Facebook calls for a termination date for Flash. Mozilla disables current version of the plug in in Firefox. Google’s says future version of Chrome will “intelligently pause” Flash content that isn’t part of the website’s content. It’s not dead yet, but the handwriting is on the wall.
What’s all the fuss?
The security problems are one big reason Firefox had to quarantine Flash this month and that was the third time a security breach caused them to do that. And the security issues like this have been going on for some time. One problem is that, even though Adobe releases fixes, many users don’t install the new versions of the Flash.
Even though Flash doesn’t work on most mobile devices, I don’t think I’ve ever found a site that wouldn’t load on my smart phone because of the Flash issue.
Flash is a closed, proprietary system on a web that is run mostly by open source software such as Apache, WordPress, Nginx, and Linux.
Flash is used mostly for ads and games. Ads slow down computers because they use 3rd party servers which isn’t really Flash’s fault.
But Flash is resource-heavy that sucks batteries dry.
Apple might have forced Adobe to kill Flash mobile, but a movement called Occupy Flash wants to hasten the end of Flash. They are devoted to getting everyone to uninstall Flash. Their site has detailed instructions on how to un-install Flash from Windows, Mac, Linux, and Google Chrome. The site will also inform you if you have Flash installed on your browser.
But what’s the alternative?
Use HTML5 Options when available. Many sites are now supporting HTML5 for files that required Flash. The big one was YouTube which announced a while ago that it was going to HTML 5. To use HTML5 as your default player just go to http://www.youtube.com/html5 . Opt-in to their non-Flash video player. You will learn if your browser is currently set to support either the video element of HTML5, H.264 video codec or the WebM format. The browsers that support these alternatives include Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera and Apple Safari.
At the very least update your browser to the latest version.
The first generation of HTML5-based video playback technology didn’t enable features critical to the distribution of premium content, such as adaptive streaming, digital rights management (DRM), live streaming, or even true streaming as opposed to progressive download.
But now three new HTML5 technologies, the Media Source Extensions (MSE), Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), and Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH), will help premium content producers overcome these obstacles, and transition to HTML5 for the adaptive delivery of live and VOD content with DRM. Many Flash and HTML5 producers use off-the-shelf players which can be installed on any site. For more details on these technologies see Jan Ozer’s article HTML5 Comes of Age.
Flash is not the only vulnerable software. But it’s one we can live without.