Poor old Flash has had a very hard time of things recently, with flack directed at it from all sides. Now, in a long overdue move, Adobe has finally joined the club and admitted that people should probably move away from Flash. In a typically verbose manner, Adobe’s recent blog post goes into their new strategy for their web animation toolset, and explains that they will be dropping the name ‘Flash’ from their Creative Cloud suit of tools, and the animation software will be renamed “Animate CC” instead of “Flash Professional CC”. More significantly, they also “encourage content creators to to build with new web standards”, which is probably the closest we’ll ever get to Adobe admitting that using Flash would be a bad move for any modern developer.
Flash hasn’t been all bad though. Sure, it drains batteries (a big black mark in the smartphone age), opens up devices to a host of security vulnerabilities and increases load times unnecessarily, but there were some good times too, particularly before people thought it would be a good idea to build entire websites in Flash (even Muse [the band, not the Adobe product] once built their entire official website in Flash, a sluggish, cumbersome affair that was quickly ended).
With animation gems like Magical Trevor and Line Rider giving scores of office workers across the globe their first taste of web-based procrastination and distraction, it’s easy to forget that Flash, at least in part, ushered in a new era of website development, and static HTML table-based (shudder) websites moved aside to make way for a new, dynamic web. Now, however, Flash is living on borrowed time. The first significant nail in the coffin was Apple’s refusal to allow Flash to run on its iOS devices, a bold move that turned out to be a pivotal factor in the demise of Flash. One by one major websites and platforms started moving away from Flash, and with this week’s announcement by Adobe themselves, the bastion of Flash’s defence is now gone.
On that note, I thought I’d sign off with a classic Flash animation, now available in glorious HTML5 thanks to YouTube. RIP Flash, and thanks for the good times: