Adobe Flash 10.1 + AIR 2.0 on the XO

Carlos Nazareno object404 at
Tue Mar 23 20:42:32 EDT 2010

I don't get it.

1) Flash is no more "evil" as Java was years ago when it was closed
source and it was being taught at universities.

There is now an open-source SDK (Flex SDK (there's 2 versions, the
closed source and the open source one)) with which you can produce
AVM2 SWFs, and you can give away your AS3 sourcecode all you want.

In fact, if Firefox & Chrome did not exist and let's say the only web
browsers that existed were closed-source ones like IE, Netscape,
Opera, Safari, would you say that HTML + Javascript is an
inappropriate tool for creating learning materials? Because that is
exactly the same situation.

Martin's previous arguments about the quality of educational content
is not a problem with a platform like flash, it is a problem about the
the content that is being deployed.

2) You have hundreds of Flash multimedia/game developers that
outnumber Python game/multimedia developers. Why add an extra layer of
hassle for them to create content for the XO?

(I still am not able to get sound running on Gnash on the XO.)

There are thousands of Java developers in the world today, and for all
intents and purposes, AS3 has more or less the same syntax as Java.
JRE is a resource hog compared to Flash,

Moreover, Flash has authoring tools which make it very easy to create
integrated multimedia content (vector/raster graphics, sound,
keyboard/mouse inputs, etc).

There's a new flame war going on, HTML5  vs Flash and it's the new
Macs vs PC, but you won't see Flash dying anytime soon. You want to
know why? The web is ruled by designers and not developers. You don't
have to be a "real programmer" to create interactive rich media
content for Flash.

3) Honestly, I find the reasoning that everything has to be open
source in order for it to be good for kids. I mean do you have to be a
mechanic to be able to drive a car? Do you have to be an electrical
engineer to watch Sesame Street on TV?

Does a child really need to tinker with the source code of an
educational game to be able to gain benefits from it? Moreover, I
think that's asking too much given the fact that even high school
students have problems grasping BASIC.

I think this is a case of open source fundamentalism trumping educational goals.

There are hundreds of multimedia authors out there who can create
content for the XO, but IMHO sugarization & python + python only is a
gateway that is hampering the availability of content for the XO.

In a sense, this makes the XO an environment that is just about as
locked-in as the iPhone.

Why is allowing additional tools & a new pool of content creators bad for OLPC?


> (This isn't an official OLPC policy; I didn't talk with anyone at OLPC
> before writing it.)
> - Chris.
> --
> Chris Ball   <cjb at>
> One Laptop Per Child

carlos nazareno
interactive media specialist
zen graffiti studios
"if you don't like the way the world is running,
then change it instead of just complaining."

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