Flash Judgement

Indeed. The big F.

So, Adobe is finally killing Flash. In 2020.

Steve Jobs was right. It just took ten years longer than he wanted.

But it’s not Flash dying that’s the story here.

It’s a little bit strange, and a whole lot lazy to see everyone just pile onto Flash. It just feels like tech journalists are happy to uncritically get all reality distortion field about Flash.

No, I’m not nostalgic for Flash. Even if Praystation fucking rocked.

From HTML5, Canvas Animation, WebGL and WebAssembly.
It’s all open and better poised to serve us into the next decade. 
I get it. I agree.

But I just can’t believe Flash to be the evil monster everyone’s so keen to paints it as…

But yes, all of those Flash ads sucked.

They drained the last 14% of battery an hour before you flight was due for take off. But should you blame Flash? Or should you look towards the web — with its perverse incentives, infinite ad inventory, falling CPM, low advertising content standard, bloated adtech, and general race to the bottom?

The same tool that created amazing generative forests in art galleries was the same tool that whacked the monkey.

Sure it’s historically insecure.

But if you let kids bring weapons to school, you can’t really be surprised if things turn nasty every now and then.

You might be better pinning the blame of Flash’s insecurity on bad OS design. Windows & Mac systems don’t sandbox apps. So they’re free to do all kinds of crazy stuff. But we got better at designing OSes, so now things like iOS and Android sandbox apps. Think of it like a metal detector outside of your classroom. Sure it’s annoying sometimes, but you’re less likely to be shanked in science class.

And Flash isn’t open.

For now at least. But in many ways, Flash gave the 90’s and 00’s what open gives us now — an even platform to develop on. From Mac OS9 to Mac OS X. From Windows 98 to Windows 10. Right at time when CSS sucked, web standards were just getting off the ground.

You could set typography in Flash and know if was going to be consistent no matter where it ended up.

That was huge in 1999. And it’s still very useful now.

Flash caused a video revolution.

I promise, without the Flash plugin, there’d be no YouTube.

Flash video changed the game ten years ago.

So Flash. Thanks for the good times.
And let’s be a bit more balanced about the bad.
You really did launch lots of big ideas onto the web.

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