Sometimes it pays to take a little time before you issue a press release. This morning's release about collaboration between Adobe and Mozilla is a great case in point. A quick scan of the news headlines reveals all sorts of confusing results:
"Adobe opens Flash source to Firefox"
"Adobe contributes Flash code to Mozilla"
"Adobe partners with Mozilla and frees Flash player technology"
"Flash and Firefox to unite"
Unfortunately, though all of these headlines might technically be true, all of them are also somewhat misleading. It seems Adobe's announcement could have been a little clearer. Yes, Adobe did contribute some source code to the Mozilla project. And that code did technically come from Flash -- but to imply that Flash is now more open source than it was before the morning would be taking it too far.
What Adobe did contribute is its ActionScript engine, the interpreter that executes the ActionScript code that powers many Flash projects. It's part of Flash -- an interesting part -- but not the whole thing, and not the part that deals with delivering graphics over the Web.
Other open source projects should also be able to take Tamarin and embed it into their own code. With this announcement, the open source community at large has access to a very high quality engine for executing the ECMAscript family of languages -- and that is, indeed, a good thing.
For all those who were popping champagne corks in toast to open source Flash, however ... in this case, I'm afraid the initial reports should have read the press release a little more closely before they wrote their headlines. It's tempting to go overboard, but come on ... did anyone really expect Adobe to open source the Flash crown jewels?