JavaScript to the Rescue: Flash on the iPhone

By HTMLGoodies Staff

"Gordon" may be its name, but Tobias Schneider's software which enables Flash applications on the iPhone is actually a Flash interpreter written in JavaScript. Gordon is supported by most web browsers, and allows web page elements to be interactive.

Using the iPhone's support for SVG, (Scalable Vector Graphics), Tobias added JavaScript to the mix to enable Flash applications to run in the iPhone web browser (Safari), provided that the "Gordon" script is included in the web page which features the Flash app.

Although the Gordon software isn't ready for prime time just yet (Tobias' noted that it doesn't work in Opera, and even in Safari, color transformations do not currently work properly), the source code is already available for viewing. If you want to use it on your site, you'll have to figure it out on your own, as the documentation for it hasn't been written yet.

Another limitation is that Gordon only supports SWF 1.0 format, but he is continuing development efforts so that future versions of Gordon will support the SWF 2.0 format. All versions of Flash can be saved in the SWF 1.0 format, so that limitation shouldn't be too much to ask, at least for now.

Tobias has published some demos which showcase Flash application support through the use of Gordon. By enabling Flash on the iPhone, Gordon could open up doors to both developers, advertisers and end users of the iPhone, as the lack of Flash support has been one of the number one complaints about the iPhone OS since its debut. Adobe has previously announced that it has gotten Flash applications to run on the iPhone, but Apple has too much invested in the iPhone App Store to allow it to be released, preferring its apps to be proprietary, and also adding that it "runs too slowly on the iPhone".

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