Is Flash content compatibility Mozilla's play for iOS?

by Thomas Brady


So the other day I mentioned how odd Mozilla’s creation of an iOS browser was, since, due to App Store rules, they can’t use their own browser parts—they can only re-skin the built-in iOS browser. Likely that sentence sat fine with you. If you’re nerdy enough to want to argue the difference between a browser’s rendering engine and the browser as a whole, please just take a deep breath and let me use that work interchangeably. Pretty please.

Well, then yesterday I saw this article at Baddass Javascript, announcing Shumway*, Mozilla’s Flash Player that’s written in javascript. Discussions about the feats involved in writing a Flash VM in javascript, and discussions of previous attempts aside, I wondered why Mozilla would be interested in this project.

Ah. Well, check out this comment at the bottom of the Shumway page on github:

Integration with Firefox is a possibility if the experiment proves successful.

Shumway only seems to work in Google Chrome at the moment, but assuming they could get this working on iOS, this would give them a nice headline for their app announcement: “FireFox Mobile for iOS, with Flash Content Support.”

  • The name, I’m guessing, is both a nod to Gordon, a previous Flash-in-javascript attempt, and to A.L.F., whose “real” name was Gordon Shumway.