Adobe Flash is suddenly heading to exit

Occupy Flash

It was 2005 when YouTube was launched, it seems like yesterday but 10 years have passed. YouTube wouldn’t however have been possible without a special cross-browser plugin: Adobe Flash Player.

A flash history

Flash was born in 1996 as FutureSplash, later bought by Macromedia, ending up with the name: Flash. Flash had a great impact on the Internet from there on. There was also a time (fortunately gone) when making Flash website was a trend, and a “Flash webmaster” was some sort of sacred beast. Not only it was utterly wrong to write flash-sites, but it was like taboo to say that. I remember being told at the time “You’re not a real webmaster since you don’t use/know Flash”. I honestly felt really angry at the time, fortunately that same time revealed I was right. Anger aside, Flash was a great thing at that time, not for sites, but for a specific application: videos. An that became really visible with a particular Site founded in 2005: YouTube. From there on, it was a piece of cake. However soon came HTML5, the standard that aimed to provide up-to-date features to modern browser. It was 2008 when HTML5 first public draft was published, today HTML5 is recommended as of 2014.

Why is Flash bad

As every component inside a browser it is subject to a number of threats, especially thinking Flash can do a lot of things. Since the development relies on Adobe, it is entirely up to this society to update the software, hence bugs discovered can’t be fixed unless Adobe decides to do so. Recently a huge bug of Flash has been discovered: it allowed malicious code to be run from a website on a client machine. That’s more than simply dangerous. Those are however only security reasons. As I was mentioning earlier: sites built in Flash are badly optimized, can sometimes be clunky, are search-engine unfriendly and ultimately can’t be seen by non-flash users. Also Adobe cut support for mobile devices in 2011. What does that mean? Flash’s time is running out.

Why the situation worsened

Recently the situation took a twist for the worse. With the recent leak of information of Hacking Team, new vulnerabilities of Flash were exposed. These vulnerabilities are so important that Mozilla decided to block every version of Flash on Firefox prior to a certain update. Pretty dangerous things might happen if Flash were to be enabled, so why not block it? Well, the user still has the last word, so he can decide whether to enable it or not at his own risk. At the same time Facebook CSO Alex Stamos said

With that said, it’s just a matter of time. Or will something happen to save Flash from an obscure destiny?

Image courtesy of mark | marksei

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