For the second time in a decade I’ve ripped Adobe Flash off my personal machines in the hopes of enjoying a bit more stability and striking a blow for progress. I do not have high hopes, but like similar efforts with respect to making a stand for privacy (by moving from Gmail to an offshore premium mail provider and setting up my own calendar and file sharing using ownCloud on a hosted virtual machine), I continue to believe that every little bit counts.
Thankfully, the push by Google and others to finally implement multimedia features in HTML5 will result in more success this time around. Of course Google’s embedding Flash player capability in Chrome represented a cynical hedging of bets by them (not to mention guaranteeing the survival of Adobe’s tech into the next decade — an unnatural condition that provides more evidence of the evil dwelling inside Google, as if we needed any more), but since I primarily use Firefox that won’t really be of any benefit to me.s.
I, for one, have been positively enjoying the hours of crash-free Internet browsing I’ve experienced since purging Flash from my systems. Of course I’ve had to forego watching video on the BBC and other sites (such as NPR, of whom I am a regularly monthly supporter). But I have every confidence that 2 or 3 generations of media managers from now these sites will finally begin to plan on how they can catch up with Google and the others embracing HTML5. Perhaps in another 10 years they’ll even climb up over the standards-compliance bar that their current proprietary software vision is unable to comprehend.
I’ve had to re-install flash on at least one system since I first wrote this, because it was needed by some work related proprietary software. The only alternative was to use Chrome with that site, and I just didn’t want to go there. As a compromise I’ve set the plugin to “Ask to Activate” rather than “Always Activate”, although I’m pretty sure that just having the plugin present is destabilizing.