After Everyone Already Did, Adobe To Officially Kill Flash in 2020

Adobe Flash is dead

Brief: It’s officially confirmed. Adobe is killing its buggy, security nightmare multimedia plugin Flash for good in 2020. 

Apple was the first to do it some eight years back and gradually other internet giants such as Google followed the suit to ditch Adobe Flash. For years, Flash has been a security nightmare. Though a number of websites switched to better alternatives such as HTML5 and WebGL, 17% of the websites on the internet still run it.

But it seems like Adobe has finally heard the prayers of developers and technology advocates. In a blog post, Adobe lays out its plan to retire Flash by the year 2020.

…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 tried to grandiose its legacy:

Adobe has long played a leadership role in advancing interactivity and creative content – from video, to games and more – on the web. Where we’ve seen a need to push content and interactivity forward, we’ve innovated to meet those needs. Where a format didn’t exist, we invented one – such as with Flash and Shockwave. And over time, as the web evolved, these new formats were adopted by the community, in some cases formed the basis for open standards, and became an essential part of the web.

This announcement means there will be no development on Flash after 2020 which also means there won’t be updates on Flash and it will end the support for a number of web browsers.

This also means those game developers who rely on Flash should start looking for alternative formats. In fact, Facebook has already advised its developers to change their FB games to different formats.

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How will it impact Linux users?

Linux users already had a tough time with Adobe Flash player. Though you can install Flash player in Ubuntu and other distributions, you would often run into trouble with it on websites asking to install Flash player.

The things around Flash on Linux is so muddy that it is not even possible to say whether Flash is officially supported on Linux or not. Adobe did not update Flash on Firefox Linux version for four long years, leaving it vulnerable.

PepperFlashPlayer, an implementation of Adobe Flash Player by Google, is the best bet so far for Linux user to handle Flash. So, yes, that Flash is going to die soon could only bring relief for desktop Linux users.

I hope that Adobe achieves its “Vision 2020”.

Rest in hell, Flash. You won’t be missed. Not by me, at least.

Comments

  1. In regards to Adobe leaving Flash Linux users vulnerable I don’t think that’s correct. They did a lot of security updates to the NPAPI version on Linux over that time just no major/feature updates. I’m certain you’ll find there were lot’s of incremental updates (eg. 11.2.01, 11.2.02, 11.2.03 ) over that time. And they had the newest PPAPI version for Linux available directly from there server. (Not by unzipping Chrome like many people/distros did.)

  2. What I do not understand is why if flash is so awful and we have been told for years now by the experts that it is dying,
    why are there so many companies still using it?
    Why have they been so reluctant to adopt the wonderful new technology that is so much better than flash. This is just a question that puzzles me. I also feel but do not actually know that the figures about those people still using flash are vastly understated by all the supporters of it’s demise. I know nothing about it but surely it is the makers of games that need to change. We only use it because they do!

    • Your right in saying a lot of games use it but that’s about it in terms of mainstream use. Almost all the videos you watch and pretty websites you visit no longer use Flash (though they won’t appear any differently.)

      Up until about 2012 Flash performance for me on Linux was a nightmare, basic animations and low resolution videos would max out the CPU even on new computers. The fact Flash that it’s totally closed means if Adobe doesn’t improve something it stays as it is, period. The open alternative is constantly being improved upon in all aspects, security, performance and features.

      Also anyone using iOS or Android can’t view or interact with Flash content so it means breaking a website or having to create a second non-Flash website.

  3. Lot’s of new games still use Flash. Streaming services that require complex playlists (Spotify, Deezer) also use Flash, I think those will be only difficult areas to move to HTML, JavaScript etc.

      • No doubt it’s possible. Difficult it would seem though, all the music streaming web apps are relatively new (some very new) and they’ve generally chose to use Flash under the hood and HTML5 as a GUI.

        Browser based games have 10’s of millions of users every day on Facebook alone so that’s probably more significant, my guess is about one third use the Unity plugin (two thirds Flash and a tiny portion HTML5) there planing to drop the Unity plugin and allow games made for it to ported to WASM which Chrome stable already supports and all major browsers just around the corner. WASM is pretty exciting and has slipped under the radar considering it’s a collaborative effort from Apple, Mozilla, Microsoft and Google. If you did an article on it that’s be awesome.

  4. So exactly how and when should we Linux users make this switch? Will there be a package available in the repos of the most popular Linux distros? Is there some way to just reove flash now and install the alternative now?….instead of waiting until the official EOL of flash? Just wondering is all….

    • The alternative is already built into Firefox, Chromium, Chrome, Opera , Safari, Edge etc. Most or possibly all of the websites you visit already use the alternative.

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