Linked by V. Deseinture on Fri 29th Jul 2011 20:50 UTC
Mandriva, Mandrake, Lycoris Unlike Apple and Microsoft, and despite numerous demands from their users, Linux distributions have been traditionally unable to directly ship the popular Adobe Flash Player with their packages, due to the closed source nature of the software and the restrictive license chosen by Adobe. While it does seems shorter than a regular EULA made by Microsoft with all the legalese that goes with it, it does still restrict redistribution in most cases, and the FAQ seemed to be clear about that point.
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RE[4]: ...
by Alfman on Sat 30th Jul 2011 11:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ..."
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"Lets assume that these Internet users solely use a Web browser, what do you really need Flash for?"

To address the question directly: Flash/Java/Silverlight (pick your poison) are needed for highly interactive content. Arguably many users prefer that the websites they visit every day are not highly interactive, but never the less sometimes high interactivity is desired.

As a web developer myself, I run into situations where HTML/Javascript are completely lacking. For one thing, Javascript/DOM performance remains terrible. Secondly, it's severely limited in what it's able to do. The lack of standardized rasterization and svg makes client side charting extremely difficult or impossible without supporting proprietary plugins/extensions. There are many different hacks, but the most reliable and non-proprietary way to do charts/vectors is to render them on the server instead (mapquest/google earth/analytic charts). While this achieves the desired affect in a portable way, I dread these kinds of inefficient workarounds.

"I mean one of the main use cases of tablets is web browsing and the leading device (iPads) doesn't have Flash."

For apple, the battle against evil flash was a diversion (highly successful one I might add). You see apple's intent was to release a tablet where users are tethered to their walled garden. Flash posed a significant threat to their business model; particularly for games and other interactive content. Apple knew users would be happy to download interactive content from the web instead of from the istore, they also knew that developers would be keen to avoid the apple store police and high fees if they could still reach users. So apple banned all emulators and sideloading. They blamed technical problems with flash as the reason users would be banned from highly interactive web apps on their devices. They then promoted HTML5 to fill the gap, fully knowing that HTML5 is not able to deliver the same functionality as the applications in their store.

The conclusion here is just that apple banned flash on the basis of a threat to their business model, not on the basis that it has no utility to users.

Edited 2011-07-30 11:09 UTC

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