Adobe Flash Player

Out of context: Reply #24

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  • raf0

    I wrote it a year ago somewhere:


    Let’s get the history straight before nobody remembers anymore how it really happened.

    Not running on mobile did not kill Flash, neither did Steve Jobs. When iPhone came about, Flash had already been in agony, kept alive by its usefulness as a video player and a compact ad delivery format that was able to capture more data back than users ever knew.

    People don’t remember this now, but by 2006 discussions whether or not Flash was “still ok” were commonplace. Flash-only websites were already a big no-no, it was only ok to use “flash elements” on a page.

    In 2007, when iPhone arrived, I worked as a front-end developer and hadn’t opened Flash in months. And I had loved Flash.

    Why was it dying, if it was (possibly still is) the better technology?

    It never fully integrated with the browser, never stopped being a foreign body in it. Never properly spoke with JS, kept breaking history, didn’t deep-link, had a non-standard right-click menu, made text non-selectable too easy and always opened a new window instead of a new tab. And it was processor heavy like nothing else on my computer. It still spins the fans in my laptop and shrinks its battery time today.

    Add CSS Nazis to this who loomed over the internet back then and a general distrust towards letting a single company control so much of the web (which wasn’t baseless, Adobe by then had proved to be more ‘evil’ than Google and Apple together) — and you get the picture.

    Another, and when I think of it, probably the main reason of Flash’s demise was that Adobe was so busy appealing to programmers and making Air the next Java, that they completely neglected the crowd who made Flash as big as it was: designers. Neglected? They just showed them the finger, because real money and the future was in the Air. Most good Flash designers I know never picked up on AS 3.0, and many developers never bothered to.

    TL;DR: Jobs didn’t kill Flash, he only smelled its stench and noticed before anyone else that Adobe already drove it into the ground.

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