Swfdec 0.8.0b1 (September 22, 2008)

Copyright 2003-2008 Benjamin Otte and David Schleef. Mac OS X version Copyright 2008 Nick Zitzmann.

Mac users have had a love/hate relationship with Adobe Flash Player. On one hand, it's better than nothing, and it does what it is supposed to do very well. On the other hand, it was originally written more than ten years ago, it doesn't work with many of the new technologies introduced in Leopard, and it's only really been available as a Web browser plugin. And ever since Apple discontinued Flash support in QuickTime, it has had no real competition on Mac OS X - until now.

Swfdec (pronounced "swiff-deck") is an engine that loads and runs Adobe Flash animations. The Swfdec package includes:

  1. The Swfdec framework, which is the engine that drives all of the package's components.
  2. SwfdecPlayer, a desktop Flash animation player.
  3. A QuickLook plugin that generates thumbnails & full-size previews of the first frame of an animation file inside the Finder and open panels.
  4. And of course, what would a Flash engine be without a Web browser plugin? (Important: The plugin is only compatible with WebKit-based Web browsers, such as Safari or OmniWeb. It does not work in Gecko-based Web browsers, such as Firefox or Camino. Also, it is not installed by default.)

Some of the key features of Swfdec are:

  1. It's free! Swfdec is licensed under the terms of the Lesser GPL version 2.1, so feel free to use it in your own projects. However, if you've made changes to the code, then you either need to send them back to me, or publish them on your own.
  2. It's freaking fast!
  3. Modularity. Developers can use Swfdec in their own applications to play back Flash animations.
  4. Security. Some exploits that target Adobe Flash Player don't work on Swfdec.
  5. Built from the ground up using Apple core technologies, such as Cocoa, Quartz, QuickTime, and CoreAudio, for the best possible Mac OS X experience. Look Ma, no X11.app!
  6. Transparency actually works on PowerPC Macs.
  7. There's no built-in limit on the amount of sound channels that can be open at once.
  8. Supports Leopard's new garbage collection feature, so Swfdec will load in applications and Web browsers that use this feature.

Swfdec requires Mac OS X 10.5.3 or later.

This is a public beta release of Swfdec. There are some known bugs and feature omissions; please see the included read-me for details. If you run into a problem not mentioned in the read-me, then you should probably bring it to the attention of the people on the Swfdec mailing list. Here is the Swfdec home page, including mailing list instructions.

Download Swfdec
Download Swfdec Source Code

Back to Nick's Software Page