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Developer Rob Savoye
Release 0.8.6
OS Windows, MacOS, Linux, BSD, UNIX
Genre Player
License GNU GPL
Type Open Source
Website Gnash Website
Documentation Gnash Docs
Wikipedia Gnash
OSFlash Gnash

Gnash is a project which aims to create a player and browser plugin for the Adobe Flash file format which is free software, replacing the proprietary software niche currently occupied by Adobe Flash Player.


[edit] History

Writing a free software Flash player has been a priority of the GNU project for some time. Before the launch of Gnash, the GNU project asked for people to assist the GPLFlash project. However, now the majority of the previous GPLFlash developers have moved across to the Gnash project and the existing GPLFlash codebase will be refocused towards supporting embedded systems.

Gnash was started using the codebase of the GameSWF project, which is in the public domain. The primary distribution terms for Gnash are those of the GNU General Public License, but code developed by the Gnash project which might be useful in GameSWF will be placed in the public domain.

The project was first announced by software developer John Gilmore. Its maintainer is Rob Savoye.

[edit] Technical details

Gnash requires either AGG, Cairo, or OpenGL for rendering. In contrast to most GNU projects, which are typically written in C, Gnash is written in the C++ programming language.

Adobe provides an official player for Linux on x86 in a binary-only form. It does not support Linux users with other processor architectures. Gnash on the other hand can be compiled and executed on many architectures, including x86, AMD64, MIPS/Irix, and PowerPC. It also supports the BSD based operating systems.

An early port exists for RISC OS, which has never had Macromedia/Adobe Flash support, and an early port for BeOS, where support terminated at Version 4.

'Flash' actually consists of two different file types, SWF, often just referred to as 'Flash', which provides animated vector graphics for menus and presentations, and FLV, often referred to as 'Flash Video', which provides streaming video clips for websites such as YouTube.

Currently, Gnash can play SWF files, up to version 7, and some features of the new SWF 8/9 files. Gnash supports playback of FLV videos and allows playing FLV files from YouTube, Myspace, ShowMeDo and other similar websites. FLV support requires FFmpeg or GStreamer to be installed on the system.

Most other free software Flash players can only render version 4 (or lower) SWF files. Some other free-software programs, such as MPlayer, VLC or Windows players based on the ffdshow DirectShow codecs can playback the FLV format if the file is specially downloaded or piped to it.

The goal of the Gnash developers is to be as much compatible as possible to the proprietary player (including behavior on bad ActionScript code). However, Gnash offers some special features not available in the Adobe player. For example, it is possible to extend the ActionScript classes via shared libraries. Sample extensions include MySQL support, file system access and more. For security reasons the extension mechanism must be compiled-in explicitly and enabled via configuration files.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links