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Future of Flash (adobe.com)
79 points by whyleym on May 13, 2010 | hide | past | favorite | 81 comments

"19 out of the top 20 device manufacturers worldwide have committed to shipping Flash technology on their devices"

It would be more wise to actually wait till you can deliver a decent Flash implementation on a mobile device before touting your mobile position. Because your mobile position right now is that you have been promising the world but not delivering jack.

"deliver a decent Flash implementation on a mobile device before touting your mobile position."

I wish they'd do the same for desktop too. Flash doesn't really 'run' on my 64 bit ubuntu , it sputters and crawls and fucks up in a plethora of ways.

I don't have that problem at all. I was hesitant to move to 64 bit but the Flash player is screaming fast on my machine. I can easily playback 1680x1050 YouTube videos without a glitch. It's more than possible that your hardware configuration is the cause. Get in touch with Adobe and let them know your config, the problem might be fixable.

PS: I run Ubuntu as well of course.

"It's more than possible that your hardware configuration is the cause"

Its definitely not the hardware horsepower itself, as I have very good performance on 64 vista.

I'm also running with the very latest nvidia binary drivers, I have an intel dual core E2200 - not cutting edge but flash will actually take up an entire core with small animations, so it definitely seems like a bug to me.

"Get in touch with Adobe and let them know your config, the problem might be fixable."

I've spent a while (way way more than I ever wanted for something that they market as 'plug in' / 'just works') going through the ubuntu forums and launchpad, some stuff seems like fixeable problems that maybe I just couldn't fix, but heres a list of problems I have:

* Sometimes opening a new firefox/chromium tab/window and loading a website with flash will crash it, crashing all flash instances - so if I'm listening to a google tech talk or something I have to restart it and go hunt the on the timeline.

* Sometimes controllers just stop responding to clicks ( http://www.khattam.info/2009/08/18/solved-flashplugin-contro... )

* Flash will flicker as I scroll down firefox/chromium.

* This has stopped now, but at one point flash crashing wouldn't free its memory, and Xorg just started consuming more and more memory, bringing the entire computer to an almost halt!

* Some flash players/gamers/whatever when I'd press the fullscreen button would get from xorg as my resolution the sum of my 2 monitors - 2560x1024, which means they'd get clipped in half or they would get letterboxed (msnbc.com and youtube.com for instance) while others such as video.google.com works just fine.

These are just things off the top of my head - it seems flash is the #1 problem for 64 bit ubuntu from quick glances at the 64 bit forums, I've had a lot more problems, I tend to avoid flash websites as a result.

Are you using the vanilla player or the x64 player?

I've tried both the apt package and downloading directly from adobe, to be honest I don't remember if there was a difference in problems, or just the same set of them, either way it didn't 'just work'.

Let me rephrase that. Did you install the normal plugin (which is not x64) or the beta x64?

In case of the package, which package exactly did you install?

I went through a phase I tried installing everything under the sun and looked around quite a bit (the packages directly from adobe, different apt packages, random bash scripts I found online..) so I actually don't remember what I tested and didn't.

What I have _at the moment_ and doesn't work that well, I got through the 'flashplugin-nonfree' package which if I understand is the 'preferred' way to install flash on ubuntu 64.

It is the 'normal' way but I'm not sure it's the 'preferred' one for a x64 system.

Seriously, are you SURE you tried the x64 version? From the looks of it, you didn't, so I'd suggest you following the steps to get the x64 package.

Something like this should work: http://nxadm.wordpress.com/2009/04/26/install-64-bit-adobe-f... http://www.cyberciti.biz/tips/install-flash-10-ubuntu-linux-...

It's not flashplugin-nonfree, as the x64 version is still a beta package available separately (but drastically better than the standard one on x64 machines).

I had definitely tried that before, recall issuing a 'mkdir .mozilla/plugins' & moving a .so in there. Can't remember why I rolled that back and reinstalled it through apt thought.

Anyways trying it again nonetheless, the blinking is still going on with scrolling, going to see if performance/crashing at least improves.

That's incredible. I've been running the 64-bit flash player in Ubuntu for a while and it fails horribly at high resolution video. Two questions:

1) Where did you get the 1680x1050 youtube video? The 1080p video I tried was 1920x798. Can you give me a link so I can test with it?

2) Which CPU and video card do you have? My Core 2 Duo E8400 and NVIDIA 8800GT don't even get close to cutting it. Anything above 480p video and I get dropped frames and horrible tearing.

Edit: I have no problem playing 1080p video in native video players like mplayer and vlc, only flash.

That's my experience with any recent ATI card in Linux. Flash doesn't have to be involved. High resolution or full-screen video with a quad-core AMD Phenom and 8GB of ram results in dropped frames and tearing.

I fixed it by switching back to NVIDIA.

I'm also running Ubuntu x64 and have had no issues with Flash

How did you install? 'sudo apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree' ?

I'm running adobe's FP When you hit a site that requires flash the first time, firefox prompts you to install the plugin, and it gives you three options: the adobe player, and two other oss versions. I chose the adobe player.

Based on your query, I went back and tried to see if I could stress it out. I tried this site from a simple google search for 'flash demo' http://www.playpuzzlequestgalactrix.com/ and it works fine for me...no issues. This one, however: http://ecodazoo.com/ is pretty intense, and it does flicker for me. Normally, I don't visit sites like that which are all flash intensive, thus my comment that I rarely ever see an issue with FP on Ubuntu x64...but indeed, it is not perfect.

I completely agree. If there is something that I like about Apple is that they don't brag about things they haven't done yet. Get over with this philosophy of prototypes. Flash on mobile phones is as good as Microsoft Courier. The day I will see 19 out of the top 20 device manufacturers worldwide run Flash with no problems I will complain about Apple not being the 20th.

I sorta see your point. But the word committed is being used properly. No one is this picky about the hyperbole Steve Jobs hands out in the form of fact.

Flash runs just as well on my nokia n900 as it does on desktop, So I don't think the problem is at adobes end. Of course, I don't even remember when was the last time I actually needed to use flash (on mobile or on desktop).

Flash lite works fine on a Nokia E71. Also I can view Youtube on the Webkit based S60 web browser.

You don't watch YouTube videos? Not all of them plays on html5 player.

The music player can play youtube videos directly, and it's faster/easier to use seperate app for browsing/searching videos.

you can find already a lot of videos showing flash player 10.1 running on Android, and next week with Google I/O you will see even more I guess and user will be able to download a preview (or beta) of that.

It's funny to see Adobe listing things like Gnash, Haxe, and Red5 as advantages of Flash, after impeding their early development.

It's not like Adobe is the only tech company guilty of that.

Well, is that real what i see with my own eyes, Gnash ?

Is this just a mentioning of several technologies or do they really allow Gnash existence ?

SWF renderers are the only forbidden aspect of the entire Flash technology.

Is this for real ?

They might have open-sourced the code of Flash, but getting bugs fixed and critical enhancements implemented in the Flash player (or in Flex) is still a lengthy, opaque process that takes years. It took them 3 years to add a global exception handler and fix the scrollbars in Mac, for pete's sake!

As a Flex developer, that pisses me off to no end. I work in Flash all the time, and I use it because I have no choice, to do what I want to do, but I hate Flash because Adobe is so glacially slow at implementing small, obvious fixes to make my work easier.

Is that a Flash Player or a Flex framework thing?

Both are pretty slow. Flex is marginally faster.

Flex is marginally faster than light

I wonder how many times Adobe has these same arguments pasted all over their site. The exchange has been had. If you tried any harder to push your relevance, you might even come off as a little desperate.

Is there something in what they said that you disagree with?

Their new slogan should be "Flash: at least you're still locked into it for the next half decade if you want to support IE 8."

Or if you need features that are still not present in HTML5. Flash is used for more than playing videos and simple games.

I would really like to see something like Grooveshark in HTML5.

Despite all these high figures and percentages, I still typically find Flash annoying, bar video players. What now?

Is it that you find "Flash" annoying or just rich content in general?

Tough question actually. I've spent so much time browsing the net that it's hard to unravel these things...

Similarly, since I've been running Chromium without a flash plugin, I've found that I seldom miss it ... except for the occasional video.

Been doing that for years (not chromium) and it's soooo nice. Really wonder why more people don't do the some.

Yep. I know a lot of iPad users, and I haven't heard a single one complain about something being inaccessible due to lack of Flash. I'm an iPad owner myself and have been annoyed a small number of times by not being able to see something, but so rarely (and always on such uncritical stuff) that "support Flash" wouldn't even be in my top 20 of feature requests. There are of course some for whom this wouldn't be the case.

I concur. Typing on my iPad right now. The main feature request I have is being addressed in OS 4 and will allow other music players to play in the background.

Flash is not needed for probably 90% of the use cases I browse past. It has a place until something else (like plain old code) takes it's place.

Oh, sure. H.264 is just a codec, and <video> is just an HTML tag, but somehow, that's exactly what I want. I can (very easily) make a H.264 or Ogg Theora video and wrap it inside <video> tag and it is going to work, I don't even know how I would do that with your "complete solution for advanced video distribution". Except "put it on youtube", of course.

I've never used the video tag. I'm sure there is more involved than adding <video></video> tags to my page. I'll probably have to do some research to get it working the way I want. "How do I make the play and pause button the way my visual guy designed them" would the first question that would come to mind. I guess the same goes for a Flash based solution.


This is enough (look at the source, that's all I did, except uploading the video file). Of course, custom controls and other stuff would take more effort, but just puting a video on your website is this easy, really.

Except it doesn't work in Firefox because of open source politics! If you want the same video file to appear in any browser this still requires Flash unfortunately. (And supporting multiple encodings for everything you produce can be expensive in terms of processing power, storage, maintenance, and so on.)

>If you want the same video file to appear in any browser

Except Mobile Safari...

"For existing Flash content developed with mouse input in mind, Flash Player will automatically convert the touch events into mouse events. This allows Flash content designed for the desktop, to work seamlessly on touch-based devices."

I can't wait to try http://www.dontclick.it/ on a touch based device!

Will work just fine. On a touch device you use your finger to move the mouse, what would be the problem?

One problem would be that at best you still have a finger blocking some screen content, and at worst your whole hand is blocking. Is something in the upper left corner an "on-finger-over" that brings up a chunk of text you need to read? Uh oh.

Another would be constantly having to make the effort to not lift your finger(s). Need to reach for a pen so you can write down what you are seeing on the screen? Is that a "let-go" or a "hang-on-a-second-pretend-that-didnt-happen" gesture?

These are limitations of touch interfaces. Touch is not panacea; it's the finger painting of the computing world. That's why it appeals to those who need simple.

No it won’t. Touch events being transformed into click events means that a finger touch and swipe will be translated into a clic & drag. How do you differentiate click & drag from hover & move?

Click & drag events: mouse over -> mouse down -> mouse move

Hover & move events: mouse over -> mouse move

Since that website does not take mouse down into consideration (taking no action), then yes, 'click & drag' would work perfectly well.

The article is more about present than the future.

Instead why not focus on filling the gaps? There are still so many things that HTML5 and browsers cant do. Wasn't that the reason Flash came into existence in the first place.

The problem is, there is a lot of FUD suggesting that HTML5 is a complete replacement for Flash, and you can duplicate Flash in HTML5, when the truth is, you can't.

Adobe: Please stop defending flash and get on with your life. Build us the HTML tools you said you would and do it so fast that I will forget about all this flash stuff.


Okay, so you read the interview where Lynch says "It’s not about HTML 5 vs Flash. They’re mutually beneficial." and you're still expecting Adobe to replace "all this flash stuff"?

"It’s not about HTML 5 vs Flash. They’re mutually beneficial." Of course they have to say that. Just hoping they stop living in the past sooner rather than later.

Those stats are useless.

Microsoft had 95% of the browser market at some point.

I'd also like to know how 98% of enterprises "rely" on Flash. I think if Flash was completely obliterated, those enterprises would be largely unharmed.

Rely is a fair word to use. It would be sensible to say that these enterprises also rely on IIS, Apache, Microsoft Word, Excel, Photoshop or a long list of other software that they likely rely on.

None of which would dismantle their interests if they disappeared.

But, I suppose you don't get any upvotes for mentioning any of those.

> IIS, Apache, Microsoft Word, Excel, Photoshop

I can see the enterprise use case for all of those except perhaps the last. I doubt 98% of enterprises rely on Photoshop.

What is the enterprise use case for Flash again?

> I doubt 98% of enterprises rely on Photoshop.

True, although those who do rely on it could factor in another way of getting the job done. My point is not directed at the total % use, rather the reliance of the software at all.


> What is the enterprise use case for Flash again?

I would venture to assume it would be the same as video distribution, podcasts, ads, pdfs or any other format to distribute content.


The case for enterprise software use (especially for content) pretty much applies universally.

Trendy hate tends to be very specific.

youporn.com has implemented HTML5 video. Flash is dead.

There are a lot of opinions on the future of Flash. It would be interesting to see the statistics at the top of the article from now on, to see if flash will shrink fast, slowly or remain strong. Or even grow, but I would not bet on this last one.

No flash on the iPad is a reasonably big deal for me. I almost bought one, then realized that I couldn't use Hulu or Amazon Video on Demand with it.

I use those for ALL of my TV needs. Watching TV in bed with an iPad was actually the most attractive use case to me, until I realized it wouldn't work.

So I didn't buy one.

Edit: I don't particularly love Flash for its own sake. I just want to use the services that I've come to like. And apparently, right now, Flash is the only realistic way to get them. HTML5 is, apparently, not quite there yet.

> No flash on the iPad is a reasonably big deal for me. I almost bought one, then realized that I couldn't use Hulu or Amazon Video on Demand with it.

If they don't already exist, I'm pretty sure that you'll soon be able to access these services via dedicated apps. They'll probably have a nicer interface (for touch) than the websites too.

From my view, the only real closed thing in Flash is that they do not allow SWF renderers others than the Flash Player itself. (If any mobile company can create their own renderer, then, why license players from Adobe)

Then another problem appears, if anyone can create their own players, then they might introduce differences(Java vs J++ long ago)

GNASH being mentioned on an official page, i can not believe my eyes!!!

I was surprised to see that only 70% of web games use flash. Anyone have any idea on what's in the remaining 30%?

On my iPad, 100% of web games are non-playable. Flash wont work on Ipad, and Html5 games are painfully sluggish. (including that Asteroid HTML5 game featured on the front page right now). Anyway, im happy that Flash doesnt work on iPad. Its not very fun to hold a hot iPad, you know!

Good one! I bet if you didn't turn it on it wouldn't get hot at all!!!

Cant believe that you are getting downmodded so hard! iPad really sucks at rendering even basic html5 interactive content and the more i play with it , the more i feel like, iPad just isnt capable of doing even the basic 'interactive-rich' content. I was suggesting ,Flash is too advanced for iPad that not allowing it in is technically a good thing for Apple.

>iPad just isnt capable of doing even the basic 'interactive-rich' content

... on the web. Apps, of course, are a different matter entirely. But I get ya, mobile Safari needs a refresh.

There's still a fair number of Java-based web games out there, and lots of older web games were made in Shockwave instead of Flash. Flash is certainly dominant amongst newer web games, but lots of old games stick around in various portals.

Alot that I've seen (especially the more complex or 3-D ones) use Unity. Maybe it's not 30% of the market, but I've seen that little Unity cube load up more often lately.

I don't think html5 covers even 0.1%

They're probably counting some non-dynamic games like most facebook games & there are still some java applets games out there as well.

Straight html and server side code (mmorpgs, strategy games and zombie infections). Javascript (sudoku, crosswords), and some java applets.

You'd be surprised how much Java there is.

I bet it's higher than 70%...

It's a good thing they didn't have any flash on this page or my browser would have crashed before I was able to finish reading all the reasons that flash is awesome and I can't live without it.

98% of enterprises rely on flash player ?

Less talk more action

here is a website for the debate: http://applevsadobe.net

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