Flash, from the very beginning, was a transitional technology. It was a language that compiled into a binary executable. This made it consistent and performant, but was in conflict with how most of the web works. It was designed for a desktop world which wasn’t compatible with the emerging mobile web. Perhaps most importantly, it was developed by a single company. This allowed it to evolve more quickly for awhile, but goes against the very spirit of the entire internet. Long-term, we never want single companies — no matter who they may be — controlling the very building blocks of the web.
Wednesday, December 30th, 2020
Sunday, July 5th, 2020
Notes on the old internet, its design and frontend.
Tuesday, June 5th, 2018
And so whenever I look at AMP I wonder whether the technology and process itself might be bad (which is arguable) but the efforts might lead to something longer lasting, another movement inspired because of it, despite it, a movement that we can all benefit from.
Monday, July 31st, 2017
Cameron counts the ways in which Flash was like a polyfill.
Yeah, that’s right: The Man In Blue is back!
Wednesday, July 26th, 2017
Web developers aren’t going to shed many tears for Flash, but as Bruce rightly points out, it led the way for many standards that followed. Flash was the kick up the arse that the web needed.
He also brings up this very important question:
I’m also nervous; one of the central tenets of HTML is to be backwards-compatible and not to break the web. It would be a huge loss if millions of Flash movies become unplayable. How can we preserve this part of our digital heritage?
This is true of the extinction of any format. Perhaps this is an opportunity for us to tackle this problem head on.
Friday, March 27th, 2015
Mike runs through the history of Flash. Those who forget the history of the web are doomed to repeat it:
The struggle now seems to be turning to native apps versus non-native apps on the mobile platform. It is similar to Flash’s original battle ground: the argument that the Web technology stack is not suitable for building applications with a polished user-experience.
Sunday, October 20th, 2013
The case may be a little overstated, but I agree with the sentiment of this. The web is always playing catch-up to something. For a while, it was Flash; now it’s native.
Flash was a great stopgap measure. But it outlived its usefulness and has been reduced to niche status.
Today, we’re seeing the nearly exact same scenario with native apps on mobile devices.
Native mobile apps are a temporary solution. We’re just over 4 years into the Appstore era and this has already become apparent. Open web technologies are catching up to the point that the vast majority of web apps no longer need a native counterpart.
Tuesday, April 10th, 2012
No, you’re tearing up watching a video about a boy who built his own arcade out of cardboard. I’ve just got something in my eye.
Wednesday, March 30th, 2011
This is wonderful stuff: a long-term project to track the performance of high-traffic sites over time: oodles of lovely data and some quite shocking stats.
Wednesday, December 15th, 2010
A handy shim for audio: it uses the native implementation where possible and Flash as a fallback.
Monday, May 31st, 2010
Awe Dee Oh
You may have noticed a lot of
HTML5 vs. Flash talk lately. Substitute
Frankly, I’m a little baffled by this supposed dichotomy because you don’t have to choose. The way that
video works, according to the spec, is for fallback content to be placed between the opening and closing
<video> tags. So you can go ahead and use
embed or whatever you need to put your Flash video in your markup. Browsers that understand the
video element will use that while less capable browsers will play the Flash movie in the
object element (and because of the way the
object element works, you can put yet another layer of fallback content between the opening and closing
<audio controls src="file.mp3"> <object data="flashplayer.swf?audio=file.mp3"> <param name="movie" value="flashplayer.swf?audio=file.mp3"> <a href="file.mp3">ah, just download it</a> </object> </audio>
But there’s a problem. Firefox understands the
audio element but refuses to implement support for MP3 as long as it is patent-encumbered. Firefox users don’t get the fallback content (because the browser does support
audio) but they don’t get the MP3 either. They get a broken icon.
So it’s safer to just use the Flash player, right? There’s a problem with that too. Mobile Safari doesn’t support Flash …but it does support the
audio element. How can I serve up Flash to desktop browsers and HTML5
audio to the iPhone and iPad without going down the dark path of browser sniffing?
Easy. Just flip the order of what constitutes fallback content:
<object data="flashplayer.swf?audio=file.mp3"> <param name="movie" value="flashplayer.swf?audio=file.mp3"> <audio controls src="file.mp3"> <a href="file.mp3">ah, just download it</a> </audio> </object>
That works in Firefox—and any other browser with Flash installed—and it also works on the i(Pad|Phone|Pod).
Friday, March 26th, 2010
A nice-looking jQuery plugin for HTML5's audio element, with fallback to a Flash player. I might just end up using this on Huffduffer.
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009
A puzzle game with an extra dimension. Utterly compelling.
Wednesday, November 25th, 2009
Cause and effect
Sunday, October 25th, 2009
Beautiful artwork in a fun puzzle game.
Monday, August 17th, 2009
Fiendishly clever and joyful platform game ...and it only has only level.
Saturday, August 1st, 2009
Utterly addictive platform game.
Friday, July 24th, 2009
I don't normally like all-Flash sites and I really don't like sites that mess with my cursor* but this one works really well. * I'm looking at you, Harry Potter Twitter site with the password anti-pattern.
Monday, July 20th, 2009
Celebrating the Apollo 11 anniversary with Seb's 3D lunar lander game.
Thursday, July 2nd, 2009
The smart way to put video on the web: don't choose one single delivery method.