Sadly, I’m not attending Max this year. I spent my budget this year on four other conferences (CF.Objective, CFUnited, WebManiacs and Scotch on the Rocks) and there just wasn’t time or good will enough from my wife to go to Max as well. So, with keen interest I’ve been watching the blogosphere to see what’s going on. I’ve seen the various announcements about Gumbo and Catalyst, which I think are very exciting. But the thing that really caught my eye was the 64 bit preview release of Flash 10 for Linux. Yes, Linux! And no, I’m not a Linux on the desktop kind of guy. I thought about it before switching to Mac, but I’m not one to want to run Photoshop in VMWare.
The reason I find this exciting and shocking is the largely positive press this has gotten in the Linux community. Historically speaking, I’ve never seen a truly positive article about Flash posted to Slashdot. Nor have I seen comments about Flash (or ColdFusion) on Slashdot be even remotely civil. Comments tended to deride Flash for being closed source, being non-free-as-in-speech, used to create annoying ads, being “buggy” or, most commonly, not running on 64 bit Linux. Today that seems to have largely changed! With the announcement of a 64 bit prerelease version of Flash player for Linux the comments on Slashdot have been downright civil and, dare I say it, praiseful of Adobe!
A few interesting quotes from the comments:
“Linux users asked, and adobe listened. Great stuff.”
“That’s the crux of the issue,”.
“Adobe Flash has [64-bit support], Sun Java does not”
“The vast majority of users aren’t going to cut off their nose to spite their face by refusing to use “non-free” software, and nor should they.” (Referring to the use of free-as-in-speech software vs. free-as-in-beer.)
“Where’s the 128-bit version?!” (You knew it’s be there as well as demanding support for FreeBDS, Sparc and other various 64 bit architectures.)
“I just tried it on my Fedora 9 64-bit installation and it works just fine. No crashes, no freezes”.
Now, really, has hell frozen over?! Slashdot had nice things to say about Adobe and the Flash Player! Excellent! So, for that reason alone I found the 64bit Flash preview release the most interesting announcement out of Max so far. What’s caught your eye?