No, this is not the nswrapperplugin thunking layer thing that lets you run 32 bit NSAPI plugins on 64 bit linux. While that is a neat tool, it was prone to lots of crashing.
No, this is an adobe native implementation of flash. I don’t have to kill npviewer.bin after/during firefox anymore. I don’t have to see large greyed out boxes when npviewer.bin crashes. This is good.
Flash now works right … only took adobe 3 years after getting flash on Linux to get 64 bit basically right. Heck, I think silverlight will work on Linux via mono (and this should be a massive hint to Microsoft about it application division’s needed cross platform future). Adobe wouldn’t port to linux and extend/continue the port without a strong economic incentive to make sure its tools ran on that platform.
Yeah, I know, if you look at the desktop adoption numbers according to sales figures you get one view of the market. Remember, this Linux laptop that I am typing this post on, was counted in the Windows XP sales, as Dell didn’t have Linux available at time of sale. If you look at the browser usage stats on various sites, you get other numbers. Our numbers here suggest that a fairly large percentage of our readers (we get several thousand views a day) are using desktop Linux. 22% are using Linux to get here. 69% are using Windows of some flavor, with most of the remaining 8% being MacOSx. Solaris 0.4% is double the iPhone 0.2% share. IE (6 and 7) has 43% market share on this site compared to 39% Firefox. Some safari, and a smattering of others.
End users largely only care that the application works and works cost effectively and rapidly. Whether it be a web page, a cluster application, etc. The platform is an implementation detail. The new flash plugin goes a long way to making this experience better for the obviously large and growing number of desktop Linux users. I suspect Adobe may be seeing similar numbers to what we see. With Linux being the great virtualization base platform it is (you can run other OSes atop it in volume using VMware, and other tools … OpenVZ/Virtuozo, QEMU, Xen, …) I suspect we will continue to see significant growth going forward in it.
Now only if Sun could get their Java act together, or better still, lets use Chrome once available for Linux/Mac to enable better dynamic language support and free ourselves from Java whenever possible.