I keep hearing people talking about Flash as an open platform, but every time I’m faced with Flash on a website even Firefox takes me to a download for a binary component from Macromedia with no source available. Definitely there are tons of interesting open source tools out there, like Ming and OpenLaszlo, but I’ve been holding off cause there’s no open runtime. There’s work going on in the mobile end too, but the flash player there is definitely closed source. In my opinion the platform isn’t open until it’s end to end open, open source development tools emitting publicly speced formats and languages being executed through an open runtime. I’m not a Java fan for precisely this reason, no open source runtime. So did I miss the open source Flash runtime somewhere? I know very little about Flash and associated systems, so maybe I’m just not looking for the right terms in my Google searches. Is there something that I can download in source form and compile and install on my Linux laptop that’ll work with Firefox that’ll allow me to see sites like Interspot?

Update: Russ pointed me to the community licensed Hotspot virtual machine for Java, which is a JVM with source code available. I was pretty surprized to find that out, cause I spent a lot of time digging around for the Blackdown code a while ago, and repeated questions always got me the answer that it wasn’t available. Now I’m told that the JVM source code has always been available from Sun… not what I remember however. Either way, at least there’s a JVM to download and take a look at if you find Java behaving badly.