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Six Months Without Adobe Flash, and I Feel Fine 393

Posted by timothy
from the alternatives-emerge-in-a-wait-no dept.
Reader hessian six months ago de-installed the Adobe Flash player on all of his browsers, probably a prudent move in light of various recent vulnerabilities. "This provoked some shock and incredulity from others. After all, Flash has been an essential content interpreter for over a decade. It filled the gap between an underdeveloped JavaScript and the need for media content like animation, video and so on." But it turns out that life sans Flash can still be worth living. Are there things you rely on that make Flash hard to give up?
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Six Months Without Adobe Flash, and I Feel Fine

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 10, 2013 @12:30PM (#42850461)

    "probably a prudent movie"

    where is this movie you speak of, i'd like to watch it on my flash player

    • Is that a Harold Lloyd movie?
    • by _Ludwig (86077)

      You're thinking of a prurient movie.

  • Kids (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyYar (622222) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @12:31PM (#42850467)

    Kids sites, educational or otherwise. All seem to use flash. IIRC, Khan Academy as well. If you have kids, you "need" Flash.

    • Re:Kids (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 10, 2013 @12:45PM (#42850583)

      One more reason not to have kids.

      • Re:Kids (Score:5, Funny)

        by lennier1 (264730) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @12:50PM (#42850615)

        Saving a shitload of money wasn't enough of a reason?

        • Re:Kids (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Paul Carver (4555) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @01:30PM (#42850899)

          Saving a shitload of money wasn't enough of a reason?

          No, certainly not. What's the point of a shitload of money if all you do is save it? Are you going to swim in it like Scrooge McDuck?

          There's no point in earning or saving money if you aren't going to do something with it. Spending money on children (and grandchildren) is something that a lot of people (though obviously not 100% of all people) get a lot of enjoyment out of.

          Feel free to spend your money on whatever you like if you dislike children, but you're just ignorant if you think that raising children isn't an excellent way to make use of hard earned cash for the vast majority of the human race who like children.

          Saving money so that you have lots of funds for spoiling grandchildren is also highly popular and a worthwhile way to spend money for many people, but it's a bit more difficult to have grandchildren if you don't have children (though not impossible obviously.)

          • Not to mention that having children is the only proven route to immortality. With a lot of kids, your DNA is almost guaranteed to survive. With no kids, your DNA goes into the grave with you. It's unlikely that some woman in the distant future will be so desperate for DNA that she'll dig your bones up to try extracting the necessary ingredients with which to fertilize her eggs.

            I know, zombie apocalypse fans will probably argue my assertions. Personally, I found getting the wife pregnant to be far more

            • Re:Kids (Score:4, Interesting)

              by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @01:50PM (#42851075)

              Immortality for your genes isn't worth very much. It gives you a legacy, but you don't get to see it.

              I'm young enough that I've a chance, if only a very slim one, that immortality-tech will become available within my lifetime. Body transplant, cryonics that actually works, maybe even the holy grail of mind uploading. It's a long shot, but it's the only chance I see. If not, well... not much I can do about it.

              • by Rick Zeman (15628)

                Immortality for your genes isn't worth very much. It gives you a legacy, but you don't get to see it.

                I'm young enough that I've a chance, if only a very slim one, that immortality-tech will become available within my lifetime. Body transplant, cryonics that actually works, maybe even the holy grail of mind uploading. It's a long shot, but it's the only chance I see. If not, well... not much I can do about it.

                Sheldon Cooper, is that you?

        • Obligatory: Family Decals [xkcd.com]

          My wife and I couldn't and didn't have children, so we were the couple on the right. She died in Jan 2006, after 20.5 years together, so now I'm alone, but I don't regret one second of our life together - just the two of us. We kissed, hugged and said "I love you" every day, held hands wherever we went and did almost everything together. She even died in my arms. I still wear my wedding ring every day.

      • by antdude (79039)

        Not even baby goats?

    • Re:Kids (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rastos1 (601318) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @02:02PM (#42851143) Homepage

      Khan academy videos are on youtube and work fine if you join HTML5 trial [youtube.com] on Youtube.

      Gnash sometimes works, sometimes not.

      Google Streetview, yeah it would be nice if that worked without Flash. There is no reason why it could not. It's just a matter of Google investing money/time/effort to get that working.

      I personally don't use Flash. For years. It certainly is possible to live without it. The smaller amount of ads alone makes that worth.

  • zero punctuation (Score:3, Informative)

    by AvitarX (172628) <(me) (at) (brandywinehundred.org)> on Sunday February 10, 2013 @12:37PM (#42850499) Journal

    Cannot live without

  • What? And, what? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @12:38PM (#42850519) Homepage

    This provoked some shock and incredulity from others.

    Er, did it? I think some of you have your surprise bar set a little low, if one guy uninstalling Flash is enough to make you apoplectic.

    probably a prudent movie

    What about the imprudent movies? How are we supposed to watch those now?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why not, for the hell of it, live with Gnash, the GNU Flash alternative, for six months? Maybe no Flash at all is better than dealing with a crashing Gnash, but who knows, you might be surprised!

  • by burni2 (1643061) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @12:39PM (#42850525)

    .. fine, because now I use SumatraPDF, small fast no nagware no nagdates .. I feel great!

    • Try MuPDF for size.

      Press 'I' to invert colors, Shift-W to scale to width. Indispensable for when you have a headache.

    • by OzPeter (195038)

      .. fine, because now I use SumatraPDF, small fast no nagware no nagdates .. I feel great!

      I use a Mac and I have been smugly without Adobe PDF software every since I got it 5 years ago.

    • .. fine, because now I use SumatraPDF, small fast no nagware no nagdates .. I feel great!

      Windows 8 comes also with a nice Reader app for PDFs.

  • I'd got rid of Adobe Flash ages ago, at least a year ago. I noticed that Gnash wasn't cutting it though for the few things I was trying to use it for (basically Youtube and the occasional stupid game). So, about four months ago I got rid of Gnash as well. No problem at all. OK, so the occasional Youtube video won't work in HTML 5 mode. I can cope. I really can! (The slow Internet speed which means it takes twenty minutes to download a three minute video helps as well.)

    And I can't think of anything else that

    • by Ceriel Nosforit (682174) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @01:00PM (#42850695)

      I noticed that Gnash wasn't cutting it though for the few things I was trying to use it for (basically Youtube and the occasional stupid game).

      That WAS ages ago... as you said. I see Gnash is a little CPU-hungry, but playback has been smooth for me. I don't miss Adobe Flash one bit.

      There's experimental GPU acceleration in the works too.

      youtube-dl [github.com]

      is nice too, if you don't mind the lack of streaming. I'm not actually sure why playback doesn't work on partially downloaded files.

      • Gotta add that VLC can play YouTube videos too. In XFCE I was able to create a launcher for VLC and drag'n'drop URLs to the icon.
      • by CODiNE (27417)

        I'm not actually sure why playback doesn't work on partially downloaded files.

        That seems to be a problem related to the video not the app. I've seen this in several different file containers, from what I can tell MPEG4 has some kind of built in index at the front of the file that gets checked for consistency before it plays. Unless the file is intended for streaming in which case it's set up a bit differently. Quicktime won't play many cut off videos but VLC will play them often after an error message.

  • Hulu, etc. (Score:5, Informative)

    by IANAAC (692242) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @12:45PM (#42850579)
    Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your view of cable/sat companies), I rely on Hulu for most of my entertainment, since I don't have cable - and actually can't get, due to remoteness. No way around the site without flash.

    But also: MSNBC (TRMS, occasionally Morning Joe). Pretty much any decent video site still uses flash.

    • Re:Hulu, etc. (Score:5, Informative)

      by jader3rd (2222716) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @01:05PM (#42850741)

      But also: MSNBC

      For MSNBC change your user agent string to the IPad's user agent string and they'll server up Flash free video.

    • by Mousit (646085)
      I second you on that any decent video site. Not just news websites and Hulu, but I found that even YouTube can't live without it yet. Much has been touted about the site itself using HTML5 in place of Flash, and yeah that works fine. However, embedded videos? All still Flash. Unless you go to YouTube.com directly and view, you still need Flash. Doubly annoying because embedded videos don't appear at all, just the usual "broken plugin" placeholder, so you can't even get the link out of it to be able to
    • by ericcc65 (2663835)

      An Amazon Instant Video...flash only currently.

  • by Gaygirlie (1657131) <gaygirlie@hotma i l . c om> on Sunday February 10, 2013 @12:47PM (#42850589) Homepage

    Netflix uses Silverlight, something that sucks quite a bit. They do offer a dedicated app if you use Windows 8, but the app is surprisingly poorly designed, plus I don't really want Windows 8 on my desktop.

    • by green1 (322787) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @12:59PM (#42850689)

      I can't believe how many sites use silverlight. Even Microsoft backed away from Silverlight ages ago, but some sites are even just now starting to implement Silverlight. As a Linux user this is EXTREMELY frustrating, and as a user of mobile devices it isn't any better. Silverlight has never worked properly on linux, and nobody has ever made a plugin for it for Android, there was a Linux Firefox plugin ages ago called "moonlight" that seemed to work on about 10% of Silverlight sites, but that stopped development ages ago too, and isnt' compatible with any of the latest browsers.

  • twitch.tv
  • Streetview (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @12:54PM (#42850645)

    Streetview on Google Maps needs flash. I would miss that quite a bit.

    • Re:Streetview (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 10, 2013 @01:13PM (#42850795)

      If you enable WebGL on Google Maps, I'm almost certain that the streetview is WebGL too, not flash.

      • If you enable WebGL on Google Maps, I'm almost certain that the streetview is WebGL too, not flash.

        You are correct; just enabled WebGL on my Flash-less Safari, and was pleasantly surprised. No need to switch to Chrome for Street View anymore!

  • It is getting easier. I eventually reinstalled it because I got tired of not being able to play some youtube videos and wanted to edit a map on OpenStreetMap.

    I normally use Click to play on everything (in Firefox), and it does have some pain points. Namely sites that can usually fallback to not using flash, still ask for flash and block it. YouTube does this sometimes even though it is going to work without flash. So does http://gs.statcounter.com/ [statcounter.com].
    Google actually asks for Flash the most out of sites that I

  • by GlobalEcho (26240) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @12:55PM (#42850655)

    I bought an OSX laptop and successfully avoided Flash for a few months while I was using it to prepare the class I now teach. A good proportion of YouTube videos wouldn't play so I was glad at times to have another computer in the house to watch them, but mostly I didn't miss it at all.

    Ultimately, though, it turned out that in order to hold online office hours at our university, I had to install Adobe Connect. That software is Flash from stem to stern. I installed Flash, and it took me a few days to get used to the surprise of animated (and noisy) ads again.

    Conclusion: access to Flash is nice at times, but one generally does better without it.

    • I installed Flash, and it took me a few days to get used to the surprise of animated (and noisy) ads again.

      Luckily, those are easy to circumvent if you just use a suitable browser. On Firefox the Adblock Plus - plugin generally manages to hide all ads and the likes, something that also includes most Flash - content, or you can use the Flashblock - plugin to disable Flash altogether on some sites or make it so that you must click on the item in question first before Flash gets loaded.

      I have to add, though, that from the security perspective you should not run around without using Flashblock, there are still too many Flash - based attacks roaming the Internet and you never know when they land on your machine. An antivirus may help, but why let the virus/malware package on your machine in the first place?

  • by macs4all (973270) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @12:57PM (#42850677)
    I have been using ClickToFlash on Safari for about 3 years now. Eliminating Flash from my browser's normal processing made Safari much more stable (it only crashes about four times a year, instead of four times per week), and sped up page-loads by an incredible amount.

    I consider ClickToFlash to be the best of both worlds. Flash that doesn't get to execute is essentially "not there", and unless I don't understand all the attack-vectors (which is likely), I think that, for now, this strikes a good balance. Because, before I click that little "Flash Placeholder", it makes me stop and think about whether I really need to see what's "behind the curtain".

    However, on my iPad, which is Flash-Free, I think I run into a Flash-only site only about once or twice a month. Even porn seems to be being delivered in HTML 5 from almost everywhere.

    Bottom line: The only thing keeping Flash alive is lazy developers and/or cheapskate PHBs.
    • However, on my iPad, which is Flash-Free, I think I run into a Flash-only site only about once or twice a month

      Let me break that record: Albino Blacksheep, Newgrounds, and Kongregate. That makes three.

  • by zmooc (33175)

    There's absolutely nothing newsworthy in this post. Apart from the poster calling Overly Attached Girlfriend Overly Obsessed Girlfriend while getting the abbreviation right...

  • Since the iPad came out, many websites hve justed their sites so flash isn't needed. Indeed, with Flashblock on my mac, i find the times i actually need flash are few and far between. I could probably live without flash or java even for browsing nowadays.
  • I think, but I can't say from experience, that life sans computers is worth living too...

  • Some time ago ING moved the site that handles the stocks to Flash. And I didn't see any reason feature wise on why they did that.

    Other than that site I haven't needed Flash for years. Any website that had no html home page lost my interest immediately.
  • I am using QUBES OS. So all the flash and java stuff runs inside a vm-app. For my clients I am using free sandbox solutions for windows.
  • and drop the whole Internet thing. You will notice that you are still fine.

    As long as you made the choice yourself, you will be fine. Now tell, no, force others to do the same. Block all Flash at your router and see if the people you live with are also fine with it. Don't tell them anything. Just observe.

    That would be interesting to see. Also do the same at your job and see if you are still fine.

  • Flash is required to watch the redwings and the kings game. http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/45340521/ [msnbc.com]

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