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Adobe Ends Development of Flash On Mobile Browsers

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  • OMG (Score:3, Funny)

    by masternerdguy (2468142) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @12:02PM (#38000034)
    Just in time for the .xxx domains.
  • by Petersko (564140) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @12:02PM (#38000036)
    My god... it's Steve Jobs laughing.
  • by gwking (869658) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @12:04PM (#38000050)
    But.. but... now how will I get the "whole web" experience?!
    • Re:The Whole Web (Score:5, Informative)

      by bberens (965711) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @12:05PM (#38000080)
      Easy, you'll use the most recent version of the flash player on your Android device for the next 5 years or so while people migrate.
      • Re:The Whole Web (Score:5, Interesting)

        by xaxa (988988) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @12:28PM (#38000424)

        Easy, you'll use the most recent version of the flash player on your Android device for the next 5 years or so while people migrate.

        I won't. The "built in" Flash on my HTC Desire keeps trying to update itself to the latest version via the Android Market, which uses the last few MB of space I have for apps. The only way I've found to prevent this happening is to "Clear Data" for the Market app -- deselecting the "Update automatically" box for Flash doesn't make any difference.

        This annoys me greatly. It's supposed to be my device, HTC. (I would remove Flash completely if I could. I don't ever seem to visit websites that need Flash on my phone.)

        • Move flash to the SD card. Flash on my N1 only takes up 72KB.

          • by xaxa (988988)

            Move flash to the SD card. Flash on my N1 only takes up 72KB.

            For some reason I don't have that option.

            • Re:The Whole Web (Score:5, Informative)

              by amRadioHed (463061) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @01:24PM (#38001184)

              Adobe never enabled it for Flash for some reason which I can't understand, but you can force it (and many other large apps) to SD by using an ADB command [myhtcdesire.com]. Not all apps work from SD, but Flash works perfectly.

              Leaving this option set can cause problems since you can't or don't want some apps moved to SD, so I just enable it temporarily when I have an app to move, then disable it again after by setting the option back to "0". Once the app is forced to SD it will stay there when it's updated in the future.

        • It's supposed to be my device, HTC.

          Cyanogenmod now!

        • by jc79 (1683494)

          If you want it to be your device, root your phone using Revolutionary [revolutionary.io]. Install Titanium Backup. Use it to move updates to system apps into the ROM so you get more space for user apps.

          Or go the whole hog and put CyanogenMod 7 on there. With S2E you can use a partition on your SD card as an extension of the /system filesystem and never run out of space for apps again. Other advantages of CM7 on Desire are increased battery life and control over how apps communicate ("Phone goggles"). The main disadvantage is

  • by Petersko (564140) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @12:05PM (#38000068)
    Can't believe they would actually hold out until it was certain Steve Jobs couldn't say, "I told you so!"
    • by nschubach (922175)

      Yeah, I'm sure that was the plan.

    • I honestly wouldn't be surprised if that were really the case. (As far as the timing of the announcement, at least. I'm sure there are various reasons behind the decision.)
    • by zieroh (307208)

      You're giving Adobe far too much credit. I don't think their current management team is bright enough to have thought of that.

  • At last! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yvan256 (722131) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @12:05PM (#38000076) Homepage Journal

    Mobile being the future of the Web, it should also means the end of Flash on the desktop in a few years. Nobody's going to waste money doing Flash for the desktop and HTML5 for the mobiles, especially when the desktops can already do HTML5 too.

    Applications done in Flash but compiled to Adobe Air is okay, just don't trash the Web with the stupid plug-ins.

    Next step: agreeing on a CODEC for the HTML5 videos*. That's gonna be a fun topic!

    * doesn't the tag allow for two source files? If it doesn't, it should!

    • by afabbro (33948)

      Mobile being the future of the Web

      OK, who let the Gartner fanboi in...

      • by Surt (22457)

        It's funny, but he is right. Desktop and laptop sales are already in decline. It's gonna be all virtualization on dense servers and thin clients, just like Sun thought (but about a decade late to save them).

        • Re:At last! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @01:59PM (#38001768) Journal

          Y'all wanna know why desktops and laptops are in decline? I hate to break the news to ya but it ain't because everyone is using an iPad, it is because as we system builders that are still doing well in this economy can tell you for several years the PC has been "good enough" and there simply is no killer app that makes users need to switch!

          I have several customers who do their daily computing on what guys here would laugh at, late model P4s with a Gb of RAM and a couple hundred Gb HDD, but why should they switch? Webmail, FB, farmville, these things just don't slam even a 3.2Ghz P4 with HT, much less all those dual cores that have been sold since 06. hell my boys are both on hand me down Pentium Ds and when I offered to build them something bigger they were both "Uhhh...why? Our stuff works fine." all they do is surf and play MMOs and with both boxes having Radeon HD4850s everything just works fine.

          The problem is too many in the industry as well as my fellow system builders got used to the "MHz Wars" where everyone tossed every 3 years and which gave them constant churn and that just isn't the case anymore. Hell i always built myself a new PC every year and a half but my AMD quad is going on 3 years now and will probably last me another 5 or more, why should I switch? My games play just fine, I have 8Gb of RAM and 3Tb of space, and I can always slap in a replacement for my HD4850 or upgrade my CPU to a 6 core later on down the road if I need more power. But as it is all my games play at my screens native 1600x900 smooth, video transcoding is nice, everything "just works" and now that I finally replaced my old laptop for a dual core netbook I honestly can't see myself needing another PC for several years.

          So PCs aren't going anywhere, it is simply everybody has one. With cell phones folks chunk when the 2 year contract is up so that is creating churn and the tablets simply haven't be around long enough for everybody who wants one to have already bought one. I'm actually seeing quite good sales on the new AMD Brazos netbooks, I think the problem in that market is in the race to the bottom too many OEMs chose Atom without ION and that equals painful, but the Brazos has a nice Radeon built in and does full 1080P and plays WoW so everyone likes those. hell in my own family we have something like 7 desktop and 4 laptops, what would we do with more?

          The ones that survive are gonna be smart and doing value add like me. I show folks how they can organize and stream everything with an HTPC, how to make that late model P4 or early dual into a great PC media center for the kids, how to set up sharing networks so you can drag and drop between every machine in the house, how to have it all "just work" wirelessly. PCs aren't going anywhere, if anything everyone has so many of them now nobody knows what to do with them. the smart guys will be showing them how to get the most out of what they have.

    • by Yvan256 (722131) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @12:10PM (#38000146) Homepage Journal

      Yes, it does [wikipedia.org]! Hurray! - Dr. Zoidberg

      • Long before Flash supported compressed video, it supported keyframe-based vector animations. Which of those HTML 5 codecs is vector animation? Is there a standard way to author animations for SVG or canvas yet? (Adobe Edge is still a preview.)
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Actually, A lot of corporations use flash for things like elearning and some of them are generations behind (like fp8 if you're lucky).

      HTML5? I still have to support IE8, sometimes even IE7 in my webapps.

      Try telling a fortune 500 company they should upgrade all their browsers to the latest IE. I have and its a pretty short conversation. They know the cost will be in the millions and they are more than happy to continue on using ancient technology.

    • by Hentes (2461350)

      Multiple source files means multiple times the space usage.

    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @12:47PM (#38000666)

      Next step: agreeing on a CODEC for the HTML5 videos

      To support iOS devices you need to support h.264.

      Thus supporting any other formats mean extra, needless work.

      Pretty much any site on the web today tat supports video has already transcoded to h.264.

      Hello, de-facto standard.

      • by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @01:10PM (#38000956)

        Hello, de-facto standard.

        You know what's a good way of confirming this ? Go on your favorite torrent site and try to find some video encoded in WebM or Theora. You can't, it's all x264 and xvid and the x264 stuff is both higher quality and becoming ever more popular. It perfectly mirrors what happened with mp3, no way h.264 is going away. So why spend precious developer time in an ultra competitive industry building support for another codec that you'll just have to support on top of the de-facto standard for which you'll be paying and developing anyway ? That fight is over, geeks are just in denial.

  • Really?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @12:05PM (#38000078)

    I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if 750 voices screamed out in terror and were laid off. But that noise was overshadowed by everybody else celebrating.

    Seriously?? _THAT_ submission made it to the front page with _THAT_ tidbit?? There wasn't another submission that didn't make light of people losing their jobs?

    Come on, Slashdot - I know you're trying to generate page views and whatnot to increase revenues but can we please stop being complete asses about it. Eventually you'll start driving people away which will DECREASE page views...

    Seriously...

    • by bwintx (813768)
      From TFA (the third one):

      approximately $70 million to $75 million related to employee severance arrangements

      ...which translates to an average of $100K per job. Granted, some folks get a lot and some don't; but in many companies, severance translates to a pittance if it happens at all. Just sayin'.

    • by Ultra64 (318705)

      I laughed.

    • Re:Really?! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by impaledsunset (1337701) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @01:58PM (#38001750)

      So you're worried more about certain people who would have to find new jobs rather than something that could potentially improve the Internet significantly for everyone? Would you rather we have a proprietary plugin like Flash as a defacto standard forever just to help them save their precious jobs? I'm not making light of people "losing" their jobs, I'm happy about it. And not because it is something good, but because it enables something good to happen.

  • by nedwidek (98930) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @12:09PM (#38000138)

    It is really nice that on my Asus Transformer, every website I've used just works. Compare that to my iPod touch and the iPad where I just get a big lego piece.

    Until all websites stop using Flash, this sucks.

  • standard is ruthlessly cut down in its prime by an evil corporation pushing open standards.

    • by Nerdfest (867930)
      Right ... like the connector, FaceTime, etc. It's good to see it dying, but please.
      • by makomk (752139)

        Don't forget Apple's showcase of what HTML5 could do that sniffed browser user agents and refused to run on anything except Safari - because Apple would hate for anyone, especially the press, to get the impression that this new standard HTML5 could run on anything else.

  • This description from Wikipedia makes it sound like they're just moving Flash into a bigger container.

    Adobe Integrated Runtime, also known as Adobe AIR, is a cross-platform runtime environment developed by Adobe Systems for building Rich Internet Applications (RIA) using Adobe Flash, Adobe Flex, HTML, and Ajax, that can be run as desktop applications or on mobile devices.

    • by nschubach (922175)

      This description from Wikipedia makes it sound like they're just moving Flash into a bigger container.

      It's not like they are moving it into AIR. It has always been a major part of AIR.

  • by bhcompy (1877290) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @12:12PM (#38000176)
    Why does everyone think that HTML5 is the answer when even desktop browsers can't get it uniformly implemented? Mobile browsers are still mostly shit from a compliance and capability perspective compared to the desktop browsers that still can't get it right. Not sure where all this pie in the sky idealism comes from
    • HTML does have a long way to go to be "there". But really, this is more about getting away from flash then going to HTML5. It wasn't just Steve Jobs that hated Flash...there were/are many many other people out there (including me) that passionately wish flash was never born. The wild popularity of flash blocking plugins is a small glimpse of that passion.
      • by bhcompy (1877290)
        So what do we use in the meantime that all browsers can implement? Java? That's already proven to be a dog, as much of a dog as Flash.
    • Why does everyone think that HTML5 is the answer when even desktop browsers can't get it uniformly implemented? Mobile browsers are still mostly shit from a compliance and capability perspective compared to the desktop browsers that still can't get it right.

      Most browsers installed on mobile devices are based on Webkit, and there is not much reason to change the code from the code for a Webkit-based desktop browser like Safari.

  • Laid off (Score:5, Informative)

    by rabenja (919226) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @12:20PM (#38000292) Journal
    My friend sent me an email yesterday: "I'm about to go into a meeting where Adobe is laying off my whole team." He had worked on Flash for many years since Macromedia owned the project. After the meeting he said, "Just got out of meeting, I have a job until April 20, paid thru May 15, decent severance, but job will end."
    • by Vince (4999)

      He's in the Bay Area? He'll probably only have 20 new job offers by the end of the week. Must be rough...

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by rabenja (919226)
        We are in the Minneapolis area where a tech recruiter friend of mine emailed me this morning regarding his layoff: "IT unemployment in the Twin Cities is currently at 1.7%, so most of our clients have to use us because they can't come close to finding/recruiting talent on their own." I do not think that my friend will have much trouble in this area.
    • by tyrione (134248)

      My friend sent me an email yesterday: "I'm about to go into a meeting where Adobe is laying off my whole team." He had worked on Flash for many years since Macromedia owned the project. After the meeting he said, "Just got out of meeting, I have a job until April 20, paid thru May 15, decent severance, but job will end."

      Cry me a River. Everyone gets laid off in the IT Industry once or twice, or better yet, ride a few Start up collapses.

    • Re:Laid off (Score:5, Insightful)

      by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @01:08PM (#38000930)

      He had worked on Flash for many years since Macromedia owned the project.

      Is he one of the people I can blame for the bugs from back then that still exist today? I kind of feel like a dick for saying it, but maybe if his team were better at their jobs then they would still have them.

    • by Pieroxy (222434)

      My friend sent me an email yesterday: "I'm about to go into a meeting where Adobe is laying off my whole team." He had worked on Flash for many years since Macromedia owned the project. After the meeting he said, "Just got out of meeting, I have a job until April 20, paid thru May 15, decent severance, but job will end."

      So what should you do? Keep old and irrelevant products alive so that everyone can eat?
      We're doing that in France, and look where it got us. We're gonna have to change, but people got used to being paid doing nothing, so that's going to end pretty badly.

      The end of a product is always sad for those that were deeply invested in it. But that's life.

  • I feel sorry for the creators of all the flash content, but OTOH, they should have thought better when they chose that platform in the first place.

    The next closed platform to tackle, iOS?

  • by Superken7 (893292) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @12:24PM (#38000360) Journal

    Everybody knew eventually this was going to happen. Adobe started transitioning to HTML5 years ago. Clearly they aren't there yet, but this is proof that progress is being made. (finally! the end of flash is not near, but it's certainly coming!)

    It's almost 2012, I think Adobe is doing this at the right time now that most browsers are starting to be fairly HTML5-complete (as complete as HTML5 itself is, which is not _that_ much).

    I know many now think "Steve Jobs was right!". Well, I don't think it took a genius to know that this was coming, Adobe has been preparing for it ever since HTML5 started going big (thanks to Apple and Google, among many others). I would not say this is Adobe "finally giving in" to Steve, because Adobe has never really opposed HTML5 AFAIK. Flash has always been complementary to stuff the web was not ready for; even if we hate flash that's why it existed. Now its 2012, not 2007, and most people are ready to go HTML5 and definitely drop flash (wide browser support, more mature spec, somewhat consistent across browsers, etc.. at least compared to 2007).

    • by mr.dreadful (758768) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @01:26PM (#38001220)
      "I don't think it took a genius to know that this was coming, "

      No, but it took huge balls at the time to say "we're not supporting this anymore. " Apple did the same thing with the 3.5" floppy disk and adopting the USB port on iMacs back in the day and got roundly mocked for it, until the PC makers started following suit a few years later. Whatever Jobs was, he was certainly a visionary. Apple was never afraid of break convention when they felt it was the right thing to do. What other companies can we say that about (seriously, what other PC manufacturers have down this? I'm genuinely curious.)
      • Really all Jobs did was publicly state what many thought about Flash. That seems rather typical of Jobs to tell someone to their face that their product sucks.
  • Flash block (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @12:24PM (#38000368)

    Oh great, now there is no easy way to block all the bloat of surfing the internet. These were truly the glory days when ad block + flash block created a nice browsing experience. We will soon be subject to every ones personal animation framework; coded in fancy html5 with loads of hacks to get it to work on each browser, no easy way to block it and helpfully running at 99% cpu util.

    • Re:Flash block (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sootman (158191) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @12:58PM (#38000800) Homepage Journal

      True. Unfortunately, the problem was never that Flash was inherently evil--the problem was developers overusing it. [slashdot.org]

      I very much liked having all the bad kids in the "Flash" room and being able to close the door on that room with a Flash blocker. Now we're going to see a ton of badly-made sites with HTML5, and I don't think we'll ever see a "craptastic HTML5 blocker". :-( I'm already having a hard time with sites who think it's cool to cram a 100mb H.264 movie into a page.

  • by BoRegardless (721219) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @12:35PM (#38000514)

    Mobile is only one problem area. Flash has unexpectedly quits on wake from sleep on my MBPro.

    How many years have these problems been going on?

  • by Qbertino (265505) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @01:33PM (#38001318)

    This news saddens me. For more than a decade Flash has been *the* ubiquitous end-user rich-client cross-platform environment. Whereever Java initially wanted to go, Flash was already there.

    However, the botch-jobs Macromedia and then Adobe delivered when it came to fixing basic issues and bugs in the Flash are beyond comprehension. Font-rendering and compiling has had the same serious bugs and troubles ever since 2001, right to the point were HTML5/CSS3 Font integration hasn't only caught up but superseded Flash-based Font integration. It peaked in what can only be called a flat-out scam by Adobe, when they introduced Flash 8 IDEs 'justify' option for textfields - which would lose it's justified layout as soon as you'd change the default text dynamically. The slowpoking with HW-accelerated 3D - it basically still is a beta, if at all - is beyond any measure. Unity3D has taken the helm in that department, and they aren't letting it up it appears. Flash simply lost out in that area aswell. At last the Flash Pipeline totally missed out the touch-based UI craze which it easily could have jumped ahead of to lead the way into a future of sleek touch-based UIs. Flash is made for this sort of thing, yet it hasn't even entered a beta phase regarding this. Like I said: Nothing but a series of large-type epic fuckups.

    Even with modern HTML5/CSS3/Ajax/JavaScript being pretty much cross-platform without to many workaround hacks, it is still a bloated mess of a historically grown stack of intermangled technologies and paradigms that doesn't even come near the capabilities of a Flash/AS3 based enviroment. It's even basically half a decade behind of what pure Browser-based solutions could be simply due to the browserwars back in the early 200x'ses.

    Flash could've had it all and even pushed back Java into the most obscure pure-business related stuff - but I guess after the one glimpse of light with the introduction of AS2 it was all downhill from then on.

    Sad. Very sad. I hope they finally GPL the whole damn thing. Maybe the FOSS community can save the day with a usable AS3 - VectorGFX VM. But I'm not holding my breath.

    It's a tradegy to see Flash go this way, but I guess it's time to move along, bite the bullet and stark messing around with bizar DOM-based rich-client programming. Great. Just great. Just the thought of that gives me the creeps.

    Well done, Adobe. I hope your rich-client operations die of allready, you're obviously not competent enought to handle them, no matter how advanced the technology you have at hand is. Not only did Steve Jobs see how well Webkit HTML5 did, he also saw how uninspired your handling of Flash was. The iPad didn't kill Flash, at least not alone, Adobes incompetence had a measurable part in that aswell.

    My 2 cents.

  • by ZenDragon (1205104) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @01:57PM (#38001722)
    This, on the heels of the accouncement of that MS is discontinuing Silverlight development as well. Seems like a bad business decision on the part of both companies. I realize that HTLM5 is intended to take the place of them both, but being a .net developer I can say from experience that HTML 5 is a lot more frustrating to code and debug... more than silverlight at least cant really speak for Flash. My point is, there is a place for both and with the only two big players jumping ship its going to be hard for developers that have already learned Flash or Silverlight, to just switch gears and starting mucking around in JavaScript again.

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