Escape from ‘plug-in prison’ the right way forward.
While Flash still dominates as the first choice for incorporating multimedia onto websites, it may soon phase out as developers move to the more native-like HTML5. Most modern browsers, including Google Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer 9 and Firefox 4, are shifting their focus away from Adobe’s content creator to HTML5 which allows developers to add multimedia experiences without any having to install external applications like Flash or cage their website in a “plug-in prison”, as Mozilla’s VP of products Jay Sullivan calls it.
“I think so in the long run,” Sullivan says. “A lot of it has to do with HTML5. With Firefox 4, Internet Explorer 9, and Chrome, to the extent that we provide functionality in enough browsers, then the developers will switch over to HTML5, especially in mobile, where you can’t have Flash popping up on every page just to do some little animation. The idea that you’d have to embed an entire instance of the Flash player just to play a 30 second audio clip? It’s crazy.”
At the launch of iOS 4, Steve Jobs had announced that Apple would be dropping support for Flash as it posed security risks and was vulnerable to crashes. The same set of problems applies to desktop browsers as well: Flash was the major reasonfor most Firefox crashes, according to this report. Zdnet also reported yesterday that Chrome 10 users had to disable Flash plugin in their browsers after it caused the browser to crash repeatedly.