Every millennial or Gen Z remembers playing Flash games in class on a school computer, or playing Super Smash Flash on your home computer. Those were magical, simpler times. But all of that is coming to an end, very soon. Flash is dead.
But that’s okay. Newer technologies are almost where they need to be to be a full-fledged Flash replacement. WebGL, WebAssembly, and HTML5 canvases have shown great promise and can fill Flash’s absence. There is one question though, what happens to all the existing flash content on the web?
Good question. And there’s no good answer… right now. Some are attempting to immortalize it as best they can, as is the case with Flashpoint, which is focused on saving flash games and making sure you can play them in the future when flash dies. It seems to be a worthy project and I encourage you to support them as best you can.
So, why is Flash being killed? Numerous reasons, chief among them being that Flash player is proprietary and Adobe controls it. Another is that Flash is a gaping security hole.
In terms of websites still using Flash… those websites will simply cease to function in 2020. For most browsers, including Edge and IE: “Users will no longer have any ability to enable or run Flash,” said John Hazen, a program manager on the Edge team. Google has a similar timeline, and by the end of 2020, you will not be able to run Flash on any major browser.
My thoughts on the matter are pretty neutral. I was a flash developer myself, and so it does make me slightly nostalgic and sad to think that all of that is going away. On the other hand though, technology is always evolving, and being a software engineer unfortunately means going with the flow sometimes. I look forward to seeing what advancements WebGL brings.
Again, if you’re feeling nostalgic about all those Flash games you used to play, I recommend checking out one of the numerous services wanting to immortalize them, like Flashpoint mentioned above. Go check out their Discord server and say hello!
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