Firefox VP: Adobe Flash is doomed

“To say Mozilla’s Jay Sullivan has an opinion about Adobe Flash would be an understatement,” Mike Schuster reports for Minyanville. “As the company’s VP of products, Sullivan is as aware as anyone about Flash’s toll on Firefox. Prior to the browser’s implementation of crash protection last June, Flash was responsible for more crashes than any other plug-in, according to Computerworld.”

“Today, Sullivan has adopted Apple’s stance on Flash — decidedly con. He maintains that HTML5 will be the future of multimedia content, as more developers begin migrating to the platform. Freeing both designers and users from what Sullivan calls ‘plug-in prison,’ HTML5 will run natively without the need to install an external application,” Schuster reports. “And as a huge advocate of HTML5, Mozilla will make it the central focus of Firefox 4 — which is due to launch soon. ‘HTML5 is the longer-term answer,’ Sullivan explained to Fast Company.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Sleep tight, Shantanu.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Brawndo Drinker” for the heads up.]

66 Comments

    1. The funny thing is Google and to a lesser extent Firefox needs HTML5 to be successful. Google needs Apple to be successful too but they’re in a pissing contest with Apple right now and they’re being stupid.

    1. you mean the Flash to .gif crap adobe just put out?

      as long as your flash app, does not have actionscripting, embedded or linked audio/video. That makes its pretty much a useless tool for anyone that does anything creative in flash…lol

  1. The only thing that has crashed my Mac has been Flash.

    I love clicktoflash…..

    Adobe are stupid, they could’ve made flash the preeminent web multimedia format for every need and every platform.

    Instead they sat on their idle backsides and delivered unstable cpu killing bloat, served with whine. No, not wine, fan whine and and ceo whine.

    F**k F***h…

    1. And isn’t the point here also about how much upset is with Adobe, Inc. itself? They spent 3 billion to get this from the Macromedia acquisition and I if I am reading these comments correctly, there is a lot of anger at the company and not just the technology.

  2. I love these grand statements about the demise of a major, free-to-user software necessity like Flash. While I would agree that Flash will likely be obsolete SOMEDAY, so will just about any other thing you can think of including Apple. Nothing lasts forever. So, the question becomes: WHEN? HTML5 is still in beta!! The statement “HTML5 will be the future of multimedia content, as more developers begin migrating to the platform” is fairly lame. If HTML5 is not even an approved standard after 7 years in development, how long do you think it will take to eclipse Flash in use? Simple answer: No Time Soon.

    To say that Flash is the number one cause for browser crashes is absolutely STUPID!! Flash is everywhere on the net. I doubt the average user could surf the net for 5 minutes without coming across Flash. It’s like saying the #1 cause of road accidents is the driver. WIth that said, due to my job, I am personally online at least 60 hours a week visiting a wide variety of websites and have never had Flash cause my computer to crash. NEVER. I have had SKYPE, iChat, iMove, Excel, Word, NeoOffice, Messenger, handbrake and many other non-web programs crash my computer. I have had websites freeze up when I have tried to use a login (javascript??). But, never, to my knowledge, due to Flash. So, until there is a viable alternative to Flash that is embraced by all browsers old and new, Flash will dominate. Given the track record for updating browsers, I would say “no time soon”.

    1. It’ll take years for Flash to truly go away, but here’s an interesting note: ESPN’s MLB GameCast, which up until this year was entirely Flash-based, is now written in HTML. And at a glance, the experience is just as nice.

    2. ever since I installed click to flash and flash frozen (imac aluminum 2.8ext/4gb/1tb), my cpu activity has dropped, my memory use has dropped, my operating temperatures and fan activity have dropped.

      concurrently, my crashes have also stopped – including ones involving javascript. my theory is that good javascript has been getting flummoxed by flash.

      perhaps it is worth a try for you – maybe just for a week?

      flash is nice, but it is not missed.

      1. steve516, thank. But, I do not have an issue with Flash. Exit blockers and popups, yes. They are annoying. But, not Flash. But, I think you have done the right thing for you. I just do not get the Flash bash. I don’t like shaving. So, I sopped and grew a beard. Don’t like Flash? Turn it off (as you have wisely done). From my perspective, it has nothing to do with Adobe or Flash.

    3. Actually It would be fairly correct to say that the #1 cause of accidents is bad drivers. And yes they are everywhere and you can’t go more then 5 minutes without running into one. That doesn’t mean we wouldn’t be better off without them.

      1. There are plenty of options for you, if you don’t like Flash. Several are advertised…err…I mean promoted…I mean mentioned here. But, just because you don’t like Flash doesn’t mean the majority of the world doesn’t. It doesn’t make Flash “bad” simply because you don’t like it.

        1. Your response it a little disingenuous — it’s not a question of “liking” Flash or not — there’s much evidence that Flash is “bad” software; it has been clearly documented to be a massive security risk, a huge drain on battery, CPU, major cause of crashes, etc.

          You have no response to any of this but to say that you like it and to shift the focus to “choice.” All of the above problems are clearly attributable to Adobe, Apple is right to lock them out from their mobile devices, and it will probably take less than five years for Flash, deservedly, to fade from the tech scene.

          In summary, I don’t like it.

            1. You posit a false dilemma; there’s (at least) a third option, you can control it.

              Click2Flash to stop it from loading, with the exception of either/or whitelisted sites, or clicking to run Flash when you want it. And FlashFrozen to kill it if it causes trouble when you do choose to use it.

              But mostly, ignore/don’t load content using the thing.

      2. Javascript isn’t truly object oriented. Yes, there are workarounds, but without native OO support there are going to be problems elegantly managing client side data structures. Given that one of flash’s main uses today is video I think it’s important to note that one thing flash can do that html 5 cannot is to dynamically stitch videos together at run-time. (correct my if I’m wrong, but please point me to some code). The osmf project from adobe allows you to do this with ease where you can easily connect video streams together in a playback experience (as can silverlight). I’ve worked as an architect of white label video delivery using both jQuery and AS3 and I’ll tell you that the javascript has been the far greater challenge to manage in an enterprise environment.

        There’s also little in the way of IDE’s for developing these solutions except for maybe Eclipse’s Aptana that are nearly as easy to use as Flashbuilder. When the requirements are within enterprise software and start getting complex and you start trying to manage things like hot-swappable pieces of player technology, an html 5 solution has to involve a much larger and complicated technology stack to compensate for the neatly bundled functionality in a swf. If you really want to know the deal, take a look at Kaltura and which parts of their CMS they use to implement pieces of the functionality as they do both pretty well.

        The discussion about html5 as a replacement for flash is usually not among devs and when it is, it’s a lot more rational, less reactive and you better know something about both before you criticize. There’s opportunity to learn here that’s being lost in favor of what amounts to the marketing efforts of these companies and everyone’s getting sucked in. Adobe probably just wants to maintain it’s techonolgies rather than make new ones, Apple probably wants to sell apps instead of flash, Microsoft wants silverlight in there because they want a piece of the market.

        Further, just do a quick search on something like “flash vs javascript benchmark tests” and look at the data itself. The memory hog claims of flash are more related to the developers writing flash applications than the methods and processing capacity actionscript 3 itself. Try and look up a few benchmarks on battery consumption as well. If you vary your sources, you’ll find there’s no difference if the comparisons are equal. Experientially there may be a difference because of poorly written code, but I can write a javascript app in short order that will heat up your iPad just as easily. Adobe is pushing interactive innovation in the web space. If it wasn’t for some of the old school sites from guys like Joshua Davis, the web would be nowhere near what it is today. Flash makes innovation easier and with that comes bad code from developers who don’t know how to prevent memory leaks or trap errors. I’m probably saying all of this on the wrong forum, there doesn’t seem to be much “listening” around Flash’s merits and I’m really just advocating options. (including the ability to toggle flash support)

    4. LOL, dude, I don’t have Flash installed, and if I run into a site that says I need Flash, I change my User Agent to iPad, and 80% of the time it throws up H.264.

      Also, Flash does NOT cause Macs to crash, it causes the browser to crash, big difference. You ought to know that.

    5. @macassarus you display a deep lack of understanding about how these things work.
      Do you think no one is using HTML5 now? Do you think there are no browsers that support HTML5 now?
      Regardless of there being a completed and approved spec it is in use now and it keeps on rolling like a steamroller.

      1. Sorry to be so ignorant. I’ll try to get more educated on Flash and HTML5. But, if you are a designer or have a company that is e-commerce based, go for it. Stop using Flash. HTML5 is perfect…please….for the love of God…use HTML5.

        1. @Anim8me2

          Rolling like a steamroller….7 years in the making. Dude, you are in a dream. I just visited this site:

          http://html5test.com/

          Firefox (3.6.15) scored 155 out of 400 points.
          Safari 5.0.4 scored 228 out of 400 point.
          Safari (iphone) score 206 out of 400 point.

          If you think that is a steamroller after 7 years in development. Well, steamrollers are SLOW but sure. HTML5 is not ready for prime time…it is still in beta. Until it is approved and is totally supported by more than 50% of the browsers in use by the masses, Flash will be the defacto standard. How long this will take is a guess. But, zero risk is one year. I would say more like 2+ years.

          You can argue with me if you want and tell me I lack a deep understanding. I’ve done what I can to educate you and anyone else out there that thinks Flash is going away anytime soon. For Apple to pull the plug on a technology that is so omnipresent on the web without a reliable replacement and then push HTML5 as the answer is a bit non-consumer oriented. I love the iPad and will be getting one in the net 2 weeks. But, the lack of Flash is a drawback for me and not an advantage. I would be happy to give up a couple of hours of battery time to have Flash. Call it what you will. I can only speak for myself.

    6. you’ll be surprised how fast flash dies. Especially when all these IPad wannabe’s figure out they can’t compete with Apple’s battery life with flash on their tablets. Mozilla now, the rest very soon. Die die die Adobe and Flash.

      1. @correctu, while you are accurate about me being an Adobe Shill (thanks for the $100 bounty, again), on what issue am I lying. As an Adobe Shill, I get extra points for lying. So, could you point them out for me so I can collect my money?

        1. Macassarus, I sure you can use any statement to lie like you usually do. I doubt Adobe does spot checks on ya so use your imagination! Do you get paid by cash or credit.. that was my question.

          Thank you!

          1. @correctu,

            You know the policy for Shill payments. We have been over this several times now. The last time you told me you even wrote the instructions down. The person that caught the Shill is required to pay. Please send my $100 immediately to:

            Macassaurus
            c/o Adobe Systems Incorporated
            345 Park Avenue
            San Jose, CA 95110-2704.

            Thank God for you. I would not make 1/10 of the Shill payments I get now if not for you.

    7. You think you you’re more qualified to talk about the number one cause for browser crashes than Mozilla’s own VP of products? What are you refuting him based on?

      Your own personal experience of Flash never crashing on your computer? Sorry, but that story doesn’t check out. Flash doesn’t crash because of hardware conflicts or because you don’t have the right drivers installed – it crashes because of bugs in the software itself. So there’s no such thing as having the “right” computer setup where Flash will be stable. That means there are only two scenarios. Either Flash is crashing on your computer, but you think something else is the culprit. Or you’re just plain lying.

      HTML5 may still be in “beta”, but to my knowledge it can already do everything that Flash can. And you call the latter a “necessity”? Not so much anymore. On top of all that, Flash is obsolete today, as in right now, for over 100 million iOS users. They don’t have to wait for some unspecified point in the future for HTML5 to become the primary way multimedia content gets delivered. And it doesn’t exactly matter whether or not it’s an approved standard after 7 years, whatever that means, because that isn’t stopping the web from transitioning over to it largescale. How long will it take for HTML5 to eclipse Flash in use? Ask anybody who uses a Flashless platform.

      You can hold on to your closed monoculture all you want, but that’s not the direction the web is moving in anymore. You are getting left behind.

      1. You would be correct if you weren’t wrong. I have addresses a number of issues. But, yes, my personal experience is what I go by. No crashes from Flash. But, what I am really saying is: 1) Flash is not going away anytime soon; 2) If it does not work for you stop using it. There are several people who have stopped and they report they are happier. No problem.; 3) HTML5 is NOT ready for prime time. It IS in beta and IS NOT capable of operating on the majority of browsers AT THIS TIME. Until it is, Flash will be the de facto standard; 4) despite the wear and tear on mobiles, it is my opinion that Flash provides a positive selling advantage. Playing DVD’s on laptops also drains batteries. But, I routinely see them in use. If there is a single marketing drawback to the iPhone and iPad, it is the lack of Flash capability. Yes, my opinion. and 4) if you run an online business and think you can switch from Flash to HTML5 today, please do. I beg you. What I am NOT saying is that Flash is superior to HTML5. We use both and present the appropriate content to the visitor based on their equipment and connection speed. Is it a pain in the @$$. Yes.

    8. Flash needs a plugin to be downloaded before being viewed so will never be a web standard.

      HTML 5 will be a web standard.

      Oh by the way, you can do almost EVERYTHING that flash does with JavaScript – which surprise surprise IS a web standard.

      So is flash doomed? Yes it was doomed years ago when JavaScript came out. And when HTML 5 comes out flash will be dead.

      Good riddance to it I say.

      No one will miss it.

      1. @Petey

        Flash may be a plugin. But, did you now it is in use on 99% of internet enabled PC’s? Javascript – launched in 1996 – is enabled on about 95%. So, despite the fact that a user has to take an extra step to use it, 99% of internet users take the step. Interesting. Does that mean that the number of people who have disabled Flash are in the 1%?

        There are some who say the majority of crashes on their computers occur because of Flash. How do you now? Could it be an equipment or software incompatibility issue? Some other plugin? Out of date versions? How often does your browser crash…daily, weekly, monthly? If you have an issue with your browser on a regular basis, it is not a Flash issue. It’s the porn site you are visiting or some other incompatibility or you. Seriously, you need to look elsewhere for a solution. You will be happier. I have not had a single Flash related browser crash in well over a year. If you think that is a lie, no one can help you.

  3. So it’s decided. Microsoft’s brilliant Silverlight strategy pays off and has vanquished Adobe’s Flash. Once again, congratulations are in order to the innovative minds in Redmond. Good job.

    1. it’s sort of amazing: Silverlight is really nice! It’s what Netflix uses to deliver their video to computers, and it works really nicely. No hot computers, no spinning fans, no crashing browsers. It actually works! Kudos, indeed.

  4. Flash is the new blinking GIF- I now refuse to continue a visit to a web site that relies upon it- especially those benighted sites that _only_ have a stupid flash show on their home page. Instant click out.

  5. @ opsono – you and another 2% of the web traffic. Better idea. Why not go back in time when computer screens were monochrome and the only option for screen output was text. Man, a 300 baud modem was the cats meow. Blazing!!

        1. Macassarus sings to the song of Private Dancer by Tina Turner:

          “I’m an astroturfer
          Astroturfing for money.
          I’ll do what Adobe says to

          I’m an astroturfer
          I say sh*t for money
          I’m Adobe’s whore buttplug; I’m screwed.”

          Sing that to the gutter and bring your flash macassarus!

          (Macassarus = Paid Adobe shill.)

          1. correctu, love the song. Thanks. And, as usual, you are absolutely correct, correctu..in your own mind.

            And it’s Paid Adobe Shill. If you are going to get it right, use correct capitalization. Now, don’t forget your meds today like you did yesterday.

  6. “And as a huge advocate of HTML5, Mozilla will make it the central focus of Firefox 4”

    Really? They why is Firefox 4 shipping with WebSockets disabled meanwhile Safari and Chrome ship with it enabled?

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