Life Without Adobe’s Flash

I’ve just installed a Flash blocking application into Safari, after having the browser begin to crawl for the umpteenth time, because I had 20 tabs open in various windows with Flash doohickeys in them. I decided to take this route instead of an ad blocker, because I really don’t mind ads as long as they are unobtrusive, and some ad blockers tend to distort the rendering of the document.

One thing I’ve noticed on iPad is how much smoother browsing is without Flash. 99% of the time I don’t miss it, and most major web sites are starting to implement HTML5 to work better with mobile devices. So I figure I won’t miss it on Safari for the Mac either. The plug-in allows for me to override for certain sites, like NRA’s Flash monstrosity web site, or NRA News, for instance, but the default is blocked. YouTube works fine without Flash, as do most other embedded video services these days.

Flash has been, and continues to be, a scourge on the Internet, much like the Vikings were on 9th Century Europe. Flash rapes the batteries of laptops and mobile devices, pillages your CPU cycles, and murders your browser’s child processes. And just like Java, even when it does work, it’s just too damned slow. Flash, just say no.

19 thoughts on “Life Without Adobe’s Flash”

  1. Flashblock is one of the first things I install in Firefox, then Adblock – and when I get to a page that’s covered in flash buttons and doohickeys all over I keep moving. It tells me two things: the designer is lazy, and only knows one stupid trick.

  2. Sebastian… I notice that there’s no coverage at all of “Operation Gunwalker” and how the ATF may well have furnished some Mexican drug gang with the weapon used to KILL a Border Patrol Agent. I’d think that you and NRA would be ALL OVER a story like that, ESPECIALLY with ATF trying to issue “emergency” regs (totally unlawfully) regarding the purchase of long arms in border States. Or am I wrong and it’s not really all that important?

    DC Wright
    USMC Retired

  3. Do you have a credible source to substantiate those accusations? Google turns up nothing.

    So far the bloggers I’ve seen talking about it say they are working behind the scenes with informants on this, and developing the story. More power to them. As best I’ve been able to discern, much of this is stuff was posted on, and I am not personally familiar with who runs that site.

    They may have a good story when all this goes big time, but I’m reserving saying anything about it until the accusations are substantiated.

  4. Sebastian . . . I notice that there’s no coverage of your favorite quiche recipe. And I love quiche. Or am I wrong and it’s not really all that important?

    Kidding aside, I’ve never seen hard evidence on the gunwalker stuff. Just self referencing links to examiner sites. I’d like to though.

  5. Yeah, I think I need to try that one, especially since I think Bitter still has an extra pie crust from when we made quiche last week.

  6. And to make it related to the original idea of the post, we should be talking about a Flash Spinach & Bacon Quiche.

  7. A little bit in defense of Flash. Part of the problem is the website people and ad producers who insist on using Flash for things that don’t need it. I am Flash developer. What I use it for is developing online training. Flash and video are the only things that I know of that allow me to properly time events with audio. It also allows me to put creative things in to engage the learner. When people use it for straight up web site development, it is a travesty.

    I’ve found most of my problems with Flash went away when I installed AdBlocker Plus in Firefox.

  8. It is always amusing to listen to the masses of people who have no idea of what it takes to program anything on the web extol how things really should be and how their weak devices should be catered to.

    I am thankful to know that a device that is crippled to the use of a plug-in that is available on 97% of browsers is superior given its preference to html5, which even its own implementation of isn’t usable on anything other than its own browser, a standard which won’t even be set for another 12 years.

    Please people the next time you feel the need to buy a device that doesn’t have the processing power to do even the most basic things, stop blaming everyone else for your shortcomings of foresight and man up to your basic need to buy a label or status symbol that fills your need to belong or feel superior. Sooner or later they will actually be able to do what other phones can do and you will again feel like the web world was waiting for just you.

  9. Oh…how naive are we oh Internet…

    Do we not remember the annoying pop-ups, the suggestions to turn off JavaScript?

    Flash actually made the web much better in regards to that era. Open up a site and have 20+ windows popping up and spawning until your browser crashed. (And that was just from a legit commercial site, god forbid you went to a porn site.)

    Everyone is praising HTML5. Let me make a prophecy. If Flash fades away, and HTML5 takes it’s place. All that means is that the annoying adds and content that slows our browsers down will simply be made in HTML5.

    Granted there might be an ever so slight improvement in that HTML5 might not have to jump the hurdles that Adobe’s Flash does.

    But frankly, I’d think Safari might be half your problem. I really wanted to like Safari, but the first few generations totally sucked for me. Steve Jobs has a personal vendetta against Adobe and Flash. And I find that Apple software products don’t play well with non-apple parties. iTunes on Windows is by far the worst piece of software I have ever dealt with in my life. And if I recall correctly, Apple refuses to allow access to a number of Safari APIs for hardware acceleration, etc. Which could greatly improve Flash’s performance on Safari. But Apple doesn’t want that…

    Admission, I work with Flash, like the technology and prefer it over many others. Maybe that’s cause I have less problems using it. Where as AJAX based sites constantly give me nightmares (Facebook, etc). I can’t even count the number of times their AJAX text entry boxes refuse to expand, scroll, etc. And I am forced to type blindly….just give me a basic HTML text box over that crud. This happens on nearly a daily basis, and on multiple machines.

    It’s crud like that, that leaves me with far more of a distaste than with Flash…

    All that said, I have found Flash to be much less stable since a 10.x release a while back.

  10. With NoScript and Adblock Plus on Firefox, I decide which Flash gets loaded. With BetterPrivacy, I can remove Flash cookies as I desire. These capabilities are why I use Firefox where possible over others. Firefox by itself isn’t really any more or less awesome than other modern browsers.

    I don’t hate Flash per se. You can do lots of cool things with Flash and Adobe AIR, for example, especially in a custom business software environment.

    Misuse of a technology isn’t the fault of the technology.

  11. I don’t have a problem with its existence as a technology, if it were used sparingly. But it’s rough on browsers to load up dozens of flash instances. Since people are misusing it, I applaud any effort within the market to try to make them stop.

  12. I think the big problem is many people think of themselves as Flash Developers. That is a path to a dead end in a computer career to think of yourself as a XXX Developer. Be a developer, and have Flash just be a tool you know to accomplish certain tasks.

  13. My MacBook Air shipped without a Flash plugin at all.

    Since even installing it and having it run at all sucks battery lif (as well as being aggravating in most cases), I just installed Chrome (with its integral Flash) for the few places I care about Flash.

    ChrisW: I turn off Flash on my i7-based workstations (running Windows) for the same reason I leave it off on my MacBook Air (running OSX).

    Flash is a steaming pile of dung, and crashes more browsers than anything else.

    You might also remember that the biggest increase in web market in memory is… portable devices. None of them like Flash, even the ones that “support” it.

    Demanding that everyone have a monstrous machine to view your shitty web content enforces only that nobody will view your shitty web content.

  14. Sigivald,

    Preach it brother! Flash sucks, no matter WHAT platform you are using. Mobile, desktop, laptop, Windows, OS X, iOS, Android, etc…

    The last refuge of the lazy and/or incompetent web developer…

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