OED spelling guidance

The OED has a spelling FAQ, so if you’re ever at a loss at whether it’s email, e-mail, Email or E-mail, then worry no more, the OED website says:

We recommend email, as this is now by far the most common form. If in doubt with other words, hyphenate – this is the most comprehensible form of such words.

That same section also has a page on how “ye” came about, and why it doesn’t mean “the”:

The use of ye for the, like the use of f for s, results from a misreading of old letter-forms, in this case the letter ‘thorn’ (for the sound ‘th’), which in its plain version looks like a p with the stem extended above the loop. ‘Thorn’ originated as a runic letter, and is still used in writing the Icelandic language.

Apparently it was mainly used to refer to more than one person as the subject of a sentence.

Adobe Opens Flash 9 Specification (Updated)

As part of Adobe’s OpenScreen project to get Flash onto more devices they have just openly published the Flash 9 specification, with what appear to be no restrictions on their part (that I can see). The OpenScreen site seems to confirm it, listing their moves as:

  • Removing restrictions on use of the SWF and FLV/F4V specifications
  • Publishing the device porting layer APIs for Adobe Flash Player
  • Publishing the Adobe Flash® Castâ„¢ protocol and the AMF protocol for robust data services
  • Removing licensing fees – making next major releases of Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR for devices free

This is great news, suddenly Flash becomes an open standard and the projects to create open source viewers for it suddenly should have a lot of the information that they need. It doesn’t remove all the issues though, some of the codecs that can be employed are patented and can themselves attract licensing fees, but it does appear that they are not required (unlike OOXML, which requires MP3 for audio content for example). It also means that people wanting to implement open tools to create Flash content, or export to Flash, will have their job made a lot easier too.

Hats off to Adobe – better late than never!

Update: This also includes the FLV/F4V specification too!

Found via the ever excellent LWN..