Adobe has finally and formally killed Flash. The Photoshop giant promised Flash would die on January 12, 2021. Thanks to the International Date Line, The Register’s Asia-Pacific bureau, like other parts of the world, are already living in a sweet, sweet post-Flash future, and can report that if you try to access content in …
As any zombie movie aficionado knows: only believe the corpse is dead once it is burnt. In the case of Flash can we please see a signed and witnessed statement by the board of Adobe that they promise never, ever, ever to let Flash be dug up and re-used in any way whatsoever?
@Comcast thank you so much for finally ending use of Flash on 31st December 2020.
Ok, aparently (at least for VSP arrays) the supported workaround is to use AIR from Harman:
Try the internet archive: http://archive.org/web/
I was still able to pick up some versions of Flash going back a couple of years, just in case Adobe snuck their timeout bomb in several months ago. But of course they could be removed at any time since the files themselves are not stored in the internet archive, only the pages with the needed links to the macromedia file servers.
If you can't get a browser to work, the standalone Flash player still works to play swf files - or at least the older version do.
" The real test was to hack the security training."
Every user in the company had to pass a web multiple-choice "test" issued by the Security Department. Your result was a numeric score. After failing narrowly a couple of times I wondered what the scoring system was. A quick "view page source" showed it had no nuances. You either guessed the (often debatable) answer they thought was the only one - or it was "nul point" for that question. Fortunately the source also showed the answer they were expecting for a question.
They were not very happy when I criticised their scoring system - and the hackability of the web page.
Aye, drink up and you will feel better.
Same drill on the left side of the pond. We had to do a year's worth of mandatory training in one week, as th Flash sunset would have otherwise precluded completion.
I use the royal "we" because I paid my kids to take some of it for me...
Who needs insecure software these days when hackers can just take your stored details from a company.
I got an email from Unifi today saying that they'd lost my details to a security breach.
Internet Archive actually has been archiving a massive collection of Flash content and games,.
A few places have. There's also a tool you can get called FlashPoint which includes thousands of Flash games and animations and comes with a standalone version of Flash player that still works. Doesn't run Flash as a plugin, just as the player for the raw .swf files. Works pretty well and is a good way of being able to enjoy some of the older Flash content again.
Services like this are good IMO. It's good that Flash is dead, but also good that a lot of the older Flash content out there hasn't died with it.
Yes. Oh so much. The funny animations - even my little brother (then a teenager) was pretty active in doing flash animations back then. People did cool stuff with it, but also pretty annoying to encounter it on any and every website (later on). I still think that many things can in fact be done with a sensible (mostly) static webpage and a good CMS. There is a lot of unneccessary eye-candy (to me: annoying stuff, a waste of good electrons) on those websites.
As originally conceived, the web had provisions for these people. These days most of the Internet is completely unusable by not only sight impaired friends, but also ones with motor control issues - mouse impossible - trackball extremely slow and difficult. Mind you, flash was no help either.
Increasing that to N=2 now, and I think the state of web accessibility has improved. But that's saying little because it used to be really annoying and sometimes still is. Some of the credit goes not to web developers, but to the writers of accessibility software to avoid certain more annoying techniques used by web designers who don't think very hard.
If any web designers out there want the secret to accessibility for the blind, I can give it to you. Nice use of headings for organization. Really. That's the most useful thing most of the time. The reason is that I can jump through headings to move from section to section, and I can specify the level on which to jump. So if you have a page that has big sections at level 2, subsections at level 3, etc, I can easily move around to each section. If you use headings to make your font size larger, that breaks immediately. Same happens if you don't have any headings (or worse, you have one heading somewhere pointless and I'll frequently end up jumping to it). Other things are important too, like using short but meaningful alt text labels for images, using lists and tables rather than just making text look like one, and never having a text label which is actually a button, but the heading trick will probably reduce most of the groans I make while using your site.
If any web designers out there want the secret to accessibility for the blind, I can give it to you. Nice use of headings for organization. Really. That's the most useful thing most of the time.
Now you went and did it! Made bloody sure that the vast majority of cretins who call themselves "web programmers" and "web designers" will relegate proper use of headers to the trash heap/dustbin of antiquity!
You see, that sort of user-friendly self discipline will "constrict their creativity" (or some such tommyrot), and no proper millennial web-diva will rightly tolerate that, goddammit!
I think that flash COULD have lived, but to do so, they would have needed to go open source and allow the community to assist with the security fixes.
For a while there was something called 'gnash', a 'gnu flash' for those who've never heard of it. it worked pretty well for a while, but then flash kept adding things and adding things and changing things and making it incompatible with older players and nobody updated gnash... so it *died*.
(Hopefully I've already described the situation well enough that the implications are obvious now and I don't have to become "Captain Obvious" and boringly explain it 'cause I'd really rather not)
Sadly I think the reason it died was because of Adobe's litigious nature. The Flash EULA specifically forbade anybody from attempting to reverse engineer or replicate Flash's functionality, so Gnash took great pains to only use developers who had never installed Flash and thus had never agreed to the EULA.
At least, in principle...there was nothing stopping devs from lying, but at least it helped cover Gnash.
It's basic Flash functionality works fine, but it's the newer versions of Actionscript that really confuse it.
There was certainly a place for a lot of what it could do (and how simply it could be done) - just not how it ended up doing it with all the security issues.
Last year, I REALLY needed to create an animation to show correct lane usage on a large multi-lane roundabout for someone who is a driving instructor, and I started thinking back to Flash and how easy it would have been under that.
After trialling various animation platforms - admittedly of the type which don't need you to re-mortgage the house every few months (though some still came close) - and getting to that point each time where I wanted to put my fist through the monitor, I finally found SVGator. It has a semi-Flash like timeline system, and allows what would have been called 'tweens' back in Flash days.
It did exactly what I wanted, and it was quite easy to learn once you got over that first hump. The only drawback right now is no scripting feature. It outputs to HTML 5. And it has a Wordpress plugin to aid integration on blogs.
I could practically feel future generations of Internet historians gnashing their teeth - kill switches in the name of security make our digital artifacts more and more ephemeral - to the people using and generating them, not to the vaults of intelligence agencies of course. And looking ahead, even a few decades old data collections can easily be conveniently forgotten about, or lost, during periods when their existence would be politically inconvenient. "The flood of 2055 was extremely useful, it buried a huge amount of embarrassing junior civil servant mishaps." / "Too bad about the Internet Archive becoming liable for the content it was archiving and having to dump it in 2038 after changes in legislation"
The one thing these sort of issues should teach us is that we should always use an open document/file format for creating any sort of file. If it can't be created, edited and read by open source software, it's as good as dying from the moment it was created.
Just ask anyone who has ever needed to use LibreOffice to open any number of ancient mouldering files created by supposedly professional commercial software which can no longer read its own old files. Yet some people still keep spending a small fortune on that software, year in, year old, rather than contributing a small amount to LibreOffice (yes, I know there are issues that need to be resolved there in how to use that funding for actual software development).
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Please don't inflict those massive security flaws and aggressive vendor lock-in / licencing policies on the Sun.
That's the absolute last thing we need riddled with exploits, and we certainly don't want Oracle running a licence audit and deciding in retrospect that we've been enjoying free light and warmth from the Sun for the past 4.5 billion years so pay up, bitches.
Old Godzilla was hopping around
Tokyo city like a big playground
when suddenly Batman burst from the shade
and hit Godzilla with a bat-grenade...
Fortunately, easy convertible to a video for posterity.
Good guys, bad guys and explosions
as far as the eye can see...
In my second year at uni, I developed a crippling addiction to a japanese flash game called zookeeper - a simple tile switching game like candy crush, swap tiles to match groups of the same animals iirc. If you ran out of time, your boss would waggle his cigar at you as you were fired.
Anyhow, it took most of my little K6-2 400 MHz's CPU to actually run this, and I quickly found if you didn't run it embedded in the webpage, but instead opened the swf directly in the browser and maximised... well, the game went a loooot slooooowwwwwweeeerrrr. Much easier to beat level 9 and become the boss of the zoo. Suck it, Mr Zoo Boss.
Same applies to CSS these days. I can't get my head round the need for 100% of a processor core at 2 GHz just to render a static view of a static page, but it's extremely common. Turn off styles and the utilisation drops through the floor, so someone's doing something very inefficient.
...since the end of WW2.
The end of flash is what we're going to be boring our grandkids with.
Grandkids: Daaaaaaaaad! Grandad is talking about flash and the internet in the 90s again.
Son: Dad, please enough of the flash stories. It's getting boring now.
Me: Dark times indeed. It was a different Internet back then, but we got through it. You lot don't know you're born with your HTML7 and your fancy 9G internet and your unlimited bandwidth. It was hard in my day. We had to dial up off peak to download things and spend days looking for an 0800 dial up number.
Me: Even then, we had to hope the downloads were resumable! But wait we did. Day and night, sometimes for a week or more! In this situation flash websites became unusable.
Son: Please shut up Dad.
Grandkids: Why won't he stop?
Me: They did it for the memes you see. Camp Chaos etc. Eventually it became apparent that Flash was not only slow, but incredibly insecure as well. Then the 20 year malware war began. For some of Flash wasn't even a possibility until cross platform support improved sometime around 2010 with the advent of Pepperflash. By now though it's become to norm to disable flash altogether as websites using it became fewer...it was then we knew the writing was on the wall. Shambling on like some sort of undead cadaver it carried on until 2021 where it finally died. The world was euphoric.
At my workplace we use IBM Software that uses Flash to run some of the web consoles.
We were aware of this, but didn't know there was a hard-stop like this.
I don't give a damn about the old flash games that I used to enjoy in the 90s, but there's lots of boring corporate software that will have been knocked out like this, this morning.
It’s almost like “enterprise” software is known for a terrible user experience and feels like it’s been written for top dollar by bottom drawer programmers, hitting every bad-technical-decision branch on the way down.
Perhaps next time the boring corporate software shouldn't be written using a proprietary lock-in language
But that's not a lot of comfort when you dig out that old hardware that's been shuffling packets around in the server room since ... well possibly since before you started there ... and find that you can't even view it's config now as it needs some old version of <something>. Yup, been there, struggled finding a combination of software that would allow me to access said switch. Doesn't help when "helpful" software turns round and tells you that "this software wasn't signed, so I DGAS how important it is to you or whether you actually know better, WE have decided what's good for you and it aint gonna run".
I vaguely recall the guilty parties in that case were HP and Oracle (the ones screwing around with Java).
IIRC we had some shitty IBM ILO up until a few years ago that we had to keep an old Windows VM around for. It was the only way we could conjure up the very special, ancient and insecure concoction of browser versions and JVMs necessary to make the damn thing work.
For anyone wanting to still use flash content there is a tool called "ruffle"
Found out about it at the beginning of the year
Here's a little blurb :
"Ruffle is a Flash Player emulator written in Rust. Ruffle runs natively on all modern operating systems as a standalone application, and on all modern browsers through the use of WebAssembly. ! "
I always did wonder if it was entirely coincidental that the version of PNG (ping!) for animated images was called MNG, as that would have been a suitable opponent for some Flash use cases.
I don't know whether it was because of being named after the bad guy, but that particular war rocket Ajax never really took off, however…
From a security stand point I'm 3000% glad it's gone, but it would be a shame (as others have said) to lose the legitimate flash content created over the last 20-25 years. I can see some converters available, but they look bespoke and cost money (admittedly I only took a cursory glance at various offerings) so I'm not sure anyone is going to bother unless it's business critical.
Business critical Flash? I only recall one time, aside from training, that Flash mattered:
I think the transmission service tool software used it in some help screens showing interactive animations of the hydraulic fluid flows of various models versus active gear/range. Didn't affect the main functions of reporting current condition, diagnostics, viewing trans control module (TCM) configuration, telemetry recording, etc. and static (PDF or other) versions of the fluid diagrams also existed.
But I'm sure they got it sorted out by now anyway -- it's been 5+ years since I bought a copy (when the supplier did a major refresh on the TCM internal architecture) and that was for my previous employer. I don't get to play with vehicles like that anymore.
I felt a great disturbance in the Internet, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.
Yay - no more flash games on the Internet
You also end up wondering why that page took several days to load on a phone on a low data speed.
I am glad to see the back of Flash, But with Adobe blocking flash from running and removing the option of downloading old versions this does make it difficult for the small subset of people who still need a Flash capable browser to admin kit that requires it for configuring.
Especially as now you are going to have to hunt around on 3rd party website to find a flash installer which could me compromised with malware
Finally Flash is dead. And for those missing their daily Joe Cartoon hit, most of them are on YouTube but you no longer get to actually hit the buttons.
My fave Joe Cartoon is SuperFly2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYE3riHLptI
I also like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3CyyaQwJS8 and for political balance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xnERaWfl-I.
Last summer I had to install it on my son's computer for school work. As the school work had to be done, I did so, but the school received a very clear email about how I felt about it. The email itself was only about ten lines (including salutations and things like that), the attachment describing the security problems with Flash just squeezed in under the 5 MB limit. The developer/distributor of the above mentioned abomination was included in the CC:
"More specifically, what's happened is that Adobe snuck a logic bomb into its Flash software some releases ago that activates on January 12, and causes the code to refuse to render any more content from that date."
I really don't like the idea of *anyone* doing that. In my opinion, it seems to be verging on criminal damage.
.... but I also hate Adobe Flash with a passion (and could never run that shite on OpenBSD anyway).
I am so conflicted. Looking forward to seeing the "logic bombs" added to Windows 10, Unity3D and SteamDRM in a few years :)
I have fond memories of Flash.
Back in the day, I built entire sites using it. ActionScript was fun, even if it did break (or allow you to break) a lot of coding rules.
Even after I stopped all that due to security concerns, it was still a very useful vector drawing package - though as I remember, the JPG export was not very good, so I often resorted to screen capture for further manipulation. I use Gravit now.
But time affects all things.
Way too late.
I have an IPcam with a borked version of the GoAhead server. A fat fingered moment in writing some code had me making an http request without the leading '/'.
The camera's response? To serve up the file requested, completely bypassing all of the password stuff.
I suspect a lot of IoT tat is similarly crap.
I noticed this through seriously enjoying an online version of xkcd's Hell Tetris (ref https://xkcd.com/724/ - strangely calming once you've got the knack and if you're annoyed at it you can just smash the bricks around instead!...)
The proposed resolution for Chrome users seems to be the SuperNova extension, but on Chromium the flash interstitial depicted here becomes an alternative "we recommend SuperNova" one which at present reappears no matter how many times you (re)configure the plugin, click the widget, insist flash runs just this once, and reload the page etc.
Fortunately I haven't ever needed it for anything serious.
My small company produced a specialized course for law enforcement using Flash back in 2012. It's still in regular use and it's an essential part of our business. It took hundreds of hours of work to create the original course, and unfortunately today we don't have the resources to re-create the course in another format any time soon. So in an attempt to satisfy the fanatical zeal of the Flash haters by killing every possible way to run Flash, Adobe has just done a drive-by sideswipe of our business that will be hard to repair. Thanks a lot! I understand the reasons for gradually getting rid of Flash, but there was no good reason for this hard cut-off that unnecessarily cripples legitimate uses that have no security risk. I think most of the zealots have a mental picture of Flash as being used only on web pages for simple graphical animations, and think it should be "easy" to switch to an alternative format. That's too narrow a view of a tool that was used so extensively for so long.
and unfortunately today we don't have the resources to re-create the course in another format any time soon.
This hard cut-off was announced several years ago, so you had enough time.
Besides that, there are enough alternatives to run .swf files, several have been mentioned earlier in the comments.
Speak for yourselves! Lots of poor applications out there written that used Flash that we've had to suppress the 'eol' update. Ok, so the vendors themselves have released updates that replace the flash compromised application but, y'know, red tape.
Fricking joke that the SCM guys manage to procure things so wrong... Welcome to what damage budget cuts invite.
Here in the frozen North the SQA are keeping the monster alive with the aid of the Surpass Viewer. As if things were not bad enough for students trying to self school from home, the SQA seems to have built everything on Flash and is pedaling a windows only workaround which most famously will not run on the Chromebooks that the Scottish Government have been doling out to students from deprived backgrounds.
I still remember seeing my first demo of Macromedia Director.
Along with Fractal Design Painter, it became a favorite of mine.
Later, when Flash became available I did spend a good about of time learning the basics
However, I lost my appetite for working Flash pretty quickly.
I can't remember today, exactly why I didn't like using it.
It wasn't too long that I also started looking for ways to actively block Flash from running on my systems.
The reasons for this are fresher in my memory, security issues but mostly just didn't like the way so many web sites with Flash were slow and trashy.
Oh well, at least my love for Painter has survived the test of time.
(now from Corel instead of Fractal Design).
PhotoShop? Pft.. you're kidding right?
Now that I think about it, there's not much from Adobe that I really care for anymore.
Remotely killing it is a whole different beast. I hadn’t thought that it was possible for Adobe to get more obnoxious. I was wrong. If I still used any Adobe products I would be looking for replacements just now, they have just shown that they cannot be trusted.
Sure, Flash in its later years was plagued with security issues (and early doors, we just didn't know it lol).
I will remember flash / shockwave with fondness, but glad its gone now...
It's not me being silly, dancing naked in the street, it's you still wearing clothes! Free at last! ... The amount of times I had to remove the McAfee 'software' from dad's computer that came for free whenever he updated this digital sadness without juvenile supervision... Free at last!