Red5. The promise is: “an Open Source Flash Server written in Java” with support for pretty much everything most people would need. According to Chris Allen’s session I went to at Flash on the Beach, it would be easy enough to get it set up and running.
Well, that’s not quite my experience with Red5 so far. First of all, there doesn’t seem to be a central resource for information. There’s the following – i’m not sure which are official:
I also couldn’t find any examples using AS3, which was a little suprising. I see that’s planned for version 0.9.
After downlaoding the most recent release (0.8RC1), I spent several hours attempting to get it up and running on my XP box to no avail. I then tried installing 0.7, which I finally managed to get running.
One of the many problems I had was finding out how to log into the admin panel. I read that the username and password was admin/admin – however that wasn’t working. It took a lot of scouring mailing lists to find that you need to register a new user first at this URL:
http://localhost:5080/admin/register.html – you’ll then need to restart the Red5 server. I’ve yet to see that mentioned in any tutorial or documentation… although I may well be wrong
ANT has also been a real pain to set up. The readme for Red5 says to get this installed, and to run “ant server” – after a few hours of battling with this and having a lot of problems with dependencies and environment variables, I finally settled with just running ’start.bat’ from the Start menu. It seems to work, although i’m confused why the instruction to run ant exists.
I won’t even begin to list the problems i’ve had attempting to create a simple ‘hello world’ application. This is no doubt due to my complete lack of experience with Java, but it’s a real shame there’s a lack of well written, up-to-date tutorials on how to get a simple application up and running.
In the end, I’ve managed to create my own Flash app that connects to one of the existing sample Java apps, but it’s far from ideal. At least i’ve got something to show for my efforts though.
It turns out I could have saved a lot of time by reading Robert Silverton’s blog, where he details pretty much exactly what i’ve gone through. Doh!
A short message to the Red5 developers: You’ve created something that is no doubt absolutely wonderful. There needs to be a little more documentation and tutorials. Please try and help more of us get involved with using it. If there’s anything I can do to help you, please let me know.