If flash(adobe animate) were coming as a new technology in 2020

If Flash aka Adobe Animate were coming as a new web framework in 2020 everybody would feel amazed by its possibilities as a creativity tool for the web, mobile, and advertising, very far away from the all-similar current frameworks that just reuse the same components again and again.
Everybody would feel amazed by how fluently you can create great content and great apps.
Everybody would feel it´ s much better integrated than any framework out there, much easier to publish and much better for creativity purposes, everybody would become to share the amazing interactivity projects you can do with it and the amazing animations you can create with it. Everybody would feel amazed at the quick learning curve and the perfect integration with Actionscript 3, which is an OOP that works wonderfully and it´s really powerful…I really don´t know how it works with data-oriented projects but I guess it works well also.
Because of all of this, I feel it´s not fair that a few powerful internet companies can decide which technologies they want everybody to use and which are just too good to be true…And because I know nothing is better for me to create animations and apps I will stick to it because I haven´t found anything alike.
Best wishes to you all and keep pushing the good stuff.


apples and oranges …

most people don’t make the difference between Flash the IDE
and Flash the player

same with Flex, Flex the SDK, Flex the components, Flex the IDE …
they just confuse everything

most, if not all, web frameworks do not provide any IDE

that’s why during Flash era you could see a profusion of creative works
because people had an actual IDE to work with

and when HTML5 claimed it reached “everything Flash can do”
we ended with barely any creative works
off course no IDE to create / edit / animate / etc.

and that is just the tip of the iceberg


“and when HTML5 claimed it reached “everything Flash can do”” - saddest thing is, It haven’t yet, as of 2020.

I think people directed anger at intrusive advertising towards flash plugin.

I think flash started to lose its bling out at very moment when people were beginning to get bored with web - internet as medium lost its “freshness” and people began to view it only as way to get content, also I feel that now this view is somehow reversing - more websites are trying to get beautiful.

but I also think main thing is, Adobe failed as a company in a battle with internet giants. I feel Adobe had no real strategy or understanding what Flash, and more important, what direction technology in general take, so it failed to keep flash afloat after buying it from Macromedia.

Google ad model was in direct conflict with opaque plugin, and maintaining architecture was pain in a* so they were very much interested to stop supporting it.

Apple meanwhile…
it was well executed attack from Jobs side - in one quick movement apple grabbed entire flash game ecosystem from under Adobes nose, called it appstore and monetised it. They took devs, they took players and they took technology. To add insult to injury they called their new programming language…swift. which shares too many features with as3.

…and after 10 years or so, Adobe sleeping as per usual, independent people wrote
Lottie - vector animation /player/ for web and app use, which:
" For the first time, designers can create and ship beautiful animations without an engineer painstakingly recreating it by hand"
lets wait for them to introduce actionscript 1 into that platform and we will have new cycle.

p.s. - oh and logo of lottie files - https://lottiefiles.com/ - doesn’t it remind you of something?’


Would be great.

I was talking about it the other day with some friends…
FlashPlayer was terminated claiming “security holes” in the plug-in!

  • I think the idea would be to use the old FlashPlayer code base, to create a new plugin: “HarmanPlayer”, “AS3Player” or something…
  • Harman would probably be able to purchase FlashPlayer for a low price, since the plugin will be closed.
  • It would be possible to launch a “HarmanPlayer” or “AS3Player” where all ActionsScript code that make external communication, outside the SWF, would be eliminated, avoiding any problem with “security flaws” in web.
  • It would be a “lean / clean” plugin restricted only to SWF + AS3, without HTML, without PHP, without MySQL… and so on.
  • Advertising, mini games, presentations, banners, among other things, would return security and better acceptance.
  • This would make it possible to keep SWF + AS3 active on the Internet!



It is a bit more complicated than that

the security flaws reproached to Flash are the same reproached to any other widely popular software written in C/C++

so for example you will find security flaws in browser JS engine, or in the browser itself, because same they are written in C/C++

the same low-level access that provide C/C++ is what allow Flash to do things that can not really be done with the Web API alone

here a non exhaustive list

  • file system access
  • sockets TCP / UDP
  • inter-process communication (IPC)
  • graphic rendering

in my opinion the best bet at getting “closer” to the Flash plugin in an HTML5/CSS/JS world is to use something like Apache Royale

  • it will cover the AS3 parts cross-compiled to JS
  • for the Flash API you will need to implements what you need (if/when possible)
    with what is available in the Web API
  • if you keep things simple Canvas 2D and SVG
    can work OK, but don’t expect heavy game-like rendering

If you go “let’s produce a full blown Flash API for JS”, the task is too big
but if you go, when I need this then I implement it with Web API, little step by little step
you can reach something usable if you do it long enough

one example among others is StageXL for Dart

so ok it uses Dart (and it seems the demo are not working anymore), but the very same thing could be done using AS3 and Apache Royale (not using the Flex components or MXML syntax, but only re-using the as3 to JS compiler)

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Ok… I understand.

Initially my idea was, that a “new version” would completely exclude any communication external to the SWF…
None information enters or leaves the plugin.

Just as AIR has some ActionScripts that are exclusive to it, the new plugin “HarmanPlugin”, would also remove all ActionScript that do any type of external communication so that it becomes secure.

Advertising, mini-games, presentations, banners, among other things, are possible without using “file system access, TCP / UDP sockets or inter-process communication”.

:blush: I just thought that removing ActionScript features, making it safe, would be easier because I didn’t have to “create anything new”.

Anyway, thanks for all the explanation.

no worries, but the situation is much worst than that

even if you had the Flash plugin C++ sources, you would not be able to use it inside a browser

December 2020 mark the EOL of Flash but it also marks the removal of any plugin API in all major browsers, things like NPAPI and PPAPI will be gone too (if they have not been already removed).

eg. NPAPI page, emphasis mine

  • Internet Explorer versions 3 through 5.5 SP2 supported NPAPI, allowing plugins that functioned in Netscape Navigator to function in Internet Explorer. Support came via a small ActiveX control (named “plugin.ocx”) that acted as a shim between ActiveX and the NPAPI plugin. Microsoft dropped support in version 5.5 SP2 onwards for security reasons.
  • Google Chrome 45, in September 2015, permanently dropped all NPAPI support from all platforms. In September 2013, Google announced that it would phase out NPAPI support in its Google Chrome browser during 2014, stating that “[its] 90s-era architecture has become a leading cause of hangs, crashes, security incidents, and code complexity”. In May 2014, NPAPI support was removed from the Linux version of Chrome 35 and later. In April 2015, Chrome for Windows and OS X (versions 42 and later) disabled NPAPI support by default. However, until September 2015, users could re-enable NPAPI.
  • Opera dropped support with version 37 in May 2016.
  • Firefox release 52.0 in March 2017 removed all support for NPAPI except for Flash. Meanwhile, the ESR channel retained general support for this feature with version 52esr being the last NPAPI resort. Firefox 69.0 will disable the Flash NPAPI by default.
  • Safari has dropped support for all NPAPI plugins except for Flash with version 12 released in September 2018.

so without a NPAPI or a PPAPI or ActiveX supports a plugin can not run in the browser

Sadly a lot of people focused on Flash but they did not realise there were a debate to have about being able to extend the browsers with plugins or not

If you look at the HTML Living Standard, here what they say about plugin

This specification does not define a mechanism for interacting with plugins, as it is expected to be user-agent- and platform-specific. Some UAs might opt to support a plugin mechanism such as the Netscape Plugin API; others might use remote content converters or have built-in support for certain types. Indeed, this specification doesn’t require user agents to support plugins at all. [NPAPI]

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Just forgetting about the browser.
@zwetan correct me if I am wrong, AIR needs to embed the Flash Player anyway, so they should find a solution to handle it to Harman once EOL is reached.
There will never be another Flash plugin in browser, we can forget about it, and accept the sad, flat conformism of today’s web. Still Flash Player can be used and embedded in several other scenarios as a standalone player.