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9 Reasons Flash Must Die, And Soon
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nomii
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nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
7/19/2015 | 9:02:48 PM
Keep evolving or be thing of past
I am very sad at the situation with flash as I was a die hard fan of flash. But it is very true that if you became stagnant and can not evolve  further you must leave space for others. I cannot find a suitable alternative of flash as I have never tried anything else :). Suggestions are most welcome to find the true alterative of this. I say what firefox has done was in the making,
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
7/20/2015 | 2:33:33 PM
Re: Keep evolving or be thing of past
@nomii, have you taken a serious look at the animation features of HTML5? Depending on precisely what you want to do, you might have to add some Java code, but I think that much of what folks are doing in Flash has an alternative in HTML5.
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
7/20/2015 | 12:01:16 AM
Still stuck with it
Because a lot of really great websites - including this one - still run content based on flash
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
7/20/2015 | 2:35:05 PM
Re: Still stuck with it
@Gary-EL, I'm very aware of the irony of calling for the end of Flash on a web site that still uses Flash. I will say that this site should see the end of Flash within the next few months, but until then the irony will be thick!
CY148
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CY148,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/20/2015 | 8:26:08 AM
I block it ...
As a user, I modified Chrome and Firefox to block flash ...if I want to run it, I can always "...right-click to run plug-in."

I admit Flash has its uses (I know well the challenge of finding a developer tool to solve problems), but as an end-user it is an annoying distraction (do people really click on those annoying animated ads? I'll put up with the annoyance of disabling Flash to avoid them).

Who knows, maybe a new tool will come of this? And I'll probably be blocking that one in a few years as well.
Jschmidt27
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Jschmidt27,
User Rank: Strategist
7/20/2015 | 11:46:54 AM
Re: I block it ...
FOr the last year, FLASH has been bringing Chrome to its knees with chrome not releasing memory. There has been quite a blog building on it on the google forum. I disabled it and if needed I right click as you do. But people are getting pretty steamed with google not paying attention because after all it is a free product.
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
7/21/2015 | 2:30:19 PM
Re: I block it ...
@CY148, I think there are a number of tools that are replacing Flash -- as a matter of fact, I'd say that without alternatives we wouldn't be able to think about getting rid of Flash. The set of functions it provides are necessary for the modern web, I just think there are now much better ways of putting those functions in front of the users.

As for blocking, you're probably right, though some site owners are getting much more creative in finding ways to "block your blockers."
Wolf29
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Wolf29,
User Rank: Strategist
7/20/2015 | 9:20:05 AM
Flash was a big part of my development life 15 years ago
I used to use Dreamweaver and Fireworks from Macromedia, and Flash sites were very cool, even with my limited graphics skill.  The problems with flash for a web site are

1. A flash image has no useful text for the search-engine crawlers to read, so your site is ranked lower than an html site created in notepad.

2. Flash sites are harder to update than regular sites, and much harder than WordPress sites.

3. Flash is large and takes a lot of time to load.

RIP Flash.
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
7/20/2015 | 10:00:54 AM
Re: Flash was a big part of my development life 15 years ago
nice summary.

The designers I hired to do graphics work 15 years ago would use  Dreamweaver and Fireworks from Macromedia, and Flash sites  -- which were very nice at the time, and did the job for corporate multimedia work product at a time when it was all still kind of new.  
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
7/21/2015 | 2:49:26 PM
Re: Flash was a big part of my development life 15 years ago
@jastroff, I've got all of those still sitting on my hard disk, though the tools have moved on in most cases. Adobe is pushing Muse to replace Dreamweaver (though Dreamweaver is still a better system for building large, complex sites), and I'm watching younger developers do things in After Effects that I would have chosen Fireworrks to complete.

If people want to stay in the Adobe world, Illustrator and Photoshop can each create animations using timeline tools very much taken from Flash. The fact that the resulting files don't have to be in a proprietary file format (or require a run-time interpreter) makes things so much better.
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
7/21/2015 | 2:41:26 PM
Re: Flash was a big part of my development life 15 years ago
@Wolf29, you make some solid additional arguments for moving away from Flash. I think your reason number 3, with the impact on performance and site size, is the most important since we know that performance is critical to the user experience for a web site.

The maintenace aspect can't be ignored, either -- especially if you don't live in Flash. Every time I have to maintain a Flash-based site I've built I have to take a little time to get back into the Flash mindset. Too often, it's time I'd much rather spend doing something else!
ACorrectPerson
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ACorrectPerson,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/10/2015 | 6:10:55 AM
Re: Flash was a big part of my development life 15 years ago
Wolf29,

#1 you are completely incorrect - Google indexes Flash sites and it has for a long time (not that you should typically be making complete websites in Flash in the first place, unless it's a business application...which doesn't care about SEO whatsoever).

#2 all depends on what the hell you're doing. Development of certain types of complex Flash applications is much, much more productive because the toolset is vastly superior to browser-based alternatives.

#3 is a load of bull really, and as usual it depends on what application you're talking about, how it was built, how caching factors in, and what you're running on. On mobile this may hold some truth, but then look at how native applications are blowing away "HTML5 applications" on mobile to the point that HTML5 is irrelevant there. 

RIP more misinformation (or is this website actually full of disinformation?)
RandyT255
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RandyT255,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/20/2015 | 9:26:20 AM
vitriol off target
The issue is not Flash or Air.  It's the antique plug-in architecture that provides security vulnerabilities.  

There seems to be a Flash/Anti-Flash tribalism that defies logic and reason.   

 
CY148
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CY148,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/20/2015 | 5:59:06 PM
Re: vitriol off target
I agree with your antique plug-in comment, but not the rest. Curious as to why you choose the word 'tribalism'?

The logic and reason of my ire has spawned huge 3rd party programs that block flash. I wouldn't say it defies either. Something is annoying. I want it to stop.


Flash used well isn't noticed. Flash used poorly is a huge annoyance - if I want blinking lights, I'll put a Christmas tree. But it seems that poor design (let alone the security vulnerabilities you correctly mention) is the true target of my ire. However, I can do very little (if anything) about poor design ...at least with minimal effort. I can, on the other hand, block Flash easily.

Air used poorly would get the same treatment.
RandyT255
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RandyT255,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/20/2015 | 7:37:12 PM
Re: vitriol off target
The word "tribalism" connotes taking sides based on identification with a group at the expense of logic or reason.  We've witnessed that phase of Flash bashing, just after the infamous Jobs pronouncement.  

I agree that Flash has to go.  I just prefer solid reasons other than red herrings like "bad design."  If bad design were a flaw worthy of extermination, we should blow up the ICANN right now and let all domain requests chase New Horizons into the Kuiper Belt.

Flash facilitated early application development on the web.  During it's prime time it's great premise was "author once, deliver everywhere."  That utility has come and gone.  
CY148
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CY148,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/20/2015 | 11:33:24 PM
Re: vitriol off target
I see your point. I disagree. As for using the word tribalism - I can see where you're coming from, but for me, you're using a word with legitimate connotations. e.g., Afghan tribalism is real and has a basis in reason and logic with real life & death consequences for those belonging to this valley or that valley ...for that matter reason and logic are also being mis-used.

Logic - the study of valid reasoning. My reasons may not be yours, but that does not invalidate them.

Reason - consciously making sense of things. I'm pretty sure I consciously came to the conclusion that blocking Flash is better than not blocking it because I took the time modify Chrome & Firefox while leaving IE alone.


I've provided logic and reason why I dislike Flash. In essence: It is (mostly) annoying. I want it to stop. I block it. And all that had nothing to do with Steve Jobs.


As for 'poor design' being a red herring. How so? Poor design is not a fallacy - when I used to see an advert(before I blocked flash) with some flashing lights in multiple colors several times a second in order to get me to click on it, I'm pretty confident with my labeling it poor design (I did notice that some designers took a different tack a few years ago and wanted me to click because President Obama could help me pay off my mortgage, my car, my debt, etc.)

If you want to say 'poor design' is a an over-used word when it comes to web design and is a concept based on an individual's own values (and therefore hard to nail down), I'll happily agree. Good design is often overlooked because ...well, it is good design. The design doesn't take away from the experience, it enhances it.

Don't get me wrong - I don't shun Flash at all costs (or at the expense of reason). I've played some incredible game based on Flash - it is not all bad. But I block it 100% on Chrome and Firefox and my web-browsing/internet surfing is more enjoyable because of it.

I appreciate your arguments (and I've enjoyed your responses) and I see your points - I think you could make them better by using different words.
RandyT255
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RandyT255,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/21/2015 | 12:15:18 AM
Re: vitriol off target
I understand.

There is one important point about AIR.  Most of the important streaming media apps use AIR, because there is no cross platform substitute for Adobe's adaptive bitrate (ABR) packaging (HDS) AND because the Adobe video API is incomparably deep.  A few examples:

Dishworld, WatchESPN, FoxSports, many more.

 

 
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
7/21/2015 | 2:44:02 PM
Re: vitriol off target
@RandyT255, I think you're on to something. While Flash is certainly one of the most visible plug-ins for most browsers, the sheer number of plug-ins required to see and use the modern web site can make browsers incrediblly slow and unstable. (Firefox, I'm looking at you, here.)

As to why so many people are Flash Haters, I think it's the combination of architecture and vulnerability. Now that alternatives are becoming available, it's just too compelling to leave it behind.
frazo920
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frazo920,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/20/2015 | 12:24:03 PM
What about the wonderful, powerful Flash development tools
What about the wonderful, logical WYSIWYG interface of Flash that has allowed us normal people to develop reasonably powerful, common sense  applications thay is not being replicated by anyone else?  Having coded applications in Java, C. C++, Python, Fortran, Cobol, Assembly and other long-gone scripting languages, I am amazed by how we call for the elimination of this blessed tool, without even thinking of normal, not-necessarily "coding" people who have needs to apply multimedia technologies more reasonably.  IS it better to think of suggest the creation of more REASONABLY FRIENDLY and still secure development alternatives?
JohnW585
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JohnW585,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/20/2015 | 2:56:15 PM
Flash Wastes My Time and Hogs Memory
Your first reason has a corollary, which is why I MYSELF obominate Flash: it hogs memory, and, as a browser extension, creates disastrous load times for otherwise inocuous web pages. Besides, I never ever want to see a graphic or a pictiure or a video, unless totally bvoard and watching downloaded movies or music videos.

 

The only reason Flash exists on my main production system (but NOT on the development system), is that I sometimes play a game, which has an add-in writtenin another obominated language, javascript, which among other things has a quite useful feature enabling a warning sound for certain events getting thrown on hidden tabs. The sound portion of the script calls for swf and flash explicityly. I don't want to learn enough javascript to remove flash from that script.

As to browsers, I use IE foir most things; chrome, palemoon, and forefox for my recreational stuff, all three of thoise are totally locked down against any possibility of modificatyion, and do have acess to locked-down versions of flash.

IE does not have access to flash.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
7/20/2015 | 4:37:31 PM
Re: Flash Wastes My Time and Hogs Memory
I don't have anything against Flash, except when it goes out-of-date at the most inopportune time and the only way I find out is when whatever I'm attempting to look at has been replaced by the message "Flash out of date" somewhere that I don't have admin rights.

I'd be happy to see that go.
Tim2020
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Tim2020,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/20/2015 | 6:36:19 PM
FLASH MUST DIE
I am sorry, but what exactly is the product / standard that is suppose to replace flash right now?

 
hho927
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hho927,
User Rank: Ninja
7/20/2015 | 7:30:43 PM
99/100 HTML programmers are not graphic designers
If Adobe care to do Flash right, it'll live.

Adobe concerntrate on making money. Nothing major change at their software at all. They live because there is no alternatives.

Graphic designers are poor programmers. Programmers are poor at graphic. In the world, where over 70% websites are done by 1 guy, flash thrive.
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
7/21/2015 | 5:59:02 AM
HTML5 not a Flash replacement!
I stopped reading after the uneducated claim of HTML5 being a replacement for Flash. Flash and ActionScript go way beyond what HTML5 and JS can do. Even better, Flash /AS look and behave the same across browsers and OS platforms. HTML5/JS needs special CSS and code for each browser to just get it to work and then it still looks and feels vastly different in each configuration.

Flash is closed...so what? Windows is closed, plenty of enterprise apps are closed, many consumer apps are closed. If "closed" is an argument to ditch an app we would have to throw out a lot of stuff.

Flash is naive? So is Windows and MS Office...or how else do you explain that a simple PowerPoint can pawn your entire system? There is also no reason for an office suite to have such deep access into the OS guts. Yet I hear nobody yell that MSO needs to die. In fact, we gladly patch critical flaws in MSO on a monthly basis. But if Adobe does it it's plain wrong. Rather biased logic, right?

Unless there is something realistic and constructive to bring to the table this Flash bashing is getting old.
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
7/23/2015 | 10:16:00 PM
Re: HTML5 not a Flash replacement!
@moarsauce123, I come at this from the POV of someone who has both used a lot of Flash-based web sites and programmed quite a few Flash projects. I could overlook a lot (and did for a long time), but Flash has become a very heavy weight for a browser and mobile client to drag around.

And that heavy weight is dragged around, more often than not, for a purpose that could be programmed in another way with less system overhead.

My real problem, though, is that in order to do a lot of its magic Flash has to reach down into operating system territory for file and resource access. And it does that reaching with far fewer precautions than it should have taken, with the inevitable result that it's a popular attack vector. Put it all together and Flash should either be significantly overhauled or put out to pasture -- and Adobe has shown in every way possible that it's unlikely to give it a major overhaul.
ACorrectPerson
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ACorrectPerson,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/10/2015 | 6:30:31 AM
Re: HTML5 not a Flash replacement!
You say "Flash has to reach down into operating system territory".  Yes, but browsers have to do the same thing if they expect to provide the same functionality.  Browsers can magically work without accessing the same hardware Flash accesses?  How does that work?  And do you really trust the likes of Mozilla who have already racked up more security vulnerabilities than Flash (despite it being far older and much more widespread), according to NIST's National Vulnerability Database?  A quick search for the terms results in 1,371 Firefox hits and 744 Flash hits (and due to the name Flash, the first one is a false positive referring to "Flash drives" on Apple OS X).

Heavy weight?  Flash Player is less than 18mb.  Contrast that with Adobe's reader which is well over 100mb and sometimes as much as 400mb supposedly.  Foxit PDF reader's installer on my OS downloads 37mb.  Flash loads pretty much instantly on all webpages and most modern browsers nowadays have "click to play" options which effectively automatically block ads or anything you don't want to load.  It's unlikely that it could possibly be made any more lightweight.  Browsers are much more heavyweight themselves.
ACorrectPerson
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ACorrectPerson,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/10/2015 | 7:12:36 AM
9 Reasons This Article Is Misinformation (or Disinformation?)
I almost feel a little bad pointing all this out and negating this entire article, but misinformation has to be challenged.

1) "Flash is an interpreted language" - No, no, no, a thousand times NO.  Flash is a virtual machine platform which uses state of the art JIT (just in time) compilation like many other modern VM platforms.  This is not even close to comparable to an actual interpreted language and not even in the same league in terms of speed.  Flash is no more "hungry" than anything playing video on mobile.  You can't compare Flash running video or anything else intensive to an application which does nothing but render mostly static HTML.  Stop spreading Steve Jobs disinformation he created to attack a competing app store platform that Apple couldn't profit off of.  The reality is, Flash has had years worth of optimizations built into it.

2) Anything, including HTML5 video players, which does the same things Flash does will have to at some point interact with a machine's hardware. This requirement does not magically go away (along with the security risk) simply because you're moving the functionality to another location. Obviously the exploits aren't there yet because the alternatives are new. Adobe is also pretty remarkably fast at getting out security updates. Much faster than browser vendors have ever been, actually (you know, the guys you're now trusting to handle all those security risks with HTML5).

3) While Flash is proprietary, it is not completely closed--the open source Tamarin JIT compiler was developed by Adobe and is a core portion of Flash. Of course Adobe believes that Flash's proprietary code is a strength which enables it to work consistently, unlike browsers. This is probably the only thing on this article's list which is mostly true, but it's also not very important. 

4) "Flash" is not a media format. SWF files which you are referring to are essentially compressed archives which can contain many types of resources and compiled bytecode. And it's existence is not making your life any more complicated than the mess of 50 technologies needed to build comparible software using HTML and JavaScript in a browser. The irony here is hilarious. 

5) Okay, yeah, Flash is not HTML5. So what. How is that a reason to abolish Flash? We're more productive when we need to seek out dozens of software libraries to build applications with comparable functionality? Obviously using a dozen additional technologies and integrating them all is more complex so I don't understand the logic here. 

6) Essentially a repeat of #2 which was already debunked. With HTML5 exploits on the horizon now we have many more moles to worry about. And good luck patching them--users may not be fond of updating Flash player to fix security issues, but they are even more annoyed when they are asked to update their actual browser (or mobile OS), where these security exploits will soon be moving.

7) #6 above already covered this. You can be stupid and delay or ignore OS updates. You can ignore browser updates. You can ignore native application updates. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?

8) Putting redundant functionality into browsers makes them more complicated. By the way, Firefox backtracked on disabling Flash almost immediately after a massive user backlash. If they weren't biased (like the author of this article), they would have made "click to play" a default instead, which not only blocks Flash ads by default but also seriously mitigates any security risks. The vulnerability Firefox blocked Flash for during that day was not proven to be an actively exploited vulnerability anyway.

9) This one is just stupid and needs no rebuttal.



I look forward to reading your correction article. If you are an honest person, you will soon write one to be published and linked to here.


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