Game Developers Wring Their Hands Regarding the Long Slow Death of Adobe Flash

Patrick Klepek, writing for Kotaku last month:

Basically, people want to kill Flash on the web. Before he died, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously wrote an open letter to Adobe about why the iPhone wouldn’t support Flash. He spent hundreds of words explaining his reasoning, but here’s the summary: Flash totally sucks.

“Symantec recently highlighted Flash for having one of the worst security records in 2009. We also know first hand that Flash is the number one reason Macs crash. We have been working with Adobe to fix these problems, but they have persisted for several years now. We don’t want to reduce the reliability and security of our iPhones, iPods and iPads by adding Flash.

Jobs was mostly right. But while Flash might suck, that doesn’t mean it’s not vital or important.

Jobs wasn’t “mostly” right. He was totally and completely right about Flash.

“Steve Jobs and his ‘reality distortion field’ was probably the worst thing to happen to Flash,” said Newgrounds co-founder Tom Fulp. “There were valid concerns about the security of Flash but the reality was that Steve had an ax to grind with Adobe ever since they didn’t have his back when he returned as the head of Apple. […] But he was a dick, so that’s how it goes.”

This is just delusional. People who see themselves as being tied to Flash — either because they’re Flash developers or because they run websites that heavily rely upon it — are kidding themselves if they think Flash’s demise is the result of some sort of personal, petty vendetta on the part of Steve Jobs.

Flash’s decline was mostly certainly precipitated by iOS’s extraordinary popularity and Apple’s steadfast refusal to support it, but Apple’s opposition to Flash was first and foremost on technical grounds — terrible security, terrible performance.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015