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The Tamarin Seed

In announcing that they've contributed the source code for the ActionScript Virtual Machine (AVM2) to the Mozilla project Adobe has done something really exciting today.

In announcing that they've contributed the source code for the ActionScript Virtual Machine (AVM2) to the Mozilla project Adobe has done something really exciting today. AVM2 is a brand new virtual machine that was introduced with Flash Player 9 to render ActionScript 3.0 code with dramatic speed improvements; this inside Firefox is big news for the Web 2.0 crowd.



There's been quite a bit of confusion today as to what Adobe has done. Importantly Adobe has not made the Flash player open source, nor is Mozilla going to be embedding Flash into Firefox. In the biggest code contribution to date Adobe have given the Mozilla project a very fast virtual machine that is built to render a scripting language very similar to JavaScript.



ActionScript and JavaScript are both based on the same ECMAScript standard, what AVM2 is going to do is make JavaScript rendering in future versions of Firefox work at dramatically improved speeds. Adobe report that AVM2 can render code up to ten times faster than the previous VM.



And speed is what's needed for Web 2.0 and Ajax to perform properly, as JavaScript based web application grow more complex they become more taxing on the CPU.



And the name; Tamarin is part of a monkey themed naming tradition currently under way at Mozilla, it will be used to further enhance SpiderMonkey, FireFox's current JavaScript engine.



And Adobe will benefit too, they will have access to any contributions made to Tamarin to implement into the Flash player. And perhaps some input into future versions of JavaScript.

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