Business Reasons: Adobe has had a rough decade. The Macromedia acquisition was a red pill (IMHO) for many at the company. The company has been dramatically slow in adapting to a new Web. Several major projects have failed or under-performed. All and all, Adobe has bigger fish to fry than to procure their developer base of a free/low-cost migration solution.
Other Reasons: 1)The nature of proprietary software - a lot has been written about this so feel free to look it up on the Web but basically its hard to just discontinue software without facing several non-trivial legal challenges. 2) The Steve Jobs Effect - or the curse of having a major figure accelerate the demise of a product that should have evolved into an open standard. 3) The Adobe Coldfusion Effect - Macromedia/Adobe has a product called ColdFusion Server that used Flash technology A LOT to differentiate itself, however the transition strategy adopted by Adobe didn't immediately discontinue Flash support for ColdFusion generated reports (for example) and such a direction made developers less likely to invest in a quicker migration to HTML5.
I feel your pain and, at this point, would also like to see Adobe pull the plug once and for all. But we live in a complicated world, for better or worse.
Really, I always assumed that Adobe successfully mitigated all the revenue risk by selling recurring Creative Studio/Cloud licenses, and that Flash was not a big chunk of revenue anymore. I remember Steve Jobs planning to kill Adobe or at least news blog reporting such intentions.
Adobe stock has done pretty well over last half a decade even when compared with Google.
I reported some but they did nothing about it.
I work in finance. It's a last resort. It should be front page, but it was ignored for too many years. I think I see it once or twice a year, now.
I end up using my broker for charting, as most of the free ones suck.
1. It's because Google finance is old and probably forgotten. Really answers the OP question why it's not a good idea to kill flash right now.
Adobe can stand to have a rougher time of it, IMO...
This is why Australians have fought hard against geoblocking, and on similar lines why SciHub is around.
I have zero sympathy for Adobe.
Not true at all - their share price has more than tripled in the last decade . Web development was never a big part of Adobe's business. They were trying, because it's similar to their other product areas, but they never got a big foothold, except Flash.
They still make a ton of popular software (Photoshop/Lightroom, Premiere, Acrobat, Illustator, After Effects, ...), and most of it is selling better than ever.
Flash In The Pan: Historical Lessons Of Adobe's Macromedia Acquisition
Adobe accused of software monopoly (not by Apple)
The Real Story Behind Adobe’s Failed Mobile Strategy
Adobe recovering from massive Creative Cloud failure (one of several)
The Agonizingly Slow Decline Of Adobe Flash Player
And, finally, some commentary on the nature of Adobe's stock rise:
Adobe Systems Inc. May Be Wildly Overvalued
Adobe Is Extremely Overvalued
Adobe: Overvalued Despite Improving Profitability
But to be clearer, let's rephrase and say that "Adobe the company has had a rough decade".
slightly OT: what does "red pill" mean here in this context? A wake up call? Adobe employees chose to enter the real world?
I'm thinking a matrix reference but I find it hard to discern the sentiment behind it.
Well, they always had the option. It's not like they were working on open-sourcing it. It's an Open standard like Windows API EXEs are, you get half-support from Wine, but no guarantees.
Google Chrome doesn't use Adobe's Flash player, for instance, but a player called PepperFlash.
Adobe could very well discontinue developing their player, and just tell people to use an open source version. They could make it a marketing stunt by open sourcing their player for user freedom or some stuff like that.
My bad, I thought it was a completely different implementation.
Am I crazy for thinking that Flash being in maintenance mode in perpetuity is a good thing? I want webpages from a decade or two ago to work fine.
Or let it die already. Remember VBscript? Neither does anybody else.
This was the original state of Flash and Java. This is when they grew. Trust me when I say: This would not be a problem.
> and even plugins were hard to come by (browsers could actively prevent running anything it thinks is a flash plugin..)
This is no longer Adobe 'kill'ing Flash Player, and also how you get a bunch of pissed users switching browsers or sticking to legacy versions. This shit right here is how you get IT departments sticking to IE 6.
Although, this is perhaps a golden age of open source. Maybe we'd see hostile forks instead!
And, of course, iOS Safari has already 'kill'ed Flash in this sense. On the one hand, it's added some pressure to transition to new tech stacks. On the other, since we're still asking questions about how to kill Flash Player, it clearly didn't do the job ;)
The problem with flash is that the people who get in trouble through exploits had no intention to run flash at all.
Browsers could start by disabling it by default and only enabling after modifying well hidden settings that would be no problem for a legacy intranet or kiosk scenario, but would serve my mother in law well.
Windows XP is dead.
Windows 7 is dead.
Thanks to the epic fuckup with Windows 8, there's no way that transition to 10 will complete in 2020. My guess is that most large commercial customers will have 20% of users running Windows 7 through at least 2023. VDI or other similar mechanisms will be used to isolate it.
Dead means EOL.
Shumway is dead. There is no migration path for existing code. The closest thing that exists is Haxe and OpenFL but it doesn't directly support ActionScript or SWF files. What they need to do is opensource the player.
If you need years to transition off Flash you should have started years ago and if you haven't yet, you have a very big problem on your hands. And if you think Adobe cares about that you are mistaken. They don't care unless they can make money out of it. They are not a charity.
I'm currently involved with a business transitioning their content from Flash to HTML5 and they are adamant about completely removing any Adobe software from the stack.
This means that they won't be using the HTML5 backend of Adobe Animate (formerly Adobe Flash Pro) out of principle, even though in this case it would be acceptable to keep it around as an authoring tool.
By the way, the same is true for any Google software, they won't be using (for instance) Google Web Designer because of Google's extremely poor track record of supporting software in the long run.
Another thing I'd be curious about is the line at which the opportunity cost of not making the transition surpasses the cost of not developing new Flash features.
When a bank CEO, who has no idea about anything except "Well Adobe is a big company and I've never heard anything about this W3C, and how long will it take? How much will I make off it right now?" hears (if he even does) that Apple doesn't like flash, he won't care.
We are currently shoring up this old app while simultaneously building a new, modern in from scratch.
It is a constant battle of bug fixes on the old and implementation and new features in both platforms as we try to transition customers off.
I do wish the actionscript and flex ecosystems were still thriving because we could use the help. I imagine other enterprises are in the same place.
Much of those e-learning courses are still being used today. Most of the content is still relevant today. It makes no sense to throw it away.
It is companies like these and those of the parent poster, that are the key reason why Adobe cannot simply pull the kill switch
The real story for Java and Flash is not having to worry about browser compatibility something I think many think has gone away with webkit but the reality is it is still here and worse than ever (mobile, firefox, ms edge).
Someone always signals there will be a price to pay. The thing is, the price is not high enough when compared to the profit you gain by continuing down the road you are on now.
Unfortunately, they were unable to manage even that, and ended up resuming updates to it after several years, since so many security vulns kept popping up in it.
The major browsers are trying to leverage their forced-upgrade strategems to increasingly isolate Flash content (click-to-play, locking it in increasingly-harsh sandboxes and throwing away the keys...), because the problem was never convincing _Adobe_ to kill Flash.
It was, is, and will remain convincing users who have run sites with it forever to migrate off.
There are enterprise device web interfaces written in Java applets or Flash (or, on rare occasion, both), that are past EOL but still in use in a great number of locations. There are many "applications" that are just embedded web browsers doing the above dance.
Flash has been around 20 years - it'll probably take at least another 10 after Adobe absolutely stops any updates (which, I think, would take either a transparent migration tool or a bankruptcy), if not more, before seeing Flash becomes an abnormality.
I'm hoping OpenBMC wins the day here, at least, so that's one less place with Java or Flash.
They are virtually all written in Flash, and it's a huge market.
You would have a lot of unhappy kids if it all just went away.
Some new games are HTML5, but most aren't - and the old games are still fun.
Vectors are scalable, you see… if you're good with an art style using puppeted animation in vector graphics (which can be much quicker and still look good and move well!) then Flash is right there, able to be used, flexible to any screen size you like. Lines made with Bezier curves are appealing to the eye, and the rendering is super clean (when it's not glitching out, see the MLP cyclops horse glitch)
I've spent hours poking around on the web seeing if there were ways to render Flash clips to, say, SVG: simply because I know Natron exists, is a WAY more powerful compositor but much like Shake (and presumably Nuke, out of my pay grade) can composite numbered image frames, including SVG. That means you can zoom and scale SVG-based clips infinitely without losing clarity.
(I'm aware of Fusion and just learned of 'free Nuke' doing a lastminute google check on this stuff, but I favor Natron because it's not restricted to noncommercial/hobbyist purposes and as it's a opensource option, it should be possible to keep a working version of it indefinitely so long as there's been at least one working version on your system. The big commercial software projects, I always worry they will forced upgrade you out of what you use)
Even people talking about reimplementing Flash in open form seem to be talking mostly about playback or web, not authoring.
Flash already exists and mostly works. It even exists in non-subscription form and runs on older machines.
Even I mostly agree on the need to reduce unnecessary Flash usage on the public web, there are some features Flash provides that can not still be replaced by HTML5, like audio recording on browser which is not available on some still widely used web browsers.
If there is a need of providing support for those features on relatively old browsers in corporate environments then the best (the only?) choice is Flash Player.
I can also argue on the far less number of development and testing hours needed compared with HTML5 equivalent, where you know that content will render perfectly on all browsers that include Flash Player.
IMO, before killing player itself we will should focus in killing all those old browsers versions to provide developers a real alternative for these features.
Like Safari, and it's a modern browser, so much for the "Steve Jobs Effect"...
Rather then killing it, I hope they just open source it.
It is in some ways better then what we have in HTML5, but being closed source and not able to optimize enough for Mobile usage causes its death.
I especially liked the potential for writing things dynamically and then refactoring toward strictness over time while moving a project beyond the prototype stage.
I'm surprised there's no AS3 => JS compiler.
As long as there is Flash in this world, Flash will need to be supported to fix the inevitable security vulnerabilities.
Safari - only FairPlay encryption through HLS, but only modern versions of Safari; Chrome - Widevine Dash, IE - Playready Dash (and smooth), but only recent versions, Firefox only after version 52 do they finally support Widevine Dash, otherwise no EME prior to that.
What's your source for this?
Firefox shipped EME support for Adobe Primetime on Windows in Firefox 38. Firefox shipped EME support for Widevine on Windows and Mac in 47 and on Linux in 49.
This is the sad issue with Web based tech. On desktop, you can run most software from Windows 95 on natively on your modern Windows 10 computer.
Think about it.
That means that I wrote a small utility in 1996, you bought it in 1997, I went out of business in 1998, and you can run it in 2017 (that's 20 years later).
How much of Websites/games/utilities from the 90s/2000(!)s are dead because the #1 open language was found to have too many security holes (or more precisely, couldn't update properly) and no ones around to re-write them in HTML5.
What if browsers (read - Google) decide that "eval is evil" and ban it in JS?
We have started to develop a replacement for our Flash app and are fighting a lot with specified but not yet implemented features. Especially configuring the webcam (resolution, frame rate) is still in a very sad state of implementation.
An example is MediaTrackCapabilities: https://bugs.chromium.org/p/webrtc/issues/detail?id=4807 and on MDN you get Not Found: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/MediaTrackC...
In short, if you try to implement this: here be dragons! while this is working in Flash for years.
And if they really need it, Chrome is your best bet, since it handles Flash plugin, security and updates for you.
So it is being killed (but by the users) and eventually die off like other old software. Maybe running in an emulator in the future.
There's definitely still value in something like Shumway for viewing legacy, historical content, just like there's legacy in browsers being able to view old Geocities pages. But it's never going to be a feature of significant commercial value.
It would be nice if Adobe ported the Flash Player and/or AIR to asm.js or WebAssembly.
Killing Flash outright would do next to no good to Adobe. Google (and on their heels, Mozilla) are well on their way in making accessing existing Flash content more and more difficult , which probably appeals to people who think Flash needs to be banished, but most likely frustrates people who want continued to access to that content.
But that being said, in all likelihood, Adobe will eventually stop issuing even security fixes to Flash Player, especially once Chrome and other browsers have put that content behind click-to-plays, warnings, etc., or if Chrome and Microsoft stop their bundling of updates.
By now, I'd say most new development in Flash has completely stopped, but it will take another decade before Flash becomes completely irrelevant.
Windows API is open (you can get documentation for it) but it's known that "in the real world" the API doesn't follow documentation, which causes problems for Wine.