Even though our boy Jibi is out of town this week, he’s still holding it down for the BlackBerry faithful. First he breaks news on the new Pearl family RIM wants us to welcome into our homes, and now he’s letting us know that RIM is working on Flash support. Here’s what Jibi had to say:
In the httpcontenttranscoderslist.xml file, found in the MDS 4.1.2 simulator’s config directory, I happened upon some code that has been commented out. This code leads me to believe that Flash support is in development by RIM. When that’ll happen has to be anyone’s guess, but this could potentially be quite huge, especially with the ever-increasing loss of interest in the SVG format.
So the question now becomes: what does mean for Plazmic, RIM’s proprietary SVG format? Not much in the near future, as it will still take some time for Flash to sufficiently proliferate into the handset market to be viable for developers. However, this does likely mean that Plazmic is being set up for a slow and quiet death.
Speak to the average BlackBerry developer and they’ll tell you that Plazmic is a pretty useless platform. It’s time-consuming to work in proprietary formats, and for most BlackBerry developers (who are not solely BlackBerry developers, but also produce for Windows Mobile, Symbian, J2ME) not worth the effort considering the size of the BlackBerry space in comparison to other smartphone markets. Including Flash support on all future RIM devices will allow cross-platform developers to utilize a standard that will (most likely) become quite commonplace across the entire smartphone industry.
That being said, none of this matters until Flash has built up enough penetration on mobiles to be developed for, so mark your calendars for Plazmic’s death around mid-2009.