Adobe Donates Flash Code to Mozilla

Adobe announced at the Web 2.0 conference on Tuesday that it was donating the scripting language engine from Flash to the Mozilla Foundation, where it will become an open source project called Tamarin as well as being integrated directly into the Firefox Web browser.

Specifically, Adobe is opening up its ActionScript Virtual Machine, which forms the core of Flash Player version 9. The most recent release in June added improved debugging, faster start times, full runtime error reporting, and better performance.

The code is the largest contribution to Mozilla since the organization was founded in 2003. The basic idea of the effort is to accelerate the development of the standards-based language in order to promote the development of rich Web applications, along with making them run more smoothly in Firefox.

Tamarin will implement ECMAScript Edition 4 (ES4), which provides the basis for JavaScript, Adobe's ActionScript, and Microsoft JScript. That project will then find its way into a future release of SpiderMonkey, the core JavaScript engine in Firefox - although not until the first half of 2008.

"Now web developers have a high-performance, open source virtual machine for building and deploying interactive applications across both Adobe Flash Player and the Firefox web browser. We’re excited about joining the Adobe and Mozilla communities to advance ECMAScript," commented Mozilla Corporation CTO Brendan Eich.

"Adobe is taking a huge step forward in driving standards-based Web development by open source licensing their virtual machine technology," added Jan van den Beld, Secretary General, Ecma International, the European standards body.

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