23 November 2011

'Occupy Flash' Calls for End to Adobe's Flash Plug-in

Flash playerComputer users are being urged to uninstall the Flash Player plug-in by a group of US developers.

The Occupy Flash movement claims the software is buggy, crashes a lot and requires constant security updates.

Adobe recently cancelled development of its Flash plug-in for mobile devices, saying that the alternative HTML 5 offered "the best solution".

However, the firm says its software still offers a superior experience on desktop PCs.

The movement's founders said they had all coded for Flash at some point in their careers and had never worked for one of Adobe's competitors.

They said they were inspired by the other Occupy movements.  "The sentiment of the average Joe versus big faceless corporations fit fairly well with our message," a spokesman told the BBC.

Time to change?

The group said its members wished to remain anonymous as they felt it added legitimacy to their cause.

"All of us felt that Adobe's announcement last week about the future of Flash was a tipping point, and that it was time to start a conversation about finally moving away from Flash entirely on desktop browsers, in the interest of providing a more consistent web browsing experience for normal users," a spokesman said.

Instructions for how to disable Flash on Windows, Mac and Google's Chrome browsers are available at the campaign's website.

The group admitted that disabling the code would mean some websites, such as Google Analytics, would become "less usable". However they noted that others, including Youtube, had already started to run videos under HTML 5 as an alternative.

"Our goal is to move technology forward. Sometimes that requires a bit of a sacrifice," a spokesman said.


Adobe declined to comment on the campaign but highlighted a recent blogpost by its general manager for interactive development.

"Flash Player 11 for PC browsers just introduced dozens of new features, including hardware accelerated 3D graphics for console-quality gaming and premium HD video with content protection," wrote Danny Winokur.

"Flash developers can take advantage of these features, and all that our Flash tooling has to offer, to reach more than a billion PCs."

Industry watchers believe Flash's days may be numbered, but question the wisdom of the campaign.  "At the moment developers are using different implementation of HTML 5 and users get a different richness of experience as a result," said Carolina Milanesi, a technology analyst at Gartner.

"What we need is for developers to focus on getting their applications out around one standard.

"Instead of asking people to uninstall flash, let's just see more applications develop on it and then people will come on their own."

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The above article was originally published by BBC News and can be seen here.