WEB 2.0 - Flash and Firefox to unite

Adobe will contribute source code from its Flash Player to the Mozilla Foundation

Adobe Systems will contribute source code to the Mozilla Foundation as the two organizations 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 organizations will announce Tuesday at the Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco.

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

Adobe will participate in Tamarin as well. Adobe's contribution is the largest made to the Mozilla Foundation since its inception, according to the organizations.

The standard scripting language that Tamarin will implement in Firefox is ECMAScript 4, now being developed by standards body Ecma International. Sun Microsystems's 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 thus give Web developers an open source virtual machine for developing and deploying rich, interactive applications across both platforms, according to the organizations.

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.

More information about Tamarin can be found at Mozilla's Web site.

Other announcements at yesterday's Web 2.0 Conference include:

* Turn, led by a former Altavista chief executive officer Jim Barnett, will launch an ad network that automates the targeting of ads and management of keywords and charges advertisers using a cost-per-action payment model.

* Automattic will unveil a partnership to promote the use of its WordPress blogging software in the enterprise market, said chief executive officer Toni Schneider.

* HCL Technologies, an India-based company, will promote First 2.0, a suite of engineering services for Web 2.0 technologies.

* Mashery will show its new set of tools for managing application programming interfaces (APIs), including API access control, provision of keys to developers, usage tracking and metrics, and management of developer communities.

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Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service

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