back to article Amazon to trash Flash, as browsers walk away

Amazon – the retail juggernaut, not the cloud juggernaut – has flicked Flash ads citing the increasing number of ways they're blocked at the browser as its reason. Driven at least in part by others' reaction to chronic insecurity in the plug-in-platform, Amazon says it will no longer accept advertisements that use Flash after …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    It's a start...

    Now if the rest of the world will follow suit. And this includes the "news" sites with all their videos requiring Flash.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: It's a start...

      Agreed. I deinstalled Flash 8 months ago and haven't felt the need to re-install. If a news site requires Flash, I just look for another site...

      1. Hollerith 1

        Re: It's a start...

        I got a new PC an dloaded up the usual, and for some reason didn't deal with Flash. Firefox blocked, I thought 'let's see how this goes' and I find I am quite happy to live without it. When I come to a site where it's required, I click away with an 'thanks, bye' and, stangely, my life remains unimpinged.

    2. Avatar of They
      Happy

      Re: It's a start...

      Ironically at least two portions of this very page are MS cloud adverts that run flash, which my browser didn't display and showed me "secure content" error messages.

      Still best comment ever. (World+Dog) - Microsoft. Can be used for quite a lot these days when considering industry standards.

  2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Google, Amazon, Apple, next ... Good riddance to a scummy "technology"

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      It's not that it's scummy, it's very insecure. Some of those Escape the Room games are very well written, albeit in Flash.....

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Nah, definitely scummy and the sooner it's gone the better. I don't know what it's taking so long.

        Anyway, once we've cleaned Flash out of our lives, we can start getting shot of ***king Java.

        1. Khaptain Silver badge

          "Anyway, once we've cleaned Flash out of our lives, we can start getting shot of ***king Java."

          That will be a hell of a lot more difficult..

        2. S4qFBxkFFg
          Joke

          First they came for Flash, and I said nothing because it's an insecure irritation.

          Then they came for Java, and I said nothing because I haven't had any reason to run Java code since writing my uni projects with it.

          Then they came for C/C++, and I said nothing because pointer arithmetic is a pain in the brain.

          Then they came for assembler, and I said nothing because that's the compiler's job innit?

          Then I said nothing because I didn't have a working computer to post my protestations.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          a feckingmen to that! WE HATE JAVA

    2. Thomas Smith

      Flash is being mistreated. Adobe paid a lot of money to acquire Macromedia. You should respect the program.

      1. Wibble

        > Adobe paid a lot of money to acquire Macromedia.

        And they've slowly binned most of Macromedia's good bits to eliminate the competition. Like Fireworks. Dreamweaver's hardly had any updates, ColdFusion, etc... Flash had it's good points, but needed some real effort put into security and performance. Now it's too late as other technologies have replaced it.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sad

    I, for one, am actually sad to see this. Why? Because with click-to-start Flash ads are effectively blocked. Moving to HTML5 now will mean that I'll see them by default unless AdBlock catches it :(.

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Aslan

    Hading a good time reading El Reg

    "In other words, since (World+Dog)-Microsoft hade decided Flash into either won't play or won't play automatically, Amazon wants to avoid its users getting irritating browser messages about the plugin."

    hade should be have.

    1. Cirdan
      Headmaster

      Re: Hading a good time reading El Reg

      Maybe next time use the "Tips and Corrections" link?

      Author is aware sooner and we're not mocking typographical errors in the comments.

      Good reading of the text, though; excellent use of contextual clues!!!

      :-)

      ...Cirdan...

      1. Kanhef

        Re: Hading a good time reading El Reg

        Even with that typo fixed, it still doesn't make sense gramatically: "since [they] have decided Flash into either won't play or won't play automatically". Seems like someone started writing one sentence, got distracted, and came back and finished a slightly different sentence – I've done this myself more than a few times.

        Also, the badness of Flash has been discussed to death here already. Mocking typographical errors is more entertaining than reading the same comments over and over again.

        1. Richard Jones 1

          Re: Hading a good time reading El Reg

          I think 'decided' should have been 'divided'.

          I also have finger against keyboard troubles.

        2. Aslan

          Re: Hading a good time reading El Reg

          Well that's interesting, even in my correction I made a mistake. Given the original, "In other words, since (World+Dog)-Microsoft hade decided Flash into either won't play or won't play automatically, Amazon wants to avoid its users getting irritating browser messages about the plugin." A better version would be, "In other words, since (World+Dog)-Microsoft have decided Flash either won't play or won't play automatically, Amazon wants to avoid its users getting irritating browser messages about the plugin."

          I'd change hade to have and remove the word into. I did send a correction in, after I wrote the comment. El Reg doesn't pull any punches covering tech news, why should El Reg itself be spared?

          1. Khaptain Silver badge

            Re: Hading a good time reading El Reg

            The editorial team are not necessarily the London team, sometimes it is the SF team and for obvious time zone constraints the "fixes" don't appear immediately...

            No-one comes to El Reg for perfect grammar.. thank fork **..

            (** Don't want to use "thank deity" anymore because it would therefore presume that such a thing existed, outside of men's minds.... and "thank fork" sounds like a desired grammatical error)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Hading a good time reading El Reg

              What?!? We let Americans check spelling and grammar?!! What has the world come to?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Hading a good time reading El Reg

                Wat, Mericans do spel ling and gramma, Wat has the wurld cum 2.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hading a good time reading El Reg

        Why? Why should readers and commenters do the work of the editorial team? Or is it the mocking? Hey, if you can't stand the heat...

        1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

          Re: Hading a good time reading El Reg

          Why should readers and commenters do the work of the editorial team?

          Because we're all human and sometimes mistakes slip through?

          I often send in corrections, and frequently get a polite "Thanks" back from the author or editor.

          1. jasonbrown1965

            Re: Hading a good time reading El Reg

            Bless you, in a thoroughly non-ironic way.

            I've sent hundreds of "friendly heads up" to various websites over the years, especially when my brain is fogged by other things. It helps me remember that I am AWESOME and can actually do awesome things, like ... offer minor corrections.

            As a tree-hugging, trendy lefty pinko anarcho commie journo scumbag, it's the least I can do for world peace.

        2. MrWibble
          Trollface

          Re: Hading a good time reading El Reg

          There's an editorial team?

    2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: Hading a good time reading El Reg

      I thought this was just a clever reference to the underworld.

  6. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    It's a good start

    But until the porn sites transcode their media to HTML5, flash is going to stay.

    It's *always* the sex industry that decides the route of technological change - ask yourself why, for example, we had VHS video players for so long, in the face of at least two superior technologies at much the same price?

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: It's a good start

      It's *always* the sex industry that decides the route of technological change - ask yourself why, for example, we had VHS video players for so long, in the face of at least two superior technologies at much the same price?

      I just tried to find a reference for this well known fact of Betamax failing because no porn was available for it.

      My quick 5-second googling just came up with no concrete evidence of this. A consensus I stumbled across, was the opinion that one of the main reasons Betamax failed was due to it initially only supporting one hour recording, verses two or three hours for VHS.

      A couple of web pages claim that porn was definitely produced for Betamax, but more was produced for VHS. I didn't follow this up. (There's only so much googling about porn I'm prepared to do at work!)

      If you have a reference for this no-porn-on-Betamax fact, could you share it please?

      1. AMBxx Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: It's a good start

        Confused - why would you need a porn video to last more than an hour?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It's a good start

          Umm... How old are you?

      2. Gavin Chester

        Re: It's a good start

        At launch yes Beta only had an hour whereas VHS has two hours. Beta soon caught up.

        It was reported to be twofold, first JVC licenced VHS to anyone, for relatively small fees, whereas Sony were more picky on their partners and charged more.

        Secondly VHS was the first with 4 hour tapes, the length of a typical US football match.

        It then became about sales, VHS was cheaper and the more players on any format meant the more rental shops stocked that format, and before long Beta fell away..

        Don't mention V2000 :)

  7. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Missed by that much....

    My first glance at the headline made me think it was Adobe that was ditching Flash instead of Amazon. I had to explain to some of my coworkers why I was briefly happy and now less so.

    1. gregthecanuck

      Re: Missed by that much....

      Same for me. Funny. Our brains must want something.... ;-)

  8. as2003

    I'm surprised flash has persisted this long. It died the day Steve Jobs decided iPhones and iPads weren't going to run it, (around 2008?).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      While it helped it along, it can be argued that it's done a spectacular job off its own back since then. Jobs wrote what many were thinking at the time. Fandroids suddenly became pro Flash because "the enemy of my enemy..." which in some way prolonged the inevitable...

      1. VinceH
        Coffee/keyboard

        "Fandroids suddenly became pro Flash because "the enemy of my enemy..." which in some way prolonged the inevitable..."

        Say what now?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I'm saying fandroids are a contrary bunch and only decided that they like flash because Jobs said he didn't. If you read the open letter, he actually makes good points that are still relevant today. Many cycles were wasted trying to get that holey POS into that holey POS...

          1. VinceH

            I get what you're saying. What I'm questioning is the validity of your suggestion that because Jobsy put down Flash 'Fandroids' somehow like it.

            Speaking as an Android user who has a very strong dislike for Apple (the sort of person you are probably talking about) your suggestion sounds like complete nonsense.

            And that's probably because it is nonsense.

            What "prolonged the inevitable" (the ditching of Flash) has nothing to do with Android users, and everything to do with big names stupidly insisting on its use, such as the Beeb for iPlayer.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Oh I dunno, proving Flash was relevant on mobile devices was up there for a while, certainly for most fandroids I interacted with. I take your point about technological dinosaurs (same tribe as fandroids, no?) holding things up, but really, have a look through the many, many Flash flames that happened on this very site. I mean, Which? still put 'lack of Flash support' in the 'Con' column for iThingy reviews...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It died the day Steve Jobs decided iPhones and iPads weren't going to run it, (around 2008?).

      Really? Then why are we having this discussion seven years later? Not everyone jumped just because Jobs said 'jump'.

      1. ian 22

        7 years later...

        Steve Jobs reached out from beyond the grave and killed Flash.

      2. as2003

        > Really? Then why are we having this discussion seven years later? Not everyone jumped just because Jobs said 'jump'.

        Obviously we're arguing semantics here, so let me re-phrase and explain a bit further.

        There were plenty of reasons to drop Flash; the constant security issues, the poor performance, the terrible UX, but I'm arguing that the single biggest blow to the success of flash was when iPhones were shipped with support for Flash, and Steve Jobs indicated there never would be.

        If you've worked in tech over the last decade, you'll have noticed that a very significant number of your colleagues have been using iPhones and other iProducts. When iPhones were shipped with flash, suddenly web developers were compelled to make websites that worked without Flash. And if they worked without flash then there was no need to use Flash in the desktop version of your website.

        Any ecommerce website that popped a polite "This site requires flash" notice silently lost business. CEO's with new iPads were calling up their CTOs, demanding to know why the website was broken.

        We are still having this discussion seven years later because when I say a technology "died", I'm not implying that it literally died over night and disappeared. It'll just slowly fade away. At 15 frames per second.

  9. ChubbyBehemoth

    It was dead but it didn't show...

    The main problem is that the logical alternative for Flash, SVG has been badly implemented since it became a recommendation (in 2003!!!). MS only now supports part of it since IE9 and still refuses to implement SMIL, forcing authors to use javascript for that. Doing animation in SMIL is simple, straightforward and flexible, whereas doing that in javascript is mind boggling and painful. Soon we should be able to use web animations using CSS, which is not a recommendation yet and is a bitch to author compared to SMIL. Hooray, W3C et all,...

    Another dud was Firefox not implementing SVG fonts, in part for valid reasons, but not taking the use of that for the easy creation of Sprites into account. No doubt type foundries also had their play in that. The only browser engine that had decent support for SVG was Presto. Alas, Opera has blinked itself out of significance these days by using Googles engine and letting them decide what is important. Fast rendering lean browsers are not a forte of anything webKit based it seems and SVG support is broken at many places, probably also in wait for SVG 2.0 to get recommendation status.

    SVG 2.0 is being heralded as fixing browser support problems, but looks like a subset of SVG 1.1 in many cases as to make all browsers have full support for it. Some very useful extensions are in it as well, ARIA roles, CMYK support, mesh warp fills and text areas rather than the crude text lines, but a lot of sexy stuff has been deprecated and replaced with vastly more complicated solutions.

    Take with that the total absence of any high end authoring tools for SVG animation, which is to be expected as no-one in his right mind is making that if support lacks on many platforms, and you get the idea why Flash has managed to float its rotting corpse across the web for such a long time. Kudos for Adobe to manage to make the whole transition so arduously slow that they can still sell you the Flash authoring tools.

    Let's just hope that we finally get some action in this field of web tech now the bigger names start throwing bricks at it. With some luck some brave soul will create a js framework to make backwards support for the stuff that SVG 2.0 left out. I for one loved using SVG fonts.

    1. Hollerith 1

      Re: It was dead but it didn't show...

      Mr or Ms Behemoth, well said. I have been waiting for the Powers That Be to get their heads together and give us animation tools that every browser, even MS will accept. I keep circling round SVG waiting for it to grow up. Who put it on hormone blockers??

  10. Zot

    Does this mean WebGL...

    ...Will be flashing and blinking adverts at us now, or is it all going HTML 5.

    I've always thought that flash had amazing compression technology for images and 'movies', but it left itself open to abuse far too easily, and so it must go.

  11. Nameless Faceless Computer User

    less about Flash and more about design

    Have you seen the amazon.com website lately? It's more like a video game. Mouse in and out events cause the screen to dim and pull-down menus appear and disappear on their own while animated windows scroll by uncontrollably. If I have more than 2 amazon tabs open my browser starts to crawl and eventually crashes. They don't need to replace Flash. They need to exercise some restraint.

  12. Ciaran McHale

    Why does The Register still use flash?

    YouTube providers users with an option to use Flash or HTML5 for videos. I can't find a similar option for The Register; instead, all videos seem to be in Flash. Did I miss something in the configuration settings? Or am I right in thinking that The Register uses only Flash for embedded videos? If so, why isn't The Register moving away from Flash?

    1. Zot
      Pint

      Re: Why does The Register still use flash?

      Laziness, probably.

    2. DropBear
      Trollface

      Re: Why does The Register still use flash?

      Probably because it would seem irresponsible to fix that _before_ implementing https...

      1. Hollerith 1

        Re: Why does The Register still use flash?

        oooo, home thrust.

  13. N2 Silver badge

    Good

    Time that banks were banned from using it as well, should know better.

  14. Medixstiff

    But what about "Charlie pays the rent"?

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