Potlatch: what is the status with Flash / Adobe Air?

There’s already discussion on the OSM Website github about this, and one proposed change is not to mention specific editors for ‘remote control’, although a specific text has not yet been agreed.

+1 Would be fine for me.

Well, here we are:

  • I always used potlatch2 for editing and had got very much used to it
  • potlatch2 has now been disabled, though the underlying flash is still available - it is only “unsupported”
  • the alternative potlatch3 is not available to me as a “true blue” linux user

I think my motivation for contributing will suffer seriously. Also, I feel almost like cheated because rare and much-needed funds from OSM were used to create this potlatch3 that is of no use to me. Had I known this beforehand I’d never have supported the assignment of OSM money.

Very disappointed,

You might want to check out JOSM. . .

For what it is worth, my very first edits were with Potlach1 and I disliked it so much that I went looking for alternatives and found JOSM. Many claim that JOSM has a steeper learning curve. Maybe that is true, but it didn’t seem all that hard to learn basic editing with it. And it is written in JAVA so it runs on Linux as well as MacOS and Windows.

Yes, JOSM seems the least unfortunate alternative. I’ll tackle it one day, if I can muster the required amount of motivation. Still, I feel I have been led by the nose by the suggestion that PL3 would be an alternative for PL2 - it isn’t, at least not for me; and yet I was misled into supporting its funding from OSM.

See https://github.com/systemed/potlatch3/issues/2 about running Potlatch 3 on Linux.

https://github.com/systemed/potlatch3/issues/5 is about running it on Wine, but it seems like a dead end for now.

Wine is not a solution anyway. It can never be more than a work-around, and never a strong one.

It’s always been the case that running it on Linux wouldn’t be a slam-dunk because AIR for Linux hasn’t been updated since 2011. For that reason, nowhere along the line has anyone promised that Linux would definitely happen. I believe that mmd’s findings in https://github.com/systemed/potlatch3/issues/2 show that it will be possible without Wine, most realistically with some container-like solution, but it needs someone who’s pretty skilled in Linux administration to establish that.

That someone certainly isn’t me, but I’m willing to give as much assistance as I can, compile special versions of P3, and so on. For what it’s worth, the two blockers are absolutely on the Adobe side and not on the P3 side: the first is that it’s just plain hard to install on modern systems, the second is that it turns out AIR doesn’t support TLS 1.1/1.2 and therefore has difficulty connecting to many modern https servers. Neither of those are things I can fix in the P3 codebase though I wish I could!

Perhaps it’s worth mentioning that I’m pretty sure that the OSMF didn’t just have just you personally in mind when they made that allocation…

With regard to the options for P3 on Linux, https://github.com/systemed/potlatch3/issues/2 does indeed look like a major challenge, given that it seems to rely on a very old runtime for Linux that doesn’t work with sites that don’t support antique TLS versions - even once you get past any 32-bit/64-bit issues. However:

I’m guessing that’s just your political opinion? If so, fine - you’re entitled to your own beliefs (but not to your own facts, of course).

Using Wine actually avoids some of the issues in https://github.com/systemed/potlatch3/issues/2 because it’s using a newer runtime, and because Wine handles the 32/64 bit issues (via WinSxS I guess). It’s certainly not perfect, but it’s good enough to use as a “normal” editor.

No, I do not consider myself so much noteworthy :slight_smile: Still, I had been led to believe that his here PL3 would be a full complete alternative to PL2 - it is not. And I did support the funding, and I now regret having done so, on the grounds of (to say the least) incomplete information.

What has politics to do here? Will you discuss Brexit next?

But as an IT professional, I firmly hold the opinion that an emulator - which Wine essentially is - can never be a realistic alternative for a native application, which PL2 was.

You may have your own notions of “good enough” and “normal” - but may I be allowed to stay with mine? There seems to be a discrepancy.

It’s still better to have Potlatch 3 than no such software at all. For those working on Windows-systems (like me) it is a good alternative to e. g. JOSM and worth every Cent of the funding. Of course I hope PL3 will still see some improvements and hopefully for Linux systems too.

But don’t take PL3 hostage in the holy war of Linux vs. Windows.

Today I wanted to make my last edit with Potlatch 2 but my browser already responds:

I am really happy to have the You can still use Potlatch possibility!

That war has long ceased to be “holy” :slight_smile: Even 15 years ago, at the place I then worked, it was rather a bit of folklore, to spark good-humoured joking between teams who were doomed to collaborate. Today there remains scarcely any trace of it, at least where I work.

And I am unhappy because - even if I receive the same message - I cannot. And even more unhappy because I was led to believe that I would.

Too bad, I see your situation. Why isn’t it possible to put Potlatch on the same browser-based core like ID, just with the features and behaviour of Potlatch?

Because Potlatch is written in ActionScript and uses the Flash drawing APIs. These are unfortunately very different from JavaScript and the canvas/SVG drawing APIs, which are what browsers give you. Porting Potlatch to JavaScript+SVG would probably be about two months’ full-time work even for someone who already knows the Potlatch internals well (which is three or four people in the entire world :slight_smile: ).

Native app offers no tangible benefits vs. a wine based solution. It is too complex to set up for the majority of users, and only comes with inferior performance and stability. My recommendation is to use wine instead.


I’d agree with that. If time permits I’ll create an OSM diary entry that describes exactly what to do to get it working on a “vanilla” Ubuntu 18.04 or 20.04 system.

What would also be useful would be to have more information from anyone for whom that isn’t an option to understand why - for example Jan above has said “I cannot”, but we don’t know the actual issue there that prevents Wine being used in that example - is there some sort of software installation restriction, or does some error occur, or something else?

I cannot use PL3 natively because it won’t work on Linux (which is not Richard’s fault, of course).
I won’t use PL3 through Wine because emulators are workarounds, not solutions.
All this could be read higher up in the thread.

It seems there are some misconceptions what wine really is all about. Let’s take a look at their project page:

(emphasis mine)

2 posts were split to a new topic: Potlatch3 login errors and problems