Feel free to drop me questions:
I am CTO of the company.
Email is a push-oriented medium—notices comes to the (potential) customer.
Twitter, OTOH, is a pull-oriented medium—the (potential) customer has to remember to check the notices from your account (and you post regularly, so it is not clear which tweets the customer should really pay attention to).
It goes without saying that email is far more effective since you already have the customer’s attention, also you can do long form writing in a way that doesn’t involve extra clicks & URL shortener redirects—avoidable friction—as you would with Twitter as your delivery method.
Plus, the Flash plugin will have a time bomb that will refuse to load Flash content after the EOL date.
Adobe says at https://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/end-of-life.html:
> Adobe will be removing Flash Player download pages from its site and Flash-based content will be blocked from running in Adobe Flash Player after the EOL Date.
Luckily they are creating https://ruffle.rs which is a flash emulator written in rust. All of this fantastic media should be preserved!
For some reason all the newer tower defense games use a fixed playing field whereas the original DTD allowed you to build your own defensive walls.
Edit: We really need a Flash Archive
Besides Desktop TD, the other main classic of that subgenre is Bubble Tanks TD: https://armorgames.com/play/4962/bubble-tanks-tower-defense
It's great that there are community projects to help recreate Flash, but it would make those projects a lot simpler and less error-prone if Adobe would simply provide the reference implementations.
Time to reread what Steve Jobs wrote about it a decade ago!
"whining?" Steve Jobs didn't whine...He built the greatest products in our digital era.
He answered Mossberg and Swisher here at 2:00 on why he wrote Thoughts on Flash.
">Mossberg: you published thoughts on flash, is it fair to be abrupt?
Steve: Apple is a company that doesn’t have the most resources of everybody in the world and the way we’ve succeeded is by choosing what horses to ride carefully technically. We try to look for these technical vectors that have a future and that are headed up and you technology..different pieces of technology go in cycles. They have their Springs and summers and autumns and then they you know go to the graveyard of technology. So we try to pick things that are in there Springs and if you choose wisely you can save yourself an enormous amount of work versus trying to do everything and you can really put energy into making those new emerging technologies be great on your platform rather than just okay because you’re spreading yourself too thin. So we have a history of doing that that. As an example, we went from the 5 inch floppy disk the 3.5 inch floppy disk with the Mac.
>Mossberg: before other people right?
Steve: We were the first to do that we made the 3.5 floppy disk this popular, Sony invented it and we put it in the first products, and there some good reasons we did that, we got rid of the floppy disk altogether in 1998, with the first iMac. We also got rid of these things called serial and parallel ports and we were the first to adopt USB, even though Intel had invented it. You first saw it en mass on iMac. And so we have gotten rid of things, we were one of the first to get rid of optical drives with a MacBook Air, I think things are moving in that direction as well. And sometimes when we get rid of things like the floppy disk drive on the original iMac people call us crazy.
>Mossberg interrupts: or at least premature maybe.
Steve: No! they call us crazy. But sometimes you just have to pick the things that look like they’re gonna be the right horses to ride going forward and flash looks like a technology that had its day but is really on is waning and HTML5 looks like the technology that’s really on the ascendancy right now and to incorporate flash into systems is a lot of work there’s not smartphone shipping with flash on it now as you know.
>Mossberg: but you know that there will be right?
Steve: Well, you know there’s going to have been for the last two or three years and every six months it gets updated, so I’m sure that eventually they will and there is a lot of issues with that in terms of battery life and you know security and other things, but more importantly, HTML5 is starting to emerge. You know there’s been an avalanche of people that have said we’re doing HTML5 video and the video looks better and it works better and you don’t need a plug-in to run it, and so while 75% of the video in the web may be in flash, you know 25% going to 50% very shortly is also available in HTML5.
>Kara: so do you say that to consumers, I mean besides the technologies?
Steve: I think consumers outside of the valley and our industry aren’t having this issue…
>Mossberg interrupts: Except when they hold up their iPad and they go to a web page and there’s like a hole there, where a video would be.
Steve: there are holes in some websites but those holes are getting plugged real fast. The holes that exist now are our ads, and that’s the problem for some people.
>Mossberg: Not entirely.
Steve: but that’s the number one holes that are there
>Mossberg: and what about the other community that I think is impacted by this and that’s developers, because what I think a lot of the coverage of this flash issue has overlooked is that yes, flash is a video container and there are other video containers actually have a very rising share each to h.264 and the native HTML5 but it’s also a development environment and there are entire some of them quite beautiful written on a flash?
Steve: an even more popular development environment was hypercard and we were okay to axe that!
>Mossberg: it wasn’t more popular than flash, was?!
Steve: in its day, sure it was.
>Mossberg: on your platform right?
Steve: no no no no. Hypercard was huge in its day because it was accessible to anybody. You could be a hypercard developer.
We have over 200,000 apps on the App Store. So something must be going right in terms of attracting developers to our platform!!
>Kara: so your goal your your ultimate goal is to get rid of flash or just to how..
Steve: well, see our goal is really easy we didn’t start off to have a war with flash or anything else we just made a technical decision that we weren’t gonna put the energy into getting flash on our platform, we told Adobe if you ever have this thing running fast come back and show us, which they never did and/but we think we’re not gonna use it, and that was it. And we shipped the iPhone and it doesn’t use flash and it wasn’t until we shipped the iPad and it didn’t use flash that Adobe started to raise a stink about it. We didn’t raise a stink about it, we never mentioned the word Adobe or flash or anything else. We like Adobe we have a lot of common customers with CS you know their Creative Suite software and things like that, so we weren’t trying to have a fight. We just decided not to use one of their products in our platform and so you know they started to say a lot of bad things about us in the press and this and that and it went on for months and that’s why I wrote Thoughts on Flash, because we were trying to be real professional about this and weren’t talking to the press about it, we didn’t think it was a matter for the press and we finally just said enough is enough! We’re tired of these guys trashing us in the press over this and so we wrote down the reasons why technically we didn’t use flash, and they are just as true today as they were when we wrote it as they were six months or a year before that.
>Mossberg: What if people say you know the iPad is crippled in this respect.
Steve: This is America. Things are packages of emphasis, some things are emphasize in a products , some things are not done as well in a product, somethings are chosen not to be done at all in a product and so different people make different choices and if the market tells us we’re making the wrong choices we listen to the market! We’re just people running this company we’re trying to make great products for people and so we have at least the courage of our conventions to say we don’t think this is part of what makes a great product, we are gonna leave it out, some people are gonna not like that, they’re gonna call us names it’s not going to be in certain companies vested interests that we do that but we’re gonna take the heat because we want to make the best product in the world for customers. We’re gonna instead focus our energy on these technologies, which we think are in their ascendency and we think are gonna be the right technologies for customers and you know what?! they are paying us to make those choices . That’s what a lot of customers pay us to do, is to try to make the best products we can and if we succeed they’ll buy them, and if we don’t they won’t! And it’ll all work itself out. So far I’d have to say that people seem to be liking iPads. We’ve sold one every three seconds since we launched it."
He wrote that post, and spoke for 10 minutes explaining all the reasons, and you called him whining..
I will end with a quote from Steve Jobs email to a journalist
"By the way, what have you done that's so great? Do you create anything, or just criticize others work and belittle their motivations?"
what have you done that's so great to say that Steve Jobs was whining when he put valid reasons for not going with flash?
HTML5 was nowhere near the capability for interactive apps for a long time. And flash was, just look at those flash game websites, 1000s of them there. His attempt to make the whole argument about videos and not about preserving his walled garden that is app store is as dishonest as the rest of their typical marketing bullshit.
> He built the greatest products in our digital era.
Well maybe that's the problem right there. They were great from a business standpoint (aka getting fat asses fatter), never from user standpoint. Those products enslaved their users because they are closed down annoying i-know-what-you-need-and-dont-need-better-than-you pieces of trash.
It's also ironic that you use this quote:
> Do you create anything
Did he? Or someone else did for him to sell with his holier-than-thou marketing?
Original iPhone supported offline HTML5 apps, with home screen icons and full app saved to home screen ... and iOS still supports that. Yes, you can still distribute purely open apps that work offline to iOS devices outside the app store with zero approvals from Apple or anyone.
Developers preferred the app store even for “apps” that are nothing but a web window, not just about APIs etc.
So Jobs is onto something with the “a product is a package of emphasis” and the market decides.
Sounds like you don’t like the market, which as Jobs noted in that quote, is everything outside the valley bubble.
Apple can be shitty, but effecting change is harder when we try to give them shit for the things they actually do right.
My kids are in college and I don't think they've needed Flash even for the variety of archaic sites they have to deal with.
I’ll assume this carries over for any type of assignment page that requires input from the user.
My company's spam filter service requires Flash if you're on desktop. There's a mobile version that's non-Flash, but it's feature limited.
The web site of one of the larger pre-FAANG online advertising companies is all Flash. You can't even change your password without it.
So for a browser version that will be released this fall as a non-preview, it makes sense.
> Flash-based content will be blocked from running in Adobe Flash Player after the EOL Date.
The company I worked for at the time excelled in creating awful 20mb non-indexable monstrosities, complete with auto playing music and all kinds of other sins. We mutilated the most basic design patterns when the client or bosses thought it would look interesting and even cut a shady deal with a popular meme site to "make it go viral" at one point in time, which it obviously didn't.
Shame about all the brilliant Newgrounds stuff though. I'm not talking about the actual content, I just mean I've never seen such a concentrated outpoor of interactive creativity since then. It felt like there was something amazingly smart, creative or funny to discover every day back then.
It's probably ~10 years old at this point, so it would seem they've had long enough to see the writing on the wall and port it to a newer technology. OTOH I'm not sure that, even today, the stability or penetration of WebGL is comparable to where Flash was at its height (to say nothing of the available talent pool.)
I've taken a screenshot so anyone who doesn't have Flash can take a look.
For the abstractions Flash supported (objects with behaviors, scenes, timelines), WebGL is way, way too low-level. WebGL is more the kind of thing someone would write Flash on top of.
I'd imagine businesses and organizations where software and tech isn't their primary investment would take some time to move away from Flash, especially if they have a business that depends on Flash still working. It's probably similar to the scenario where there's some vital app that requires computers to stay on Mac OS X Snow Leopard / Mojave / Windows 32-bit.
The only option is throw out working hardware just because we can no longer manage it...
Or another example, older VMware setups that may not be fully upgraded yet (again perhaps with older hardware preventing upgrades). All flash managed.
If yes, how much would you pay for such a product?
Let’s assume that it’s in the middle of the night in January 2021 and I really need the access and I can’t be sure my employeer will pay and the solution is available via Apple AppStore and works using SSH jump hosts. In that case I would likely pay €100 - €150 without thinking twice about it.
Also, HTML5's CANVAS tag, and modern web platform tools like WebGL, mean that you can do most of what Flash games did directly in HTML5 and JS. There's a growing number of 2D and 3D game libraries written entirely in JS or TS.
The biggest missing piece that made Flash so ubiquitous for early web games is the authoring experience. Unity is a lot more complicated than the Flash designer was. I've seen several game editors for HTML+JS libraries, but also nothing quite similar to how easy Flash was for early web designers. The codebase that inherits and succeeds the original Flash IDE lives on in a new name (Adobe Animate) and can directly target HTML+JS instead of Flash, but is a part of Adobe Creative Cloud and so too expensive for many of the hobbyist designers that made early web games what they were back when the DRM for the Flash IDE was a lot easier to crack than a cloud subscription.
Perhaps a Windows VM works better? Although Windows VMs tend to be pretty big, hard to manage with less than 5 GB. Oh, and the licensing...
No surprise there. Flash was never good on Linux (IME).
If the cost of the windows license is a barrier, then maybe the content isn't worth that much to you? I truly don't mean that in a condescending way. I just find that a lot of people like to data hoard without a real need for what they are hoarding.
Qualitatively speaking what was the development experience like for Flash websites or animations vs. HTML 5 + react OR JS?
Can you say definitively one experience was better than the other or is it a more complicated story?
I know there's a lot of hate for flash but I'm specifically asking about the developer experience here.
In summary: Horses for courses.
As a language I really enjoyed AS3; solid class system, strongly typed, good refactoring tools and crucially a decent and standard library.
I may be old or disconnected, but it seems like the like of the flash animator community won't be seen again. Where will we find another Homestar Runner or Weebl?
It was the right tool at just the right time. It was well able to deliver animations and interactive multimedia with the one tool and ecosystem. While the JS/HTML5 tools can manage animations and multimedia, it seems like the environment, libraries and tools are much more spread out... which perhaps discourages animators, while developers are used to working in such a way.
If Apple hadn't contrived their little vendetta, killing someone else's multi-billion dollar piece of software, today Flash would be a flagship IDE on the iPad Pro continuing its then-two-decade legacy as a creativity powerhouse that helped fuel innovation online and in games, media and software.
The worst thing about this sad period of Apple history is today they aspire to kill Electron in the same way.
The electron article you linked to strikes me as speculative hyperbole. All the "threatened" electron apps mentioned in the article are still around, eating up RAM. I updated two of them through the App Store this morning.
I don't think it's fair to call it "abuse". If anything, they saw that Flash was not going to work on mobile and made a tough but calculated decision. It could have backfired on them. In my opinion, it was the right move and we're all better off because of it.
There was one particular problem Jobs had with Flash that transcended the software's addressable issues and made it "impossible", which is why referring to it as platform abuse is apt:
> desire to avoid "a third party layer of software coming between the platform and the developer"
Shortly after that they banned Flash, Unity3d, and most other compatible dev technologies, eventually relenting due to outrage.
WHAT? Why would it be ridiculous. You have about 6 years to get your app to run on ARM. Same as the 32-bit app owners. Apple gave devs an 8 year warning. If your app developer does not switch to ARM in the next 3 years then it is time to find an alternative.
Banning has no place in software development at all, which is why it's not wreaking havoc on Github with projects being disappeared for poor performance. It's why you can't write to Github and request a repository be banned "FoR pERfOrMaNcE ReAsoNs". Games don't get banned from GOG and Steam for poor performance. There's simply no such thing as Raspberry PI banning software. Firefox banning pages that perform poorly does not exist. Everywhere we build and distribute software regards poor performance as something we might be able to fix, something we should wait to be fixed, rather than a bannable offense.
...resource-hogging security nightmare. You described my nightmare scenario.
History would be different if Apple had bought Flash back then. It made sense: a web-based lightweight platform for making games and such on a phone.
Oh, you mean like a web browser?
> security nightmare
Really? All serious browsers are open source and the major ones seem decently well audited, considering the relatively low amount of exploits being published. IIRC Flash was a bit different in that regard.
Also the x86 version caused YouTube videos that were "PAUSED" to spin up the fans! Same video in the YouTube HTML video player (BETA) remained silent.
I guess it was software decoding those videos on YouTube beta.
Keep in mind that Flash was not an open platform. Far from it. Adobe held it in an iron grip and it was their way or the highway. So no, I don’t feel sorry about the demise of Flash.
Edited to add: Also, on macOS you are free to run any browser you like. As long as the browser supports Flash you’re set. When it comes to iOS then Apple had good reasons to not support it. If you want to develop for iOS you can use HTML5 instead or build a native app.