Web 2.0: Flash and Firefox to unite

Interactive applications get a boost from Adobe and Mozilla agreement


Adobe Systems will contribute source code to the Mozilla Foundation as the two organisations aim to establish a standard scripting language that developers can use to create interactive applications for Adobe's Flash Player and Mozilla's Firefox browser.

The plan calls for Adobe to hand over source code from its ActionScript Virtual Machine, the scripting language engine in its Flash Player, the organisations will announce today at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco.

With the Adobe source code, Mozilla will host a new open source project, Tamarin, to implement the final version of a standard scripting language in Firefox's ScriptMonkey JavaScript engine. Adobe will also participate in Tamarin as well.

Adobe's contribution is the largest made to the Mozilla Foundation since its inception, the organisations said.

The standard scripting language that Tamarin will implement in Firefox is ECMAScript 4, now being developed by standards body Ecma International. Sun Microsystems’ JavaScript and Microsoft's JScript are both based on ECMAScript, which is currently in its third version.

Tamarin's ultimate goal is to "unify" scripting across Firefox and Flash and so give web developers an open source virtual machine for developing and deploying rich, interactive applications across both platforms, according to the organisations.

The effort should yield better compatibility, integration and stability between Flash and Firefox and make it easier for developers to work with the two environments, said Michael Goulde, a Forrester Research analyst.

Juan Carlos Perez writes for IDG News Service.

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