My talk at FITC San Francisco is over and I want to share some of the anouncements from today with you. At the end of my talk I was showing JITB.
What you see in the YouTube video I posted a while ago is a Java program executing a SWF. For FITC I added some more code and an OpenGL based Display List renderer. In other words: I wrote a Flash Player.
However I should rephrase that statement and say I am attempting to build a Flash Player. The current state is available in the sf2010-sprint clone of Apparat. I will merge the changes into the main Apparat branch when I am back home in Germany.
JITB is currently able to translate a subset of ActionScript code at runtime into Java bytecode and runs nearly at the same speed as native Java. This is a really huge improvement compared to standard ActionScript performance. A lot of smart people worked on the JVM and made it really fast. Apparat will allow you to leverage all this hard work in the future. I am also shooting for Java interoperability at some level so that you can call Java classes from within ActionScript. Hopefully you will be able to use JITB on your desktop machine, on a server or on an Android phone. Basically everywhere Java runs.
There are still a lot of things missing. The whole Flash API needs to be implemented. And the Display List rendering needs a proper OpenGL implementation. However I thought this might be some cool stuff to share with you in its early stages.
My hope is that more people start contributing to the project. Maybe some OpenGL guru wants to take care of the Display List rendering or someone else likes to help implement the Flash API in Java.
I also showed a Raytracer by Nico Zimmermann during my presentation and promised to put the URL on my blog so here it is. His company is called Britzpetermann and the address is http://www.britzpetermann.com/.
Update: Please do not think that this implementation is 30x faster than the Flash Player developed by Adobe. One(!) microbenchmark is never a number you should count on. I would like to make clear that I never said this.