Probably one of the most well known web applications across the world is Adobe’s Flash Player, whether it comes installed by default for your web browser (looking at you, Chrome and Microsoft Edge), although having the application come pre-installed has its own benefits, the issue with Adobe Flash Player has never been one about having to install it or even update it.
Adobe has done a great job of making the installation and update process as simple as possible with minimal technical knowledge required, so why do we still need to have Flash installed?
Technology takes time to roll out
Even though the world is slowly moving away from Flash, the changes will still take time to roll out, HTML5 replaces Flash when it comes to playing media, whether it be audio or video, but when it comes to being able to play existing Flash videos, it’s rather hard to change the entire infrastructure without spending a hefty amount of resources.
Over time though, there’s no question that technology will eventually catch up and as new websites stop using Flash, as older websites slowly fade away, better alternatives to Flash will end up taking the throne.
There’s no incentive to upgrade
Then there’s the common statement by every developer, “Why should I spend my time and money to upgrade something that’s working perfectly fine, without complaints?”
This might sound like a stupid reason but it’s logical, at the end of the day, websites are businesses and no one is going to work on something that’s not going increase their profits, especially if working on said thing decreases their productivity in other departments.
Countless websites depend on it
Then we have websites which can never dream of functioning without Flash, these are websites which run on Flash based applications, whether the application is a simple painting program or computer games, the most common example of such a website, for computer games, would be Friv.
Websites like these simply lose everything if they stop using Flash, because their whole website is… Flash.
It’s easy to develop and implement for
Flash has been around for ages, it’s probably one of the most documented platform out there, there are open source applications of all sorts, whether its a 3D shooter game or a 2D platformer, perhaps it’s just a simple calculator.
When there’s so much work that’s already been done on a certain platform, making new things becomes easy because you can build on what other developers have made, you can see what’s possible and what’s not possible in Flash, you can see where other developers went wrong and avoid those mistakes, it’s basically a sandbox full of structures already constructed.
But perhaps the most acceptable reason is the prevalence of lazy developers, why would you go through the process of researching or learning other methods when someone else is already offering you an extensive, well known service capable of solving all your problems.
Take a look at media streaming, you can either do a couple of steps and embed your mp4 files directly, then have to go through a few other steps to monetize your content if you’re not using a third party service, or you can simply sign up with one of the known media hosts, all of which use Flash and have an empire built on it, just upload, copy and paste the embed code and be done with it.
Have we missed anything or gotten anything wrong? Feel free to post a comment and let us know!