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Six Reasons Why Flash Isn't Going Away

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the flash-in-the-pan dept.

The Internet 483

CWmike writes "While Steve Jobs is betting his mobile platform on it, predicting Flash's demise is short-sighted, say industry analysts. 'There are many people who despise Flash, but I'm not sure they'd love the alternative right out of the gate. The open-source world has not blown everyone out of the water with their video work thus far,' Michael Cote, an analyst at RedMon, told Howard Wen. 'Adobe has spent a lot of time optimizing Flash, and I'd wager it'd take some time to get HTML 5 video as awesome.' Here are six factors that give Flash a strong position over HTML 5 and other alternative Web media technologies in the foreseeable future. For starters, While Android has made Flash a wedge issue, Flash is just beginning to show up on multiple mobile device platforms, Wen writes. Ross Rubin, an analyst at NPD Group, reminds us how Flash ushered in video on Web pages, but Craig Barberich, vice president of marketing and business development at Coincident TV, highlights the pervasiveness of Flash on the Web as we know it: 'Everybody is talking about video, but what doesn't necessarily get talked about is a lot of the interactive elements.'"

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483 comments

Jobs isn't betting his platform on it... (5, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279258)

He wanted to drive a competitor out of the marketplace, which is easy, when you control the marketplace.

Re:Jobs isn't betting his platform on it... (-1, Troll)

toriver (11308) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279364)

What kind of competitor? It's rather that he didn't want to drive his own developers out of the marketplace by allowing a "free ride" for Flash developers to dump their browser apps onto the platform.

Disallowing Flash or cross-compiling from Flash on iOS is no more different than doing the same on the PSP or Nintendo DS. Or do you demand Sony and Nintendo open the flood gates for homebrew?

Flash on the Android is not such a big deal since noone are making any money on that platform anyway.

Re:Jobs isn't betting his platform on it... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33279436)

Flash on the Android is not such a big deal since noone are making any money on that platform anyway.

Hmm, that's odd. I seem to have made money on my android app that I'm selling in the Market. This one falsehood in your post is enough to make the entire thing hogwash.

Get your facts straight before you post.

Re:Jobs isn't betting his platform on it... (0, Troll)

toriver (11308) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279596)

Why? The people fearmongering over Apple's refusal to allow Flash developers access to their devices apparently don't need to get their facts straight.

Re:Jobs isn't betting his platform on it... (3, Insightful)

unix1 (1667411) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279614)

Disallowing Flash or cross-compiling from Flash on iOS is no more different than doing the same on the PSP or Nintendo DS. Or do you demand Sony and Nintendo open the flood gates for homebrew?

- Apple already allows "homebrew" apps through their App store, just not Flash
- who knows [pcworld.com] ?

The issue is Apple wants to maintain the chokehold on their app store being the only source of apps, whereas Flash would effectively bypass it.

Re:Jobs isn't betting his platform on it... (2, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279400)

How does jobs control the market space. There are a bunch of People happy with Android phones, I am an iPhone user myself but really I don't see too much major differences somethings Android does better some things the iPhone does better. Android has been getting more market share faster then the iPhone. In general Apple isn't controlling the market at best it is Leading the market as its products are innovative enough to get competitors to imitate and improve on their designs.

Now if Adobe can get Android, RIM and Microsoft to use Flash it will push Apple to the minority. But as of right now Android has Flash as an AddOn feature, I don't know about RIM and Microsoft who I would think would rather push silverlight so someone other then Microsoft.com will use it.

Which Android pod touch? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279704)

How does jobs control the market space.

What's the Android counterpart to the third-generation iPod Touch, an iOS device that has no cellular radio and therefore isn't sold bundled with a 1,500 USD* smartphone service plan? There's the Archos 5, but that's stuck on Android 1.6. If you can't find one, then I'd claim that Mr. Jobs does control the U.S. market space for personal media players that can run smartphone apps.

* Estimated $62.50 per month for 24 months.

Re:Which Android pod touch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33279896)

Buy one without the phone service. tadaaaaa.

Re:Jobs isn't betting his platform on it... (4, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279418)

While Steve Jobs is betting his mobile platform on it, predicting Flash's demise is short-sighted

The lack of Flash on iOS isn't going to kill off Flash or iOS ... it only prevents Flash from spreading to another platform. Though they are rather popular, iDevices aren't the be-all and end-all of computing. These redonkulous claims only distract from the fact that Jobs/Apple is giving Adobe payback for treating them like a second class platform for the past decade. Payback's a bitch, so suck it up Adobe. You have Flash, Apple has iOS ... you're both going to make big profits for the foreseeable future.

Jobs had many reasons (5, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279580)

Some of jobs reasoning was good and some was in substantial. Clearly he had some motivation to see it the way he did but that does not make the issies he raised vanish.

One of the most substantial is who gets to set the common denominator. If you innovate a new feature in your device, say haptic response, and flash does not support it, you are sort of at the mercy of adobe.

Conversely, of course is the embrace and extend effect we all know and hate. Internet Explorer defined the web non-standards and held things back. People wrote to the IE specific features and things borke on standards based browsers. Flash currently lets you do more than open standards do particularly in the area of DRM, advertising, paid content and feedback to the server. As a result people who need that will write for it. People for whom it is the easiest way to implement something, say bank security, will use it. It will be has hard to get rid of as IE.

Meanwhile as I said, while extending in some ways it will homogenize the device capabilities an limit innovation in that realm.

Since Apple has a history of bringing new features to devices early and depricating old ones early, they are right to see flash as harmful to them.

But from the point of view of taming a lot of different phone manufactured tweaked versions of Android or Symbian or windows 7, or simply writing cross platform flash is going to win unless the standards catch up soon.

Re:Jobs isn't betting his platform on it... (2, Interesting)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279702)

He wanted to drive a competitor out of the marketplace, which is easy, when you control the marketplace.

Apple doesn't control either the mobile, or the media market. They aren't #1 in any particular market except for possibly iPod's, which aren't really a market for flash anyway. They don't have a proprietary 'product' that competes with Flash/Adobe either. Too many people try to make it out as some sort of personel vendetta from Steve to Adobe, but given Adobe's horrible track record when it comes to security, it's lack of support for modern platforms like x64 (which I might remind folks, have been around for a decade and we're only now seeing support). Would you want to allow such a product on to your platform, with the potential to end up supporting thousands of applications (indirectly of course). Security issues would be even worse. A potential flaw like the recent Apple bug that allowed jailbreaking on the iPhone is an excellent example. Apple patched their own within a few weeks. They would be completely at the mercy of Adobe if such a bug existed in Flash. Would you put yourself willingly in that position?

But I want it to go away (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33279280)

Flash was nice when it came out.

but today it's just heavy to load, and compared to what you can do with HTML5 and CSS3 it's only advances is that it's a plug-in so people with old browsers (or browsers that do not mean that there is a point in supporting HTML5/CSS3) can see advance web grafic, and play online browser games

Re:But I want it to go away (3, Interesting)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279386)

You missed the biggest problem with flash: it is a huge security hole.

Anything that replaces flash, that can be comfortably run outside of a dedicated VM (as is best with flash on ANY platform), has a nice advantage.

Re:But I want it to go away (3, Interesting)

snooo53 (663796) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279402)

How true. Even Silverlight runs circles around flash for streaming video performance. I can watch Netflix movies stutter free on my netbook, but Flash videos on Hulu peg the processor and are almost unwatchable because of it.

Re:But I want it to go away (1)

Kepesk (1093871) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279432)

Agreed. It has always been super-slow, a memory hog, and poorly-written Flash elements crash web browsers. I wouldn't mind at all if it went away. As it is, I'm a lot less likely to frequent websites that use it.

Re:But I want it to go away (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279540)

While I would love a flash alternative, at what point can we assume our web users will have HTML 5 and CSS3? It took nearly ten years for it to be safe to assume your users had PNG transparency compatibility. Considering the number of users still on XP, HTML5 might only be compatible to some people through a Firefox simulator plug-in in Internet Explorer.

Re:But I want it to go away (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279744)

Good question... from personal experience with the company webpage I manage (which is not at all techy oriented), according to google analytics 5% of the visitors to the to our site are still using IE6. The single largest browser version is IE8 -- 33% of our visitors. Ie6+7+8 is 52% of all visitors.

Firefox is 28% of our visits (almost all running 3.6, but some still on versions as far back as 3.0), Safari 12%, Chrome 6%. iOS is 1%.

So yeah, it's going to be a long time...

Google Chrome Frame (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279816)

at what point can we assume our web users will have HTML 5 and CSS3?

This point arrived roughly eleven months ago, at least to the extent that we can assume that our web users who use IE on Windows also have an account with administrator privileges. An admin can install Google Chrome Frame [wikipedia.org] , a browser helper object for IE that embeds Google Chrome in an IE window and uses it on sites that request Chrome in a <meta> element.

It's a bit like the proverbial fish story. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33279294)

Two guys decide to go ice fishing. They set up their stools and get their drill out to make a hole in the ice when the hear a booming voice from the heavens.

 

"THERE ARE NO FISH HERE."

 

One turns to the other, thinking he might have just gone crazy and asks if he heard that voice. The other nods, a bit nonplussed. Thinking that maybe it's a sign, they move to another spot on the ice and get ready to drill. Again, the voice from above:

 

"THERE ARE NO FISH HERE."

 

This time, they quickly gather up their goods and move to yet another spot on the ice. As they get ready to drill, once again the voice booms out:

 

"THERE ARE NO FISH HERE."

 

Timidly, the first would-be fisherman looks up to the sky and asks, "Is that you, God?"

 

"NO." the voice answered back.

 

"THIS IS THE ICE SKATING RINK MANAGER."

Re:It's a bit like the proverbial fish story. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33279406)

Ohhh, I get it. But why is God pretending to be the manager of a skating rink?

Re:It's a bit like the proverbial fish story. (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279488)

Ohhh, I get it. But why is God pretending to be the manager of a skating rink?

Because he's done trying to save us from ourselves and needs something to do to fill the time ... and there's nothing good on TV anymore.

Re:It's a bit like the proverbial fish story. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33279478)

Expect the <em> <b> <em> <b> <em> <b> <strong> Slashbug to be fixed later today.

Re:It's a bit like the proverbial fish story. (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279602)

...Right!

(It’s been around for ages.)

Re:It's a bit like the proverbial fish story. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33279692)

This is the first time I've seen it nested to produce really large text. That part is new.

Re:It's a bit like the proverbial fish story. (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279912)

It’s the first time I had seen it nested to produce really large text, too... but <b>, <em>, and <strong> have always made the text bigger (in the D2 discussion system), so it’s not surprising that nesting them makes it even bigger.

FWIW, if you put the last <em> tag inside the <strong> tag, the text is in italics; if the <strong> tags are innermost, it isn’t.

<b><strong><em></em></strong></b>
<b><em><strong></strong></em></b>

Re:It's a bit like the proverbial fish story. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33279814)

It's like seeing colour for the first time!

Re:It's a bit like the proverbial fish story. (1, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279888)

Expect the <b> <em> <b> <em> ... to be fixed later today.

Butthead: Heh, heh, you said BM heheheh
Beavis: Shut-up, Butthead! ... heh heh BM
Butthead: heheheh, yah!
Beavis: heh heh heh

Re:It's a bit like the proverbial fish story. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33279592)

It's a bit like the proverbial fish story.

(Score:-1, Offtopic)

TFA contradicts itself (4, Insightful)

leromarinvit (1462031) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279308)

a San Francisco-based company that sells what it calls a "platform-agnostic" framework that allows its clients to create video with interactive elements that can be experienced on either the iOS-based devices or devices that run Flash.

So it works on iOS too. Which means it works without Flash. Chances are it's HTML 5, so it will work in every other modern browser too. Problem solved.

oh yes it is. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33279316)

Not only is flash going away, but also django, rails, lift.. and all the other web frameworks. Google Native Client already works in chromium and firefox. And in two years, all of that technology will be sucked into a sandboxed binary, running at native speed. What language? any language that has an LLVM backend. "These are exciting times, better get to it"

I thought Flash was the future (0, Offtopic)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279322)

Wait, I thought SSDs and Flash memory were the future... Oh, you mean Adobe Flash. Headline could have been clearer.

Browser as Gaming Platform (4, Interesting)

Green Salad (705185) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279330)

Two words. "Browser Games" I play Deepolis, a very responsive and media-rich game. Can't imagine it implemented in anything other than Flash. It's the same reason many linux people have dual-boot. Games.

Re:Browser as Gaming Platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33279380)

http://www.winehq.org -- why dual boot?

Re:Browser as Gaming Platform (2, Informative)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279664)

http://www.winehq.org -- why dual boot?

Because for all the games that do work with Wine just as many don't.

Re:Browser as Gaming Platform (4, Interesting)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279428)

Um, Quake II in HTML5 [google.com] . I could be mistaken but I believe some very smart people are imagining how to implement media-rich games in HTML5. Flash's days are numbered. It might take several years, but it is a technology on the way out.

Re:Browser as Gaming Platform (5, Informative)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279574)

It's not HTML5, it uses WebGL which is not supported by IE, for example.

Re:Browser as Gaming Platform (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33279634)

The problem here is....?

Re:Browser as Gaming Platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33279670)

fuck ie

Re:Browser as Gaming Platform (1)

Ziekheid (1427027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279624)

Reason 5: Adobe provides strong tools and support for designers and developers.

The game you are talking about is a port of a port of a port. It was not designed in HTML5 and JS, just ported from a JAVA port with the GWT toolkit.

Re:Browser as Gaming Platform (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279848)

Quake II in HTML5

For one thing, that game was profitable as a native PC application years before it was ported to WebGL. For another, neither Firefox nor Mobile Safari supports WebGL.

only a matter of time (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33279332)

Necessity is the mother of invention. Not having your game/animation/whatever running on an iPhone makes you seem like a one-man development team at best.

Barberich (2, Insightful)

Dracos (107777) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279362)

Everybody is talking about video, but what doesn't necessarily get talked about is a lot of the interactive elements.

Sounds like this guy understands that video is not the highest form of content in an interactive medium. I'm not defending flash, but let's face it, the web got big when HTML forms were introduced and information was able to flow both ways. By itself, video is still a one way street.

Re:Barberich (1)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279440)

The flash plugin on everyone's browser allows the user to publish an rtmp stream back to the server, providing both audio and video. It could be a two way street -- er, with chatroulette sites popping up everywhere, arguably video already is a bidirectional model.

Re:Barberich (2, Interesting)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279504)

By itself, video is still a one way street.

Sort of -- a few years ago I played around with ustream [ustream.tv] , and on my old Linux laptop (Slackware), Flash had no trouble at all streaming my webcam (two-way street). Despite the fact that Flash on Linux, uh, sucks, the fact that the V4L integration actually worked boggled my mind.

I did find it rather amusing that Flash would let me stream video from my laptop, but my machine was still too slow to play youtube videos (this was before youtube started supporting HTML5).

Re:Barberich (2, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279554)

By itself, video is still a one way street.

Obviously you've never used Chatroulette [wikipedia.org] ... which is basically 'crotch shot roulette' ;-)

Flash video 2 way (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279900)

I know 10 guys will point me to some proposed standards after saying it but this just happened yesterday, on IE. A security company needed to make absolutely sure that I am really `me` as I order a critical service. I asked if we can hurry, they asked if I have webcam. I thought they wanted me tol take pic of my ID. Nope. They pointed me to a page featuring Flash plugin, Flash asked whether I want site to access my webcam, I said `yes`, guy saw me and said `it is OK now, thanks for your time`.

Now, this has been a debate at Opera blogs too, there isn`t a working, cross browser standard which allows it. For non technical user, installing a standards compliant browser doesn`t really work. Even if there was a chance, there is no browser that does webcam thing.

I am really afraid that HTML5 is not progressing well not just because of technical but political reasons. E.g. some guys may find it uncool. Remember, each GIF you see in 2010 exists because PNG guys didn`t really like the idea of animated images. Or, MNG is there. It isn`t evil MS to blame this time either, MS was one of the quickest to implement PNG once they figured it is a real solution to a real problem.

Re:Flash video 2 way (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279968)

Flash asked whether I want site to access my webcam, I said `yes`, guy saw me and said `it is OK now, thanks for your time`.

Cross-link the webcam input with Chatroulette. What could go wrong?

quick 6 (5, Informative)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279370)

1. The iPhone and iPad notwithstanding, Flash is beginning to show up on other mobile device platforms.

2. Flash is used for more than just video delivery on the Web.

3. Adobe provides strong tools and support for designers and developers.

4. Flash's content protection/DRM appeals to content producers.

5. Flash remains popular with online advertisers.

6. HTML 5 still has video codec patent issues to work out.

Re:quick 6 (0)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279560)

"1. The iPhone and iPad notwithstanding, Flash is beginning to show up on other mobile device platforms."

Yes, beginning to show up, but hardly widely adopted or even out of beta.

"2. Flash is used for more than just video delivery on the Web."

Yes, we've all seen the popovers, popunders, and animated ads. This is 95% of the flash content on the internet - not video.

"3. Adobe provides strong tools and support for designers and developers."

Well, they do indeed. This is the only thing that has been keeping Flash afloat.

"4. Flash's content protection/DRM appeals to content producers."

But it's horribly broken, and there are any number of browser extensions that one can load which allow you to extract the raw video and save it.

"5. Flash remains popular with online advertisers."

Of course, but online advertisers remain unpopular with everybody else.

"6. HTML 5 still has video codec patent issues to work out."

No, it doesn't. This is just plain FUD.

Re:quick 6 (1)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279632)

Hi RocketRabbit, pssst uh Steve is that you? You keep parking in my disabled parking spots! I will continue to remove your license plate every time you do that.

Re:quick 6 (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279786)

Sorry. From now on I will reserve those handicapped spots for the people who deserve them. You know, the people who like Flash.

Re:flash ads vs iphone (1)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279838)

"2. Flash is used for more than just video delivery on the Web."
Yes, we've all seen the popovers, popunders, and animated ads. This is 95% of the flash content on the internet - not video.

While I agree about how annoying those flash ads are, I also happen to see way more annoying ads (Animated gifs?) on my iphone sans flash than on my home pc with firefox and adblock.

Re:quick 6 (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279898)

This is 95% of the flash content on the internet - not video.

So what solution do you propose for things like Homestar Runner, Weebl and Bob, and other original animated series made in Flash? Converting the video from SWF, a vector format, to WebM or VP8, a compressed pixel format, just makes the file ten times bigger over the wire.

Re:quick 6 (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279924)

"6. HTML 5 still has video codec patent issues to work out." No, it doesn't. This is just plain FUD.

Well, in that case, I'm sure you wouldn't mind telling us name of this mythic codec that's supported by all the major browsers in their html5 implementations. No, really, we're all anxiously waiting...

Re:quick 6 (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279578)

#5 is the SOLE REASON I uninstall flash from my important systems.

#5 is the main reason why I block all banner ads and install flashblock on FF.

Isn't it nice (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279926)

that you have a choice, and not vendor lock-in?

Re:quick 6 (2, Informative)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279606)

Related to number 6, h.264 is INCREDIBLY intense for a CPU to encode. It takes a disgusting length of time to transcode video streams into this format. When you factor in mplayer/mencoder not even encoding them right, you have quite a mess coming down the pipeline. (They mess up the b-frames. Other tools can at least do this correctly).

Re:quick 6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33279662)

So ... annoying sites that use it for navigation instead of actual HTML (thereby making it not accessible under section 508), DRM lock-down, and support by advertisers.

These are supposed to be pluses? They're exactly why I think Flash is utter shit and have avoided it as much as possible for as long as I can. Not to mention the whole privacy issues with those Flash cookies.

No thanks, Adobe. Suck my balls.

Re:quick 6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33279730)

6. is solved by webm

Reason 7 (1)

toriver (11308) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279388)

You want a reason for installing flash blocking plugins.

Persistance (5, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279410)

I think Flash will stick around for at least a few more years. Actionscript has turned into a fairly nice language, and I think it will be a while yet before HTML5+Javascript match its performance and capabilities... at least for substantial web applications and games. Where HTML5 will take over, I hope, is in small 'widgets'... drop down menus, loading bars, all the tiny little flash applications that drive us crazy.

I also think that even once everything Flash does can be recreated in HTML, the more locked-down nature of Flash (at least against casual probing) may make it more tempting to companies streaming video, music, and other such products.

The biggest way to hurt Flash, I think, would be to create a nice opensource development IDE for HTML5, comparable to what Adobe gives us for Flash. If you can get kids and artists to feel comfortable creating simple drag-n-drop animations and games, you'll be legitimate competition.

head-spin (2, Interesting)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279424)

The open-source world has not blown everyone out of the water with their video work thus far,'

I've never been impressed by a single thing I've seen come out of Adobe.

PDF? Bloated, fragile, and buggy.

Acrobat? Bloated, underfeatured, and clunky.

PhotoShop? Bloated, cumbersome, and twitchy.

Flash? Bloated, fuzzy, and restrictive.

Something as distinctive and ripe for improvement as video delivery is the ideal place for open-source development. Bugs and misfeatures won't survive, while improvements will be implemented continuously. And if the people in charge of the code base won't keep up with user needs, someone will fork it and move on.

Re:head-spin (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279618)

photoshop is THE image editing tool.

as a photographer (part time) I live in pshop after I do a shoot.

cs2 is the last version I will probably use, though. after that, it got to be too much hassle to install and support and the 'benefits' of cs3 forward were dubious to us 2d shooters (3d is nothing I ever plan to care about, I shoot photos, not trendy movies!)

adobe sucks. but sometimes, even in spite of themselves, they release something truly important. pshop is that, to us photogs.

the rest of adobe sw suite can go to hell for all I care, though.

Re:head-spin (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279764)

Acrobat actually doesn't suck as much as it used to.

Re:head-spin (1)

unix1 (1667411) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279876)

The open-source world has not blown everyone out of the water with their video work thus far,'

...

Something as distinctive and ripe for improvement as video delivery is the ideal place for open-source development.

Both you and the author of TFA seem to have omitted software patents from the equation in that claim (see x264).

Adjustment layers (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279942)

PhotoShop? Bloated, cumbersome, and twitchy.

I'll be more inclined to agree with you once GIMP has adjustment layers, a feature of Photoshop since version 4 (that's version 4, not CS4, from November 1996). I have $100 burning a hole in my pocket; can you recommend a way for me to donate this to a bounty to put adjustment layers in GIMP?

Re:head-spin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33279960)

PhotoShop? Bloated, cumbersome, and twitchy.

Compared to what? Corel? GIMP? MSPaint?

I've had my hands on several image editing tools and I can tell you first hand that compared to most Photoshop is fast loading, orderly and stable.

Photoshop is the only piece of software Adobe does well, maybe you were thinking of Illustrator?

Dear Lazyweb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33279434)

Hi, I'm lazy. Could someone explain why Canvas could not be added as a new tag to an existing HTML spec? Why Canvas couldn't be an extension of its own like Flash with self-contained .canvas files loaded through an object tag? And if html5 vs. flash is not all about Canvas, what other new features are involved in html5?

I would also like to know why all videos these days ship inside a Flash wrapper when they could be plain .mpeg files. If there is a problem getting codecs on Windows, how come Flash can get them? For producers, what advantage does Flash have over Realplayer which used to be the tool of choice to deliver incompatible unviewable video using a not widely supported format?

Adobe's flash player is evil. (5, Insightful)

Spyder (15137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279442)

I knew Flash had a certain air of suck about it because of some of the security issues. Then I went to FX's talk at BlackHat US 2010. He released a tool (Blitzableiter http://blitzableiter.recurity.com/ [recurity.com] ), that essentially does all the file validation for SWF files that Adobe's Flash player Completely Fails at. I think that maybe I would feel a lot better about Adobe's position if they didn't still have, after just about 10 years, a giant kludge job that they expect us all to freely install in our browsers.

It's already almost gone... (3, Interesting)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279456)

In just the last few months, I have noticed a large number of mainstream news sites ditching flash, as well as automobile companies.

I think flash will live on for a long time, on life support. However its days in the sun are over.

Flash doesn't blow me away either. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33279460)

>"The open-source world has not blown everyone out of the water with their video work thus far"

Well, neither has flash. I guess that makes it 0-0 in flash vs open-source world. Not really a bragging right for flash.

The only thing even close to blowing me away with flash video, is the fan on my laptop.

Mobile capabilities (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279474)

The nice thing about Flash on certain mobile platforms is that you don't need to install it. Skyfire supports it on Android, WinMo, and Blackberry and it is run through the remote renderer. Not so hot for games, but works for regular browsing on websites that utilize flash. Flash isn't going to go anywhere soon, maybe down the road, but not now. So it is nice to have a multiplatform browser that has Flash support despite OS limitations. Too bad Apple won't allow Skyfire on iOS

Balderdash (3, Insightful)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279490)

....Adobe has spent a lot of time optimizing Flash, ....

Adobe has had years to "optimize Flash" and it is still a resource pig. I'd say given the hugely short amount of time HTML5 has been here it is already way better than Flash was for the same time frame. The bottom line; flash has always sucked and still does.

Wait, what? (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279496)

Adobe has spent a lot of time optimizing Flash, and I'd wager it'd take some time to get HTML 5 video as awesome

So, is this why exactly the same video uses 50+% of my CPU playing in Flash, 20% playing with VLC (ffmpeg), or 20-30% with QuickTime? I hope no one with this guy's definition of optimizing goes near any code that I use. Flash video performance is absolutely terrible, flash vector image drawing is poor, flash compositing is an embarrassment. Flash ActionScript performance is reasonable, but the Tamarin engine found in Flash is also in Mozilla, and it's been a while since FireFox won any JavaScript performance competitions...

Re:Wait, what? (1)

RMS Eats Toejam (1693864) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279646)

So, is this why exactly the same video uses 50+% of my CPU playing in Flash, 20% playing with VLC (ffmpeg), or 20-30% with QuickTime?

Whoa, grandpa. What's up with your computer? 20% CPU utilization just playing a video?

Re:Wait, what? (2, Informative)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279668)

Mozilla never actually implemented the Tamarin engine. Instead they made TraceMonkey.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279790)

Adobe has spent a lot of time optimizing Flash, and I'd wager it'd take some time to get HTML 5 video as awesome

So, is this why exactly the same video uses 50+% of my CPU playing in Flash, 20% playing with VLC (ffmpeg), or 20-30% with QuickTime? I hope no one with this guy's definition of optimizing goes near any code that I use. Flash video performance is absolutely terrible, flash vector image drawing is poor, flash compositing is an embarrassment. Flash ActionScript performance is reasonable, but the Tamarin engine found in Flash is also in Mozilla, and it's been a while since FireFox won any JavaScript performance competitions...

He's an analyst. His job is to know absolutely nothing but use words like "awesome."

no flash no ipad (1)

Max4400 (1154375) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279570)

the only reason i am not using ipad is because it do not support flash, which is required by many many web site i surf and work on. tooo bad.

Android + Flash (3, Interesting)

WilyCoder (736280) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279584)

A lot of people on the internet were fired up about Froyo bringing Flash 10.1 support.

Well I have Froyo now and Flash TOTALLY KILLS performance on pages that use it. Stupid ads.

hahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33279608)

4. Flash's content protection/DRM appeals to content producers.
Another difficulty for a challenger, particularly for an open format like HTML 5, is providing the kind of content-protection features and digital rights management that the Flash platform does. Such features could be built into any Web media technology, but Adobe has had time to work out most of the kinks in implementing them into Flash.
And keep in mind Hollywood's interests, says Cote: "They saw what an open format like MP3 did to their music buddies and are not interested in that kind of disruption. People who own movies and TV are going to want as much DRM as possible, and new video formats that don't satisfy those requirements are going to be tough to spread."

So I wonder if this Cote guy is entirely ignorant of public opinion on DRM or if he is just playing the role of a corporate cheerleader using newspeak.

I do not know a single person who knows what DRM is that actually wants it. Same with GMO, not to digress. I see the tactics of promoting their products are about equal, though.

You know there are actually people that have, for years, bought a game at the store and then used the cracked exes to do away with all of the crap that phones home, requires the cd in the drive, etc etc? Noone wants that garbage except the clueless businessmen who are totally out of touch with the public and fooled into actually believing that these companies can come up with something uncrackable which will cause more people to have to buy their product instead of getting a counterfeit elsewhere.

You know what makes sense in a world so senseless? Compromise. Charge less and people will buy more. Treat people like they aren't thieves (by placing such invasive and often counterproductive DRM on it) and they won't steal. Well. Some will, but a lot less than are currently doing it.

Do you remember a few years ago how long it took to get your own VHS of a movie you saw in the theatre? You quite seriously had to wait a year- sometimes longer, before you could own your own copy of a movie you saw on the big screen. Piracy has benefited consumers in that respect-- that now, not even a month after a movie hits the big screen you can get it on DVD. Some people will claim the real reason for that is our advancements in technology (cheaper to mass manufacture DVDs etc)- but I would argue that piracy falls under the category of a technological advancement itself.

Author is a moron (1)

mike260 (224212) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279616)

"'Adobe has spent a lot of time optimizing Flash, and I'd wager it'd take some time to get HTML 5 video as awesome."

As if every browser team is going to write a set of codecs from scratch. Everyone's going to use either the platform-native media layer or ffmpeg, all of which beat the Flash decoders into a bloody pulp.

Flash has already died (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33279640)

if you run 64 bit Linux.

html5 is not there yet. (1)

cl191 (831857) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279648)

Yes, I don't like flash for it being a huge resource hog and buggy and I am always for open source, but blocking flash right now is like start demolishing the bridge while you are still crossing it. HTML5 is just not ready for prime time yet.

I know why (4, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279656)

Flash is the savior of the universe. Sending it away would be ungrateful. Flash aaah aaah ahh.

I can give you one. Because evil never dies. (2, Insightful)

SensitiveMale (155605) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279698)

Keeping flash off my iPhone was a great decision by Jobs.

Obvious company name is obvious (0, Offtopic)

allquixotic (1659805) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279712)

Michael Cote, an analyst at RedMon

No wonder he isn't blown out of the water by the open source world -- he's a RedMond drone :)

even Google is still supporting flash (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279732)

they had a blog post a few weeks ago that while html5 is nice for free youtube videos, to control DRM on paid videos you need Flash or a small number of other technologies to deliver them.

i like my iPhone but even i think Steve Jobs is a liar or doing it for business reasons. he has a control fetish and it's the reason why Flash sucks on OS X while performing very nicely on Windows.

I'll take that wager (2, Insightful)

neo-mkrey (948389) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279772)

"Adobe has spent a lot of time optimizing Flash, and I'd wager it'd take some time to get HTML 5 video as awesome."

I'll take that wager -- how much do you want to bet?

Flash will live on the same way GIF has (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33279774)

Both are proprietary plug-ins, both kinda suck, but they're everywhere and they aren't going away yet.

Counter argument (4, Insightful)

DrYak (748999) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279792)

There are a couple of easily debunked arguments :

The iPhone and iPad notwithstanding, Flash is beginning to show up on other mobile device platforms.

Exactly 1 single other platform : Android.
All the rest are only promises for some time in the future.

Meanwhile, HTML5 is an open standard meaning that everyone is free to implement it, including opensource implementations like Webkit and Gecko, and closed source like Opera's Presto and... huh... well... maybe IE's engine. Some day. Eventually.

But it's already available today on a huge number of platform and could be implemented on any new platform withouth needing to wait for Adobe to agree to port it.

Flash is used for more than just video delivery on the Web.

You know what ? So are HTML5 / CSS / JavaScript.

Flash's content protection/DRM appeals to content producers.

And is a total joke. RTMPE doesn't even use a secret to encrypt the streams, only some publicly available data and scrambling. Read about it in the Analysis [lkcl.net] section of RTMPdump [lkcl.net] 's docs.

Even a HTTPS server serving the data stream for the VIDEO HTML5 tag could provide better protection, simply because at least non logged-in users can't get the content.

Flash remains popular with online advertisers.

Sorry ? And that's a good argument how ?

So the only good arguments in favor of Flash are :
- Video codec patents problems (and that's about to change as the "as much close to H264 as possible but with the patented bit left out" WebM format has been introduced by On2 and Google)
- Good tool suite to develop (and that's a really good argument, but could one day change if better tool for HTML5/CSS/Javascript are developed)
That's probably the single only good argument in favour of flash. If developer and artist are given nice tools they will produce content. Flash has the nicest tools, so for now, Flash is preferred by the people who create the content and thus more Flash content is created.

He isn't betting anything... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33279832)

... that would imply that he's loosing something if he lost. It's really simple, if he winns, he... eh... well, winns. If he looses, he Keynotes that in his greatness he allowed the poor, suffering Adobe to run Flash on *his* ipad.

(yeah, pad. This will not happen for the phone until Mr. Plow migrates to hell...)

Where's the real alternative to Javascript? (1)

krotscheck (132706) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279854)

Javascript is the de-facto standard for any DOM-based in-browser application. My question is: Why? Why, if I want to write an in-browser application, are my choices "javascript" or "proprietary plugin"? Why hasn't the open source community come up with something better than type="text/javascript"? Why can't I use type="text/python" or type="text/haskell" or type="text/ruby"?

The real truth (3, Interesting)

Arkham (10779) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279872)

I have an iPad (along with computers running Linux, MacOS X, and Windows). Honestly, the only thing on the web I care about that Flash provides is video. None of the "tools" or "interactivity" matter to consumers. What matters is "someone sent me this video of a dancing cat, and I can't see it". If that problem gets solved, Flash goes away. Only the items dealing with DRM and codecs are really of interest here, and to be honest, the HTML5 codec issue is not much of an issue when Internet Explorer, Safari, and Chrome all solved it. That one comes down to Firefox and free software that unfortunately relegates it into an unenviable position in the marketplace.

The thing about Flash that proponents don't seem to consider is that adding it to touch devices doesn't make interactivity work. I've tried Flash on my N900, which has a crappy touchscreen and Flash support, and most interactivity doesn't work on a touchscreen. There are no mouse-enter, mouse-exit, or mouse-down events in a touch environment.

Flash Cookies (3, Insightful)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279886)

I would think the use of persistent Flash cookies is another major reason Flash isn't going away. The advertisers love being able to to track in a stealthy way.

Nothing really dies on the internet (1)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279892)

Flash is installed on too many devices, doing too many things to truly die. Will it lose popularity and become a quiet, background thing? Yes. In this day and age of computing, nothing ever really dies. OS/2 and AmigaOS live on, because nothing has to die anymore. COBOL, hated by millions of programmers, lives on, despite reportedly better languages for the task of data processing. The computer world has plenty of examples in the realm of hardware. The RS232 serial port will not die! Die, I tell you! Die! I should not have to worry about baud rates and stop bits in this modern era!

Flash does need replacing/updating. (1)

RMingin (985478) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279902)

I have Frash on my iPad now, and it makes one thing clear: Flash assumes you have a keyboard and mouse. Lots of Flash runs under Frash, but I get hung up on things like "press spacebar to continue".

Flash may be here to stay, but the keyboard/mouse assumptions will be a problem moving forward.

Reason #1 our website greets you with a flash ad (1)

malignant_minded (884324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279962)

How else would we make money?

You got to feel for Apple here (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 3 years ago | (#33279966)

Try marketing a device that supposedly gives you access to "all the web" and then running into pages that render desktop-size bitmap graphics, hardcode assumption of a single touch mouse as an input device and use your CPU/battery to play back video frame by frame. Worse, 99% of it are interactive ads that is not something user is interested in especially on a 3 inch screen. I would also leave it out. As it is on OSX desktop it's the main cause of Safari crashes and 100% CPU usage.

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