As the times change, the tech we rely on keeps changing. The best example of this is the phase-out of one of the most notable web technologies, Adobe Flash, which has reached the end of its road. Back in 2017, Adobe announced its plans to shutter the technology by the end of 2020 and it is now officially ending support for it.
Rich multimedia support during text-based web
Adobe Flash was launched back in 1996 to enable a whole host of rich multimedia animations and interactive options. This was back when text dominated the web, but transition to media-rich websites was happening, and there weren’t any technologies to support it. Flash enabled a great way to solve the problem, but it grew obsolete over time and is now riddled with security problems.
Since HTML5 is more secure and can easily handle most of Flash’s tasks, Adobe is finally pulling the plug on it. Flash Player will no longer receive any new software patches or even security updates. Adobe will start blocking videos and animations running on Flash from January 12.
The end of an era
When Adobe Flash was initially introduced, it took the world by storm. It became a huge success shortly after its debut, and at one point of time, it was being used by three million developers to build interactive and animated Web content. Alongside web developers, app developers also used this technology to enable rich content.
However, this all changed when the world transitioned from desktops and laptops to mobile devices. Adobe tried to keep up, but Flash didn’t really work as well on mobile devices, and around that time, better technologies such as HTML5 were announced. “Open standards such as HTML5, WebGL, and WebAssembly have continually matured over the years and serve as viable alternatives for Flash content. Also, major browser vendors are integrating these open standards into their browsers and deprecating most other plug-ins (like Flash Player),” Adobe says in the end-of-life note of Flash Player.
Where to find old Flash games such as Farmville?
While Adobe Flash is being retired, there are projects that are saving some of the most notable Flash-based content. You can find over 2000 Flash-based content in the Internet Archive’s Flash library, which doesn’t require you to install any flash plugins. Unfortunately, the popular Facebook game Farmville is not on the list, since its parent company Zynga decided to shut it down. You can find more Flash content on the site Newgrounds as well.
As support for Adobe Flash-based content ends, Adobe recommends everyone to uninstall its plugin from devices.