Last Chance To See

In which I flip my wig about Flash.
by esjr, March 03, 2019

We all love to hate Flash. 'They' made damn sure of that !
I remember though -- way back when -- being mightily impressed by two Macromedia products : first and foremost Dreamweaver and secondly Flash.

That was way back when, in the beforetime, before surveillance capitalism worked it's magic on us and Flash.

Marketing Man loved Flash ! It attracts eye-balls and does all this amazing stuff in a browser, like get and set all kinds of data ! So 'They' added Flash, left, right and center and then some.

A tool originally intended for simple and not-so-simple animations -- games !!1! -- was abused at scale for advertising and... well pretty much anything else 'They' could make Flash do for them.

Two things happened : 'They' got rich and big, and Flash became Ubikuitous to the point -- like Office -- it became an obvious target for meanies surfing along on this wave of abuse.

It got to where if a page loads a Flash item, there is a 99.99-etc percent chance someone is trying to steal something :

  • your attention,
  • your data,
  • or worse...

Now that 'They' have grown fat and cornered the market, abusing Flash as Trojan Horse, 'They' are going protect us from all those horrible Flash abusers ! You know : "We value your security" and all that jazz. And irony was no more.

It got them where they wanted so now they're getting off.

And so are you !

Flash is being driven from the increasingly walled garden.

And that makes my wig flip !

Who made them boss of the interwebz to decide that ? The 'replacement' : the App, PWAs, AMP, serverless cybernetic cubes and what not, merely shifts the security problem inside someone's walled garden and they still do pretty much anything 'They' can get away with and then some.

And when Betamax became obsolete Singin' in the Rain didn't disappear.

Let's pretend for a minute, 'They' are not all aggressively moving into the games-space (and, yes, I 'run' an 'old' Flash game) and consider the amount of bona fide content that disappears with Flash...

Whitelisting comes to mind as a way to serve trusted Flash content. Microsoft and Facebook recently demonstrated that works fine.

But unless such a whitelist is created -- oh irony, another albeit virtual walled garden -- and browsers retain a way to render Flash if the user wants to, we've entered the Last Chance To See stage.