Friday, 25 March 2016

The Rise and Fall of Adobe Flash


Flash as a tool is a very useful tool to create interactive and dynamic web content. Flash content is easy to load and give “interactivity” option to users. There are two versions of flash available in the market; Shockwave and Flash. People get confused between the two siblings as both of them come under the Adobe umbrella. But in fact, Shockwave was published by Macromedia in 1995, which was then acquired by Adobe in 2005. Both these plug-ins are popular among the masses but Flash takes the cherry due to its dependence on vector graphics, which makes them internet friendly. The advantage of this set-up makes Flash plug-in pip the popularity charts over Shockwave.

Shockwave is also used to build interactive multimedia applications and video games. Shockwave supports raster graphics, basic vector graphics, 3D graphics, audio, and an embedded scripting language called Lingo. Shockwave came into light when tonnes of free online video games were developed and published on sites such as Miniclip and Adobe developed Adobe AIR as a supplementary plug-in to combat rising demands for 3D rendering capabilities, object-oriented programming language, and capacity to run as a native executable on multiple platforms’.
Even with its popularity, Adobe flash was criticised by one of the major tech giants; Apple. Steve Jobs in his open letter cited Flash as a tool of ‘rapid energy consumption, poor performance on mobile devices, abysmal security, lack of touch support, and desire to avoid "a third party layer of software coming between the platform and the developer". Industry experts claimed Steve Jobs declaration was merely for business reasons as Apple’s systems suffered through similar drawbacks as well. Apple’s official website quotes “Apple would rather use HTML5, CSS and Javascript which has open standards as compared to ‘Closed’ Flash”. HTML5 is a new web standard which is now being widely accepted and used by Apple, Google and many others.

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