The Adobe Flash technology has long been inseparable companion of our browsing sessions, and indeed this standard Adobe was key to the birth and development of YouTube and also for an industry of games in the browser that conquered millions of players.
In recent years the relevance of Flash has declined significantly, and its creators have gone unmarked on a platform that has expiration date. Adobe managers have announced that in 2020 they will stop distributing and updating Flash Player.
Rise and fall of a giant web standards
In the official statement, web developers are encouraged to migrate any Flash content to open standards, and point out how they are working with various technology partners (Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla, each with its corresponding post) for deal with that transition.
The technology was key to all types of services based on web technologies in the past decade, but the arrival of the iPhone truncated its way. Steve Jobs’s decision to ban its use on the iPhone and iPad set a key precedent for a standard that soon began to come up with increasingly versatile alternatives. Even so, many websites followed (and continue) using Flash.
In Adobe they also commented on how “the web has evolved”, and that has led to the use of new standards such as HTML5, WebGL or WebAssembly that have matured in recent years and provide “many of the capabilities and functionality that plugins Flash) offered in a pioneering way.”
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How will Flash die?
These big technology companies have talked about how they will face that future and these months before the total disappearance of Flash, and although there are obviously many other companies and services that continue to use Flash, the road map of these giants will probably mark the pattern for the rest.
- Chrome: Google’s browser has already started asking for permission to play Flash content, and will increase those requests to end up “eliminating Flash completely from Chrome by the end of 2020”.
- Firefox: This August the Mozilla browser will begin to ask us which sites we want to enable Flash, and disable it completely in 2019 , although there will be minimal support until the end of 2020 in the Extended Support Release version of the browser.
- Edge: The new version of Microsoft’s browser makes use of an option in which you have to click to see Flash content, and that philosophy will be maintained until mid-2018. From then on you will be even more aggressive in letting us know about Flash content, and in 2019 will be disabled by default by the end of 2020, disable it completely in both Edge and Internet Explorer.
- Safari: Apple began blocking Flash content in its browser last year, although it is possible to re-enable this content on sites that offer us the Flash Player download.
- Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg’s company should also take an important step in this direction as there is a huge number of games and content in Flash in this social network. Facebook managers have urged developers to modify their code and take account of that situation: “Although games developed with Flash will continue to run until the end of 2020, we strongly advise developers to follow browser roadmaps.