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Farewell, Flash Player.

Or Flush Player. Or Crash Player. Whatever you called it, it's officially gone. After 25 years of powering creative animation and (often subpar or disappointing) online games, Adobe decided to send Flash to the Great Software Graveyard in the Sky.

Flash Player was originally released in January of 1996, approximately 25 years ago at the time of Flash Player's demise. It powered many great advents of the World Wide Web, not the least of which being the rise of Internet multimedia, games, and of course, YouTube's "golden age". Well, here we are. Flash is gone. As such, I feel it's right to express my random thoughts on the demise of our fallen multimedia king, and why I am not surprised in the slightest that it has passed on.

The current state of Flash

This can pretty much be summed up in one word: dead. Well, maybe not quite. But when it comes to official usage of Flash, you are essentially out of luck. The clever folks over at Adobe implemented a killswitch in a somewhat-recent update to the Flash Player software. This killswitch activated sometime in January 2021 (I forget the date - maybe I'll edit in later) and resulted in the inability to play, launch, or otherwise use any Flash-based content, locally-stored or Internet-hosted.

You may notice that I only specified official usage of Flash. This is because, to my knowledge, there is at least one piece of software out there intended to preserve the ability to consume Flash-based content without Adobe's killswitch standing in your way. Granted, such a thing requires that you have the original SWF file - but at least it exists. I plan on updating this page later with a list of programs intended to help you enjoy Flash once more. Until then, this page is strictly a random thought shit pot.

Out of many questions - why did they kill it off?

It is my belief that security is Adobe's primary reasoning for axing Flash. Just like many other highly popular, widely-used pieces of software, Flash has had a number of security holes over the years. I imagine as HTML5 content took over, Adobe's willingness to pay hard-working developers to chase down and patch these security holes, for lack of a better word, imploded. In today's ever-active world of cyberattacks, it's quite possible that Flash was just growing too old - and too insecure - for anybody to want to manage.

Another commonly-cited reason for its demise is dwindling usage. Now, while this is in many respects true, I found myself quite shocked at the sheer amount of content on the Web that is still reliant upon Flash, some of this content even coming from large corporations (who you'd expect to actually give half a shit about such a thing). Even after the complete demise of Flash involving its killswitch activation, I still see sites wanting me to enable Flash, which doesn't quite work anymore.

Let's be real, who even cares?!

Well... lots of people. If you're at all used to being an Internet user, Flash has always been one of those things that has just dwelled around, existed, nagged you about updates, so on and so forth. But it has also, as mentioned earlier in this (rather brief and random) feature, it has powered many great eras of the Internet, during both its rise to fame and its golden years. With that in mind, it's pretty sad to see it go... but I am not at all surprised it has been axed off, with all the things I theorized about in the "why did they kill it off" section of this page. In short, if it doesn't make any money (and in this case, potentially posed a threat to online security), it's got to go. At least that's how the corporations see it, right?

Copyright 2021 CathodeRayMan of the eCafe Group. No portion of this page is to be re-used in any way, shape, or form without written consent from the author. Adobe and Adobe Flash Player are registered trademarks of Adobe Inc.

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