Adobe released the last version of their Flash client for Linux last week, version 11.2. While this new release contains a host of new features, it is also the end of the Flash on Linux era.
This is mixed news for Linux users, as they will now have to depend on the open source implementations of Flash Player if any new features of Flash are to be supported. It is great that Linux users will be able to use open source implementations, but sadly these implementations lag far behind the official client, and they don't even support all of the previous releases' features.
Here's a quick look at the new features in Flash Player 11.2 (from the release announcement):
- Drivers gating for hardware acceleration relaxed - Previously, the hardware accelerated content was gated to 1/1/2009, however, the driver gating has been relaxed to 1/1/2008.
- Throttling event - This release introduces a new ThrottleEvent. A ThrottleEvent is now dispatched by the stage when the Flash Player throttles, pauses or resumes content.
- Mouse lock, relative mouse coordinates, right and middle click events - Create immersive, panoramic games with infinite scrolling to enable new classes of content, including first-person games.
- Multithreaded video decoding - The video decoding pipeline is now fully multithreaded. This feature should improve the overall performance on all platforms. Note that this feature is a significant architecture change required for other future improvements.
As much as Adobe seems to have declared war on Linux after removing Adobe AIR, and now Flash Player too, in reality it seems they just want to declare war on their customers in general. They recently also announced that as part of their premium features licensing scheme for games, game developers have to pay Adobe 9% of their income should it exceed $50,000. Apparently a large section of flash game developers were not happy with that.