Flash + AIR on OLPC

Stanley Sokolow overbyte at earthlink.net
Mon Apr 12 12:31:29 EDT 2010

Sorry, guys, but I just don't see why the content is somehow corrupted or
limited by deployment on the Flash platform.    The FlashPlayer implements a
virtual machine that is customized by Adobe to run on various hardware and
OSs.   They're extending it now to ARM-processor-based devices (cell
phones).   The concept is write-once-run-everywhere.  The FlashPlayer runs
inside browsers or stand-alone (AIR).  The programming language it supports
(ActionScript) is now a very capable language, has libraries (both free and
not-free) for lots of goodies including very rich graphical interfaces, has
a powerful declarative xml-based language (Flex MXML) for building the
interfaces and binding data to them, has an open-source free-to-use (from
Adobe) compiler, has a free-open-source IDE (FlashDevelop) from a community,
has a superb IDE from Adobe that only costs $249 for the standard version
which includes a visual drag-and-drop design view mode as well as text mode
of programming and lots of features lacking in the FOSS FlashDevelop, etc.

One can program and run Flash programs with free-to-use software.   I know
of a very capable interactive web site (www.vyew.com, try the demo and see)
that runs extremely nicely and was built with the open source IDE.
Vyew.com runs on my XO, but I had to install the "Teapot" distribution of
Xubuntu on an SD card and run Firefox with FlashPlayer plugin.    It runs an
interactive whiteboard plus 2-way video and audio on my little XO-1, and it
supports plug-in extensions that users can build.  If the Vyew developers
can do this with free tools, why can't the OLPC community use Flash as a

So, please explain why "constructionist" educational models can't be
programmed and run on the Flash platform just as well or better than in
Python on Sugar on Fedora.

On Mon, Apr 12, 2010 at 8:31 AM, James Zaki <james.zaki at gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm guilty of spending more time than I probably should at newgrounds.com,
> their slogan being "Everything, by Everyone".
> Its a melting pot of free content, and what really impresses me are the
> absolute gems of creativity that one finds from time to time.
> I dont see flash as the main XO education content maker, but can see the
> argument for popularity in the short term.
> James.
> 2010/4/12 John Watlington <wad at laptop.org>
>> On Apr 11, 2010, at 8:56 PM, James Cameron wrote:
>> > On Sun, Apr 11, 2010 at 08:51:01PM -0400, Martin Langhoff wrote:
>> >> But hey. Flash developers want Flash in it. It's gotta be good for
>> >> something.
>> >
>> > My guess is that it is handy for repurposing the system for
>> > entertainment usage.  (I don't have Flash enabled on my systems, so I
>> > don't really know what I'm missing).
>> It's all the rage for games these days.   My kids constantly astound
>> me with the rendering quality and interactiveness of flash games that
>> they are able to find for free on the web.
>> Deployments that have asked for Flash also point to games as the reason.
>> wad
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