Compiling Actionscript 3.0 on Debian Linux


I have written before bout Using Apache Flex SDK without Flash Builder.  In this post I will cover how to install Java and the Flex SDK on Debian Linux so you can build your Actionscript 3.0 applications.

Compiling Adobe Actionscript requires Oracle’s Java but Debian 9 ships with OpenJDK by default. In my experience Flex and Actionscript applications require Oracle’s JDK to build. You can install Oracle’s Java 8 JDK and compile your Actionscript projects on Debian stretch. To install Oracle’s java on Debian, download the JDK and accept Oracle’s license agreement. You can download java from Oracle with curl by setting the accept license header. The following bash snippet shows how to instal Java 8 and the Flex SDK on Debian Linux.

$ JDK_URL="http://download.oracle.com/otn-pub/java/jdk/8u144-b01/090f390dda5b47b9b721c7dfaa008135/jdk-8u144-linux-x64.tar.gz"
$ FLEX_SDK_URL="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/flex/sdk/flex_sdk_4.6.zip"
$ apt-get install java-package
$ curl -H "Cookie: oraclelicense=accept-securebackup-cookie" \
  "${JDK_URL}" \
  -o jdk-8u144-linux-x64.tar.gz;
$ make-jpkg jdk-8u144-linux-x64.tar.gz
$ sudo dpkg -i oracle-java8-jdk_8u144_amd64.deb
$ curl "${FLEX_SDK_URL}" -o flex_sdk_4.6.zip
$ mkdir -p ~/.local/lib
$ unzip flex_sdk_4.6.zip
$ mv flex_sdk_4.6 ~/.local/lib/

You should now have the Java JDK and the Flex SDK installed and be able to compile your Actionscript 3.0 applications on Debian Linux.

Flash Replaced by HTML5 Technologies


Adobe announced they are deprecating Flash. This announcement has been a long time in the making. Many people have worked hard to develop standard technologies which are now promising enough that Adobe no longer sees a future in their media platform.

HTML5 Standards such as WebRTC, WebASM and WebGL are all making it possible to develop rich applications on the web without the need for Adobe Flash. These days it seems the adoption rate of new browsers is even picking up as normal users are becoming more conscious of the need to update their software regularly. Some are saying 66% of websites support HTML5 already. Even older browsers can support the new HTML5 elements and most support many of the new features.

Read Adobe’s Blog Post About Deprecating Flash:

Flash & The Future of Interactive Content


Adobe Media Server Alternatives


Adobe Media Server is a fine piece of software. It runs cross platform and has a very rich set of features. From what I’ve found there are not many players competing with Media Server on the proprietary front. There is basically one other 500 pound gorilla, Wowza.  It’ll be hard to beat either of this for rapid development, solid stability, and professional support.

If anyone has read this blog before they may find the author has a propensity to avoid proprietary solutions. Media servers will be no different. At the time of this writing in 2017 there are some decent open source media server alternatives. Most open source media server solutions will be offer less features than their closed source competitors but depending on the application this might not be a deal breaker and when it comes to simple video and audio it shouldn’t be.

One of the more older and more mature open source media servers is Red5. Red5 does actually offer a pretty full feature set. Over the years it’s been battle tested. The reputation of Red5 seems to vary depending on the group of people talking about it.

MonaServer is an open source media server written in C++. It has lots of features and is under active development.

Janus Gatway is primarily written in c. Janus has a lot of features and can be extended with plugins. Janus is focused around newer HTML5 technologies like WebRTC. The one drawback I found was the lack of RTMP support. This is not super important theses days but for people wanting to support really old browsers RTMP could be a must have.

nginx-rtmp-module can potentially fill the void that Janus Gateway leaves. It an also be run stand alone to make applications that support RTMP.