And they should support Flash, too!
Matthew Mark Miller

The power of Flash is that it’s an equalizer. When browser vendors do not support a feature because they can’t or won’t a plugin like Flash is able to add that feature.

Because of browser plugins we were able to get animation, then audio, then video, then 2d games, then web chat with mic and video streaming, then 3D games and animation then GPU acceleration, and even basic things like clipboard copy and paste were allowed through plugins almost decades before browser vendors were able to add them.

We see now the detrimental effect of locking out plugins. This is actually an anti-competitive practice. By locking out competitors they create a monopoly. This isn’t about security either as Apple has had more security issues in the last year than ever before while Flash and other plugins remain way below other vendors. It’s about forcing users to go to their app store to get for a cost or as an app what they used to get free from via the web.

We now see that the move to remove plugins is political. It wasn’t about the free and open exchange of information. It was about control. After decrying plugins all the major vendors have or are still using them, Without them you have a corporate dictatorship, keeping out innovation and because of the way the foundation of the web is built, they as the author has stated, are holding it back.

As web developers we need to do three things IMHO:

  • Make other developers and our clients aware of the issue
  • Convince our clients to support us in blocking our content from the iOS “web lite”. Instead of showing content show this message here. Let every iOS user know what the issue is and that it needs to change. Give them the email to contact Apple to upgrade it’s tech and let them have the *choice* to enable plugins. You don’t have to support them but giving people the choice is freedom.
  • Support a new open source W3C specification for the web layout and content using MXML. MXML is structured, can be validated as XML and can be compared to visually pixel by pixel. Something designers have been struggling with since the dawn of browsers. If all browser vendors support this upgrade to HTML we’ll see Safari either adapt or fall behind.
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