OpenLaszlo running on a cell phone!

I wanted to share a bit of excitement we had this week. A little while ago, Macromedia announced availability of Flash Lite 2, a new version of its Flash player for mobile devices. This new version is Flash 7 compatible, which is great because of course OpenLaszlo runs on Flash 7.

So we ordered one of the supported phones (an unlocked Nokia 6680 -- very nice), and it arrived on Tuesday. In twenty minutes, I had the FL2 player transferred via bluetooth and was playing a sample Flash game on the phone. Twenty more minutes and I had this running:

Clock on Phone

If you aren't familiar with the image on the screen, compare with this.

All I did was wrap the clock code in a new LZX file with the right canvas dimensions (208 x 176), compile it SOLO using lzc, and transfer the swf file to the phone via bluetooth. The file showed up in my messaging inbox, and a click opened it into the Flash Lite 2 player. Launch time was about three seconds, and performance was quite acceptable.

Next steps are to try out the keypad, and to test network access. How exciting to see an OpenLaszlo app running on a cell phone!

17 Responses to “OpenLaszlo running on a cell phone!”

  1. Raju Bitter Says:

    Did the same thing on a MDA III (it’s a modified iPAQ / T-Mobile) last summer with the Flash Player 6 for Pocket PC 2003. I adjusted the Google Search OpenLaszlo application (forgot who programmed it) and had it running. Bad news was: It took more than 1 second for the XML parsing of each Google search result. So getting 12 search results took about 14 seconds.

    Then Macromedia announced they would put a price tag of about $ 500 on the player. Now I checked the webpage and see that it is possible again to download it for free, but with online support only. Guess they are having some technical problems with that thing.

    Anyway, interesting work. I still wonder if performance of XML parsing will be good enough to implement even simple applications.

    Best, Raju

  2. The Life of Bryan » OpenLaszlo on Mobile! Says:

    [...] OpenLaszlo running on a cell phone! [...]

  3. Marco Casario Says:

    Good catch man ! :)
    Please keep us updated and give us some performance benchmark test.

  4. Rajesh Jain Says:

    This looks very interesting. Do you have some documentation/writeup on how to get Laszlo on to Mobile platform


  5. jgrandy Says:


    There’s currently not much to say: compile your OpenLaszlo app using the lzc command-line compiler to generate a SOLO build, and copy it up to your cell phone.

    I will note that since posting this article, we’ve encountered some obstacles that will make it difficult to deploy a full OpenLaszlo application on FL2. First, heap memory is too tight (at least on the 6680 I’m using) to allow you to do much. We’ll need to do some work to bring down our memory footprint before anything of any size will run on these devices. Second, we need to add the FSCommand2 opcode to the compiler — that opcode gives you access to all the device-specific functionality, including information about heap usage. We’ve also had some trouble getting network-backed datasets to work; this problem hasn’t yet been diagnosed.

    Having said that, it’s really easy to experiment, so try something out! You may find that your app works. In the mean time, we’ll keep chipping away at resolving these issues.

  6. necrodome Says:

    what was the problem you have with network-backed datasets?

  7. Joshua Says:

    I was just wondering if laszlo allows writing of files or keeping store of d local db for mobile apps

  8. jgrandy Says:

    necrodome: we haven’t had a chance to investigate yet (too busy with the DHTML work!), but I saw a request for network access dialog when fetching an external image resource but haven’t ever seen one when trying to fetch a dataset. Those two request types use basically separate code paths, so I’m assuming there’s something in the data request code that FL2 doesn’t like.

  9. jgrandy Says:

    Joshua: we rely on the capabilities of the Flash Player in that regard. I believe FL2 can access local files — local swfs can access files in the same directory — but I don’t know the details.

  10. Anthony Says:

    It would be nice to see a set of UI widgets that are optimized for mobile phone usage. These would be useful for both prototyping mobile apps but also for writing deployable apps.

  11. Raju Bitter Says:

    Anthony, that’s an interesting idea. Developing UI widgets specialized for mobile phone displays and usage. You are right: The standard widget set implemented in OpenLaszlo is way to big for the mobile phone screens.

  12. Mario Jakobs Weblog » Blog Archive » Flash6 für PSP Says:

    [...] So ist es jetzt möglich, mit OpenLaszlo generierte Flashfilme auf einem weiteren Mobilen Gerät anzuzeigen. [...]

  13. Richard Truman Says:

    the technology is advanced today, i will try later!

  14. » Sun/Laszlo Project: Orbit Says:

    [...] Estou baixando o código fonte do projeto para analisar o grau de envolvimento do projeto Orbit com dispositivos habilitados com Flash Lite e Java ME. No blog do projeto OpenLazslo já é possível verificar aplicações OpenLazslo rodando em dispositivos habilitados com Flash Lite 2.0. [...]

  15. Damion Says:

    i brought a mda iii on t-mobile and i tried watch some films on you tube but none of them and i tried getting a new up to date macromedia flash but i couldnt find any. does any 1 know where to get it from

  16. OpenLaszlo Project Blog » Rich Chumby Application? Says:

    [...] We received the Chumby — they are not yet on the market — because we told the good folks there that we would see what we could do about getting OpenLaszlo to run on the device. FL2 is compatible with Flash 7 content, which makes it theoretically compatible with OpenLaszlo 3.x and later. We experimented previously with running OpenLaszlo apps in FL2, with some success, so it will be fun to see if we can make more progress with this device. [...]

  17. Julian On Software » OpenLaszlo Project Blog » OpenLaszlo running on a cell phone! Says:

    [...] OpenLaszlo Project Blog » OpenLaszlo running on a cell phone! “A little while ago, Macromedia announced availability of Flash Lite 2, a new version of its Flash player for mobile devices. This new version is Flash 7 compatible, which is great because of course OpenLaszlo runs on Flash 7. [...]

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