On 8 Feb 2003 at 4:07, Luc Heinrich wrote:

> Phil Tomson <ptkwt / shell1.aracnet.com> wrote:
> 
> > But we're talking about building a GUI on it so that may not be an issue,
> > though personally I probably wouldn't work on a project which used Flash
> > as the basis of a GUI primarily because it is a closed standard, while I
> > would consider (if I had the time, so I'm speaking hypothetically here)
> > building a GUI using SVG which is an open standard... but that's just my
> > opinion.
> 
> What's the difference between an open standard like SVG which
> specifications are freely available and a supposedly closed standard
> like Flash which specifications are *also* freely available ?

IMHO, SVG is more driven by notions of architectural correctness, while Flash 
is more market-driven. You also want to keep in mind that Flash plugins are 
available for all major browsers on all platforms, while there is no functioning 
SVG plugin for the latest browsers on Linux and perhaps other "non-
mainstream" platforms? (At least I don't think there is--I use Linux and have 
made repeated attempts to find such a plugin). Personally, I favor the greater 
openness and "correct" architecture of SVG, but the market may have other 
ideas.

> Is this just because SVG is driven by the W3C (after having beeing
> driven by Adobe, IIRC) and Flash is driven by the baaaaad Macromedia ?
> Because once again, both specifications are freely available.

I wouldn't call the Flash specification "freely available." Free of charge, yes. But 
in order to obtain it, you have to join Macromedia's developer program; in order 
to do that, you have to give them, oh, I don't remember exactly, but various 
information about your company. You also have to tell them what kind of 
software you are developing and when you plan to release it, agree to certain 
quality standards for any released software (not that I'm against quality 
standards), and I think you have to give Macromedia certain rights over your 
code. I did this about a month ago, so I don't remember in great detail, but the 
agreement was very clearly designed to limit the rights of developers and 
protect Macromedia's interests. And (though I'm not a lawyer) I got the distinct 
impression that Macromedia's license conditions would make it very difficult, if 
not impossible, to develop open-source software for Flash.

I'm not alleging an evil intentions here, just saying that the Flash spec is far 
from free, in the sense that open source people usually mean the term.

--
Matt Gushee
Englewood, CO USA