I post today to ask an open question : « Why Flash is still alive ? ». Some days ago I was raging again Flash on some website when I wondered why Flash is always used ? In my computer user life, I lost several hours trying to get Flash work properly. Bad Linux support, browser freezes, oh wait, making a list !
- CPU and memory consumptions (for the player itself and browser sandbox),
- Security leaks and intrusion vector (see Adobe security bulletins numbers and date),
- Bad support for OS other than Windows (only old and vulnerable versions for Linux),
- No multiple screens support (start player from one screen, move it to a second one and go fullscreen: player displays content on full first screen),
- Freezes and BSOD (under Windows at least),
- Invasive updater (does not take care of user update preferences, no proxy settings, deletes itself if download fails, offline installer well hidden in Adobe site),
- No more supported on mobile devices (Android, iOS, WP8).
- Advanced features for video player (stream quality switch, ads overlay),
- Fast and cheap indy game development.
For the video player advanced features, I think web standard evolutions will quickly offer equivalent features (including standard adoption in browsers). Technologies like WebRTC show how browsers evolved into natively supported multimedia platforms. For the Flash browser game, how long could they fight against full web games when you see that Unreal Engine 3 works with JS and WebGL ? Or against the Chrome gamepad API ?
And how long browser developers will let Flash ruin their hard work of speeding up and responsibility increase ? Remember the other Adobe software plugged in browser, Reader, was brushed aside by some lines of fast JS.
Definitely Flash belongs to the past. But for how long will it remain in the present ?