I was just looking at my emails archives. Actually we installed our IMAP server at Motion-Twin by the end of 2005 so I almost have all my sent/recv mails from this time. More than four years of words, and so much energy (and time) spent while writing them...
November 2005 was also the time that we started a private mailing list with the main people of OSFlash. It was including OSFlash cofounders - Aral and myself - as well as people working on the big projects at this time : John Grden, Chris Allen, Dominick Accattato and Luck Hubbard from Red5, and Edwin van Rijkom from Screenweaver.
We started discussing about a possible OSFlash Manifesto which would act as a foundation for the newborn and growing OSFlash community.
Here was my original take on the Manifesto :
Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2005 12:05:02 +0100 From: Nicolas Cannasse <ncannasse@m.....com> Subject: [Roundtable] Manifesto RFC The OSFlash Manifesto --------------------- Fifteen years ago, there was no Web. Nothing. The WWW protocol was invented back in 1990 by CERN scientists in order to share research informations. Since then, the web and the whole internet have been growing at a tremendous pace, bringing a place to communicate and share for users around the world, a place where everybody can talk freely, a huge quantity of online services and wealth to a lot of people and companies. What made possible this growth is the openness of Web protocols and file formats. Anybody can "speak the web" freely, by sending HTML documents using HTTP protocol over a TCP/IP connection. The Web is not owned by a particular company, it's a whole ecosystem of mixed open and prioprietary tools, all using theses open protocols and file formats. Flash is a technology that is widely present on the Web. Yet, the number of Flash developers is still way beyond the number of web developers. There is a reason for that : Flash is a proprietary platform owned by a private company named Macromedia (now Adobe). The OSFlash community is composed of Flash enthousiasts and technology savvy people that see an interest in developing Flash further its current status. As a community, we have two goals : One is technical. As most of us are using Flash on a daily basis, we are cooperating together in order to create a better set of tools. The tools sold by Macromedia cannot always be the perfect fit for any kind of usage. As a community, we're helping each other and are trying to find the best way to complete a given task. The other is ethical. We don't want to be "lock-in" into a particular proprietary solution. We don't want one part of the Web platform to be owned and fully controled by a private company. As a community, we are then working at learning the different protocols and file formats needed in order to "talk Flash". We are doing that in a legal way, through observation of the existing. And we are then providing the documentation and tools released under an Open Source license so that everybody can openly build Flash content. Additionally, we are requesting that Macromedia open further the Flash platform, by doing the following : a) fully document without any licensing restriction the different protocols and file formats used by Flash. The OSFlash community is doing that, and this will surely bring a whole set of Open Source tools. By having an official documentation, Macromedia can create a whole ecosystem of other companies that will create other Flash-related tools. We think that this will benefit the Flash platform. b) allow the Flash Player to be embedded and reused without any restriction, so that the Flash technology will not only be usable on the Web but inside applications, bringing a lot of new people into making Flash content. With current Player restriction, the platform is not even available of redistribution. c) facilitate the emergence of third party compatible Flash Players, just like Sun did for Java. This will put again the Flash technology far beyond its current limits and bring in return more users into Flash. d) ultimaly, create a consortium representing both companies and users, that will openly discuss the evolution of the Flash technology in a democratic way. If Macromedia opens the Flash technology, we can see a future in it. If they don't, that will ultimaly be the death of the idea of "Flash as a platform". Creating a web proprietary platform, should not and actually cannot be done. Any company following this path will fail in doing so. Following the experience of Democraty and the Web : openness bring growth to everybody. -- EnD -- Nicolas
That was of course a bit bold at this time, but four years later remains quite actual since the situation hasn't changed much since then.
This manifesto was not approved by Aral which had his hands on OSFlash.org so after a few weeks of discussions we didn't reach anything and we were not able to establish OSFlash as a community and to act as one. From there, OSFlash community began splitting among specific projects, from which came very nice pearls such as PaperVision3D, Red5, and my own Haxe.
Today OSFlash is no longer an active united community. There are a few posts on the mailing list but nothing really happening. Maybe things would have gone a different way if we were able to agree on this Manifesto, back in 2005...