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Adobe Makes Flash on GNU/Linux Chrome-Only 404

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the firefox-users-storm-headquarters dept.
ekimd writes "Adobe has anounced their plans to abandon future updates of their Flash player for Linux. Partnering with Google, after the release of 11.2, 'the Flash Player browser plugin for Linux will only be available via the 'Pepper' API as part of the Google Chrome browser distribution and will no longer be available as a direct download from Adobe.' Viva la HTML 5!" And it appears that Mozilla won't be implementing Pepper anytime soon.
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Adobe Makes Flash on GNU/Linux Chrome-Only

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  • Deathbed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KugelKurt (908765) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @10:01AM (#39123925)

    Flash is on its deathbed anyway. Even Adobe realized that and is migrating everything to HTML5, even employing programmers to implement HTML5/CSS3 features in WebKit.
    Adobe gives a 5 year migration period which is probably more that HTML5 needs to succeed widespread.

    • Legacy works (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tepples (727027) <tepples@gmaiBLUEl.com minus berry> on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @10:06AM (#39123993) Homepage Journal

      Flash is on its deathbed anyway.

      All the existing Flash animations and games on Weebl's Stuff, Homestar Runner, Kongregate, and Newgrounds are likely to keep SWF on life support for a very long time, be it through Adobe Flash Player or through Gnash.

      • Re:Legacy works (Score:4, Informative)

        by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @10:13AM (#39124079)

        All the existing Flash animations and games on Weebl's Stuff, Homestar Runner, Kongregate, and Newgrounds are likely to keep SWF on life support for a very long time, be it through Adobe Flash Player or through Gnash.

        You're kidding, right? The games will become apps for Chrome or your mobile device, and the animations are already on YouTube. Go check JoeCartoon's offerings for examples (X in a blender etc).

        Flash is in its' death throes.

        • Re:Legacy works (Score:5, Informative)

          by BenoitRen (998927) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @10:21AM (#39124173)

          You do realise that not all Flash content will migrate, right? A lot of it isn't being looked after by their authors any more.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702)
            I don't mean the actual Flash games on Newgrounds etc will become apps for Chrome. I meant that web games will be developed as Chrome apps, or for mobile devices instead. Flash is dying because nobody will code for it anymore.

            Frankly I'm amazed that I had to make that distinction; I guess my grammar isn't as good as I thought.
            • Re:Legacy works (Score:4, Informative)

              by Tim C (15259) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @11:00AM (#39124669)
              No offence, but no it isn't - I also read "the games will become apps for Chrome" as "existing Flash games will be ported to Chrome apps".

              For what it's worth, I disagree; I can't see anyone that's making money from Flash games (e.g. Zynga) targetting a single browser, and most if not all of the Flash games I've played simply won't work on a smartphone. They might work on a tablet, but that's currently still a niche market (though one that is growing, I'll grant you).

              That's not to say that new games won't be implemented in HTML 5, but we're a fair way from that being practical either given the current state of HTML 5 support.
      • Re:Legacy works (Score:5, Interesting)

        by KugelKurt (908765) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @10:27AM (#39124243)

        All the existing Flash animations and games on Weebl's Stuff, Homestar Runner, Kongregate, and Newgrounds are likely to keep SWF on life support for a very long time, be it through Adobe Flash Player or through Gnash.

        Did you read my post? Adobe itself is migrating to HTML5. Adobe offers a tool (currently in beta) to convert Flash animations to HTML5: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/wallaby/ [adobe.com]
        I bet it'll be part of -- at the latest -- CS7.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Lumpy (12016)

        Nobody does flash animations anymore. Why would you torture yourself for weeks to do that when you can use a modern rotoscoping app for animation and create a mpeg4 file in 1/10th the time.

        Then embed it in a flash wrapper to play the video file to confuse fans that want the video file on their local drive.

      • Gnash mostly works well enough, it should be good enough to stand in until Flash is properly deprecated.

    • DRM Video (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pavon (30274) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @10:49AM (#39124543)

      In addition to the tons of legacy content that will never be converted (due to limitations in tools, or abandonment), there is a lot of new content for which HTML 5 in not appropriate.

      For example, there are a lot of nice video streaming services out there, and they all have been forced to use some sort of DRM by content providers. While I refuse to accept DRM on products I buy, I don't have an issue with it for rental/subscription services as long as it is available on the platforms I use, which can be an issue even without DRM. With Silverlight DRM not being included in Moonlight, you already could not watch Netflix and some live sports, now with Flash being discontinued for Linux, there will be no way to watch Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, or any of the streaming video provided by networks. This is a use of Flash that HTML5 will never replace, because of valid ideological differences in the purpose of open web standards.

      I don't consider a tool that is used for 90% of commercial video streaming, with no migration path to other tools to be "on its deathbed".

    • Re:Deathbed (Score:5, Insightful)

      by parlancex (1322105) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @11:07AM (#39124745)
      I think people are maybe too quick to predict the demise of Flash.

      What I is the demise of flash being used for the wrong things, which is just as good. Flash will no longer be a requirement for video or richer interaction / graphics / animations as HTML5 takes hold, which is a good thing. People are quick to forget in all the HTML5 excitement though there are still plenty of legitimate applications that HTML5 can't do, or at least, won't do very well.

      As an example, how about a SIP video softphone accessible from a browser? In Flash you would implement this through an applet that connects to a server application using RTMP (with RTMP over UDP for media) and you have access to a variety of codecs, where the server application performs the actual bridging to SIP destinations and any media transcoding. Is it possible with HTML5? Perhaps, if WebSockets was a mature enough technology and the streaming video / audio codecs were sophisticated enough, but they certainly aren't in the current state of the standard, though I would love to be proven wrong.
  • It is BS like this from Adobe that will not make me shed a tear when Flash is eventually replaced.

  • Why no PPAPI? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @10:03AM (#39123951)

    "And it appears that Mozilla won't be implementing Pepper anytime soon."

    Why?

    • by LizardKing (5245)
      Because NPAPI is more than adequate for their needs?
      • Re:Why no PPAPI? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @10:34AM (#39124361)

        If it is, I'd like to see that pointed out on their Wiki pages. Right now, it simply mentions that they're not going to implement Pepper with no further explanation. When I go to the Pepper web site, I see all kinds of reasons why one would want to implement Pepper. If the Mozilla people just wrote a few words explaining the situation, it would make the situation much easier for confused users like me.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @10:03AM (#39123953) Homepage Journal

    Your days are numbered, and the number is not particularly large.

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @10:03AM (#39123967) Homepage

    Oh, sure, I'm sure some people will complain that their favorite game or whatever runs on Flash, and therefore it's a horrible and tragic loss.

    But for some of us, it's a performance hog, a security risk, and a general nuisance. I've been avoiding the use of Flash whenever I can get away with it for over a decade. I associate it with annoying ads and ever-cookies more than I do anything useful. In fact, I'm not sure I can name a single site I use that makes use of Flash.

    I look forward to the demise of Flash. Sorry that some of you will miss out of Super Duper Happy Fun Cow Clicker or whatever, but I personally will not mourn its loss.

    • by Viol8 (599362) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @10:08AM (#39124019)

      "In fact, I'm not sure I can name a single site I use that makes use of Flash."

      So you never use youtube then? Or any of the TV catch up services? You never view any lectures on TED?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Flashblock will play many of those things directly as HTML5, except the DRM encumbered stuff of course, which I don't care for anyway.

        Flash on Linux has been a pig since the day it was ported over. I for one, will be glad for the battery life improvements alone...

      • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @10:19AM (#39124159) Homepage

        So you never use youtube then? Or any of the TV catch up services? You never view any lectures on TED?

        Actually, no apparently. And, if I do, I have native apps on my iPad for them ... none of them are running Flash.

        My work computer has Flash, because that's part of the build, but I haven't had Flash on a machine I own in at least 10 years.

        I don't see the attraction to You Tube for the most part (oooh, another cat video, I believe I'll vomit); I've got a PVR; and I've been meaning to watch a TED lecture but somehow never gotten around to it.

        It may be hard to believe if you use Flash regularly, but some of us actually manage to exist without using it, and have for quite some time. It's literally not installed on my personal machine, and I believe never has been on this one.

        I might have a VM that has it installed on it in case I find I absolutely do need it, but it would have to be something quite specific to make me go looking for something which will run Flash.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by MadMaverick9 (1470565)

        So you never use youtube then?

        you do not need a flash player to watch youtube videos.

        smplayer v0.7.0 [sourceforge.net] can play youtube videos just fine.

        http://smplayer.sourceforge.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5255 [sourceforge.net]

        Support for youtube. Now you can open urls like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= [youtube.com]..... using the Open -> URL dialog or dragging a link from a browser to the smplayer window.

    • by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @10:12AM (#39124073) Homepage

      In fact, I'm not sure I can name a single site I use that makes use of Flash.

      You must not get out much. I just checked BBC, CNN and they both use flash. If I go to the top three news sites in Norway (VG, Dagbladet, Aftenposten) they all use flash. Okay they all use them for ads but for a business based on showing people ads that's a rather essential use. Kill flash and the ads won't go away, they'll become HTML5 ads.

      • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @10:29AM (#39124265) Homepage

        You must not get out much. I just checked BBC, CNN and they both use flash ... Okay they all use them for ads but for a business based on showing people ads that's a rather essential use.

        See, I don't consider CNN to be worth reading -- they lost anything like journalistic integrity years ago in my opinion.

        And, I don't give a damn about the ads people are running. All I see is Ad Block Plus or NoScript telling me that "this rectangle contains something you didn't want to see anyway". It was ads that made me hate Flash in the first place.

        Let me clarify ... sure, sites that I use have Flash crap on them all of the time. But I don't have a player installed, and any of the stuff they are using Flash for has so far failed to make me think "oooh, I gotta get me some of that". It's just the crap in the corners I wasn't going to look at anyway. If I can't see the rest of your web page without it, I'll find another one.

        In fact, every time I am forced to use a browser that does have Flash on it, it makes me want to kill someone from Adobe.

        I'm not interested in their ads, and I'm sure as hell not giving them CPU cycles to animate some fucking monkey. :-P

        Please, enjoy Flash to your heart's content ... but for me, it is, and always has been something I don't want on my machine. As such, I simply don't use it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Asic Eng (193332)

      I look forward to the demise of Flash.

      Initially this will hurt Firefox on Linux. It might be an indication that Adobe doesn't intend to put a lot of resources into Flash anymore, but the action itself should have very little impact on Flash.

    • by FunPika (1551249)
      Some of us at the moment have to deal with college courses that require the use of software like MyMathLab [mymathlab.com] that rely on flash for basic functionality like answering homework questions. Until those sites feel like migrating to HTML5, a lot of college students are going to need flash to be supported on their computers.
  • Is it a viable alternative against flash? According to http://gnashdev.org/ [gnashdev.org] last version is 0.8.9 published in march 2011.

  • In the past I needed flash for two things: Piwik and (to a lesser extend) youtube. Piwik switched to HTML5 graphs about half a year ago IIRC , and youtube appears to play every video with a HTML5 player for a while now. Same goes for vimeo.

    I have uninstalled flash in the moment Piwik made the switch (gnash did not work with Piwik btw). Being on AMD64 flash was a chore anyway, so since then browsing was suddenly faster and more stable.

    I can only imagine people playing these advergames would miss flash,
  • For Flash Player releases after 11.2, the Flash Player browser plugin for Linux will only be available via the “Pepper” API as part of the Google Chrome browser distribution and will no longer be available as a direct download from Adobe.

    Damn, what about chromium, then? Is quite annoying already having to install the Flash Player through an installer that fetches it from Adobe. Now we will have to use the proprietary bits of the browser, too? No way.

  • The end of an era (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Qbertino (265505) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @10:30AM (#39124289)

    I've been doing rich client development in Flash ever since 2000 and to me the Flash Player for x86/Linux was a big selling point. True x-platform RTE with a huge amount of awesome features and a very good programming language with AS2 and AS3. A free cli compiler for all major platforms including Linux and an awesome workflow for building custom UIs with the Flash IDE.

    I don't think there will be such a widespread and powerfull platform again in the future - it's a shame Adobe missed out on the whole touch revolution in the Flash dept. Just last year I bought my last stack of OReillys for Flex and AS development for a project I had. ... Guess that will have been my last. Just this morning I though of stashing them away to make room for my new C++ stack.

    For me, one thing is for sure: As awesome as Flash was, it is the one and only proprietary platform and technology I will ever have invested significant time in. From here on out it's only truely OSI compliant FOSS technologies and PLs for me. That was also the main reason I didn't move into Unity3D when I was doing game development a while back.

    Flash/AS it was a great 11 years. You will be missed.

    My 2 cents.

  • Five years from now (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @10:41AM (#39124439)

    What the summary largely skips over is that this plan to abandon Flash on Linux is scheduled to take place five years from now. Adobe is planning to provide updates to their Linux Flash player until then. After five years it's likely HTML5 and Gnash will be up to the task of handling everything people currently use Adobe flash for.

  • by FellowConspirator (882908) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @10:42AM (#39124453)

    In Adobe's announcement regarding the end of mobile Flash support, they stated that they were conceding to HTML5 in the web browser and will be focusing on moving Flash to desktop platform application development. While I suppose it was subtly stated, the implication was that they intend to phase out Flash as a browser plug-in entirely. Linux/X11 was already the most difficult for them to implement and had the highest cost/benefit, so it makes perfect sense for it to be the first to go. I imagine Google wants to keep Legacy Flash for Chrome on Linux if for no other reason than to secure another leg up on the browser competition. Overall, Google probably would just assume Flash die off, but if they can get buy-in from Linux users and push WebM and Dart in the process, then it's worth the effort.

  • by uberbrodt (1064400) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @10:45AM (#39124487) Homepage

    From the press release:

    "Adobe will continue to provide security updates to non-Pepper distributions of Flash Player 11.2 on Linux for five years from its release."

    If we believe the (mainstream) migration from Flash to HTML5 will be accomplished in that timeframe, I don't see this being a big issue for Firefox or other Linux browsers not using the Pepper API

  • flash (Score:4, Informative)

    by aahpandasrun (948239) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @10:52AM (#39124581)
    2 years ago, this would have been AN OUTRAGE! Now? Not so much. Just set your user agent to iPad, and a lot of video sites will work without Flash.
  • RTFA (Score:5, Informative)

    by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @11:00AM (#39124679) Homepage Journal
    From TFA:

    As discussed in the just released Adobe roadmap for the Flash runtimes, Adobe has been working closely with Google to develop a single modern API for hosting plugins within the browser (one which could replace the current Netscape plugin API being used by the Flash Player). The PPAPI, code-named “Pepper” aims to provide a layer between the plugin and browser that abstracts away differences between browser and operating system implementations.

    In a typical Slashdot display of sensationalism, the headline reads "Adobe makes flash on Linux Chrome-Only" but they've announced nothing of the sort. Adobe is switching Flash from the increasingly outdated and cumbersone Netscape plugin API to the new PPAPI (Pepper). There is nothing stopping Mozilla from implementing this API. And that's probably what's going to happen. I'd be surprised if there isn't already a team working on it.

  • by rapiddescent (572442) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:35PM (#39126039)

    Adobe removed their AIR packages from their repo's even though leaving the old v2.6 AIR was still relevant and useful for a lot of users. One could easily view this as being somewhat vindictive against Linux users because it couldn't have costed them anything just to leave the old version sitting in the repo. I imagine that they will also remove flash from their adobe yum repo making any installation potentially too difficult for many users and makes it harder **even if you want to use an old version of an OS**. They did leave a 32bit binary installtion but that fails in so many ways with complex dependencies.

    e.g. I've had to use an old version of Fedora in a virtualbox [balsamiq.com] just to use Balsamiq [balsamiq.com] (the funky wireframe screen builder tool). I spoke to the people at balsamiq telling them about this dependency and they basically said that Adobe won't listen to them (I guess they are too small - but a bit stupid to deliver their product on someone elses platform that they have no control over)

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