Why We Should Save Adobe Flash

Why We Should Save Adobe Flash
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Adobe’s venerable Flash extension is, slowly but surely, going the way of the dodo. HTML5 is quickly replacing it in every corner of the Web with faster, quicker-loading and more lightweight tools that are responsive across desktop and mobile devices. But there’s an argument for preserving Flash on the ‘net.

This Quartz article by Keith Collins lays out the chief reason for saving Flash clearly: we need it to archive a particular point in the history of the Internet. Web pages exist that are coded entirely in Flash — hell, I can remember making a few myself — and the death of Flash would mean these important historical artefacts would become unreadable, like a Rosetta Stone with no starting point.

Don’t get me wrong, Flash is bad. It’s bulky and overweight and long past its prime — that’s why Chrome will block Flash by February, that’s why YouTube and Netflix have switched to HTML5 video by default on the platforms that support it, and that’s why even Facebook’s experiments in Instant Games use the newer, more lightweight code.

But in the same way that we like looking back at GeoCities sites and our old LiveJournal blogs to cringe at them, we should save Flash from disappearing entirely. Even if it’s just so we can tell our grandkids how bad it was. [Quartz]


  • Um no… flash has no place in modern browsers.

    And lack of modern browser support doesn’t mean that flash sites cannot be preserved. It’s a very stupid reason to support a dead technology…

  • I run flashblock on 100% of the time. For the most part my web experience is pretty good. But there are still sites out there that use flash, mainly for video streaming and games. Until they update those sites, and games, flash will still be needed. In the case of games, a lot of them will never be updated to a different technology. It will be like Java games, you’ll still need to keep Java installed just to play these games.

  • This is like saying we should save internet explorer because some old sites only render properly in it. Yes, keep the software ( and presumably some computers capable of running the software) somewhere in the archives with the data you are archiving. But there is no good argument to keep actively using flash ( or IE)

  • Personally I love flash! Mainly for it’s original intended purpose – ANIMATION. It was made to make pretty moving pictures, back when Macromedia still owned it, and god knows if they bought it from someone else.

    I get that it’s rubbish for games, for browsers and whatnot, but it’s still brilliant for animation, it still does that amazingly (despite the price tag).

  • Keeping Flash for historical reasons is as silly as keeping Netscape so that Geocities marquee and blinking text is rendered faithfully.

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