Flash Player's Worst Nightmare Is Now In Firefox Nightly

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Adobe's Flash Player is one of the few plugins on the Internet that won't be going anywhere anytime soon. HTML5 has certainly tried to dethrone the Web video playback king, but it still lacks many of the features that make Flash so convenient. That might not be the case sooner rather than later though if Mozilla has its way.

Ghacks reports that Mozilla, in its never ending quest to eradicate plugins from the Web, has integrated Shumway into the latest version of Firefox Nightly. What is Shumway, you ask? It's an open source javascript-based SWF renderer. In other words, it's Mozilla's attempt to create a native Web technology that can do everything Flash does.

In a blog post from last year, Mozilla's Jet Villegas said the Shumway project had two main goals:

  • 1. Advance the open web platform to securely process rich media formats that were previously only available in closed and proprietary implementations.
  • 2. Offer a runtime processor for SWF and other rich media formats on platforms for which runtime implementations are not available.
  • Note that the blog from last year said that Shumway was still highly experimental, and was only available as an optional extension that the more adventurous among us should play with. Now it's available in Firefox Nightly which is a sign that Mozilla is inching closer to rolling it out to all Firefox users.

    Despite that, it's still going to be a while before we see Shumway in Firefox Beta, or Aurora for that matter. According to Infoworld, Shumway is still very much in its experimental phase. It will probably remain that way for at least a few more months, but its move to Nightly at least means that Firefox wants more developers to help test and refine it.

    If you want to help shape the future of a Flash-less Internet, you can check out Shumway's Github page here. If you want to use it for yourself, you can grab Firefox Nightly here.

    [Image: Wikimedia Commons]

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