what it's for - except commercial ads.
Virtually all Local TV outlets use Flash 9 in their websites to show breaking news clips.
02-09-2007, 10:06 AM
For those who dislike Flash on N800, check out http://www.gamoku.com
You might change your mind. If design properly, Flash could make the N800 a fun mobile gaming platform.
Anyway the website offers free online Flash games optimized for mobile devices (with relatively "slow" processor) like the N800. And there are no intrusive flying and dancing Flash advertisement!
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