Yes there are security issues. But could we have had things like Homestarrunner without flash? Would places like Popcap have been able to exist? Yes there is a lot of crap that could have been done better without it but Sturgeon’s Law always applies.
ETA: I just kinda realized how old it is now and probably full of undecipherable cruft at this point. We don’t use Win9x anymore for good reason. I just hope that the baby is not thrown out with the bathwater when it finally goes away.
Out of curiosity, and in the vein of games, does anyone know what the reputation/capabilities of the ‘Scaleform’ implementation of Flash is?
I know that it is designed so that it can take objects produced with Adobe authoring tools and integrate them directly into game engines(typically for UI/text/other vectory bits that need to be scribbled on top of the polygons); and it is my understanding that while it is designed for compatibility with the Adobe tools it is an independent and unrelated implementation of Flash and Actionscript(specifically the ‘Scaleform GFx’ library is. I also see it in a notrivial number of games; and it is actually available for use on more platforms than flash player or Adobe’s mysterious-and-unlamented ‘AIR’ is(Windows, Linux, OSX, Xbox360 and One, Playstation 2-4, Vita, 3DS, Wii and Wii U, WP8, iOS, Android).
I’m honestly a little surprised that I haven’t seen any mention of it in the ‘death of flash’/‘lament for the flash game’ discussions, which is why I ask. It’s definitely more heavyweight than the flash player flash game use case(probably even more so now that Autodesk owns it); but it is likely the dominant interaction between Flash and gaming at this point. As far as I know, Autodesk has no interest in wading into the wonderful world of NPAPI plugins, so if Flash Player snuffs it, ‘flash’ as we know it is toast; but this is fancy, extremely widely used, middleware, the sort of market that would make the fate of Adobe’s flash authoring tools a matter of considerable concern(to a much smaller market than the flash designers of its glory days; but relatively high paying customers).
B-but I love my old flash games.
Farewell old friend:
I have some thoughts on this. Flash gets used a lot for video game UI. EA had their own flash implementation when I worked there. Ubisoft has their own flash implementation. I don’t believe I’ve ever used scaleform
The concept behind using flash in games generally seems to be that there are already a lot of people who are very good at flash, so instead of training someone for several months so that they can become moderately proficient in some custom tool, you can instead hire someone who is already very good at flash to do your interface. Plus you’ve got a nice editor/testbed that you don’t have to maintain
if/when flash goes away, the online niche that it currently occupies will not go unfilled. If, ten years down the road, every neat thing on the web is done in NEWTHING, and every student coming out of university knows some NEWTHING, then it’s pretty likely that there will be a decent amount of game ui done in NEWTHING, if that’s what has a large pool of talented and experienced users.
Flash in the pan
Somebody should tell Comcast. Went to their Speedtest page yesterday. Had to enable & update Flash just to use it.
Surely it ought to be possible to mash Flash apps into some sort of sandbox where they can’t affect the rest of the system? Or would that come at too much of a performance penalty? Certainly, they could at least do away with things like webcam or microphone support that are probably unused by 99% of users.
Also, is this not an opportunity to step up development of GNU Gnash, the open source Flash replacement? Switching to Silverlight is just adopting another proprietary closed-source architecture, albeit one that is probably less burdened by cruft – at least for now.
Even if Adobe stops updating Flash Player, Flash won’t die. It may exist in the same nether-zone as Freehand, Quark, Publisher, etc., but it’ll still exist for a very long time, and will still be a tool for animators and game designers. Whether they’ll find a place to post their web work is a different matter; if Adobe stops supporting it, having Flash on your site will increasingly be a liability issue.
Good News! It’s available on the app store, you can play on your phone anytime! Live in Harmony!
Its dead to me. Last damn update notice I deleted it from my machine instead.
Death of Flash?
At least we still have Java!
Funny thing is that at this point it would have been much easier for Adobe to just completely rewrite it from scratch with security in mind… but too late now.
Silverlight is and apparently forever shall be unburdened by cruft because even MS suggests you not use it. And they created it. Even Netflix seems to have taken the hint.
Yet I still have to set Update to ignore Silverlight every effing week.
Quick Flash story from an old geezer:
Back in 2005, I led a website design department at an ad agency, and was sent to the FlashForward convention to learn about the future of Flash. I was supposed to gather info to support the agency’s push to go all-Flash with their web design and leave HTML/CSS behind for good. This being the official Flash convention, I expected a lot of evangelizing.
What I got was totally different. Everyone from Macromedia/Adobe said the same thing: Flash was a terrible way to make websites. They said it was great for little applets (like music players), for video playback, game design, and animation – especially for animation. They admitted that better video encoders and game design applications would come along soon, and that better animation tools were already out there. What they saw as the future of Flash was “Flash Lite”. All of their development, they said, was going to Flash Lite for mobile, and that it would dominate all mobile within just a few years. That was their future, not websites or games.
When Flash Lite died, I think momentum on Flash pretty much died, too.
Steve Jobs is gigglin’ from the grave…
We all love our Strong Bad (please leave the discussion now if you’re reading this and disagree, thx), but it’s not like all of us we need to be dragged down by legacy technology even if it remains the favorite tool of a few creators in favor or newer tech.
If the H*R folks managed to translate their cartoons to iPod movies with little loss (worse interactions, resolution, etc) I’m sure they could do an even better conversion to whatever better future interactive-animation standards we end up with.
scaleform has been used in a lot of products because of its small size. (and because, like you say, experience: back when flash was the way to do animation. )
there’s some inertia now because game devs are familiar with that process, but with this round of consoles and all the work that’s gone into mobile ( memory, and processor-wise ) – i think there will be more games moving towards webui.
i think there’s also a pressure from outside of games these days… there’s too many great people, and too many good lessons from web land – games will almost have to adopt all that if they want to keep moving forward.