First off, this post doesn’t grow from me being heavily invested into Apple gear. I love Adobe just as much and spend more time with Photoshop than with my family. It’s a lot more from my increasing love to standards. Anyway, I’m starting to hate Flash. Here’s why:
1. I typically use 3 browsers simultaneously, often with 20-30 tabs open in every one of them. It all works fine, alongside with Photoshop and Aperture running. But, every once in a while some kind of stupid Flash banner or video makes my computer choke or even stall and crash the browser! It’s almost always Flash. No matter what browser it is. Flash just slows everything down. And how in the world could a small web video bog down a really powerful computer (8core, 16GbRAM MacPro)?
2. It may be even more annoying when it works. I don’t like using ad-blockers or Flash blockers, since I need to see sites as they are intended to be seen (that’s my business stance anyway). So, I see Flash banners jumping over the content I read, flying into my face, or starting videos without me asking. Flash is the web’s primary annoyance facilitator!
3. Some Flash banners take over your mouse pointer when you hover over them. It may look fancy and OK, as long as they only do that when you actually DO hover your pointer over them. But, sometimes, you just happen to “touch” them on your way to something else. And they dont’ necessarily let you go immediately. Namely, I always loose my mouse pointer when E-trade banners catch it at Digg.com. I hate this! I try to find it on my second monitor, start checking mouse batteries only to realize that bloody Flash has done it again. If you want to be a part of the Web, behave like a part of the web and don’t touch my mouse!
4. After a few years of everyday browsing we get over “Explorer is the Internet”, “where’s the “any key”" and typing google.com into a yahoo search bar. That’s when we discover right-click (or command+click). We start saving, copying, selecting, translating, sending to a new tab, etc, etc. It’s like a manual gear-box for browsers, a step to loosing the “noob” cap. Bang! Flash is here to spoil the party. Right click it to… “zoom in, pause and read about Flash”… WTF!?… And what if entire site is in Flash? It’s like a DVD menu right in your browser, totally out of place. Flash is just not a part of the Web.
5. Internet is about links. All sorts of links. We are sharing links, bookmarking, shortening, twitting. Flash screwed links up. There is no standard and simple way to link to internals of a Flash site. Dear all, whatever you’re up to, please, pretty please, NEVER EVER use Flash for your entire site.
6. Flash is not for Mobile and never will be. You can’t get Flash to work on your mobile device. Even if it’s a 1Ghz smartphone. Even if it’s a light version of Flash you’d still have problems. Mobile browsing relies on compliance with standards, lightweight designs and uncluttered interfaces. All this are exact opposites to the Flash DNA. Flash was created to let web-masters to things they can’t do using standard tools. Unfortunately, it also slowed down adoption of advanced standards, too. We shouldn’t let Flash to be adopted in Mobile. If version 10+ can’t perform well on 16Gb MacPro, it would never work well on a pocket-sized, battery-powered device.
7. Flash makes your computer insecure. First, there is a history of numerous vulnerabilities of Flash, some quite nasty. Second, by design, Flash is an extra “program” that you use when browsing the web, which means one more thing to be concerned about. Just when you figured that using Firefox, Safari or Chrome instead of IE keeps you (more)secure Flash gets you back to IE-like level of protection. Do we really still need this?
All in all, I just think that it is time to kiss Flash goodbye.
Adobe needs to focus on their Photoshop and other desktop apps – that’s what they do very well. They should provide better tools for HTML5 development. There’s a lot of potential, and it’s a good fight.
I also think we should start weeding out Flash apps from BoonEx software. I’m sure we can find better solutions.