We gather here today to sort-of commemorate the probably-very-soon passing of one of the more annoying (former) necessities of web browsing. Adobe Flash, we hardly knew ye.
As reported by several outlets, Adobe Flash is on the way out, with the most recent, and certainly mortal blow, being provided by Google. Starting today in Google's Chrome browser, advertisements using Flash will, by default, be stuck in a frozen state unless clicked on by the user. As Klint Finley states in Wired, "that means that videos and animations in ads using Adobe's Flash technology will no longer autoplay."
Being that autoplay is a scourge almost universally acknowledged, this can only come as good news to those who have opened a large number of tabs, only to realize that one of them is autoplaying a song or ad, and you don't know which one it is.
WHICH ONE IS IT?!?!
Ads using the generally-standard-now HTML5 will still autoplay, unfortunately, but Google's Chrome update is especially impactful to Flash. Chrome is the most popular browser, and, with Google's muscle behind it, can generally lead the way when it comes to software and technology trends in web browsing. With Flash now useless to advertisers on the most-used browser, one can prepare to see an exodus from the player to other ad formats, such as the previously mentioned HTML5.
And Google isn't the only company that wants Flash gone. According to Finley, Mozilla was going to disable Flash on Firefox until Adobe fixed some huge security problems with a new release, Facebook has suggested browsers should stop using Flash altogether and are replacing their Flash videos with HTML5, and Amazon is no longer accepting Flash ads at all.
For Adobe Flash, getting frozen out on Chrome could lead to a death spiral of sorts. Most of us have Adobe Flash on our computers. But we do almost everything through a browser nowadays, from storing and retrieving files to opening documents to all the other stuff. And this is all done through extensions, apps, and the cloud, with no Flash necessary. So there's no real need to have a program like that sitting on your hard drive. I imagine most people won't even realize they've stopped using it until Adobe tries to push another update out. Then people will realize they have this program for no reason and delete it.
The more people that delete Flash without impacting their browsing, the more word will get around that you can delete it without consequence. And suddenly only your grandparents' computer will have it, the little box icon sitting on the desktop next to Norton Antivirus and the AOL logo.
The slow yet inevitable death of Flash is probably for the best. Aside from the inevitable Flash-crash that happens if you have more than a few tabs open that need it, there is the ridiculousness of it constantly needing updates, the fact you might be forced to download McAfee software when updating the software (hey Adobe! It's not 'optional' if you PRE-CLICK THE YES BOX FOR US!), or the fact that it is just really old and doesn't run well.
I shall not mourn the demise of this internet browsing albatross. And not many others will either. And hopefully the frustration of auto-ads or suddenly having a video crash because Flash doesn't know what it is doing or not being able to find that damn tab playing music will soon be gone, forever.
IT HAS GOT TO BE HERE SOMEWHERE!!!!