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Re: [Gnash] Fwd: Question about Gnash

From: Aaron Whitehouse
Subject: Re: [Gnash] Fwd: Question about Gnash
Date: Fri, 22 Jan 2010 21:34:19 +1300
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20090817)

John Gilmore wrote:
Unfortunately, many popular video sites have evolved to need a recent
kind of Flash support that gnash still implements poorly.  We're
working on it, but haven't caught up yet.  Embedded video tends to use
older Flash interfaces and therefore tends to work better in gnash.

First up, you all do an excellent job. A Free Flash player is very important to me, as it is the only non-Free software (as opposed to firmware) that I routinely run on my computers. I am an FSF member and have donated to Gnash several times. (On that note, I would prefer it if OpenMediaNow allowed me to donate only to Gnash.)

Each release of Ubuntu/Mythbuntu (maybe since as far back as 2004), I upgrade my machines, install Gnash instead of Adobe and try it out. I'm not sure if it is just the sites I use (nearly entirely video sites, such as, but I have a terrible success rate with Gnash. Within a month, I install Adobe Flash for a (video) site that doesn't work and then do not usually change it back. Given how strongly I feel about the project, I fear that other users are even less resilient.

For what it is worth, I think three things could help:

1) Gnash as a Firefox extension. I remember this being talked about a lot for a while and then heard of no more. If a problem is that Gnash needs to evolve faster than a six-monthly release cycle, perhaps this is a way forward.

2) Add a LinuxFund project for YouTube support. I was on there the other day looking to donate to Gnash and the two options were the OSM support that will no longer work and RTMP support. I would guess that I know far more about video protocols than the average person, but the description for RTMP gave me no help as to whether this would help me with my video-playing problem on sites that I actually use. What I would like, and what I would donate to help achieve, is for Gnash to work on popular sites. While I fully appreciate that support for Free software servers is important, people are more likely to "buy" popular features like YouTube (I doubt there are enough NZ users for a TVNZ fund). If that can be implemented in a way that has collateral benefits to Free/open alternatives, all the better. I would guess that supporting Free options is important to the developers, so let us pay you to do the things that are important to us. While it may be wishful thinking, I can see people getting more excited about a drive/pledgebank pledge to get Gnash supporting YouTube.

3) Come up with a way to reload a page with the Adobe player. While I'm dreading the response I'll get to this, I would be much more likely to use Gnash in Firefox if I could reload a page using Adobe's player whenever Gnash failed. Yes, I would be using Adobe's player sometimes, but at least most of the time I would use Gnash.

Please take these comments in the positive way that I intend them. I wish only the best for Gnash.



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