Yes I know, talking about Adobe Flash in 2020 may seem surprising. However, and despite the fact that many people think that the system that, at the time, served to fill the web with multimedia content was already dead and buried, the truth is that today it is still in use in some places. Few, fortunately, but there are. Do you want an example? Well, be sure to visit the bank of images and sounds of educacion.es, a portal aimed at students and teachers and which depends on the Ministry of Education and Professional Training. When you have removed the scare we continue.
Well, as I was saying, I know that talking about Adobe Flash in 2020 may seem surprising, but lor it is true that it is still present in the network and, what’s more, it was not until last year in the case of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, and surprisingly early this 2020 in the case of Apple Safari, that its managers have decided to definitively eliminate the support or, at least, strictly limit this already arcane technology. Oh, in case you’re wondering, Microsoft has taken another path, and will continue to support the Flash shutdown due date.
And yes, I am talking about an expected date because Adobe has published today, on its website, the Adobe Flash Player EOL General Information Page statement. EOL is the acronym for End of Life, and in this communication it confirms what we already knew for a few years, and intuited even before. But then, why is this release important? Well, because, as usually happens, end-of-life announcements made years in advance end up having some extensions. What’s more, in the 2017 announcement Adobe talked about 2020, and it is not until now that, making the deadlines as fast as possible, he is dated December 31, along with the lucky grapes.
And what will happen on January 1, 2021 with Adobe flash?
If the advancement of the company is fulfilled, the plugin for browsers will no longer be available on its website and no updates of any kind will be published (not even security, undoubtedly the most valued by its suffering users today). Isn’t that enough for you? Well, there is even more and the arrow is fulfilled, Flash Player itself will block the reproduction of all content of this type In Internet. In other words, the only function of the player from January 1 is to prevent playback. Paradoxical, right?
If we analyze the history of Flash we can distinguish three great periods. The first, of course, was its emergence, when from one day to the next the web began to fill with games, multimedia players and a plethora of effects that, we are not going to lie, fascinated us. The pages were suddenly more dynamic and interactive than ever. Surely, a clear correlation can be established between its massive arrival and a significant decrease in productivity throughout the western hemisphere and a significant part of the southern one. It is unfair to deny it, Flash filled web pages with life like nothing he had done before.
And everything was good until, suddenly, and in full swing of smartphones, with the iPhone as the maximum exponent, Steve Jobs was angry with Adobe and said that Flash had no place in the iPhone (And I wouldn’t have it on the iPad either). After a war between the two companies, Apple got their way, Google also began to look “weird” at the former joy of the web and, with the complement of the dozens of security flaws that began to appear around the player, began his pilgrimage along a tortuous path called decadence.
Finally, a few years ago, with HTML5 already consolidated, Flash entered a new phase, which we can qualify as that of irrelevance. For years Adobe has continued to support this technology, despite the fact that its end was getting closer every day. And so much so that, today, many people think it is already a missing technology. All but a few who either take advantage of the remainder of the year or, arrived on January 1, 2021, will discover “by surprise” that their websites no longer work.
And I do not know, although on the one hand I celebrate that this moment comes, there is a part of me, call it nostalgia, morriña or whatever, that can not help but feel that, although today it may even be fun to do some firewood from the fallen tree, the truth is that Adobe Flash (originally Macromedia Flash) offered us a new way of seeing and understanding the web. Would the Internet be as it is now had it not been for this technology? I have my doubts. And with this I do not intend to justify the errors, far from it, but I do claim that his role, in his early years, left many of us speechless.