Linked by snydeq on Thu 29th Sep 2011 17:22 UTC
Editorial Despite early successes on the Web, the latter years of Flash have been a tale of missed opportunities, writes Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister. 'The bigger picture is that major platform vendors are increasingly encouraging developers to create rich applications not to be delivered via the browser, but as native, platform-based apps. That's long been the case on iOS and other smartphone platforms, and now it's starting to be the norm on Windows. Each step of the way, Adobe is getting left behind,' McAllister writes. 'Perhaps Adobe's biggest problem, however, is that it's something of a relic as developer-oriented vendors go. How many people have access to the Flash runtime is almost a moot point, because Adobe doesn't make any money from the runtime directly; it gives it away for free. Adobe makes its money from selling developer tools. Given the rich supply of free, open source developer tools available today, vendors like that are few and far between. Remember Borland? Or Watcom?'
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No, wrong
by tomcat on Fri 30th Sep 2011 21:55 UTC
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Flash isn't dying because it's a CPU pig or bloated or whatever. It's dying because Apple, Google, and others already have their own platforms, and they don't want to encourage and promote the continued existence of yet another platform which pulls people away from their own. Years ago, Apple, Google, et al lacked the ability to shut Flash down because they didn't control all of the distribution channels. Now, they do. Which means that Adobe has to go begging to each of the platform vendors for crumbs, and then whine in a public blog when it gets turned down. You can't win a battle based on trying to shame your competitors.

Adobe tried some interesting approaches; for example, converting the Flash runtime to run (essentially) in an .EXE format -- packaged with third-party app logic -- which would allow third party developers to submit their apps to the various app stores. But Apple quickly figured out what they were doing, and moved to stop them.

Whatever you think of Flash, the fact of the matter is that there is a place for a kind of least-common denominator runtime which abstracts the various platform differences, and makes it possible to create a write-once, run-anywhere binary. But the owners of the walled gardens don't want that at all. They want to lock people into their programming models. They don't want to make it easy for you to port your code between platforms because it diminishes the value of their platform as a place to get exclusive content.

I'll be contrarian. Flash would actually be good for the marketplace, if it were allowed to survive. But I'm guessing that it will continue to slip away over the next 5 years, until it only sees marginal use -- and primarily in legacy use cases...

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