I’m pretty sure this won’t stop dodgy porn sites popping up a message saying “Your Flash player is out of date and needs updating...”.
Anonymous coward because my detailed knowledge of this subject might antagonise the wife.
Google plans to help Adobe's Flash exercise its right to be forgotten – by gradually stripping the animated content from its search index, starting some time later this year. Flash was beloved by millions of netizens roughly two decades ago. In the years after its introduction in 1996, Flash provided a development platform …
As a web dev of roughly two decades ago, but not a graphic designer, I'll just point out that Flash owned the early embedded video space until HTML5 appeared and plug-ins weren't needed anymore. In fact, video sites such as for TV catch-up were the last hold-out for me until I stopped bothering to update and enable the plug-in and its absence was no longer noticed.
Well JQuery's only 13 years old, so that's impressive. I'll say it again. As a web developer, not a graphic designer, I used flash for video. I used CSS/JS for layout/dynamic content. And HTML tables before that.
Flash was and is horrible and proprietary but if you wanted people running different browsers to see your stuff, choices were limited.
"Well JQuery's only 13 years old, so that's impressive"
Some idiot "developer" used JQuery on a project that I had to finish. I removed most of the JQuery-isms when fixing the problems, but a few still remain in "it works" code. Once they're GONE, the entire library goes into /dev/null for that project.
FLASH on the other hand, has inherent problems that have lead to its demise. Why ANYONE would allow "those plugins" to live on their computer or device amazes me. They are beyond security craters; they're like gaping security Einstein/Rozen bridges to HELL.
Flash kept a moving target "standard":for long enough to CONSTANTLY BREAK THE OPEN SOURCE VIEWERS (like gnash). Its security NIGHTMARE and closed source plugins made Linux and FreeBSD use of flash DIFFICULT at best, especially FreeBSD.
Still WORSE, many times a "flash upgrade" would INCLUDE SPYWARE BUNDLED ALONG WITH IT, such as menu bars and SPYWARE. You had to EXPLICITLY SHUT THAT !@#$% OFF EVERY! STINKING! TIME!!!
Adobe's aggressive INVASION with their "free plugin" was *JUST* *PLAIN* *WRONG*. It had frequent CERTs and (apparently) more SERIOUS security patches being applied than Windows itself. More often than not (at least for a while) it seemed that the frequent 'patch Tuesday of major concern' would be due to (you guessed it) the Adobe FLASH plugin or something that was side-by-side related to it, like MS Intarweb Exploiter.
And I thought NOBODY was using Flash any more... guess I was wrong about that.
Big FAIL Icon for Flash. And JQuery. And all of that CRAP WARE.
Flash was and is horrible and proprietary but if you wanted people running different browsers to see your stuff, choices were limited.
Well, if IBM had been significantly smarter, we could have been using the java-based HotMedia instead.
(oh, wait; java-based..... nevermind...)
Yes. Replacing a colander with a sieve is always a great move to stop leaks. ;-)
But, yes, before the HTML5 video tag was standardized and supported by most browsers, it was a necessary evil.
I worked at one web agency, where they loved Flash. The whole corporate presence was a single big Flash blob, as was their Intranet. I hated it.
I got an message on LinkedIn a few weeks back. It was a photographer at the old company who thanked me for the system - 10 years after I left the company! :-O
"But, yes, before the HTML5 video tag was standardized and supported by most browsers, it was a necessary evil."
You're slipping. For _VIDEO_ Flash was never neccessary, it's just that 90% of people thought it was and the other 10% became tired of that capital 'Q' anchoring a 120x120 square with no help printed but "Quicktime" (good luck finding a "Quicktime" option in Microsoft IE).
Now if you wanted more than 1 hyperlink _IN_ a video (and not over)....Macromedia was it.
I've argued before that Flash effectively fulfilled the promise that Java Applets failed to deliver- embedded apps (and other sorts of rich content) over the Internet, within your browser.
Applets were (by far) Java's most hyped selling point and destined for big things, but were ultimately hamstrung by being too heavyweight for PCs of the time (not to mention MS's deliberate use of "embrace, extend and extinguish" in their implementation to damage Java's intended compatibility).
I won't say that Flash killed Applets, more that it filled their intended niche once they'd already failed. As a more lightweight media/presentation tool that grew into something more powerful (in sync with the improving capabilities of contemporary PCs), it's understandable why it succeeded.
If it weren't for the security issues, it would probably have been more respected, and there were good reasons it was a success in its day. Even then though, the "Flash blob within a browser model" would probably be something we'd want to get rid of today- I still have memories of banks' job application websites (c. 2004) built entirely as Flash blobs for obvious style-over-substance reasons. This meant that they broke (e.g.) the standard browser backwards/forwards navigation and other standard functionality in an annoying way. Ugh.
I was talking specifically about Java Applets, not Java in general. Applets- i.e. client side Java within the browser- were Java's original big selling point, and even though Java went on to be successful anyway- mainly on the server side- Applets had already all but proven to be a damp squib by the time the new millennium rolled round.
Whether or not Java as a whole is now in an Ellison-induced decline is beside the point- Oracle didn't take over Sun Microsystems- the creators of Java- until 2010, long after that.
> Flash owned the early embedded video space
It's still been heavily used for that far too recently too.
A little while ago now (but not nearly as long ago as it should've been), I disassembled a customers flash player SWF concerned with playing back multi-bitrate video, then spent about 4 days (well, at the time, nighshifts) working through the resulting actionscript to find the bug that was causing the behaviour the customer was complaining about (playback would break just after switching bitrate).
The customer in question was a mammoth American media organisation who I can guarantee you've both heard of and seen their logo before movies. i.e. more than big and rich enough to know better.
But there they were, still using a flash based player in order to achieve adaptive playback with RTMP rather than switching over to HLS (which even then was very well supported).
Actually if you bothered to learn Flash properly, your skills would still be relevant as Flash used common programming methods such as classes and prototypes which translate to other object orientated programming languages. Not only that, but if you bothered to learn the animation timeline, you would have gained knowledge about vector graphics, timing, layering, masking and many other skills around interactive motion graphics. Flash was and still is superior when it comes to compressing assets into a single binary package for web delivery. Yes it needed to retire, but did not deserve the viral hate - most of which was ignorantly repeating the meme as this article has done.
I still remember the days of getting a friend's PC (or Mum's) and cleaning it up. So virus scan it, clean it, uninstall unwanted freeware crap, check there was a firewall/anti-virus running.
Then update, browser, Quicktime, Flash, Shockwave, Java and maybe Realplayer (ugh!).
...harp music...dream nostalgia...barely suppressed screams...
I remember a web dev-ish kind of person told me I needed to learn Flash, it was the future.
If I'd spent my time learning everything that was "going to be the future", I'd probably have forgotten how to walk. As Niels Bohr remarked, prediction is difficult, especially about the future.
About 15 years ago I started work for a company with both feet firmly in the past as far as the Internet was concerned, it took over 2 years to be rid of their crappy flash website, which probably cost a fortune and got about 200 hits a month probably by accident.
Traffic was 15-20,000 monthly after that, God only knows how much it cost in sales.
The app versions use non-Flash based streaming as I have no problem using All4 on my ancient iPhone or partner's iPad. I suppose they don't expect you to try to watch through a browser on such devices.
(when I say 'no problem' - I mean apart from having to sit through seemingly hours of adverts!)
...It's been a while since I last tried to use All4, but back then it used Flash DRM, which excluded Linux users. As a result I looked for the programs (Drifters, fact fans) SOMEWHERE ELSE. And I found them free of DRM AND free of adverts. Well done Channel 4, now I know how to get your content without adverts.
VMWare still does that? I thought they at least had a standards-compliant web UI by now (been a couple of years since I used it, mind).
Enterprise software that pulls this sort of stunt needs to die. I have fond (sarcasm) memories of an IBM server ILO UI that required a very specific browser/Java plugin combo. Probably because all the later versions fixed the various security holes it needed in order to run. I think we ended up keeping a VM hanging around specifically to use it, until we decommissioned the last of those boxes.
How about flipping to another virt platform that treats you like it's 2019? Not always an option of course, but sometimes it is.
VMWare isn't all Flash based.
The current version uses primarily HTML5 (we have vSphere 126.96.36.199000).
In ESX 6.5 there still wasn't feature parity, some features, such as adding hardware passthru only worked on the Flash client, but with the current version I can add it over the HTML5 UI. I certainly haven't used the Flash version regularly for years - I keep a special VM just for vSphere Flash on our older VMWare servers.
There's masses of early interactive web content that's both really cool and historically valuable, and is likely to be gone forever because it's written in Flash. Orisinal, Grow Cube, all those free-to-play flash games that prototyped native games... the technology was kinda awful, but the tooling was superb. It was really great at lowering the barriers for producing animated and interactive content for non-programmers. The only thing even remotely comparable today is Unity.
Anyway, here's Homestar Runner discovering the Flash apocalypse. (Flash version.) http://homestarrunner.com/flashisdead.html
Also now I'm going to have to replay the Grow Cube games again. Dammit.
>Adobe apparently have no interest in maintaining an upgrade path for all this old content
Harman (Samsung) picked up a lot of this, moving corp AS applications to native/standards via Apache Royale etc is one of their things - they've been (quietly but officially) working on non-standard runtimes for years in embedded systems too (many readers here will be using their Flash/AIR car dashboards daily) and they have just released an updated AIR SDK with 64bit Android support (Adobe ambered AIR without bothering a few months back).
Elsewhere porting good quality ActionScript to Typescript or Standards (Native, C, WebGL etc too) via Haxe and similar is pretty straightforward too - so where there's still an audience for legacy and content was professionally developed it's already happening.
I concur, one of my fave games (and first flash game I really got into) was a ninja game by Metanet called "N" which I played while at school (so early/mid 2000's).
Out of Nostalgia I had a search online, and looks like it still exists (http://www.thewayoftheninja.org/n.html), its still being developed, and they have ported it to other platforms.
However it did get me thinking about other flash games I enjoyed, that might have been abandoned, or the developers don't have the funds to port it from Flash.
We may well end up having a re-run of the old "Abandonware" DOS/Arcade games situation. They became playable again by the effort in creating open source DOS/Arcade emulators.
I guess one good thing with Adobe halting further development of the flash technology is that it will give some time for the open source flash developers to catch up with the reverse engineering. Eventually we might have an online archive of SWF games you can play on an open source fully compatible flash player.
Comcast have a Flash site for MPX - ThePlatform, their web streaming service. They acquire it in 2006 and never changed the web UI, apart from changing the login screen (https://console.theplatform.com/sign-in). Once you have logged in the whole site is in Flash.
If you go to the onlinebusiness.lloydsbank.co.uk website my browsers says a flash plugin was blocked. Given that Flash is supposed to be so insecure, and that banks are supposed to be doing everything and anything they can to bolster security, is it not just absolutely crass that their site tries to load some flash content?
I don't think banks always take security as seriously as they say they do
Have they changed their ridiculous password policy yet? Last time I changed my password with them I was limited to something like 12 characters and they all had to be alphanumeric.
Edit : Apparently not.
To create a secure password you need to:
Use between 8 and 15 characters, without spaces or special characters.
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