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Why do we need Flash, anyway?

QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,765Member Uncommon

I'm not really sure where to put this, so it goes into my usual hangout.

Several years ago, Apple caused a stir by banning Flash from iOS devices.  iDevices access the web a lot, and a lot of the web uses Flash, so this turned some heads.  At the time, I thought Apple was just being obnoxious and proprietary, which is standard fare for Apple.  (There's your hardware connection and a justification for putting this in the hardware section.)

Two weeks ago, I got a new SSD and did a clean install of Windows.  I've only been installing stuff as I need it.  The need for a lot of things was very obvious, very quickly:  Opera, Chrome, Eclipse, Guild Wars 2, Acrobat Reader, etc.  I'm trying LibreOffice Calc as a replacement for the various versions of Excel that I've used for about 20 years.  But Flash?  I still haven't come across anything that made me say, "I wish I had Flash installed".

That's not to say that I haven't noticed a difference.  Quite to the contrary, a lot of things on web sites I visit have been disabled.  Sometimes it's just mysteriously disabled.  Sometimes it says I'm missing a plug-in.  Sometimes it explicitly says that I'm missing Flash, or need a newer version of it.

So what things are disabled?  Annoying things.  Excessively excitable advertisements.  Unwanted videos that auto-play--and not necessarily just advertising.  It's not just some annoying things.  It's nothing else besides annoying things.  Things that I know what they are because I've visited the site a lot, and have long been annoyed by them.

For example, on this very page as I type this, the top banner ad is obviously broken.  When I mouse over it, it says, "the plug-in is not supported".  I'm not blocking ads, as I get that the site needs revenue; most of the ads on this site still display for me, and that's how I want it.  And that's much milder than a lot of stuff that gets blocked on other sites.

And you know what else I don't miss?  Constant nagging that Flash wants to be updated.  So why exactly do we need Flash, again?

Comments

  • DistopiaDistopia Baltimore, MDPosts: 16,899Member Uncommon
    I guess it depends on what you use your PC for, if it's a media based machine, you may watch lots of video related content, Flash is needed for many of those. Other than that though, I have no idea.

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson

    It is a sign of a defeated man, to attack at ones character in the face of logic and reason- Me

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,765Member Uncommon
    Not having Flash does disable some videos.  It hasn't disabled the videos that I actually wanted to see, though.  (Thus far, YouTube and NFL.com.)
  • DistopiaDistopia Baltimore, MDPosts: 16,899Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Not having Flash does disable some videos.  It hasn't disabled the videos that I actually wanted to see, though.  (Thus far, YouTube and NFL.com.)

    Yeah most seem to be using DIVX or other players these days, which is definitely a plus if you don't want flash.

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson

    It is a sign of a defeated man, to attack at ones character in the face of logic and reason- Me

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,765Member Uncommon
    It's not so much that I actively wanted to be rid of Flash.  I expected to quickly see a need for it and install it.  I was surprised that not having it disabled a bunch of stuff I didn't want, but nothing that I actually did want.  Hence this thread.
  • DistopiaDistopia Baltimore, MDPosts: 16,899Member Uncommon
    I understand haha, I've done the same thing before,  I eventually installed it to watch something. It was definitely nice when it came to insta play video adds, I hate those things with a passion, the worst are those that play while you're already watching something else, especially those that can't be muted or refresh every 10 seconds.

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson

    It is a sign of a defeated man, to attack at ones character in the face of logic and reason- Me

  • greenreengreenreen Punchoo, AKPosts: 2,101Member Uncommon

    This is the reason I disable flash on my browser that I use most, FF. I only enable flash when I want to see something. All my browsers keep different settings but only 1 of them has flash enabled. It does cut down on ads, yup.

    It really isn't needed unless you are playing a game or watching a video with it though HTML5 has new video tags.

    Anyone using flash on their website for the page content instead of typing it into regular code, well I don't find one ounce of pity in backing out of their site within seconds. It's abused for crap like this http://evangelcathedral.net/ See if you can sit through the entire intro and take them seriously.

     

  • sugamarisugamari lamont, ABPosts: 13Member

    I just want to chime in here because I hate adobe the most of all internet companies because of flash. But there is something else that I just heard too that it was because of a security flaw in flash that hackers were able to steal the most passwords ever this last summer. But you dont hear much about that. I just wanna let adobe know how much I hate being asked to update a peice of crap flash and or pdf reader. I want adobe to know how much i hate them for making the clunkiest API that was impossible to learn and innovate on.  facebook sucks too are they in bed together?  you could've been a great company.

    Thanks OP for making a place for me to put that rant!

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,163Member Uncommon

    I wouldn't miss flash a bit if it just dropped off the face of the world.

    Rather like I don't really miss Java all that much either.

  • DraemosDraemos Antartica, AKPosts: 1,469Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical

     

    And you know what else I don't miss?  Constant nagging that Flash wants to be updated.  So why exactly do we need Flash, again?

    You don't need it, anymore than you need Silverlight... and if we're talking about Flash we're also talking about Silverlight; but lets not pretend they're not more feature rich and powerful than HTML5 either.  The primary reason they were dropped from IOS is because they're a CPU(power) hog and mobile devices are battery centric (and because Apple has the consumer clout to get away with it).

    Also their is the issue with HTML5 and the lack of DRM features, which is why companies like Netflix are hesitant to switch from Silverlight.  They now have EME to implement DRM on HTML5, but it's still in development and not yet available on most browsers or platforms.

    So ultimately without Flash/Silverlight the average user is losing out on Netflix and Youtube, which are the two largest video streaming platforms on the web.  Kinda significant.  Granted in a couple years it won't be a problem, but right now it is.

     

  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,712Member Uncommon

    Welcome to the real world, Neo :)

    I never use Apple stuff but when they released they pad without Flash, that was maybe their only move I'd praise. And for your question, why install Flash - exactly the same reasons you've mentioned. Ads, plugins, autostarted craps, security flaws and issues, lame videos (under it I mean lame sites, which can't insert decent vids - you mentioned youtube, that works fine with html5 for example). If you check that list, you'll see that if you're not into hurting yourself, then you don't need Flash at all.

     

    I went through the same when I changed my gear almost 2 years ago and reinstalled my stuff. I live without Adobe since then... :) (which reminds me, why Acrobat? There are truckloads of smaller, faster, and overall better pdf-handling tools out there)

    All I've lost is a huge chunk of browser-based games (dunno why are they sticking to that old and rusty engine...), a few videos, and in the beginning DCUO (because their launcher used Flash. Luckily a few months later SOE switched that for a better and Flash-free launcher). And of course the many, browser-slowing crap I didn't needed in the first place. I think it was a smart deal...

    Maybe check them as well:

    http://occupyflash.org/  :)

     

    Edit: I use Libre right from the beginning (when it was called OpenOffice and was backed by Oracle). You'll like it I think, it's pretty good.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,765Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Draemos
    Originally posted by Quizzical

     

    And you know what else I don't miss?  Constant nagging that Flash wants to be updated.  So why exactly do we need Flash, again?

    You don't need it, anymore than you need Silverlight... and if we're talking about Flash we're also talking about Silverlight; but lets not pretend they're not more feature rich and powerful than HTML5 either.  The primary reason they were dropped from IOS is because they're a CPU(power) hog and mobile devices are battery centric (and because Apple has the consumer clout to get away with it).

    Also their is the issue with HTML5 and the lack of DRM features, which is why companies like Netflix are hesitant to switch from Silverlight.  They now have EME to implement DRM on HTML5, but it's still in development and not yet available on most browsers or platforms.

    So ultimately without Flash/Silverlight the average user is losing out on Netflix and Youtube, which are the two largest video streaming platforms on the web.  Kinda significant.  Granted in a couple years it won't be a problem, but right now it is.

     

    YouTube works fine with neither Flash nor Silverlight installed.  I don't use Netflix, so I don't know about them.

  • dave6660dave6660 New York, NYPosts: 2,543Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Draemos
    Originally posted by Quizzical

     

    And you know what else I don't miss?  Constant nagging that Flash wants to be updated.  So why exactly do we need Flash, again?

    You don't need it, anymore than you need Silverlight... and if we're talking about Flash we're also talking about Silverlight; but lets not pretend they're not more feature rich and powerful than HTML5 either.  The primary reason they were dropped from IOS is because they're a CPU(power) hog and mobile devices are battery centric (and because Apple has the consumer clout to get away with it).

    Also their is the issue with HTML5 and the lack of DRM features, which is why companies like Netflix are hesitant to switch from Silverlight.  They now have EME to implement DRM on HTML5, but it's still in development and not yet available on most browsers or platforms.

    So ultimately without Flash/Silverlight the average user is losing out on Netflix and Youtube, which are the two largest video streaming platforms on the web.  Kinda significant.  Granted in a couple years it won't be a problem, but right now it is.

     

    Most newer TV's have Netflix, Amazon Prime and Youtube apps built in so you don't need Flash on your PC.  You could also get a Roku box for that content as well.

    “There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own.”
    -- Herman Melville

  • DraemosDraemos Antartica, AKPosts: 1,469Member
    Originally posted by dave6660
    Originally posted by Draemos
    Originally posted by Quizzical

     

    And you know what else I don't miss?  Constant nagging that Flash wants to be updated.  So why exactly do we need Flash, again?

    You don't need it, anymore than you need Silverlight... and if we're talking about Flash we're also talking about Silverlight; but lets not pretend they're not more feature rich and powerful than HTML5 either.  The primary reason they were dropped from IOS is because they're a CPU(power) hog and mobile devices are battery centric (and because Apple has the consumer clout to get away with it).

    Also their is the issue with HTML5 and the lack of DRM features, which is why companies like Netflix are hesitant to switch from Silverlight.  They now have EME to implement DRM on HTML5, but it's still in development and not yet available on most browsers or platforms.

    So ultimately without Flash/Silverlight the average user is losing out on Netflix and Youtube, which are the two largest video streaming platforms on the web.  Kinda significant.  Granted in a couple years it won't be a problem, but right now it is.

     

    Most newer TV's have Netflix, Amazon Prime and Youtube apps built in so you don't need Flash on your PC.  You could also get a Roku box for that content as well.

    Sure, you just need a new TV...

  • lathaanlathaan viennaPosts: 475Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by greenreen

    Anyone using flash on their website for the page content instead of typing it into regular code, well I don't find one ounce of pity in backing out of their site within seconds. It's abused for crap like this http://evangelcathedral.net/ See if you can sit through the entire intro and take them seriously.

     

    sry, but i really got to ask ... do you think anyone would take them loonies 'serious' without their intro? ^^ god-botherers with a crappy flash intro are even more funny than normal god-botherers tho.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,163Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Draemos
    Originally posted by dave6660 Originally posted by Draemos Originally posted by Quizzical   And you know what else I don't miss?  Constant nagging that Flash wants to be updated.  So why exactly do we need Flash, again?
    You don't need it, anymore than you need Silverlight... and if we're talking about Flash we're also talking about Silverlight; but lets not pretend they're not more feature rich and powerful than HTML5 either.  The primary reason they were dropped from IOS is because they're a CPU(power) hog and mobile devices are battery centric (and because Apple has the consumer clout to get away with it). Also their is the issue with HTML5 and the lack of DRM features, which is why companies like Netflix are hesitant to switch from Silverlight.  They now have EME to implement DRM on HTML5, but it's still in development and not yet available on most browsers or platforms. So ultimately without Flash/Silverlight the average user is losing out on Netflix and Youtube, which are the two largest video streaming platforms on the web.  Kinda significant.  Granted in a couple years it won't be a problem, but right now it is.  
    Most newer TV's have Netflix, Amazon Prime and Youtube apps built in so you don't need Flash on your PC.  You could also get a Roku box for that content as well.
    Sure, you just need a new TV...

    Nope, Roku works well, as does Chromecast/AppleTV/any number of 3rd party extensions. 1 HDMI cable and your all set - no new TV needed, and the $35-$99 is probably cheaper than a new TV would cost in the first place.

  • WhiteLanternWhiteLantern Nevada, MOPosts: 2,732Member
    Without Flash, crazy stuff happens.

    I want a mmorpg where people have gone through misery, have gone through school stuff and actually have had sex even. -sagil

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,187Member Uncommon

    I would love to get rid of Flash, and I suppose I could give up a few sites and games, but it's not really worth the hassle. Chrome manages my Flash install, so I technically don't think I need an additional install. I would much rather move forward to HTML5, but it's going to take more major players like Apple strong-arming the industry to make it happen. Really I wouldn't even hate Flash if it were an open standard, like Javascript. It's the lockin with Adobe that sours me.

    I also use Excel. I have searched and found no reasonable substitute. I've tried both Libre Office and Apache Open Office but Calc is just lacking and archaic. For what I use the program for, quickly formatted tables I use from database reports, I just can't find something better. I can take raw db text output, drop it into Excel, and have a nice looking formatted sortable table in a couple minutes. I can't do that in the other counterparts. I found that the Microsoft web version of Excel does do that without as many pretty formatting options, but it could be a cheaper substitute.

    Excel is the number one main barrier I have in my effort to move away from a Windows desktop to Linux Mint.

    Anyway, I like the question about the need for Flash, and hope it will be marginalized sooner than later.

  • gigatgigat Minneapolis, MNPosts: 604Member Uncommon

    Flash Player is built in to Chrome and is activated by default: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/108086?hl=en

    Netflix video player is built with Silverlight. I think Hulu depends on Flash

     

    I wonder if it's possible to display an alternative HTML advertisement when a user doesn't have Flash installed? Well the technology is there, I just don't know if that type of behavior is built in to the online advertisement frameworks that websites use to deliver the ads. That might explain why some ads work, and others don't (because not all companies will take the time to build an HTML ad in addition to the Flash ad)

    "Lose the helmet sis, we can't prove that you're retarded." - Dennis Reynolds

  • ThupliThupli Spokane, WAPosts: 581Member Uncommon

    I get the Flash thing.  I can live without it.

     

    One post in here was talking about better programs than Adobe for PDFs.  Does someone have recommendations on some?

     

    Also, why they concern about Silverlight?  Should I drop that from my comp?

     

    Thanks!

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,187Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Thupli

    I get the Flash thing.  I can live without it.

     

    One post in here was talking about better programs than Adobe for PDFs.  Does someone have recommendations on some?

     

    Also, why they concern about Silverlight?  Should I drop that from my comp?

     

    Thanks!

    There is Foxit for PDFs. You could see if it meets your needs. You only need that if you actually want to edit and manipulate PDFs. If you just need to output documents to PDF, then Microsoft or Open Office can both write to PDF as a file type.

    The concern with Silverlight is because it is analogous to Flash. However, I don't see the same problem with it becuase it's not pervasive in the way Flash is and Microsoft has already abandoned it as a future platform like they do much of their fringe technologies.

    I believe Netflix is working on an alternative to Silverlight, but if you use that service, then you need Silverlight.

  • ThaneThane berlinPosts: 2,230Member Uncommon

    why we need the flash?

     

    he is the fastest man alive! he outruns superman... he saved the world countless times!

    also he is funny!

    "I'll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up! Not me!"

  • GinazGinaz Calgary, ABPosts: 1,731Member Uncommon
    If not having Flash prevents me from watching pron then it is needed.image

    image

    Is a man not entitled to the herp of his derp?

    Remember, I live in a world where juggalos and yugioh players are real things.

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