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Graphics Security Software

After Twenty Years of Flash, Adobe Kills the Name (thestack.com) 125

An anonymous reader writes: From January 2016, Adobe Flash will be renamed to 'Adobe Animate CC', killing one of the most unfortunate names in web security as the company pushes the product further and further to HTML5 output. Adobe's release about the update, which will form part of the annual Creative Cloud upgrade, states that a third of all material output from the program is now HTML5. The transitional HTML5 Adobe animation program Edge Animate will be replaced by the renamed Flash product.
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After Twenty Years of Flash, Adobe Kills the Name

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  • by RavenLrD20k ( 311488 ) on Tuesday December 01, 2015 @09:43AM (#51033383) Journal

    A Rose by any other name still smells as sweet.

    Adobe Flash by any other name still reeks of shit.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The problem that everyone forgets though is that it's 2015 and browsers STILL haven't effectively sandboxed javascript.

      Yeah, Flash has a lot of holes in it.

      But if you want to look at the primary vector for malware today it's not Flash anymore. It's javascript.

      And yes, if you block ads, you close that one gateway.

      But of course, we all visit countless websites over the course of a year -- some in the web's bad neighborhoods. AdBlock ain't gonna help.

      And yeah, there's NoScript... but that tends to limit the

      • Wait a minute. It is extremely rare to infected through JavaScript. If you believe otherwise, then please show me a realistic scenario of infecting a user via a modern browser by using JavaScript.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 01, 2015 @11:41AM (#51034229)

          The FBI attacked Tor users this way last year; that attack is only known to the public because it was revealed in court proceedings. I don't know about you, but I'm going to assume there are still other JS exploits out there being used (by good and bad guys) that haven't yet become public.

      • Well, maybe enough folks are still pissed off about having to *rent* their software with that fscking Creative Cloud monthly rental model....and that will help kill Flash off for good?

        One can only hope.

        I just still at this point, refuse to RENT my fucking creative software. For now, my CS6 Suite of Adobe tools will work...and now, with things like Fusion [blackmagicdesign.com] from Blackmagic..... Davinci Resolve [blackmagicdesign.com] from black magic design that is not only one of the ultimate color grading apps, it is also now turning into a wo

        • Thanks for the Resolve link. Unfortunately, Affinity isn't Photoshop and likely would not be. Although I'm kinda annoyed at the 'Rental' model, in point of fact, pretty much all modern software is 'rented' - that is, unsupported in perpetuity. Sure, you can run CS6 on Mac - until Apple pulls another Apple and does something to make the older program fail on the newer OS. Windows is perhaps a bit better, but not by much.

          Just depends. If you can afford to freeze your system in time, 'owning' your softwa

          • Thanks for the Resolve link. Unfortunately, Affinity isn't Photoshop and likely would not be.

            Well, I will say I'm very early in my learning of Affinity and comparing it to PS. One thing I DO like, is that with Affinity, they aren't having to keep a bunch of old stuff like PS does....they didn't have to keep old legacy stuff that virtually no one seems to use any more (I mean, why do the old Hue/Sat..and have it make permanent changes vs a Hue/Sat adjustment layer which you can go back and fine tune, etc?

          • by fsagx ( 1936954 )

            If you can afford to freeze your system in time,

            That is what I have done. I run CS in a virtualbox container. Works great for my uses. I like being able to move my whole environment from desktop to laptop and back.

            • That is what I have done. I run CS in a virtualbox container. Works great for my uses. I like being able to move my whole environment from desktop to laptop and back.

              I tried that originally. I had the Windows version of CS6 Production premium suite on my macbook pro, running Fusion VMWare. Trouble was, that Premier and especially After Effects just were slow as mud, and it didn't really work well, due to not being able, apparently to hit the GPU and other hardware directly. So, I sent back the Win version

          • What do you mean freezing your system in time? Windows 10 tracks your system and stores that info on its servers. It also has numerous other problems too long to be mentioned. My mistake was giving away my 64 bit version of windows 7. Thats it. I plan on keeping it until Chome OS is ready. Microsoft can no longer be trusted, apple never could and Linux is still linux, the red headed step child of OSes People are slowly making stuff for ten but only by lack of choice. Adobe can be bypassed by either keygen
        • Only Adobe tool I ever used was Photoshop 7. That being said when I bought a new computer I skipped MS Office and Adobe stuff. Went with Gimp instead. Never looked back.
        • by sudon't ( 580652 )

          I'm with you. Once CS6 stops working, if Adobe still hasn't come to its senses, I'll have to find an alternative. Once you turn over your data to someone else, there's no telling what they'll do with it. Then there's this whole notion that people don't own what they payed for. Uh, uh.

          • by KGIII ( 973947 )

            To be fair, you've not paid for it - you've paid for a license to use it. With online services, you're just paying for (it seems to me) a more limited license to use it but getting some benefits (like portability, universal access, etc). Do they keep your data or just process it? Is it stored, without exception? In other words, if you like the product, you might as well keep using it *if* you're able to retain reasonable control of your property.

        • same old 1960s thing, only now you use your own SVGA terminal to the cloud. white-coated sysadmins still own everything. read the fine print.

          might as well mail card decks back and forth.

      • by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Tuesday December 01, 2015 @10:51AM (#51033861)

        And yeah, there's NoScript... but that tends to limit the web's basic functionality.

        NoScript is a HUGE improvement, in my experience. However, it's also a big pain in the ass to use, so I wouldn't foist it on my wife's computer for instance. What works well is to set the selection to whitelist scripts coming from the site's own domain, but after that you have to get good at manually enabling other domains, usually ones with "cdn" in them since most big sites deliver videos and such from affiliated CDN domains. If that doesn't work, however, then you're resorting to guessing; there's been a few times I've just started up an alternate browser that doesn't have NoScript installed just to look at one site, but this is rare. For the most part, NoScript is really helpful and speeds things up a lot, but it's really not that easy to use because the situation with JavaScript is such an utter mess, with dozens of scripts on every page it seems.

        • NoScript is a HUGE improvement, in my experience. However, it's also a big pain in the ass to use, so I wouldn't foist it on my wife's computer for instance.

          I think you're just doing it wrong... NoScript can easily be configured to allow everything by default. Then you just tell your wife it's a big "toggle" button she can click on when a site does things she doesn't like... (e.g. pop-ups/pop-unders, autoplay, and other annoyances)

          • If you allow everything by default, you're not going to get any benefit from it whatsoever. You might as well just use uBlock Origin so you avoid all the ads, but it also allows a lot of other BS (tracking scripts and such) which NoScript blocks.

            It'd be nice to see something more like uBlock, or maybe have uBlock extended to do this, where it also blocks all the tracking crap, autoplaying videos, etc., using a curated blacklist. There are some things out there like Ghostery, but they're not trustworthy si

            • by PRMan ( 959735 )
              Privacy Badger is the closest that I have found to what you are asking. And it's curated by the EFF.
            • If you allow everything by default, you're not going to get any benefit from it whatsoever.

              Sure you will. "Default" is just where you start from. You say whitelisting is too much work, so try it from a blacklisting perspective, instead.

          • Honestly, I've found the point of noscript to be a bit less than compelling these days, for two reasons:

            * Most modern exploits are in plugins or other vectors like advertising, rather than Javascript exploits
            * Most sites simply don't work with scripting disable these days - sometimes even if partially disabled

            I recently replaced noscript with ublock-origin, and have found it to be a significantly better web experience. It's something I could easily recommend to less technical users, where I don't think I c

        • by PRMan ( 959735 )

          I find Privacy Badger to be almost as effective as NoScript, but completely automated for putting on other people's computers. I just show them how to turn it off and then tell them if the site's not working and it's a big name site that you trust, then you can turn it off.

          It's worked pretty well.

        • by phorm ( 591458 )

          Why not just "temporarily enable all this page" instead of using a different browser?

    • Ah yes, they're learning from the CIA and NSA:

      Tell everyone you're going to stop, but just rename the process and keep doing the same old thing.

    • As long as I can turn it off, I don't give a crap what they call it.

      Flash has pretty much had at least one gaping security hole for every month of that 20 years.

      And in the 19.5 years I've been disabling/uninstalling/blocking it, I've never felt like I was missing anything. The sooner Flash finally dies and goes away the better.

      • by slashkitty ( 21637 ) on Tuesday December 01, 2015 @10:14AM (#51033597) Homepage
        I'm guessing you're not turning off HTML 5.
        • I would love to know how ... in no way shape or form do I have any interest in anything bloody animated ever appearing on my screen.

          It's annoying as hell, distracting, and I'm not interested.

          So, yeah, if someone gives me a plugin to disable any form of animation bullshit in HTML 5, I will gladly use it.

          If HTML 5 is just a way to force me to see ads and animations, then HTML 5 is broken by design.

          • by jandrese ( 485 )
            It's not a perfect solution, but you can install noscript and only allow Javascript on the base page. You'll still get HTML5 animations from the page, but not from ads. You can also leave javascript blocked if it is not crucial to the operation of the particular webpage.
          • I can't remember if it's my ad blocker or NoScript but one of them lets you block all and tags. That shuts down all HTML5 video and audio. Of course, that blocks everything so sites like youtube don't work. But if you're fine with that, it's a viable option.
            • And I clicked submit before I really proofread that message. It should read "one of them lets you block all <VIDEO> and <AUDIO> tags."
          • Flash Control for Firefox seems to block HTML5 video from load for me...even though its called Flash Control.

    • Can't they change the name to Malware at least it will be accurate then.
    • The curse of the Flash brand name is that it rhymes with a common computer problem, crash, not to mention trash. Maybe Adobe was thinking a longer name would be more difficult for critics to pun. Adobe Obliterate or Defecate, doesn't have the punch of Adobe Crash.
    • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Tuesday December 01, 2015 @11:20AM (#51034067)
      Flash was originally created as an artist's tool - to allow streaming animation which didn't take up as much bandwidth [homestarrunner.com] by only transmitting backgrounds and sprites once and animating them on the client, rather than streaming raw video. For that purpose it's a fantastic tool, with several TV shows [wikipedia.org] and animated movies [wikipedia.org] still being created with it.

      Flash didn't ask to become the de facto scripting language for the web. It only became that because the HTML standard lacked scripting and programming capability which Flash provided. It was a security disaster because it was only ever intended to be an artist's tool and little thought went into making it secure. If you want to blame someone, blame the folks in charge of the HTML standard. They dragged their feet for over a decade [wikipedia.org], and didn't update HTML to provide many of the capabilities Flash provided until HTML5. HTML 4.01 was standardized in Dec 1999. HTML 5 was standardized in Oct 2014. It should have been made standard in 2001-2003.
      • No, Flash didn't ask to be the de facto scripting language. But it become so, all the same. And Adobe ran with it, making it more and more featureful, while giving not giving security any thought at all.

        Saying that they didn't ask for it is a cop out. HTML's lack of progress was an opportunity for Adobe, and Adobe pushed Flash as hard as they possibly could, doing everything they could to make Flash utterly ubiquitous. Adobe is *absolutely* to blame for the shitpile that is Flash. They've had more than

      • After looking through the movies and TV shows in both lists... I can safely say the world would have been better of had Flash never existed.

      • by Bogtha ( 906264 )

        Flash didn't ask to become the de facto scripting language for the web. It only became that because

        Flash has never been the de facto scripting language for the web. That has always been JavaScript.

        the HTML standard lacked scripting and programming capability which Flash provided.

        No, the HTML standard didn't lack scripting capability, it offered hooks for scripting languages, and they were in use since before Flash existed.

        blame the folks in charge of the HTML standard. They dragged their feet

      • by Ichijo ( 607641 )

        It was a security disaster because it was only ever intended to be an artist's tool and little thought went into making it secure.

        And also because it crashed a lot [apple.com].

    • Complain Complain....
      Before flash we had Java Applets, or Active X, after that and before HTML 5 there was an attempt to make silverlight useful.

      Flash had all the GUI elements we wanted, easy to code, and loaded relatively quickly and used a lot less bandwidth than other methods. Adobe went out of its way to make sure it ran on major OS's and browsers.

      Until HTML 5 HTML didn't have too many way to handle Vector graphics, or animations. Not blaming early versions of HTML because with average speed being a 9

    • by sudon't ( 580652 )

      "Cloud" is already a bad name in my book. I want nothing to do with it.

    • if that crapbucket shows up, I will disable it, too.

    • Not entirely accurate. As the OP said, the program is increasingly shifting over to HTML5 output. The most problematic part of Flash has been the Flash Player plugin, which is not needed for HTML5 pages.

      Whether Animate CC will produce good HTML5 output is another matter. So is the question of whether browsers will turn out to have serious security flaws in their implementations of HTML5. But at the very least it will be a different set of problems.

  • They can call it whatever they want but it will still be a piece of shit. Of course many website and software vendors are complicit in keeping this piece of shit software alive and kicking.

  • or not, as the case may be...in other words, they can change the name, but they can't change the stink of decay that surrounds Flash
  • by jeffb (2.718) ( 1189693 ) on Tuesday December 01, 2015 @09:46AM (#51033407)

    I think I remember that from one of my computer-security classes. Sanitize all your inputs, do length checks to avoid buffer overflows, and if those don't work, change your product's name.

  • There was hardly ever a time when Flash nor Shockwave were actually really useful and if there ever was, that time is definitely LONG gone - kill the product instead and move aside for html5! You have enough other, actual cash cows, adobe.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by dos1 ( 2950945 )

      Adobe Flash is still very useful. Quite a lot of TV cartoons are animated with it.

      Of course you're correct on browser plugin part, but that's not everything Flash (well, now Animate) is.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 01, 2015 @09:55AM (#51033471)

    they are not killing the flash name; the new version of their *creation* package is renamed to Animate from Flash Professional since it outputs HTML5 in addition to SWF; this is not related to the client side SWF ecosystem

  • Can all the rabid Flash fanboys that's left finally let it go?

  • 20 years is a long time in our world. Many readers here had just gotten their first jobs, and many weren't even born yet (or so behavior hints to me). Windows 95 had just come out, 9.5 times better than what we have today. Emacs vs VIM was all the rage, and a year later came out a fledgling desktop environment known as KDE. Java was something you drank, your printer probably made this awful, "SCRRRRRRRRRRR" sound as it punched your pages with ink ribbons, and your CIA/BND/M15/whatever were still cool guys

    • Adobe acquired the name when they absorbed Macromedia, remember.
  • by American AC in Paris ( 230456 ) on Tuesday December 01, 2015 @10:11AM (#51033575) Homepage

    They're renaming the authoring tool, which is currently known as Flash Professional CC. It appears that the Flash Player will remain just that.

    This makes perfect sense, as Flash Professional CC is increasingly being used to generate media that targets HTML5, not Flash, as output. Renaming Flash Professional CC to Animate CC eliminates the whole need to do the song and dance of "we're talking about Flash the authoring environment, not Flash the plugin" to non-technical audiences.

    • by all204 ( 898409 )

      Sorry, mis-modded you... Meant to mod you insightful. Undoing negative mod.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday December 01, 2015 @10:13AM (#51033585)

    For a brief moment I was worried they might have killed Flash. Then I noticed they only retired the name 'cause it was already pretty much synonymous of "malware installer".

    For a moment I was worried about my job security. Please, Adobe, don't scare us IT security guys like that!

  • by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Tuesday December 01, 2015 @10:28AM (#51033671) Journal

    What I'm reading from this is that Edge Animate, Adobe's HTML 5 tool, will be renamed Adobe Animate CC, and will gain some (probably funky) backwards compatibility to Flash.

    But it's not as sexy when you put it that way.

  • VMware vSphere Web Client need to go HTML5 and dump the flash as well.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by anlag ( 1917070 )
      Arguably off-topic but that won't keep me from breaking out in a heartfelt "god yes!"
  • by pz ( 113803 ) on Tuesday December 01, 2015 @10:34AM (#51033725) Journal

    I don't care what they name it, within reason. It's a product / tool / whatever. Does it work? Good.

    In particular, will they PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE update the Reader application under Linux to support some kind of contemporary animation that's supported on other platforms as well? I don't care if it's Flash, HTML5, AVI, MOV ... I just don't care. It doesn't matter. What matters is that I can display animations within a PDF, and be certain that they will play for others on Windows or iOS as well. Right now, as a Linux user, I don't have that ability, really.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Why on Earth would you want to see animated garbage in a .pdf document?

      • by pz ( 113803 )

        Because I need to make presentations with some regularity, and often don't have control of what machine is used to drive the projector. Let's examine the options for creating a presentation file.

        1. TeX to PDF with embedded animations. Open Source, tools that I'm familiar with, and, with the exception of Linux, near-universal viewability.

        2. Microsoft PowerPoint. Hate it. Horrible UI. Despite reasonably good fluency with the tool out of necessity, my productivity is about 50% of Option 1, and the slides

  • I really liked the fresh and modern take it had on HTML5 canvas timeline based animation. It was built from the ground up and very lean. I hope Adobe incorporates all of Edge Animate's features into their new Animate/Flash CC app.

  • News Flash! Flash is old news!

    To be renamed Professor Zoom!
  • In general, Adobe's product version naming has been very odd and confusing. Numeric version numbers are not "sexy" enough I guess, so they give their versions names seemingly stolen from sports shoes or Honda's Department of Hipster Marketing.

    Damn whippersnappers, get off my LXWN!

    • Well, let's see. They used to have simple version numbers (Photoshop 5, Premiere 6.1, etc.). This got them into a bit of trouble because, for example, the upgrade from Premiere 6.1 to Premiere 6.5 was a paid upgrade, but since it wasn't a major change in the actual back end code, that was a bit messy. Additionally, Adobe wanted to focus more on the program bundles rather than the individual applications, and thus the "Creative Suite" moniker was born. Incidentally, this also helped deal with the psychologic

  • Maybe they'll use the name change as an opportunity to generate some further goodwill and kill off the browser plugin.

    Flash does have uses outside the browser, and the new name reflects that. It's a completely dippy name for a browser plugin, though.

    Adobe has ever been accused of forward thinking, but we can always hope.
  • by ThatsNotPudding ( 1045640 ) on Tuesday December 01, 2015 @01:18PM (#51034951)
    Screen Door was already copyrighted.
  • I used to work for Macromedia - from 1995 - 1998. I was there when they bought Flash (It was called "FutureSplash") and yes, it was originally supposed to simply do vector based animation, because bandwidth back in the mid 90s sucked balls. Fairly quickly it became painfully obvious that Macromedia's flagship product, Director was doomed. Director did pixel based animations and a lot of other things thanks to its programming language, Lingo. A HUGE portion of the development cost for Director went into Lin

  • How many years does PDF have to be a primary attack vector before we strip Adobe of the business license?
  • is not a container for any video codec... it's not 'output to' anything. To date, all you can output on adobe products without 3rd party plugins is h.264, 75 patents owned by microsoft alone, among others like apple in the group MPEG-LA.

    I didn't read a single line mentioning webm, vp8/9 or vorbis and opus. You know, the actual open source ones. HTML5 is fast becoming another marketing buzzword equally irritating as cloud.

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