Flash or Flame Out?
It may have seemed like a typically hyperbolic Steve Jobs when he labelled Adobe “lazy” during an internal Apple town hall meeting. Yet, as people start to question whether Flash’s time has passed, more evidence mounts that Mr. Jobs may not have been suffering from a fit of pique after all. Case in point: a nasty little bug in Flash that crashes any browser without fail every time.
The bug was discovered by Matthew Dempsky in September 2008. Yes, that’s right, September 2008. And it remains unfixed to this very day. If you go to Matthew’s web site at http://flashcrash.dempsky.org/ there are links to all of the technical details of the bug. Be forewarned though, the site also contains a demonstration of the bug. Unless you’re running a browser that isolates crashed plug-ins like Chrome the site will probably crash your browser window if Flash is running in the background.
How ridiculous is it that Adobe allows a 16 month old bug that crashes any browser window without fail to continue to exist? That doesn’t sound like a leading edge development house that’s responsive to its installed user base. It’s situations like this that reinforce Steve Job’s one man crusade against Flash. It points a glaring spotlight at the shortcomings of the technology, and the company that backs it, and shines another on the technologies waiting to replace it.
Flash’s days are numbered and it’s only a matter of time before developers start to leave it behind. Internet Explorer is the only mainstream browser that doesn’t fully support HTML 5. That’s bound to change sooner or later. When the web iterates again, it will be browser plug-ins like Flash that get left behind.
Is Flash on the way out? Is all the noise about Flash’s failings and shortcomings just coming from a media in love with Apple? Leave us a comment and weigh in with your opinion.
By: Erin Peterson