Why Occupy Flash is Dangerously Forgetful

Why Occupy Flash is Dangerously Forgetful

Want to move on from Flash? Fine. But let's not hate it for helping build the internet we love today.

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That's a pretty good history of Flash. The issue is that it has a much larger attack surface than other alternatives like HTML5 so for the sake of people's securities it needs to be removed or phased out at some point. Hell, Flash's vulnerabilities are one of the reasons that I believe that That Plugin Which Shall Not Be Named and it's sister NoScript are so popular.

But I also agree with you that the sudden and drastic play from Firefox was a bit too much. I was extremely confused as to why Flash had been disabled at first and thought that there was a bug with my PC until I checked the news. As well as that, killing off 90% of the internet's adverts when viewed through any Firefox browser was a dick move.

There's gotta be some fist-shaking going on at the Escapist that all of this had to go down right after they launched the arcade.

It's not just a matter of history, or even history plus lazy advertisers (HTML5 has been around for five years now, and since setting Flash to opt-in, I noticed that plenty of ad providers would just put up static banner ads instead) or else I wouldn't be inclined to give a fuck any more than I care about the death of VHS. Thing is, sites like Homestar Runner and Newgrounds still completely rely on Flash, and probably always will, because it is physically impossible to create the sort of content they serve using only HTML5. For one thing, the only other vector format the Internet has on offer is SVG, which so far only has support for still images; for another, games made in HTML5 are much bulkier and take up entire folders as opposed to one compact file, so an upload system like Newgrounds has just isn't doable.

People who think Flash should die ought to be contributing to the effort to develop a viable replacement, and not assuming either that we've already gotten to that point or that it doesn't matter because, hey, they've got their free-to-pay apps and YouTube's monopoly on Internet video; isn't that good enough for anyone? Roll my eyes.

vallorn:
But I also agree with you that the sudden and drastic play from Firefox was a bit too much. I was extremely confused as to why Flash had been disabled at first and thought that there was a bug with my PC until I checked the news. As well as that, killing off 90% of the internet's adverts when viewed through any Firefox browser was a dick move.

I think Firefox's response has been overblown by sensationalist news outlets. All they did was turn on the opt-in mode and color the banner (which allows you to enable Flash on a temporary basis) red to warn people that there's a present security risk. For reference, this is the same thing it does when you go too long without updating Flash or any other plugin; my laptop, which belongs to a company and has to be updated manually from a third-party admin account, has been doing it for months now.

Flash helped launch Homestar Runner and My Little Pony: FiM. For those reasons alone I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the program.

That said, Adobe has really let it go to shit over the years.

Hopefully this will give them the kick in the pants they so desperately needed. I just hope that, when Flash does eventually die out, stuff like Homestar will still be accessible via some type of alternative.

You know what else Flash contributed to? Unnecessary splash pages. Entire websites (mostly for musicians and restaurants) with no SEO, text that couldn't be highlighted, and no mobile support.

Flash is great for cartoons and the like, and I will not deny its significance to sites like Newgrounds, but I'm very glad to see it discouraged as a web design tool. Leave the web design to languages that were built for it in the first place, that the browser can interact with more directly.

P.S. Thanks

I still love working with flash. I'm hoping that it might evolve, but that might be wishful thinking on my part as a flash developer.

It's the business world's fault, not Flash's.

Businesses are dinosaurs. Sure, there are experimental "beta" things like Chromium that you can use that have all the fancy flash-killing tools, but hardly anybody is on that bleeding edge.

There are a lot of businesses out there running IE 9 still. People still have to write backwards-compatible code to support all those cash cows. They can't just drop them and say "Upgrade to HTML5 where all the cool stuff is". They'd say "Screw you. We'll just hire a different vendor who will make it work with what we have.", and that means Flash.

Businesses are old. They use old stuff. The new stuff doesn't work with their old stuff. Flash works with their old stuff, hence businesses make Flash stuff to support other businesses, which contributes to the longevity of flash.

Once all the dinosaurs stop using old technology, then we can really invest in the new fancy stuff, but, currently, there's no market for the new hotness because the old and busted is where the money's at.

Flash as a stand-alone application is irrelevant to the discussion. When you watch Friendship is Magic on TV, there aren't any security holes there. Browser security =/= Desktop applications

If Adobe were willing to get their shit together there wouldn't be an issue. The issue exist because so far, they haven't been anywhere near competent. Flash isn't full of security holes because shit is super hard and it's inevitable, it's full of security holes because Adobe isn't investing the resources in it to make it not be. Fuck adobe, fuck flash and fuck Texas.

 

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