Adobe Announces Plans To Discontinue Flash, Will Stop Supporting Entirely in 2020

Ding, dong, the witch is dead:

But as open standards like HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly have matured over the past several years, most now provide many of the capabilities and functionalities that plugins pioneered and have become a viable alternative for content on the web. Over time, we’ve seen helper apps evolve to become plugins, and more recently, have seen many of these plugin capabilities get incorporated into open web standards. Today, most browser vendors are integrating capabilities once provided by plugins directly into browsers and deprecating plugins.

Given this progress, and in collaboration with several of our technology partners – including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla – Adobe is planning to end-of-life Flash. Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats.

My own experience with Flash was mostly terrible, and it really did tear your battery life to shreds, but without it we wouldn’t have Homestar Runner, and for that I am thankful.

CSS Shaders

Adobe’s John Nack:

So, yeah: Adobe’s using Flash-derived technology to make HTML5 more competitive with Flash.

Crazy, right? Not at all: this increases your ability to present visually rich experiences, and that increases Adobe’s ability to sell you tools for creating those experiences.  The different playback technologies are just means to those ends.

Working with Opera, they’ve put together a spec and submitting it to the W3C. Latest nightly of WebKit has it implemented. Really good to see Adobe looking forward like this.

Another Look At Flash on Android

The actual article title is “Flash on Android Is Shockingly Bad,” but I’m not exactly shocked by it. Anyone who has tried to use Flash on a machine with a < 2ghz processor knows exactly how well it performs.

Schadenfreude aside, look at what it does to the browser itself. One could argue that the web browser is the most important app on a mobile device and as Gruber notes, before the page even loads the Flash content is making it hard to scroll, hard to tap. If there is one cardinal rule of touch-based devices it is this: If at any point your app becomes unresponsive to taps or scrolls, your app is broken.

“Scribd’s Decision To Dump Flash Pays Off, User Engagement Triples”

Big benefits in Scribd’s switch from using Flash to create and display their content to using plain ‘ol HTML5, CSS, and Javascript:

Over the last few months, user engagement on Scribd has surged, according to CEO Trip Adler, thanks to its transition to HTML5, the introduction of the iPad, and Scribd’s Facebook integration. Of these three factors, Adler says the conversion from Flash to HTML5 was by far the greatest driver for his document sharing company. According to Scribd’s numbers, time on the site has tripled in the last three months.

Anyone surprised? Make your content easier to read and interact with and more people will do so.

MPEGLA Announces H.264 To Remain Royalty-Free (For Free Content) Until 2016

This is a good thing, for now, but licensing-wise H.264 is actually probably worse than Flash. It works great with a hardware decoder, but why should I trust the MPEGLA to not pull the rug out from under the internet in 6 years? Of note: The 2016 deadline only applies to “Internet Video that is Free to End Users.” Who gets to define “free?”

The press release should’ve been subtitled “Your Move, Adobe.”

Jeffrey Zeldman on Flash, the iPad, and Standards

You can always count on Zeldman to say things like

As the percentage of web users on non-Flash-capable platforms grows, developers who currently create Flash experiences with no fallbacks will have to rethink their strategy and start with the basics before adding a Flash layer. They will need to ensure that content and experience are delivered with or without Flash.

But it’s still good to have him say them.

Adobe and “Open Government” is Utter Bullshit

Chris Foresman takes on Adobe’s push for government use of it’s Flash, PDF, and other assorted proprietary formats. It’s funny when an article that just presents facts can be so scathing:

After just a cursory browsing, here are some of the usability and data accessibility issues we observed. You can’t select, copy, or paste any text. Your browser’s font override features won’t work, so you can’t adjust the font or its size to be more readable. Your browser’s built-in in-page search won’t work, and you can’t use the keyboard to scroll through the text. …

Sounds pretty open to me.