Shumway - Mozilla's JavaScript Flash Player
Written by Ian Elliot   
Thursday, 22 November 2012

A new project from Mozilla aims to build a SWF Flash Player implementation in JavaScript that does not rely on native code and so provides an alternative way to process rich media without a plugin.

Shumway is an open source project that is working on an experimental web-native runtime implementation of the SWF file format that delivers vector graphics, text video and sound over the Internet.

Mozilla's motivation is to advance the Open Web and for this it wants to make rich media capabilities, previously only available in Flash, also available in the native web browser stack. It has the twin aims of liberating us from the need to use Adobe's proprietary Flash Player and also providing a runtime processor for SWF and other rich media formats on platforms for which runtime implementations are not available.

Although  SWF (ShockWave Flash format) is an Adobe format it is open source and this project aims to get us nearer to HTML5 technology providing a complete browser experience.

 

shumwaydemo

 

There is already a live demo to show Shumway's capabilities as a renderer and you can also install the shumway.xpi extension to use with the beta of Firefox 17 to preview SWF content on the web using Shumway.

The Mozilla blog does however include a note of caution:

Please be aware that Shumway is very experimental, is missing features, contains many defects, and is evolving rapidly.

The blog post from Jet Villegas also sends out a request for help from those interested in contributing to the Shumway implementation in the following five areas:

1. Core. This module includes the main file format parser, the rasterizer, and event system.
2. AVM1. JavaScript interpreter for ActionScript version 1 and version 2 bytecode.
3. AVM2.  JavaScript interpreter and JIT compiler for ActionScript version 3 bytecode.
4. Browser Integration handles the glue between the web browser and the Shumway runtime.
5. Testing/Demos. Add good demo and test files/links to Shumway.

 mozilla

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