Thursday, November 24th 2011

Group Seeks to Make the World Uninstall Flash Player

When webpages weren't much more than text and images peppered with hyperlinks, and when animated elements were limited to slideshow-like animations by Compuserve GIF, Macromedia Flash (now Adobe Flash) transformed the web, making it visually engaging. Even PCs with first-generation Pentium processors and 56K internet connections had access to a much superior internet experience thanks to Flash. According to Adobe's own statistics, over 90% of internet-enabled PCs have the Flash Player browser plugin installed. Apparently the "open/free everything" proponents want the world to get rid of the Flash plugin. Why? Because it's not "open", not all platforms can use it, and it poses security hazards.

Brandishing an extremely original name, "Occupy Flash" calls itself to be a "movement to rid the world of Flash Player plugin," because "Its time has passed. It's buggy. It crashes a lot. It requires constant security updates. It doesn't work on most mobile devices. It's a fossil, left over from the era of closed standards and unilateral corporate control of web technology." Occupy Flash argues that with HTML5, Flash is redundant and "free". Not quite; people don't pay for Flash Player plugins, those who create Flash content do, for the Adobe Flash software. It's not like a transition to HTML5 is going to change that equation much. People still won't have to pay to be able to consume public HTML5 content, while those creating it will still need to use proprietary software to create quality content, it's just that they'll end up with more vendors to sell them that.

Recently, Adobe announced that it will discontinue Adobe Flash for mobile devices. Could that be a valid bone of contention of Occupy Flash crowd? It's both yes and no. Very few websites use Flash to run their functional parts (for example, GeForce.com before its HTML "makeover"), besides, trends show an increasing number of websites being mobile-friendly, some sites like ours, have separate pages for PC and mobile platforms. Fora such as the Mobile Web Congress are steering that change, proactively. HTML5 isn't a monolithic "knight in shining armour" that isn't buggy or never needs security patches. Switch to YouTube's HTML5 mode, use it for a week, and tell us your experiences. It's one thing to promote open standards proactively, it's quite another to reactively fight an established standard just because it isn't "open" enough. BRB - occupying a snack bar for some grub.
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29 Comments on Group Seeks to Make the World Uninstall Flash Player

#1
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
by: btarunr
BRB - occupying a snack bar for some grub.
ROFL :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#2

There's also the fact that flash can store data locally and therefore be used for tracking purposes.
#3
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
I'm generally pretty pro open standards wherever possible. Sometimes, there's good reasons why something proprietary should remain however. From what I understand, HTML5 doesn't support all the features that Flash does, so implementing sites in it will actually get you less flexibility. Will those be put in later, perhaps?

My biggest gripe about Flash is the way it allows ads to disable the ability to stop them playing and they just go on and on and are extremely irritating and actually encourage me to look at a site a lot less. This forces me to use Flashblock in Firefox, which prevents them being shown unless explicitely clicked on - heck I don't even see a static picture, just a generic "F" logo. So, if every animated ad could just sit there static with a big Play button, it would be much more respectful to its potential marks prospective customers and perhaps even net more sales.

EDIT: Also, what Twilyth just said. Tracking is bad, but likely the same level can be achieved in other ways, too.

I don't think this case is clear cut between HTML5 and Flash, as there's so many variables to consider (especially technical issues) many of which I don't even know about.

Nice editorial. :cool:
Posted on Reply
#4
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: twilyth
There's also the fact that flash can store data locally and therefore be used for tracking purposes.


HTML5 content can leave cookies and locally store in your browser cache, too.
Posted on Reply
#5
theJesus
1% of the members own 99% of the mod privileges
#OccupyTPU
Posted on Reply
#6
pantherx12
Yeah until all the websites I visit make the transition to html5 I'll be keeping flash.


Hell it works pretty well on phones now can play 480p on my desire z.
Posted on Reply
#7
1Kurgan1
The Knife in your Back
I'll follow Apple until my death, right over a cliff, DOWN WITH FLASH!
Posted on Reply
#8

by: btarunr
http://img.techpowerup.org/111124/bta8794khf.jpg

HTML5 content can leave cookies and locally store in your browser cache, too.
Unfortunately, the default is to allow - as you have shown in your graphic. I doubt even many computer literate people know about LSOs. And it was only recently that it was made a requirement to notify the user if more than 100k was stored.

edit: I almost forgot. This is what you get if you try to say you want to block all.



So the alternative is to be asked each time. Doesn't really sound like much of a choice to me.
#9
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: twilyth
Unfortunately, the default is to allow - as you have shown in your graphic.
Yeah, just like your web browser accepts data for local storage and cookies - by default. So HTML5 is not one bit better when it comes to privacy.

by: twilyth
This is what you get if you try to say you want to block all.
Most sites' functionality will break if you disable your browser's ability to accept cookies, too. You'll get similar prompts.
Posted on Reply
#10

I'm pretty sure most people know about cookies.
by: btarunr
Most sites' functionality will break if you disable your browser's ability to accept cookies, too. You'll get similar prompts.
Which is why browsers evolved to give you the ability to do things like block just 3rd party cookies and erase your cookies after each session. And that happened because after a while, people started to become aware of the risk.

It's also why a variety of tools were developed to deal with them - just like there are now various tools to deal with web bugs, LSO's and a variety of other security and privacy threats. The same will happen for HTML5 and maybe it will be just as insidious as flash. I can only hope that's not the case.
#11
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: theJesus
1% of the members own 99% of the mod privileges
#OccupyTPU
Actually, only the Administrator group has 99% mod privileges. There are three. So 0.0046% of the members own 99% mod privileges.

#OccupyModlounge
Posted on Reply
#12
Completely Bonkers
I'm OK with flash. I can block it. Download it and save it for later. Or just let it work transparently.

Not so easy with HTML5. How do I block HTML5 ads? Not so easy... "Occupy Flash" is nothing more than smoke and mirrors for the corporate advertising industry to promote "We can ownz your PC with HTML5".

Yes, I'm sure a HTML5 ad-block addin can be developed... but it would not be so easy to manage like flash and flashblock, and it would provide a window of opportunity for advertisers until the world go savvy with the new blocking techniques.
Posted on Reply
#13
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
@Completely Bonkers

It wouldn't surprise me if the blockability of Flash is a key driver for getting it banned.
Posted on Reply
#14
Completely Bonkers
by: qubit
It wouldn't surprise me if the blockability of Flash is a key driver for getting it banned.
...my point entirely.

Like "occupy wallstreet" there are reasons to believe that it is a method of popular-misdirection... People jump on it and it fills the news-space, while other shady activities continue without closer inspection. Time passes. Events have concluded.
Posted on Reply
#15
RejZoR
When you have a hardware accelerated web content through GPU, it's very enjoyable to use Flash. Only ones complaining are those with crappy prehistoric computers or Atom netbooks...
Honestly, web wouldn't be where it is without Flash. Sure it also brought annoying flash banners but still, it brought massive multimedia boost to the web.
Posted on Reply
#17
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: Thefumigator
isn't silverlight the real flash competitor?
Not for the web no.
Posted on Reply
#18
keling
I don't have too much problems with flash. I do feel bad about Flash being treated this way though. I've heard the troubles flash gave to internet users but the treatment it received (most notably from Apple) is rather harsh and unfair - considering Flash's contribution to the internet. It's like some guys (the HTML 5 coalition) gathered together to make a brand new toy while deliberately leaving Adobe out of their little circle and at the same time say mean things about Flash so that people would pay may more attention their spanking new toy.
Posted on Reply
#19
xtremesv
by: RejZoR
When you have a hardware accelerated web content through GPU, it's very enjoyable to use Flash. Only ones complaining are those with crappy prehistoric computers or Atom netbooks...
Honestly, web wouldn't be where it is without Flash. Sure it also brought annoying flash banners but still, it brought massive multimedia boost to the web.
+ 1

What's the problem with that antiflash group, why not go against patent trolls that use their proprietary standards (software or not) to hurt innovation.
Posted on Reply
#20
eidairaman1
People need to stop bitchin bout this. Bet its pro microsoft activists. Never had trouble with flash. N reason it dont work on most mpbile devices is because it hasnt been deved for them or the mobile device is a walled environment
Posted on Reply
#21
AphexDreamer
I say its apple fan boys. They see it as the only Imperfection apple has and thus want to fix it by completing getting rid of it from this world.

I'm sure they are developing an Apple Time Machine to go back in time and prevent adobe from ever creating it.
Posted on Reply
#22
Static~Charge
I'll keep Flash Player until I no longer have a need for it. Occupy Flash can get stuffed.

As for the LSO's, I installed the BetterPrivacy add-on in Firefox to deal with them. :rockout:
Posted on Reply
#23
NC37
Their logo is stolen from Red Faction Guerilla. Same as the regular Occupy people. They just added one extra line down the arm to try and make it look original. But literally, it is just a photoshop job. Surprised THQ hasn't sued them, but then again, their bumbling of that series made them finally not care about it anymore.
Posted on Reply
#24
Bundy
I don't get crashes because of Flash and it works on my phone. They are pushing FUD.
Posted on Reply
#25
zithe
It makes my phone crash but I don't care. Why? Because I have a computer.
Posted on Reply
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