Declaring Flash Dead Is Dead

As 2020 comes to a close, do you find yourself noticing that nothing ever seems to end? Is the election still going? Are we still fighting about Star Wars? The Supreme Court’s looking at Obamacare, you say? Every little topic just seems to go on and on. Well, friends, allow me to inform you that something has genuinely happened.

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On Tuesday, Adobe finally said goodbye to Flash. Yes, Flash has been dying for about a decade and there have been some false flags along its path to the graveyard. Every time we thought we’d reached the end, the software platform just kept existing even if it had virtually disappeared from usage. Now, Adobe has provided a brief eulogy for its stalwart product and confirmed that it will no longer support Flash after Dec. 31, and it will start blocking Flash content from running in Flash Player beginning on Jan. 12, 2021.

In the release notes for the final update, Adobe said:

Today marks the final scheduled release of Flash Player for all regions outside of Mainland China. We want to take a moment to thank all of our customers and developers who have used and created amazing Flash Player content over the last two decades. We are proud that Flash had a crucial role in evolving web content across animation, interactivity, audio, and video. We are excited to help lead the next era of digital experiences.

It’s not exactly Walt Whitman, but it still made us a little misty-eyed. It’s the hackers who took advantage of its security holes who will miss it the most. Adobe urges all users to uninstall Flash now and never install it ever again.

In remembrance, let’s take a stroll through Flash’s decade of dying:

April 29, 2010 - Steve Jobs says Flash sucks and Adobe kills Flash for Apple.

November 9, 2011 - Adobe kills Flash Mobile as the world goes mobile.

November 11, 2011 - Activists call for the world to stop using Flash.

November 13, 2011 - Adobe admits that Apple murdered Flash.

June 8, 2014 - Adobe announces it fixed a huge security flaw in the not-dead parts of Flash.

March 3, 2015 - Holy shit, for the love of god, disable Flash, now!

August 4, 2015 - Flash blamed for Yahoo’s malvertising attack.

December 1, 2015 - Adobe kills the Flash brand.

February 10, 2016 - Google bans Flash from display ads.

July 20, 2016 - Firefox starts aggressively blocking Flash.

July 25, 2017 - Adobe finally kills Flash, all the way, for real.

July 26, 2017 - Flash fans plead with Adobe for the chance to fix its bugs with an open-source resurrection from the dead.

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July 31, 2019 - Google sticks a knife in Flash’s corpse.

June 16, 2020 - Adobe Flash scheduled to die, for real, for real.

November 20, 2020 - Internet Archive launches an initiative to preserve Flash games and animation, the true mark of a dead piece of the internet.

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December 8, 2020 - Adobe says goodbye, and now it’s dead—or at least it will be as of January 12, 2021. But you get the deal, let’s just call it.

DISCUSSION

faaipdeoiad1028
faaipdeoiad

I started working with Flash as a little CS undergrad in ‘97 or so - and became active in the community of wack-ass programmers (shout out to dreamless.org) and artists building all that crazy and utterly un-usable shit that defined the late 90s and early 00s web.

Made a ton of friends through that community - many of whom are still friends to this day. After the dotcom bust, I went full on into Flash dev and, really, it did more to build my career than any other language I’ve worked in.

The last last Flash project I built was the digital campaign for the Evil Dead reboot in 2013 ... which I contend is one of the coolest things I ever built. Little did I know at the time it’d be my very last but I’d gone full bore into iOS development by that point, having seen the writing on the wall several years prior. Not a bad one to go out on.

Good night, funnyman. Thanks for the memories.