Farewell to Flash

In the early days of the worldwide web many sites looked, by today’s standards, ridiculously simplistic. Text and pictures displayed often with little style design and using default fonts from the computer they were showing on. Video was almost impossible to show. The competition was on to fulfil peoples webdesign needs and it wasn’t long until one serious contender came up.
Adobe Flash, with the release of a language called ActionScript, allowed people to embed their designs in a swf (shockwave flash) This opened up a world of possibilities including video streaming, animation and embedded fonts. It wasn’t long before any site looking to the future would embed an swf on their html and boom….a great looking website. And Tranquility Base was one of those sites.

The site in 2001. This version was before the films started in 2003 and was more an online resource for actors. This concept continues today with my site ActorCV.co.uk –
Note the site was going through a name transition

What you saw was what you got and animation was made possible with a timeline in the swf builder Adobe Flash (now Adobe Animate). Video files were often in .fla format and if memory serves me right, early YouTube used this format. For a novice such as I things got more complex than I thought necessary with the introduction of ActionScript 3, but for game designers it was a necessary evolution.

As a webpage format on desktops, Flash Player was a great asset. But by the birth of the smart phone and tablets, cracks were beginning to show. Flash players weren’t battery friendly and many companies opted not to include the player on their operating systems. In an open letter in 2010, Steve Jobs pretty much sealed the player’s fate saying that Apple’s iOS had and would never use the player, opting for HTML5 as the way forward. And that was that.

It’s now 2020 and Adobe has announced the End Of Life for Adobe Flash Player, even for desktops. Safari stopped using it a while back and after the New Year, we’ll witness its demise.

Can’t help feeling this end of an era is a shame. Nothing has really come along since that has given the amateur web designer so much possibility and dynamic. Everything since 2010 has felt like a big step back and even Adobe Muse was shortlived. WordPress and Drupal are good but slow evolutions and again don’t offer the wealth of style that Flash did. Maybe I’m just getting set in my ways which isn’t good in such a fast evolving environment like the internet. And I’ll always be sentimental for yesterdays.