Bye Flash – We Thought You Had Already Gone…
What will power our tasteless Myspace music or the Potter Puppet Pals on Bebo now?
I’m a little thrown to discover that Adobe will be killing off Flash in 2020. My reaction wasn’t out of fondness of a program being discontinued from yesteryear (thanks for everything Microsoft Paint) but from the fact it was still around. I really thought it had made like an injured animal and was quietly killed off in a ditch called obscurity.
Let’s Fondly Remember the Love/Hate Relationship
As Flash enters palliative care, we should remember that this high-security-risk, heavy and absolutely necessary piece of web browsing software that made Web 2.0 what it was – a highly interactive and personalised internet experience. Without it, social media would not be where it is today.
My teenage years from 2004-2009 was spent deciding carefully on Myspace and Bebo what My Chemical Romance song would auto play in the flash box (ultimately decided on Black Parade). Miniclip, the website for browser games, provided much-needed relief during those long and dull IT lessons on macros. YouTube and Google Maps would not have worked without Flash until the 2010s. From the days of dial-up and static web pages, Flash popularised the World Wide Web through multimedia engagement.
But all that interactive content came at a cost. Flash was a heavy program that drained the resources of whatever machine ran it – one of many reasons why Apple mobile devices never supported it. It was also terribly insecure. If you went off the beaten path, you’d likely encounter a pop-up Flash ad that, if accidentally clicked, brought your computer to a crawl or, even worse, displayed humanity’s entire porn collection on your desktop – for your convenience of course!
It’s easy to slate Adobe Flash but without it, I bet many of us wouldn’t have such fond memories of the noughties. If we had to wait until 2010 to get HTML5 and receive interactive web content, then social media and possibly smartphones would not be as commonplace as it is today. It brought the internet to life in a time when it was mostly slow, static and stale. So, for that I am thankful. But now it’s time for Adobe to focus on something new and put Flash in the out-dated techno-crypt that hosts the floppy disk, Microsoft Encarta and dial-up.