Daniel Eran Dilger
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Flash Wars: The Many Enemies and Obstacles of Flash

iphone different

While widely deployed as a web plugin and among the few web technologies that have become a household word, Adobe’s Flash has more than a few substantial enemies that would like to see it replaced, cloned, or erased.
Additionally, Flash faces a number of significant obstacles that are its own fault. These also erode Adobe’s position and have helped force its hand in opening the Flash specification. Here’s a look at the external competitors of Flash, and how Flash has hurt its own chances to establish itself as a web platform in the future.

Continues: Flash Wars: The Many Enemies and Obstacles of Flash

Rene Ritchie presented Flash cookies as another thorn in the Flash platform for users, as described in the article Flash on iPhone: Video Dream or Privacy Nightmare? – Phone different

  • russ

    It’s interesting that privacy should come to the fore in these discussions. It looks like that may be an issue with JavaFX, too:

    Sun’s JavaFX to hoover-up user data:

    http://www.regdeveloper.co.uk/2008/05/06/javafx_privacy/

  • Michael

    Admittedly, this isn’t iPhone related, but still someone has to point this out :)

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2286065,00.asp

    Check out John Dvorak’s speel on the FLAWS of Windows Vista… he’s finally waking up and smelling reality.

  • beanie

    Flash’s Windows installer is about 1MB. Silverlight’s Windows installer is also about 1MB. So both are quick and easy to install. Microsoft has no deployment advantage.

    Microsoft’s current actions look more like co-exist with Flash. Microsoft’s websites use a mixture of Flash and Silverlight. A couple of months ago, Microsoft licensed Flash Lite 3 for the next release of Windows Mobile. So Windows Mobile can support both Flash Lite and Silverlight.

  • russ

    Dvorak likes to poke fun at the Mac: it’s part of his act. He even admits he does it to drive page views. I don’t think it means he’s unaware of the deficiencies of MS’s software. (What user could not be aware of those?) And Dvorak’s explicitly said for some time that a Mac would be a better choice than a PC for most users.

    It’s a good column, though. There’s only one place where he showed naivety:

    “7) Missing drivers. It seems incredible that all of the Windows drivers that worked with XP did not necessarily work with Vista. How does that happen?”

    What happened is that the drivers shouldn’t have been in the kernel and in the original versions of NT weren’t. MS moved them in there later for performance reasons. They’ve now moved many of them back into userland for stability and security reasons. The driver model has changed: that is why. A few minutes with Google would have told him as much. Do the research, John.

    Reasons 4 and 5 (on HDD drives) don’t seem particularly to the point to me. Reason 9 seems linked to reason 8, which is valid as far as it goes.

    But, yeah, reasons 1 (too many versions), 2 (large and unwieldy codebase), 3 (promised technology missing), 6 (Bogus Vista-capable stickers) are all spot-on. Those are all hugely embarrassing.

    Reason 11 (Performance should be at the top, not the bottom, of the to-do list) is an interesting one. I’ve hardly touched Vista, but, AFAIK, you can tweak the settings to favour performance over appearance, although that’s not the default. My guess is MS got panicked by the superior UI in OS X, decided it was a big draw for customers, misunderstood the reasons why it’s better (seeing it as merely “appearance” and not design) and missed that people won’t take appearance at the cost of performance. Certainly, they won’t when they can compare: “this runs slower than XP”.

    On the Windows’ UI and how it *still* misses even in Vista see the screenshot and explanation here:

    http://arstechnica.com/articles/culture/microsoft-learn-from-apple-II.ars

    That’s from an interesting series at Ars Technica: “From Win32 to Cocoa: a Windows user’s conversion” by Peter Bright, who’s a developer who’s switched over.

    But it’s a good piece from Dvorak. Nothing new there, but he summarizes well.