9 Reasons Flash Must Die, And Soon - InformationWeek

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7/19/2015
12:06 PM
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9 Reasons Flash Must Die, And Soon

Whether you're a user or a developer, the reasons to leave Flash in the past keep multiplying.
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(Image: elianemey via Pixabay)

(Image: elianemey via Pixabay)

Alas, poor Flash. The trajectory from cool innovation to Web must-have, to reviled technology was dramatic, but there's no doubt that the time has come: Flash has to go.

Flash entered our lives around the same time as the World Wide Web, though it began its existence as a drawing program for PenPoint OS. It wasn't until 1996, after Macromedia bought the original developer, that Flash received a new name and a new mission -- enabling animation on websites. Macromedia continued to develop Flash until the company was acquired by Adobe in 2005. Under Adobe, Flash became a Web animation juggernaut.

It didn't take long for the backlash to build. Flash had some notable issues and at least one famous detractor -- Steve Jobs's 2010 open letter listing the reasons Flash wasn't part of the iOS universe was for some a watershed moment. The hate for Flash wasn't universal, though: Air, the system that allows Flash to be used as the basis for standalone applications, was named the best mobile development environment at CES for both 2014 and 2015.

Air isn't enough reason to save Flash, though. It's no longer required, and the alternatives have become better with each passing year. This week, another nail in the coffin arrived when Mozilla prevented Flash from running on its Firefox browser. It's time, therefore, for Flash to ride into the sunset (probably in an animated clip featuring kittens riding cartoon unicorns).

Whether you're a user or a developer, the reasons to leave Flash in the past keep multiplying. Still looking for your reason to delete Flash from your online life? We've put together a list of nine reasons we find compelling. If we've missed the reason that finally made you switch, let us know. And if you're one of the poor, deluded souls who thinks that Flash is still the best web-thing since animated sliced bread, please let us know that, too. We promise we'll be kind.

Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Editor at Dark Reading. In this role he focuses on product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he works on audio and video programming for Dark Reading and contributes to activities at Interop ITX, Black Hat, INsecurity, and ... View Full Bio

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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,
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
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.
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.
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.   

 
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.  
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.
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?
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.
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!
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