Adobe Bulks Up Open Source Street Creds

Adobe has released two new platform initiatives for developers and content publishers:

  • Open Source Media Framework, previously part of the Strobe project, gives developers new open source tools to build media players based on the Adobe Flash Platform.
  • Text Layout Framework, or TLF, provides developers with new typography capabilities to Web applications.

Both initiatives will increase developers’ capabilities considerably as they build video products and services across mediums and content types, said Tom Barclay, senior product manager for Adobe’s platform business unit.

“People mistakenly think of the Flash platform as just a player — but in reality it is an integrated set of services and applications, all of which run consistently across different operating systems and devices,” Barclay told LinuxInsider.

Who, What, Where

The framework enables developers to create playback experiences through plug-ins for advertising, reporting metrics and delivering content. It includes an API for partners to leverage this functionality — building plug-ins for value-add content and services. The framework’s source code and software components are available under the Mozilla Public License.

An extensible ActionScript library built on a text engine in Adobe Flash Player 10 and Adobe AIR 1.5 software, the layout framework also extends developers’ and publishers’ design options. Among other things, it provides support for bidirectional text, multicolumn functionality and similar new controls. The source code for the framework is available at Adobe Open Source.

Early adopters of the framework include The New York Times’ Times Reader 2.0 and The Boston Globe’s GlobeReader, Barclay noted. Both have new text reflow capabilities, multiple columns and advanced typography functionality.

Open Source Fan

Adobe has a long history of providing its code to the open source community; these steps are strengthening those ties, Barclay said. The flexibility inherent in open source, he added, will become increasingly welcome as Flash itself is adapted to new mediums and formats.

For example, Adobe is looking to bring Flash to smartphones and netbooks, he said. “We introduced the Flash player 10 last October, and we now have an 87 percent market share — it is the fastest-accelerating type of tool in the market right now.”

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