With the recent renaming of the platform I feel inclined to say something, although I’m quite enjoying my “I don’t give a fuck” vacation. Feels great. I want to stay in “I don’t give a fuck” forever, but that’s not realistic.
Thankfully the most excellent Joseph Labrecque wrote a post about it. It says everything. It’s also refreshingly educated, in contrast to tech “journalists” who’ve consistently spewed click-bait lies out of their ass.
I’m surprised only a few major news outlets have jumped on this. I thought headlines screaming “Adobe FINALLY killing Flash!” would be all over the web by now. I stand corrected. Shit hit the fan like a tornado in a manure field. It’s a trendy BS fest. I am deeply saddened by this yet another demonstration of ignorant (I would go so far as to say dishonest) tech journalism, but firm in my resolution not to give a fuck.
I don’t understand. Are these educated news writers not capable of anything else but fabricating facts? Is pathological lying really the norm here? Shit… here I go… I’m supposed to be on an “I don’t give a fuck” vacation.
Some wonderful quotes that resonate with me:
“There have been handfuls of supporters who have fought alongside us in this effort – some within Adobe but most on the outskirts just building cool stuff every day despite what we’ve had to deal with.”
“The Adobe Runtimes, Flash Player and AIR have had a rough couple of years. There has bee no other technology which has seen such an amount of literal death threats against it than Flash Player. However, both runtimes manage to survive… and even thrive across certain segments of distribution.”
As usual, he can’t be more right on. I highly recommend following him and his work. He is fearless. I don’t have the energy/guts to fight for, and disseminate rumors, of the platform like he does.
I thought I also would publish an answer to a question I was recently asked about the Flash platform. It was for an ongoing interview. As things are, even if I really don’t give a fuck anymore, I think I should say something because… well… I FUCKING LOVE FLASH. :) …Wait, sorry, I FUCKING LOVE ANIMATE! :D
The question was if “I still use Flash, and if it’s impending death has been greatly exaggerated.”
Flash dies on a yearly basis. The platform has a long history of being “hated” by journalists. If you feel so inclined you can find articles from 1999. I could start providing links, but for the sake of brevity I think it’s best not to. I remember when Microsoft announced Sparkle (later became Silverlight) media was calling that the “Flash Killer”. I had friends telling me that I should “get on this Sparkle bandwagon because Flash is a sinking boat.” So, if you understand where I’m coming from, I’m really done with this discussion.
I’ve concluded that the only people I listen to about Flash news are the Flash team. That’s the only reliable source. Adobe’s teams (Flash Player and AIR) release updates on a monthly basis, with new features every quarter. So Flash is in active development. The standalone Flash Player runtime is updated 1.2 billion times per month directly from users going to Adobe. Integrated Flash Player is built into Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 11, and Microsoft Edge. They have major partners that have embedded Flash Player into their platforms. For me it’s also essential to reach people on “older” platforms (older systems, older browsers, etc), and Flash can guarantee that… This could go on, so I’ll stop.
I’m more than familiar with all the arguments, and stigma.
It’s insecure: What isn’t? If you mean “the most insecure”, this is false. I think the fact that it was used for banner ads made it a popular target to hate and exploit. If you blame Flash for vulnerabilities, it’s missing the point, and part of a larger problem.
So… For my purposes, Flash is very much relevant and alive.
The Unity Player is “dead”, does this mean Unity is dead? When you pronounce Flash dead do you mean the entire platform, or just the player? AIR is huge. According to current statistics from Adobe, and the Flash teams, dead is not the case.
It really depends on the industry you are in/what you have been using it for. In terms of online advertising it is (thankfully) “dead”. Flash based banner ads where never a good idea, because users could just turn the plugin off. This alone cost the ad industry billions. I forget the exact numbers.
Saying “Flash is dead” is also missing the point of a larger discussion. The web is not what it used to be. It’s not as free or open. We say it is, but that’s forgetting how it used to be.
I believe that mobile platforms are basically holding the web hostage. For example, there is no interest from Apple to support all the standards (real full-frontal HTML5 like we all wish). If the browser on the phone where any “good” it would compete too much with apps.
We are coming from an early web where websites where very creative, everyone had one, everyone created it, pretty much from the ground up, the amount of experimentation was amazing. I mean, we where talking about composers for websites. The web as virtual reality. 3D websites. It was very similar to how the indie game scene is now. After social media this changed a lot. It’s not at all as creative as it was. It’s all about monetization.
I could make a very long essay about how the web as we once knew it is “done”, but perhaps it’s part of another discussion…
So when people ask me the “Flash dead” question… did you know that ALL the art and animation in BlueSuburbia was created in Flash? It’s a 100% fully animated interactive vector art project. I will never be able to do this with the (current state of) HTML5.
All the pixel art is created with Flash, rotoscoping, animation… I even create some sound using the program (you can use it as a sound generating tool) — but that’s just SOME. If need be, I export to different formats. It’s an immense time saver for me, and simply a blessing to work with because it’s so flexible.
The only thing I really don’t do exclusively in it is audio work. For that I use FLStudio or Audacity.
Show me an HTML5 tool that can do all that. If you’re ready to recommend one, don’t. I already tried that one.
So now I am constantly being told that I should go back to a workflow that involves I don’t know how many different programs (because I should not use Flash). One for creating art assets, another for animating (maybe if I’m lucky I can make both art assets and some animation in one, but probably will have to be two separate programs), and another for programming, and another for sound work… This is going to triple production time for me.
I really have 0 interest anymore in defending the tools I use. I’ve heard it all.
I chose Flash for very specific quality related reasons. I can’t pull off the amount of work, the level of quality, ubiquitousness, and flexibility in another platform (for the web). This is by no means an amateur saying this. I’ve been working with the web for a long time. I choose my tools (platforms, languages, etc) very carefully, and consistently look for alternatives.
Furthermore… Extended commentary…
I’m happy I get to use another name for the software other than Flash. Unfortunately, and no thanks to the fine journalism the web enjoys today (that was sarcasm, it’s not fine), it’s a dirty word that I must fight for. I’m here putting up with people equating those that “use Flash” with the same kind of evil as “pedophiles”. I mean, really? Wow!
The name change came hard for me at first, just because I can see all these haters (the one’s I’ve had to deal with) being “right”. I hate it when assholes win.
I’m happy that they are continuing to treat AIR and .swf as first class citizens. That would have been my only concern. Should I pursue other, less stressful interests? Motorcycle mechanic finally? Let me check… Nope, AIR and .swf are still there!
Interactivity (not HTML5) is my main concern, and if they’re not stopping their support, I’m not stopping my creative endeavors.
On another, serious note… Really, and this is personal:
Tech journalism has been THE source of heartache and burnout for me all this year. If there is a reason for me to want to quit tech altogether (just walk away from computers), it is not the past constant sexual harassment, stalking, death/rape threats, it has been them.
I can’t believe the complete, blatant, heartbreaking, misconstruction of “facts” and outward lying that has been demonstrated here. I say heartbreaking because I used to look up to these people. I used to LIKE reading it, now I question the motives behind every damn article.
After reading some of these articles I was left wondering if they are even using the same Flash as I am.
At any rate…
I only have to stay away from social media so I avoid the “oh so deader than the deadest death” clickbait headlines.
But what am I doing here? I’m on an “I don’t give a fuck” hiatus.