May 27, 2013

Browsers and Flash

Flash can only be seen in browsers when the plugin is installed. It is often not behaving like is described in the specs of either of the components. Corporations would have you believe that they are working towards plugin-free browsers in developing HTML5. This of course is quite ludicrous. Many programs have the functionality that allows the installation of plugins that enrich the programs' functionality that in some cases raise their level of usability to heights that manufacturers and / or users had never dreamed of.

Before Flash watching animations and video on the web was impossible for most, a pain in the butt to many or required a lot of tinkering by smarties who were forced to search for proper codecs until they looked blue in the face, since there are at least as many codecs as there are less gifted software division managers who are appointed to determine what is good for users, without having the burden of knowledge concerning  solutions that allow to offer moving visuals.

After the introduction of Flash the situation gradually improved to an acceptable level, then to a good one and even excellent in some cases. The huge success of Youtube and related sites are examples of the appreciation of Flash by the internet community, both on the consumer and developer side.

Then some bearded dude who owned a hardware / software company comes along and says Flash causes his operating system to crash. He is one of the most obsessed control freaks known in the history of mankind who is nevertheless humbly worshiped by a huge following that does not mind being under total control of the supplier of their high priced computer gear, smartphones, tablets and other gadgetry with reduced functionality compared to desktop- and laptop computers.

Whenever the guru spoke, his carefully constructed mythical status caused his following to fall in a long lingering, non-criticizing, venerated awe, regardless if what he said was crap or not. That came in rather handy when he was unable to find a solution that would stop his OS from crashing when its users used Flash. So he decided to send a message to the world, saying: 'Flash is banned, it is dangerous and HTML5 is the future of the web anyway.' Once again his submissive cult-members dropped to their knees and pressed their foreheads in the dirt, struck by his mindboggling wisdom.

On other platforms however, Flash is doing reasonably well. It allows sites to have functionality that is absent in sites that contain no Flash apart from having a visual appeal that the Flashless do not have. So, in spite of the guru's tainted point of view, Flash will be around for some time, even when the manufacturer of a competing OS seems to do all within its power to chase away users by releasing a new version of its operating system that makes sense only to the elite circle of marketeers working for that company.

Have a nice day!