by Emmy Huang
On November 7 at the Web 2.0 Conference, Adobe announced that it will contribute source code for the ActionScript Virtual Machine (AVM2) to the Mozilla Foundation. AVM2 is the new scripting language engine for ActionScript 3.0 and was introduced with Flash Player 9. AVM2 executes up to ten times faster than the AVM that runs ActionScript 1.0 and ActionScript 2.0. The new open source project, known as Tamarin, will be hosted at Mozilla.org.
"Maybe someone will build a server that relies on the Tamarin virtual machine. Maybe someone will create a client-side product that uses it. Who knows? If you have a project that needs a modern, robust virtual machine, you can use ours," said Sho Kuwamoto, senior director of the Flex Builder engineering team.
Furthermore, as more and more people use Tamarin and as use of the machine expands into other arenas, the open-source project will bring a new level of portability for your existing skill set as a Flash developer. For example, you will be able to develop and reuse libraries and algorithms across both the Firefox browser and Flash Player.
Additionally, standardization around a common language means your work becomes more portable, too. While there are unique extensions, DOMs, and supporting libraries that differ between the browser and Flash Player, you will be able to develop and reuse libraries and algorithms across both the browser and Flash Player.
Adobe and Mozilla have been working together with companies such as Yahoo!, Apple, Microsoft, and Opera to develop the ES4 language proposal as part of the ECMA International Programming Language technical committee (TC39TG1). The Tamarin virtual machine will implement the final version of the ECMAScript Edition 4 (ES4) language specification.
"There is nothing better for a standard than to have it implemented in multiple products," said Jan van den Beld, secretary general, ECMA International. "Adobe is taking a huge step forward in driving standards-based Web development by open-source licensing its virtual machine technology."
You can learn more about the Tamarin project, read the Tamarin FAQ, and view the source code at Mozilla.org. For more information about the Mozilla SpiderMonkey project, visit www.mozilla.org/js/spidermonkey.
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