GPL'd Flash Library

Tim Schmidt timschmidt at
Fri Oct 8 17:35:02 CDT 2004

Ok, I'll help you out with your own treatment:

On Fri, 8 Oct 2004 23:19:42 +0100, Martin Alderson
<martinalderson at> wrote:
> 1) 700KB is tiny. Sorry, but even for a 56k modem its less than a
> couple of minutes.

Between dialing-out, finding a page with flash so Firefox will prompt
me to install flash, and waiting for the download, rinse and repeat
for every user, I can see 10 or 20 minutes being used up easily.  It's
something that should just be handled by the distribution, and since
Ubuntu's philosophy doesn't allow for the re-distribution of flash
(not to mention what Macromedia would have to say about it), the only
solution is something like the GPL'd flash library.
> 2) I don't think useless is the right word. It takes me 20 seconds to
> download and install, so that's fine by me.

Onto a read-only CD?  I'd like to see you accomplish that.  The LiveCD
comes with what Ubuntu can freely re-distribute and that's it. 
Period.  Here it's partial flash support or none and those are the
only choices you have.  Clearly partial is better.
> 3) No it's not! This is what kills Linux. Half working stuff _is not
> good enough_. Especially when the user thinks it's fully working!!!
> The average user will have absolutley no idea what is wrong. This is
> like me installing something that looks exactly like the Linux kernel,
> when infact it's something completely different that only works 10% of
> the time.

Hmmm...  supporting more formats in the default install is bad?  New
to me.  Perhaps we should remove OpenOffice because it's not 100%
compatible with Microsoft's formats.  Mozilla because it does not
render pages exactly like IE?  You can't walk both paths at the same
time my friend.

> 4) ppc + solaris is probably, what? 2% of the total installed base.
> Maybe a little more. Certainly not worth bothering the 98%.

Ok, Linux (and Ubuntu by extension) should just drop support for the
20 some arch's that aren't x86 because they're not important.  Great

> 5) This is just getting stupid. 700kb is 'wasted space'? No it's not.
> It also lets some user install flash, some not - for security, content
> restriction - whatever. Make bloody sym-links if you care that much
> about 700 KB.

It's not just space, it's centralised configuration, automated
installation, etc.  Think of a School install with a thousand kids. 
700k * 1000 = 700Mb wasted space in home directories.  Multiply that
by automated backups and you're buying extra hard drives for Flash. 
Sure an admin CAN fix this problem, and of course should fix it, but I
don't think they should have to when the distribution can do it for

> 6) Most users really don't care about philosophy past "it's free and I
> can get the source". Most people would prefer flash that _works_.

Maybe most users don't care, but Ubuntu clearly does.

> Unless you have an idea on how we alert users that they are using a
> crippled version of flash that doesn't work enough to get more than
> 10% of pages working, without being annoying, then please go ahead.

Can you back up that 10% figure?  I thought not.


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