A Late Farewell to Adobe Flash

Adobe Flash has reached the ‘end of its life’. This means that it will no longer be updated, and browsers will no longer play it or automatically run it. If you still have Adobe Flash Player installed, Adobe will pester you about it. They will ask you to either uninstall Adobe Flash, or check you have the latest version. All things considered, Adobe Flash was dying out anyway, but this is the final nail in the coffin.

Now, in the modern era, Adobe Flash is hardly used. But in the earlier times of the internet, most notably in the late 2000s, Flash websites and Flash games were everywhere. Despite being a proprietary product, Adobe Flash allowed you to build cool, animated and interactive sites and games somewhat easily. Websites filled with Flash games were pretty common. Even rather normal websites sometimes used Flash, as it was a somewhat easy way of making slideshows before more modern tech came about.

All of that is going away.

All these websites will no longer… work. I mean, they’ll still be accessible, but browsers aren’t going to let them play, and you’re going to have to click and allow pretty much anything Flash- or Shockwave- based. There are archiving efforts to try and save as much as possible, but for the average person browsing the web, access will be somewhat trickier than for normal websites. And, of course, if you have Adobe Flash Player installed, it’ll tell you that Adobe Flash is dead, and recommend you uninstall immediately.

This has been a long time coming. In fact, Adobe announced the end of Flash back in 2017. They gave us three years to convert things and make alternatives. Of course, most people tend to leave things to the last minute.

The reason why though is somewhat justified.

Flash is old. But it’s also not very secure. Adobe has had to put out SO MANY updates to try and fix Flash and its myriad of vulnerabilities. Even now, they’ve probably missed some. Something about Flash is just weird, and it constantly needed patching. There were multiple huge vulnerabilities that needed to be removed over the years

And, honestly, Actionscript, the scripting language that was tied to Flash, was the worst. The handful of times I dabbled in it for super simple things was just… awful. It was unintuitive. Using something like Javascript is so much easier than messing around with Actionscript.

My favourite site was always Orisinal : Morning Sunshine…

Flash - Orisinal Morning Sunshine
Orisinal : Morning Sunshine

There are TONS of cool games made with Flash. One of my favourites was The Impossible Quiz, which was basically peak Flash game. My mum’s favourites were always those bouncing bullet assassination games. But Original : Morning Sunshine is probably the sweetest collection of games made with Flash. Ever.

Every single little game was simple but also genuinely pretty to look at. Sure, many of them were just catching or dodging fallen objects, but that didn’t matter. The art style is utterly adorable!

My favourite game of all though is Milk the Cow. The premise is really silly. You’re in a helicopter and you need to milk as many cows as possible. But they’re all scattered over a very large field. You fly over these guys and click on them to milk them, and need to do so as fast as possible. The derpy looks on the cows’ faces and the moos always make me giggle. Even now.

Milk the Cow
Milk the Cow

Most of it will be archived, and there are alternatives!

Like all things on the internet, there’s going to be a lot of archiving to do. After all, Flash websites and games are a part of our internet history.

But thankfully, there are better and far more stable alternatives. HTML5 and AJAX have been steadily growing for years, consisting of powerful Javascript and CSS trickery. Not only can these things mimic Flash in its entirety, but they’re also better supported across all devices. Really, anything that can be done in Flash can now more easily be done in different formats.

At the end of the day, Flash games were always fun, but some things should be put into museums.

Editor’s note: While writing this, I’ve been having a strong feeling of deja vu, but searching through the archives produces nothing. If I’ve written about this before, well, uh, sorry.

Medic

Also known as Doctor Retvik Von Schreibtviel, Medic writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Medic has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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