By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
To everything there is a season. Back in the 90s, Flash was all the rage. But by the time the iPhone came around, it was resource hog that was filled with security flaws and nobody really wanted it anymore. But it took Apple CEO Steve Jobs to draw a line in the sand, saying iOS would not support it. It’s been a few since then, but even Adobe saw the handwriting on the wall, and this week, they finally move to kill it. I mean REALLY kill it.
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. – Adobe “Flash and the Future of Interactive Content
Another one of the problems with Flash was that it was proprietary. If you wanted to use it, you had to pay the piper. With Apple refusing to play ball on their mobile platforms, Adobe was in danger of losing it’s revenue stream in favor of more secure and open source solutions like Google’s HTML5. So back in 2015, they decided to stop developing Flash, with the exception of security updates. But we all knew that wouldn’t last and now we have a drop dead date of December 2020 for end of life.
It’s time. Beyond time actually. Since Apple’s decision to dump Flash, and Google’s development of HTML5 for streaming video, and the fact that hackers have found Flash to be as porous as Swiss cheese, everyone has been moving away from it to the point where Adobe just doesn’t see the benefit of continuing to issue updates anymore. Like Microsoft, which finally decided to force users to drop XP by ending development of it, Adobe is looking to push users to move towards HTML5, WebGL and others. “… open standards like HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly have matured over the past several years,” the Adobe release said, “most now provide many of the capabilities and functionalities that plugins pioneered and have become a viable alternative for content on the web.”
To that end, “if you can’t beat em, join em.” So Adobe has been working with Apple, Facebook, Google and others to begin to move beyond Flash. But they want to give industries like gaming, education and video time to make the transition. But they also plan to end of life Flash sooner, rather than later on outdated versions. “In addition, we plan to move more aggressively to EOL Flash in certain geographies where unlicensed and outdated versions of Flash Player are being distributed,” the release added.
So the end of 2020 is the drop dead date. And it’s about time. HTML5 is the once and future king. Until hackers find the holes in that, or until the next great thing comes along. Both always do.