Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Flash, Chrome and a Mole Hill

In case you haven't heard yet Adobe made a blog post today detailing a new partnership with Google. If you haven't already follow my link above and read Adobe's post - it is only a few paragraphs. I've already seen this news reposted on several open-source news sites and honestly I think it is great deal of fuss over something that ultimately won't matter much.

I have a few reasons for saying this, here is my train of thought on the topic:

1.) We are getting flash 11.2 as a normal browser plugin and then this version will see security updates for five years. A good deal of flash content doesn't break backwards compatibility (heck I still use flash 9.x on my N900 without issues), this means you have at least five more years of using flash in your browser of choice on Linux.

2.) I know, odds are you know it, heck even Adobe knows it - flash is going the way of the dinosaurs with regards to web technology. Does this mean we are going to have a flash free web tomorrow? No of course not. It does mean though that as new, better content gets created for the web it is less and less likely to utilise flash. Five years from now flash not existing for Linux could seriously be a non-issue.

3.) Worst case scenario: Flash doesn't die out and five years from now we all have to install Chrome when we need to access some poorly designed flash-based website. It would suck, but it would hardly be the end of the world.

So for now, lets not make a mountain out of something that very well appears to be nothing more than a molehill.

~Jeff Hoogland


  1. Agreed. Not a big deal. Thanks for the story though.

  2. This was just a reminder for me to:

    apt-get purge flashplugin-downloader flashplugin-installer

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    I only hope that open, accessible, unobtrusive technologies come after this. Next on my wish list: mature open-source Nvidia drivers for my Quadro FX 1800.

  3. Jeff, On top of your three points, Pepper seems to be an open cross platform API, meaning the other browser vendors can support it as well if they choose too. Adding all of this up, I fail to see any minuses at all in this, actually I see pluses as tools like Pepper can actually level the playing field. Why do we even want native apps when platform neutral apps are possible these days?

  4. Flash is clearly dead. Removing it's cross platform ability is not a deal breaker on it's own, but that together with all the other internet-capable devices that can't or wont run it and the writing is more than just on the wall.

    I think adobe just want to kill it off; making a free plugin doesn't earn them any money, whereas their monopoly on content creation tools are huge money spinners. It makes much more sense for them to support everyone else's products instead and let those guys worry about the end users and their problems.

    Either that or they should free the source, but it's probably heavily encumbered at best.

  5. I have dial up and I do not use Google Chrome. As it stands already some websites use Flash and things just too darn much and for people like myself on miserable dial up connections, well it is just torture.
    I have heard that Chrome is superior to Firefox, but for now I am quite happy with Firefox, although I did have to download it when certain sites refused to load on Internet Explore. I hate to think that if things go wonky I have to install Chrome just to view some sites.

    Good blog.