The end of flash on the web

Aral Balkan has for many years been known as ‘the flash guy’ within the web standards community. He certainly proved to many of us that Flash was far from the evil technology we believed.

However, Aral is a smart guy and his latest post for .net magazine demonstrates perfectly why Flash is no longer his preferred tool of choice:

In this day and age, it is expected that a web experience works across all devices: desktop, notebook, mobile. By ceasing development of Flash Player for the mobile web, Adobe has signalled that Flash is no longer a valid technology for creating web applications that run on all devices. Since there really isn’t a separate mobile web, Adobe’s announcement will result in developers not using Flash for the web at all.

He goes on to echo my own comments on this subject. As far as the web is concerned, flash is dead.

  • As I read this I was just creating an intro for an elearning program in Flash, hahah. In large part flash will soon fade but I sure hope there will be tools for HTML5 that can help me create the interactive elearning I  currently make as quickly as I can with Flash.

  • There are at least two different kinds of experiences — those which need to be visible to a large audience (wide) and those which need to perform well (deep)

    When most of us browsed the internet using a desktop or laptop computer, Flash was an excellent choice for providing wide (and deep!) experiences for 99% of users. I think it is clear that is changing.

    I’m using NME ( to build my games for iOS, Android, webOS, Windows, Mac, Linux and Flash or HTML5 in the browser. I guess it doesn’t always have to be an either/or.

  • Until provides the content protection that content producers are happy with, there will always be a need for Flash or Silverlight on the web. I work for a company that do a lot of media & entertainment work and these clients would never dream of allowing us to serve their premium content with no DRM.

  • “I will not use flash to make slightly interactive elements on my clients websites” != “Flash is dead”. There are other reasons for using flash than making your navigation wobble when you mouse over it. Look at Newgrounds and Kongregate. Budding flash game communities. If you suddenly said “Okay, move along, all of you have to make this shit in Canvas now”, you’d kill a lot of creativity, especially with the ease of creation that Flash offers with the Creative Suite.

    Feel free to ignore Flash all you want, and write all the blog posts you want about how you are ignoring Flash for your own work, but do not make blanket statements from your soapbox saying a platform that is easy to enter is dead and nobody should use it or they suck.

    Also, what you SHOULD be advocating is full support of all the video codecs on every browser so people don’t HAVE to use Flash. Like James says below, the video tag doesn’t have anything on Flash right now. Canvas? Please. The spec isn’t even done and there isn’t anything that exists right now that lets you quickly churn out something in Canvas, preventing novices from creating things in it. You basically have to know Math and JavaScript. I think it’s rather pompous to go around declaring things are dead when the tools you want everyone to use aren’t even fully specified yet.

  • Speaking as a web dev… It’s not that we won’t use it at all anymore, but will be vastly less inclined to as CSS3’s animations and HTML5 audio/video tags become more prevalent. Though without HTML 5 being fully adopted and standardized in its entirety across all major modern browsers yet, Flash has roughly 2 more years left in it. (Until the W3 recommended status for HTML5 & CSS3 in 2014.)