BBC Embraces Open Source Flash: New Component Set To Be Revealed At London MMUG

BBC SMX Components for Flash - LogoThe British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) will be making its first foray into open source Flash by announcing the release of an open source Flash component set this Thursday at the London Macromedia User Group. The BBC's previous (and ongoing) open source efforts include the Dirac video codec and Kamaelia network testing platform.

The component set is called SMX Components, and contains components developed and used last year in the BBC News 2004 US Election Map application and, more recently, this year on the 2005 UK Election Map application. The latter contains the most up-to-date public versions of the components currently. Both applications have received rave reviews, with the Inquirer going so far as to call Flash the only winner in the US election in an article that features the 2004 US Election Map application. The 2005 UK Election Map is currently a Flash Film Festival finalist at FlashForward 2005 New York in the Application Category.

Rob Bateman, who works at BBC News and is the author of the SMX Components set, helped develop both applications and will be presenting the component set and announcing their open source release at the London MMUG on Thursday, 16th June, 2005.

When I spoke to Rob earlier today, he told me that the interactive team at BBC News is devoted to the component set and that they will continue to develop it further with every new project they work on.

The SMX Components set is being hosted on SourceSecure in the BBC's own open-source projects account. Links to the source code and web site will be given out at the meeting.

Also presenting at Thursday's meeting will be Richard Leggert of Mobile Flash Community fame, who will be presenting "FlashLite in a Nutshell", with information on how to set up your mobile studio and create and test content as well as valuable advice on best practices and common pitfalls to avoid.

I will be on hand to host the evening as well as provide a news update and brief commentary on the recent Macromedia announcements, the latest Open Source Flash news and upcoming events.

The London MMUG will take place on Thursday, 16th June from 7pm-9pm (with pub social afterwards). It is free to attend but you must register for the meeting on the web site. We will, as always, have a great selection of goodies which we will raffle off to our registered attendees at the end of the meeting.