Has Flash Been Killed? By Adobe?

03.09.11 8 years ago 5 Comments

Since the late ’90s, people have loved arguing over one topic on Internet design: whether or not Flash, first a Macromedia product and then consumed with a great NOM by Adobe, is a useful tool for creating animation and dynamic websites, or a bug-riddled, security-compromising monstrosity that should be killed at all costs. Flash has been used for great good, such as YouTube, but also profound evil, as any visitor to a website with a Flash intro, or any restaurant website, will tell you. But now the end seems near and the killer of Flash is…Adobe? Find out why Adobe is doing in its own program, execution-style, here at Uproxx News.

As usual with the tech world, the answer to why anybody does anything comes down to one word: Apple. You might remember that Apple and Adobe have a long history together: first as best buds during the ’90s, then increasingly hostile until 2007, when Steve Jobs banned Flash from the iPhone and later the iPad, starting this software staring contest in earnest.

It infuriated people at the time, but Jobs did have a few valid points: he didn’t want to have to deal with anything on the App Store not working due to Adobe not putting out the correct Flash Player, and Flash has always been buggy and full of tasty security holes for hackers. And it’s not like Jobs wanted everybody to develop on Apple’s Cocoa; he encouraged developers to use open standards like CSS, HTML5 and…er…JavaScript, which kind of raises a few questions about why Flash’s bugs are so terrible.

Adobe, for its part, insisted that this was just Jobs being a control freak and Flash won in the open market, so it was awesome. Also, that the standards Jobs was advocating weren’t nearly as advanced as Flash, so Apple was compromising the quality of the apps available.

So Apple went its way and Adobe went theirs. And, well, the iPad became the fastest selling gadget of all time, while the iPhone continues to sell like hotcakes. Even worse, Flash for Android didn’t show up until version 2.2 and Flash for Honeycomb is still being worked on. And just to add insult to injury, Google is trying to dump Flash and H.264 off of YouTube for good. So, for Adobe, the writing is on the wall. Flash isn’t dead yet, but the grave is being dug a little deeper every time Apple sells another iPad.

Hence, Adobe has begun showing a new, experimental technology called “Wallaby” that will allow Flash users to convert their proprietary Flash files into HTML5 or CSS files. Oddly, all examples of conversion show an Adobe logo waving a white flag.

Wallaby is, of course, rudimentary as only a product created begrudgingly by a large corporation can be, and aimed primarily at advertisers. Which means annoying banner ads will load, but the website you’re trying to look at won’t. Movies, sound and ActionScript don’t work yet, which we find deeply shocking, but Adobe claims to be working on it.

Slowly.

Either way, those cries of “Flash is Dead!” might finally become true. And maybe now restaurants will feature a menu you can copy-paste.

[news-links]

  • Adobe loads a revolver, spins chamber, points it at Flash’s head (Digital Trends)
  • A good and detailed summary of the argument between Apple and Adobe can be found at (Is Flash Dead Yet?)

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  • In Charlie Sheen news, because you know this trend is not going to die until Charlie does, which means it’ll be dead next week, the newly fired and still disgustingly rich Sheen is looking for an intern. Specifically, a winning intern with tiger blood, and we assure you, that is exactly what the tweet he put out said. The internship, which is paid in actual money and not just drugs and Bree Olson time, will mostly be about managing Sheen’s enormous two million Twitter followers. Oh, and it’s also an ad for the website Internships.com. WINNING! …yeah, that’s already getting stale. (Google News)

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  • As of 2008, 30-40% of websites were using Flash in at least one part of the file, as tested by Opera. Oh, and 98% of browsers had the Flash plug-in installed. We wonder how many of those people were still using IE6, just to make things more aggravating. (Flash Magazine)
  • Meanwhile, 60% of Apple’s $20 billion in revenue comes from devices that don’t run Flash. (App Advice)

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