Macromedia to test Linux support

Macromedia will begin experimenting with Linux support, releasing versions of its development tools that work with the open-source operating system, a company executive said on Thursday.

Speaking at FlashForward, an annual conference for developers who work with Macromedia's Flash format, Chief Software Architect Kevin Lynch said the company would begin soon by offering optimizations to allow Flash MX, its main set of tools for creating Flash content, to work smoothly with Wine, an emulation program that allows Windows programs to run on a Linux PC. Depending on developer interest, the next step would be to produce Linux-native versions of Flash MX and other applications.

"What we've been investigating is, When will it be time to bring our tools to Linux?" Lynch said. "I think it might be happening now." Macromedia currently offers a Linux version of the free Flash Player for displaying Flash content and Linux flavors of several server applications, but not for any of its widely used tools for developing Web graphics and applications. The San Francisco software maker is amid a broad effort to expand the use of Flash, however, and that includes extending the format's appeal beyond the traditional cadre of design professionals. Last year, Macromedia introduced a version of Flash MX that includes the type of forms-based interface relied on by developers who use tools such as Microsoft's Visual Basic.

News source: C|Net News.com

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