Open dialect – IDE for building flash 9 movies, AIR apps in Linux!

June 16, 2009 at 5:59 pm (1, Other multimedia) (, , , , , , , , , )

After I found out about gnash (blog article here) – the open source Shockwave flash player, I thought why FOSS people are not programming an application to build flash movies so we can have it running on Linux. I was wrong, they’ve already built one… and it’s one of the best! It’s core is based on open source Adobe Flex language. IDE is written using C# (.NET Framework) and ported to Linux by mono and GTK#. Look the below screenshots to see how nice it is..

Open Dialect 0.6 running on mono 1.9 in FC9

Open Dialect 0.6 running on mono 1.9 in FC9

It’s easy to use as the flash, and this gives people the ability to build flash contents very fast which would be put on the internet. It’s flash-like because, it has all those programming components (buttons, sliders,text boxes, labels etc…) with the drawing components (circles,lines,squares,tables etc..); and it has the noticeable time line too. All of these can be dragged and dropped like in flash or VB. There are wizards for beginners like in MS Office, but If you need, you can switch to the flex code right away. This program is like power point because it allows transitions between “slides” like in PP.

The most important 2 features of this program is:

  • It can export Flash 9 SWF’s

  • It can design & compile AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime) applications

Anyone knows how flash and AIR rocking the internet these days. This makes open-dialect a FOSS community priority, as it may be the only FOSS applications to handle both these types. Some people already say open dialect is the future of flash IDE’s.

Building a AIR application using OD

Building a AIR application using OD

For more information, you can visit their home site at this link.


It’s easy as ABC as pre-compiled binaries are already avialable. Download the version 0.6 from this link. Double click on the compressed .tar.gz file and drag and drop where you want them to be. Run the file opendialect. In the command line use the command ./opendialect (Please notice that your Linux distribution should be new enough for this).


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Save my windows-infected flash drive using linux

May 6, 2009 at 9:06 pm (Linux for beginners) (, , , , , , , )

This article is intended for beginners only.

As many people are suffering from the virus problem these days (specially in SL); which are mainly traveled through the pen drives I thought of giving a simple solution, which is removing them using linux. This is far better than searching for keys for the kasper-sky and getting black-listed in the process. As this can be done using a live-cd too, people who (still) have windows running, can insert the pen to windows after cleaning it in linux. And the main thing is that viruses which attack Linux are extreamly rare, and they never travel via pen drives! (How about a part time job of recovering friends’ pen drives?)

A typical faith of a pen drive inserted in to windows

A typical faith of a pen drive inserted in to windows

Just insert the pen drive in when linux is running. A fairly modern linux distribution will show up a shortcut on the desktop. Double click it. You should be able to indentify viruses as they are

  • Mostly .exe files or .bat

  • autorun.inf is a virus launcher

  • Always have sizes smaller than 3MB. From this you can identify which .exe are viruses

  • Mostly in the root of flash drive, anyway folders inside may have viruses usually having the exact name of the folder. If this is frequently found in other folders, this should be a virus.

  • What you didn’t send to your pen drive could be a virus (ex: Autorun folder, recycled folder etc..)

  • Note: In a U3 pen drive, U3 system is no virus and Documents and System folders are no virus.

Identify the viruses, and shift + delete as you would do in windows.

But some will not remove saying “permission denied”. For these, open command line (ex: terminal) and type

———- For non-debian based systems(ex: fedora, mandriva) only; type:

su –

password: (type admin password here) now you are root. Do this anytime if you get “permission denied” error. continue down.————–

cd /media


This will show up the folders of removable media. The pen drive will show in it’s name. Type

cd <name of the folder here> && ls

is the tough guy is a file; type, rm <filename here>

if it’s a folder type, rm -Ir <folder name>

———For a live CD or debian based system (ex: ubuntu, mint, kubuntu) use word sudo infront of each command (which avoids “permission denied” issues.)——————

formatting flash drive on FAT32 using linux

I have met many people complaining about “lost” drive space in their pen drives. This is not because of hidden files, I guess this is a bug in FAT. They also say formatting under windows won’t help. But formatting under Linux does well.

You should first unmount the volume. type,

Cd /


this shows up a list as below. Identify your pen drive by name, and write down it’s file system name (ex: /dev/sdb1 )

The output of df

The output of df

umount /media/<pen folder>

and type this

mkdosfs -c -F 32 -I -n <new drive name you want> -v <what you noted down before, the filesystem name>

Name should be a single word; and you will get something like this (see the example there).

output of mkdosfs

output of mkdosfs

You’re done now. Pen is Ready!

When you try to remove a file, if it says read-only disk then you should mount it with read/write previlages. For that you have to unmount the drive as mentioned above. Then use

mount -o rw <file system name> <a path you like, an empty folder>

this should create a short cut in new versions. Try removing virus process again. For more use of mounting, see here.

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Gnash – The FOSS Shockwave flash player

May 3, 2009 at 10:18 am (Linux codecs, Other multimedia) (, , , , , , , , , )

When I say “shockwave flash” people usually do not understand it. This is not the flash movies you find on youtube (.flv); these are .SWF files which works as animations, programs (ex: some games & programs you play in net). As Macromedia (now owned by Adobe) has 100% successful players for these, they are not open source! And i’m afraid they can’t play standalone flash programs (.exe) created for Windows in Linux ! (and Gnash can)

Gnash 0.8.3 playing torpedojoe.exe on FC9

Gnash 0.8.3 playing torpedojoe.exe on FC9

Gnash player evolved from the GameSWF, and now is the only active FOSS flash player project.

Gnash features (Version 0.8.3 which I have),

  • Plays SWF up to version 7

  • Plays .exe standalone SWF up to V7

  • Has plugins for Firefox and Konqueror

  • Plays some .flv files

And many exporting functions which i’m not used to that much. Click here to go to their homepage.


Gnash has .rpm packages for Fedora,Mandriva, Suse. It can be simply installed by (when you’re root)

yum install gnash

I have seen some .deb packages in the net, so ubuntu,mint,debian users can have a try

sudo apt-get gnash

For installing from the source, you can download the source for version 0.8.5 here. After untaring the file, typing



make install will do the job, for more information on how to compile from source click here.

After installing, you can use command

gnash <filename> to run a file

just typing gnash only will give you the command -flags help, which is very helpful for using powerful gnash command line functions. I’m not going to fill the space up here with them.


Gnash can render SWF on 3 different libraries. Default is the agg, which has the best quality and bug free output — but this may make it little bit slow, and requires some dependencies. (as the agg itself). Anyway, if you have a good VGA card and 100% working drivers, you may go for opengl. Just use

–enable-renderer=opengl when configuring (ex: ./configure –enable-renderer=opengl)

Same manner cairo can be used –enable-renderer=cairo

By default, gnash uses Gstreamer framework (Click about on Totem to see what you have) which is the most efficient. But you can use


if you have ffmpeg and SDL libraries installed. (This is not recommended).

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