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Chrome

End of Flash? Its Usage Among Chrome Users Has Declined From 80% in 2014 to Under 8% as of Early 2018 (bleepingcomputer.com) 114

An anonymous reader writes: The percentage of daily Chrome users who've loaded at least one page containing Flash content per day has gone down from around 80% in 2014 to under 8% in early 2018. These statistics on Flash's declining numbers were shared with the public by Parisa Tabriz, Director of Engineering at Google, one of the Google bigwigs in charge of Chrome's security. Google plans to ship Flash disabled-by-default with Chrome 76 (July 2019) and remove it completely in Chrome 87 (December 2020).
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End of Flash? Its Usage Among Chrome Users Has Declined From 80% in 2014 to Under 8% as of Early 2018

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  • by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 ) on Wednesday February 28, 2018 @01:36PM (#56201185) Journal

    Good. Now put throttles on Javascript so it won't lock up my browser because idiots don't want their java implementation to be 0.4% slower than somebody else's in a consumer testing table done by other idiots equally ignorant of the issues.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Good. Now put throttles on Javascript so it won't lock up my browser because idiots don't want their java implementation to be 0.4% slower than somebody else's in a consumer testing table done by other idiots equally ignorant of the issues.

      Calls people idiots. Doesn't know the difference between Java and Javascript.

    • However Javascript+HTML5 has became the replacement for Actionscript+Flash. The real difference is the fact that Javascript and HTTML5 are open standards, while Flash is under the domain of Adobe.

      However Adobe knows it had a good run with it, and has been implementing a gradual exit strategy for a while. But in terms of functionality and bad developers doing bad things. There isn't much you can do about it. Any throttles will need to be done by the browser, and may cause problems for some applications.

    • Huh? How is Javascript a java implementation?
  • Hopefully RIP (FutureWave | ShockWave | Macromedia | Adobe) Flash 1995 - 2018.

    Mourned by few.

    BTW: Did anyone find out whether the ammo Steve used was made out of silver?

    • RIP? More like BIH: Burn In Hell

    • Adobe was actually working to phase it out with HTML5 implementation becoming common. Apple and Adobe working closely together. I expect that when Jobs approached Adobe, they were not willing to give a full effort in Flash support for the iPhone, that would meed Jobs standards, because Adobe (and Jobs probably too) knew this technology was on its way out and there is no long term plan with it.
      So Jobs did what jobs does. Talks around limitations on its device and says it is what the future holds.

      However the

      • Re:RIP Flash ? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples@gmail.BOHRcom minus physicist> on Wednesday February 28, 2018 @02:26PM (#56201553) Homepage Journal

        The difference is that the authors of many beloved classic Flash cartoons and games aren't around to remake them for HTML5.

      • Re:RIP Flash ? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@w o r f . n et> on Wednesday February 28, 2018 @02:32PM (#56201603)

        Adobe was actually working to phase it out with HTML5 implementation becoming common. Apple and Adobe working closely together. I expect that when Jobs approached Adobe, they were not willing to give a full effort in Flash support for the iPhone, that would meed Jobs standards, because Adobe (and Jobs probably too) knew this technology was on its way out and there is no long term plan with it.
        So Jobs did what jobs does. Talks around limitations on its device and says it is what the future holds.

        However the smartphone market for consumers in general accelerated flashes demise. As average guy would be doing bulk of their browsing on it, and less with a more powerful computer.

        Well, what really helped were two things.

        1) Most legit uses of flash were to watch YouTube videos, and the iPhone came with a YouTube app.

        2) Most other users of flash were ads. iPhones not supporting Flash thus had a small advantage in well, getting a faster web browsing experience. For a time Adobe tried to convince everyone Flash was necessary (it was used on 99% of websites - yes, it was true, since 99% of them had flash ads) and offered an Android version, but while you could use it to view other video websites (great!), it meant you also got all the flash ads and they bogged your phone down.

        By the time the iPhone came out, people were disabling flash to avoid ads

        • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

          Well that's also a good point, how many people *intentionally* access flash content, vs those who access a site that just happens to have unwanted flash content (ads, background trackers etc)...
          Most browsers these days prompt you whenever a site contains flash content, and a surprising number contain content which isnt visible.

    • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

      Mourned by few.

      But these few are those who know better.
      The current web stack is barely catching up to what Flash did 20 years ago. And does is less efficiently.
      Flash was awesome tech, killed by Apple, who disliked the idea that it could be used to replace apps, and also by Adobe, who neglected it.

    • Sadly, there is no suitable replacement for Flash. But what about HTML5 and CSS you might say? Surely, that's an option if you want your web app to look and behave at times drastically different in each browser....if it works at all. There is no suitable replacement for Flash yet if consistent user experience across browsers and platforms is important. Flash will stick around until ALL browser vendors are fully compliant with W3C standards. Lately, it is especially Google who pulls an "IE6 only". So before
    • >> BTW: Did anyone find out whether the ammo Steve used was made out of silver?
      Nearly. It was made of Silverlight :)

      It was nicer with flash, but so much insecure :
      https://cdn.inquisitr.com/wp-c... [inquisitr.com]

  • Chrome now makes you jump through hoops to enable Flash for a site - so of course usage has declined precipitously. When it was enabled by default, all those Flash objects an any random web page would load. Now it's only going to be when a person actually wants access to Flash.

    It's slightly annoying for me simply because I only use Chrome when I specifically need to access a site which still uses Flash. But for people who routinely enjoy giving Google all their - er, I mean, prefer to use Chrome as their da

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      (..) I only use Chrome when I specifically need to access a site which still uses Flash.

      No such use case here. If a site 'needs' Flash, I don't 'need' that site.

    • Does nobody find this objectionable? How come that one vendor (Google) can abuse its market position (majority browser share) to essentially kill off a product and technology from a different company (Adobe)? Flash sucking or not aside, what Google does is borderline criminal. They just happen to sell it as service to users and security improvement.
  • by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <moiraNO@SPAMmodparlor.com> on Wednesday February 28, 2018 @01:46PM (#56201269)

    I had my last Flash project back in 2011. Never did anything with Flash since.

    To be clear: Flash is super-dead.

    Which is a crying shame. And please spare me the Flash banner ad whining. ... Flash was *at* *least* 15 years ahead technology wise. You could do many things with Flash that JS/WebGL/CSS still struggle to achieve today on computers orders of magnitude faster than anything we had back then.

    Adobe screwed this up big time. Flash could've been the brave new resolution-independent vector graphic world of retina displays and mobile devices. What do we have instead? React and React Native and awkward SVG and canvas hacks using transpiled JS and whatnot. Laughable compared to even the simplest Flash/AS client/server setup and way more difficult to handle. With Flash/AS you could whip up an interactive map or some other gadget in a coffee break, async data with the server included. Adobe screwed it up big time. They should've FOSSed it when the touch-mobile revolution started - that was their last chance. Flash is dead and Adobe alone is to blame.

    I don't use Adobe products anymore. Flash was the only proprietary tech I used and it will remain the only one. Flash was worth it. Very neat tech. Hope we get there once again sometime in the future. Until then it's HTML canvas, TypeScript, WebGL and Web Asssembly. ... Yeah, just great.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Flash was *at* *least* 15 years ahead technology wise.

      Except apparently in security. [cvedetails.com]

      Good riddance.

    • If they FOSSed it, how would they make money off of it. More profitable for a slow death, then just giving it away.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Wednesday February 28, 2018 @02:15PM (#56201465) Homepage

      Adobe screwed it up big time. They should've FOSSed it when the touch-mobile revolution started - that was their last chance. Flash is dead and Adobe alone is to blame.

      Yeah.. on the other hand, Adobe didn't really have a business model to go with it. It's a bit like Java, you can say that OpenJDK is what makes Java still relevant but Sun is dead. When it comes down to it most companies aren't that concerned with the greater good and leaving a legacy if they won't be around to benefit from it. Not making any moral judgement but economically they seem to be quite profitable with their proprietary cloud-ware, so I don't think Adobe regrets the horse they bet on.

      • by dabadab ( 126782 )

        on the other hand, Adobe didn't really have a business model to go with it.

        AFAIK Adobe's business model with Flash was always to sell authoring tools - opensourcing the player would have not affected that model.

    • by Anonymous Coward


      Flash was *at* *least* 15 years ahead technology wise. You could do many things with Flash that JS/WebGL/CSS still struggle to achieve today on computers orders of magnitude faster than anything we had back then.

      Flash and Microsoft CREATED that environment where nothing else could penetrate the marketplace. There's nothing magical about Flash that couldn't be replaced with something far better. It took the death of Flash and IE do to Adobe and Microsoft screwing it all up to create the viable replacements

    • by gorehog ( 534288 )

      I genuinely feel that their big mistake was shoehorning a streaming video codec into the Flash player. As you said it was a great idea to have an interactive, cross-platform, scriptable, vector graphics player with server side support. Adobe screwed up by overreaching the plugin's scope and not focusing on the server.

    • by Actually, I do RTFA ( 1058596 ) on Wednesday February 28, 2018 @02:51PM (#56201801)

      They should've FOSSed... Flash was the only proprietary tech I used and it will remain the only one.

      Point of fact, Adobe offered w3c control of Flash as a successor/extension to Javascript. To that end, they opensourced AS3 a long, long time ago. Possibly even pre-iPhone 1. There are GPL implementations of the Flash engine and everything.

      Flash died because Steve Jobs wanted a walled garden on the cell phone. If HTML5 had been as far along then, he would have killed that too.

      But I too morn Flash. And, possibly most obnoxiously, because of banner ads. When Flash was based on a specific type of object (plugin or not), I could whitelist it easily. Flash died, and as a result the obnoxious things moved out of the sandbox and into the browser proper.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Remember when people said the iPhone was shit because it didn't support flash?

      Yeah, that was everyone here on Slashdot.

      No wifi, less space than a nomad, lame.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Maybe because the latest HTML already has support for what Flash use to do.

    • by acroyear ( 5882 )

      it still takes a complete and total rewrite to get there. most corporations don't have the money to afford that, esp for a service that was generally free (like the friv game platform).

  • Seriously, the only issue I see with Flash beeing deprecated is accessing to some legacy site. I was more concerned with Java applet beeing deprecated, because there are usecases where applet have no replacement solution. For instance, if you need access to smartcard to get decent two form factor identity level for signature. Web crypto is not moving much and not covering those areas AFAIK. And alternative such as WebUSB are limited to Chrome only. Applet were working on all the desktop browsers.
  • by Kazymyr ( 190114 ) on Wednesday February 28, 2018 @01:52PM (#56201315) Journal

    My daughter's assignments (public middle school) are on a website that requires flash. Cannot be used in recent Firefox builds. Flash will not go away while it's required by the public school system.

    • We're hitting the same issue, where the schools are currently dependent on learning games written in flash. Also my kid's favorite "safe" game platform is Friv, and they run on flash as well.

      Then there's the entire kids programming language Scratch from MIT, which still does not have a non-flash version online (a download, yeah, but it uses adobe air I think, so there we go - still has a flash-based runtime).

      So there's still work to go to get rid of it, and unfortunately these types of sites don't have the financial resources to go and rewrite everything they have, as opposed to some huge corporate website that just needed to replace their splash screen with something less obnoxious.

      • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

        Well those companies should have thought about that before they got locked in to a proprietary technology...
        As that technology dies they will look dated and insecure, and once it's dead they will have no choice but to spend the money to replace it. They made the decision to get locked in to a proprietary technology not considering the long term impact of doing so, and now its coming back to bite them. Hopefully they will consider properly in future.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Yes except:

          Well those companies should have thought about that before they got locked in to a proprietary technology...

          We're not talking about companies but schools in this thread. If you've ever dealt with school IT you'll know its a best-effort, lowest-budget, mandated-from-the-school-district-software lifestyle. As parents, you MUST deal with it or vote in a new school board at the district level and convince them to change software for all the schools. At least in the US its like this.

    • at least it's just flash and not some IE only stuff or other stuff like quicktime or real. There are a few other EDU plugins from the past as well. That Worked in IE and firefox and also had MAC as well.

  • I can't drop flash in Chrome until Google Hangouts doesn't require it for camera/mic access on OSX.

    • Being Google, do assume Hangouts will be dropped before Flash is removed. I hope you have an alternative for the day Google tells you Hangouts is only for paying customers. It is a shame that Duo and Allo do not fit the bill.
  • I got an annual report for an upcoming stockholders' meeting for a stock I own. I was really surprised that the whole thing was in Flash. Not PDF but ail in Flash. This is a company in the top 250 of the Fortune 500. While it's not an IT company, let's just say that you would think they have a good enough handle on technology to not make their annual report be only in Flash, but nope. I'm not going to name the company lest doing so hurt the stock value, but it just shows you how even people who you mig
    • I'm not going to name the company lest doing so hurt the stock value.

      Buy short options and then make it public. The stock will plummet and you will get rich.

  • Spouse had to re-install Flash on Chrome to complete mandatory continuing ed coursework for job as RN. Chrome put up some resistance but we were able to beat it down and install Flash. I doubt the release of an html5 version is imminent.
  • Will this Google startup still exist by then?
  • by gorehog ( 534288 )

    And now we know how many people use ADP for payroll, 8% of Chrome users...

  • Flash was self contained and easy to block. I think that when HTML5 will be misused, we might end up missing it.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Isnt html5 used already by cryptominers? That already makes it hard to block because without it the rest of the site doesnt load.

    • I always felt google was targeting flash mainly because ad block plus had a 99% block rate for flash ads. Now I can't stop national geographic and every other news site from auto-playing their videos. Click no longer stops them and if you scroll down they follow you. I fore see an added fee for advertisers that want to force you to see their ad on a google system.

      • by hawk ( 1151 )

        this is why Safari is now my primary browser.

        I have ghosterty and adblock without a default list (I block anything that moves manually. i still see almost no ads)

        hawk

  • While others are saying vSphere "web" client, there are other legacy administration consoles that require it too. I have a few network printers which use Flash for their admin interface. I also have security web cameras that can optionally work with flash and IE... but if you use Edge, Chrome, FF, it thinks you're on a mobile browser and gives you 10% functionality with a bullshit UI designed for phones.

    Flash is still around because most of this shit cannot be updated, only replaced, which is often times ou

  • These poor bastards that are still forced to use websites with Flash...

  • What are /.'ers using for interactive video conferencing to replace Adobe Connect?

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