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Sunday, November 21st, 2010, 1:06 pm

Adobe Trash (Flash) in Fedora 14, the Free Software Way (Gnash)

Summary: An era of Flash barriers is coming to an end, but Techrights is looking for free/libre VoIP/SIP recording software

A

dobe Trash (Flash) is dirt on the World Wide Web. It hinders access to data not just by humans but also by bots. Nevertheless, there are few Web sites that still depend on Flash and require the user/visitor to install it. One site that used to require it for most data (video) was YouTube, but this major site is moving to WebM, which may make Flash and its substitutes a lot less necessary (along with codecs that are not simple to obtain, at least in Fedora). Google can be expected to transcode all of its videos and make them available as WebM within weeks or just a few months. For other Web sites, Gnash, the free/libre alternative, seems to be sufficient and it is simple to install either from the package manager (e.g. KPackageKit) or the universal environment, which is the command line. The package managers vary, but the package names are usually the same (just replace yum with apt-get for example). In Fedora 14, the following commands do the job for Gnash support in Konqueror.

[roy@blueberry ~]$ su
Password: 
[root@blueberry roy]# yum install gnash-klash
Loaded plugins: langpacks, presto, refresh-packagekit
Adding en_US to language list
Setting up Install Process
Resolving Dependencies
--> Running transaction check
---> Package gnash-klash.i686 1:0.8.8-4.fc14 set to be installed
--> Finished Dependency Resolution

Dependencies Resolved

=======================================================================================================
 Package                   Arch               Version                       Repository            Size
=======================================================================================================
Installing:
 gnash-klash               i686               1:0.8.8-4.fc14                fedora               177 k

Transaction Summary
=======================================================================================================
Install       1 Package(s)

Total download size: 177 k
Installed size: 541 k
Is this ok [y/N]: y
Downloading Packages:
Setting up and reading Presto delta metadata
Processing delta metadata
Package(s) data still to download: 177 k
gnash-klash-0.8.8-4.fc14.i686.rpm                                               | 177 kB     00:00     
Running rpm_check_debug
Running Transaction Test
Transaction Test Succeeded
Running Transaction
  Installing     : 1:gnash-klash-0.8.8-4.fc14.i686                                                 1/1 

Installed:
  gnash-klash.i686 1:0.8.8-4.fc14                                                                      

Complete!
[root@blueberry roy]#  yum install gnash
Loaded plugins: langpacks, presto, refresh-packagekit
Adding en_US to language list
Existing lock /var/run/yum.pid: another copy is running as pid 31528.
Another app is currently holding the yum lock; waiting for it to exit...
  The other application is: PackageKit
    Memory :  47 M RSS ( 63 MB VSZ)
    Started: Sun Nov 21 12:28:38 2010 - 00:06 ago
    State  : Sleeping, pid: 31528
Another app is currently holding the yum lock; waiting for it to exit...
  The other application is: PackageKit
    Memory :  47 M RSS ( 63 MB VSZ)
    Started: Sun Nov 21 12:28:38 2010 - 00:08 ago
    State  : Sleeping, pid: 31528
Another app is currently holding the yum lock; waiting for it to exit...
  The other application is: PackageKit
    Memory :  47 M RSS ( 63 MB VSZ)
    Started: Sun Nov 21 12:28:38 2010 - 00:10 ago
    State  : Sleeping, pid: 31528
Setting up Install Process
Package 1:gnash-0.8.8-4.fc14.i686 already installed and latest version
Nothing to do

Or the short story:

yum install gnash-plugin 
yum install gnash-klash 
yum install gnash
 

In Ubuntu I’ve had less luck with Gnash, which was harder to successfully install and register with the Web browser. On the other hand, Fedora has some other drawbacks that are not its fault (e.g., from today [1, 2]). The bottom line though, as far as Flash content is concerned, things have improved greatly over the years. Not only is there a free substitute for Flash but Flash content itself is dying due to HTML5 (yes, some sites dump Flash in favour of HTML) and free codecs/formats such as Ogg and WebM. This opening up of the Web is further supported by the death of Silverlight and the realisation that mobile devices require access too.

As people who hang out in IRC may already know, Techrights depends on proprietary software only as far as recording is concerned because a VoIP recorder for 2 or more people simultaneously is something that we are still unable to achieve in Ekiga. Any suggestions regarding a free/libre replacement would be appreciated. Having got rid of all dependencies on proprietary software at my job (MATLAB has been the only such dependency for many years), it would be nice to make Techrights not dependent on Skype (for TechBytes) and the FSF too recognises that replacements in VoIP are a “high priority” issue.

2 Responses to “Adobe Trash (Flash) in Fedora 14, the Free Software Way (Gnash)”

  1. ozone kitesurfing Says:

    I believe that one of your current advertisements triggered my internet browser to resize, you might well want to place that on your blacklist.

  2. Roy Schestowitz Says:

    Do you know what ad it was?

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