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InfoQ Homepage Research Flash Under Fire: Are you using HTML5/JavaScript Exclusively?

Flash Under Fire: Are you using HTML5/JavaScript Exclusively?


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Adobe’s Flash has come under scrutiny in the past week, with Firefox blocking it in all browsers for a short time, and Facebook’s chief security officer calling for the company to announce the end-of-life date for Flash.

Following two critical vulnerabilities that left browsers at risk, the Firefox team made the vulnerable plugin “click to activate” -- before an update had been made available. Within hours of the move by Mozilla, Adobe had released an update.

Amid the controversy, we’d like to hear where your development lies. Have you moved to HTML5, or do you develop with Flash, Silverlight, or Java applets?

In the developer community, opinions are mixed about whether there is a viable alternative to Flash.

Chad Weiner, director of product management for Mozilla, told InfoQ that the team "will continue to work with developers to encourage adoption of safer and more stable technologies, such as HTML5 and JavaScript."

In the Hacker News discussion Firefox makes click-to-activate Flash the default user Koen Witters, game developer for RPG Playground, said "You might not like Flash, but it is great at running on every platform/browser with the same code base. If you test it on one platform, it runs on all others.

"Now, I ask you, what's the alternative for Flash? Does HTML5 offer write once, runs the same on every platform/browser? No it doesn't, and it never will. Even simple HTML pages are full of browser checking hacks."

User bobajeff replied

"Flash isn't part of the Web. It's not vendor neutral.

"If Adobe decides to deprioritise a platform that mean the users of that platform with experience less support in terms of bug fixes, performance and security. If Adobe decides not to support a platform period that means users of that platform are left without a means to access Flash content.

"If you are a user this is unacceptable. More importantly these things have already happened."

Commenting on the vulnerabilities, an official statement from Adobe's corporate communications defended Flash, saying that Flash is a target of malicious hackers simply because it is “one of the most ubiquitous and widely distributed pieces of software in the world.”