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On 06/04/2010 13:23, Jeff wrote:
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title="Permanent Link to Smokescreen Project Promises
‘Flash Without the Plug-in’">Smokescreen
Project Promises ‘Flash Without the Plug-in’</a></h1>
<li class="entryAuthor"> By <a moz-do-not-send="true"
Michael Calore">Michael Calore</a> </li>
<li class="entryEdit"> WebMonkey<br>
<p>A new open source project converts Flash animations to
web browser without the use of a plug-in.</p>
<p>The new project is called <a moz-do-not-send="true"
href="http://smokescreen.us/">Smokescreen</a>, and it’s the creation
of a programmer named Chris Smoak. Basically, Smoak’s code dissects the
SWF binaries (the meat of any Flash animation) and re-renders all the
elements as web standards-compliant code as the animation plays. If
you’re producing Flash animations, you don’t need to futz with your
code or redeploy any SWFs.</p>
<p>There are several demos on Smoak’s site. We like <a
Strongbad example</a> the best.</p>
<p>Simon Willison, a programmer and blogger, has an excellent
high-level technical description of the behind-the-scenes stuff <a
href="http://simonwillison.net/2010/May/29/smokescreen/">on his website</a>:</p>
<p>Smokescreen runs entirely in the browser, reads in SWF
binaries, unzips them (in native JS), extracts images and embedded
audio and turns them in to base64 encoded data:uris, then stitches the
vector graphics back together as animated SVG. Open up the Chrome Web
Inspector while the demo is running and you can see the SVG changing in
real time. Smokescreen even implements its own ActionScript bytecode
<p>Smoak says he will be releasing Smokescreen under an
open-source license soon. For now, we have some pretty slick demos.
It’s not perfect, but it’s a clear vision of what a Flash-free future
would look like.</p>
<p>Obviously, this bit of code won’t work for Flash videos. But
there are already <a moz-do-not-send="true"
workarounds</a> for those. <a moz-do-not-send="true"
href="http://smokescreen.us/about/">Smoak says</a> his original goal
was to build something that would let Flash-based banner ads play on
the iPhone and iPad. As noble as those intentions are (cough), the
possible use cases for Smokescreen extend beyond advertising.</p>
<p>Once optimized and streamlined, it could be used for games.
Willison notes that news site infographics are a juicy target. It could
also be used for rendering cartoon-like animations, such as the
Strongbad episode in the demo. We’d love to see the classic <em>Sex
Slave</em> series, originally built in Flash/Shockwave, reborn in HTML5.</p>
<p>There are concerns about how well Smokescreen will run on
mobiles with slower, less-powerful processors. Again, we can expect to
see improvements once the code is open sourced. Also, only the latest
browsers are invited to the party for now — you’ll need Firefox 3.6,
Chrome 5, Safari 4 or MobileSafari to experience the magic. It almost
works in Opera 10.5x. IE8 is not supported, but Smoak says IE9 “looks
I ran through their site the other day, and it is very impressive work.
Works just great in FF 3.6.3 on PC-BSD, much better than linux emulated
flash. I'm already having visions of this being turned into a plugin
for firefox, so we can just ignore the flash plugin altogether :)<br>
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