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13 November 2012, 11:39

Shumway: Mozilla's open SWF runtime project

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Zoom The Shumway Racing demo
The Research team at Mozilla has announced the launch of a new open SWF runtime project called "Shumway". Described as "an HTML5 technology experiment", Shumway is intended to provide a web-native implementation of Adobe's SWF Flash file format, used for vector graphics and multimedia.

According to Jet Villegas, Mozilla's Senior Engineering Manager for Firefox, the Shumway project currently has two main goals. The first of these is to provide an open standards based method of securely processing rich media formats which were previously only available as closed, proprietary implementations. The other is to offer an runtime processor for formats including SWF on platforms where these runtime implementations are not available. "We believe that we can offer a positive experience if we provide support for the SWF format that is still used on many web sites, especially on mobile devices where the Adobe Flash Player is not available," said Villegas

Users can try out live demo examples or preview SWF content on the web with Shumway by downloading and installing the latest Beta build of Firefox and the test extensionDirect download. However, as pointed out by Villegas, Shumway is currently considered to be "very experimental" as it is still missing features and contains a number of defects. The project is currently seeking support from external contributors to help further advance the technology.

More information about the Shumway can be found on the project's homepage and on its GitHub wiki page; a live demo and other examples are provided. Hosted on GitHub, Shumway is sponsored by Mozilla Research and is made available under the MIT Licence.


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