Before going into the guts of the subject, let's make a little disclaimer first
I don't give a shit about the Flash Player, wether it lives forever or die this second,
I could not care less; as a developer I may defend a programming language as
ActionScript 3.0, but I don't feel I would have to do the same for a closed source
product, eg. it's not my damn problem to solve.
side note: you can replace "Flash Player" by "Windows", "Java" (the runtime not the language),
and many other things.
That said, I'm also a human being and one of the thing I hate the most is being manipulated
by corporate agenda, I like my freedom of choice even if my choice is wrong it is still my damn
right to make my own mistakes and not be dictated what I'm supposed to do/use/like/install/etc.
Some time ago I posted this thread HTML5 by Default for Google Chrome
related to this announcement Intent to implement: HTML5 by Default.
This is basically a followup with this recent post on Mozilla blog (20/07/2016)
Browser plugins, especially Flash, have enabled some of our favorite experiences on the Web, including videos and interactive content. But plugins often introduce stability, performance, and security issues for browsers. This is not a trade-off users should have to accept.
followed by another proposal on Brave wiki
Flash Support Deprecation Proposal
Like Chrome, our goal is to help move the web platform towards HTML5 instead of Flash as fast as possible. We tried not supporting Flash, but it turns out a lot of popular sites don't work. In Brave 0.11+, Flash content will be supported but only in click-to-play (CtP) mode and not bundled/installed by default.
followed by yet another announcement of "flash is dead"
off course the guy, which is the CTO of Cloud Games, would support HTML5 vs Flash because y'know
It’s not an easy task to source hundreds of good quality games. At Cloud Games we work with a very large network of HTML5 developers to create the most awesome HTML5 games for these publishers. We provide those games to publishers for a monthly fee or based on a revenue share deal.
it's all business ...
Anyway, I'm pissed off, not because of the plan to remove Flash, but more how some browser vendors
go to some great extend to present that as "we know what is best for you, trust us" while
treating their users as some kind of morons who can not think for themselves.
And while thinking about that I saw the exact same pattern you can find in mobile app stores,
"oh well dear ... you can only install the app we let you install", the very same reason why
as soon as I got an iPhone I jail-breaked it so I can install stuff considered "not safe".
As a user, even if I buy/install an operating system from someone else, I feel the right then
to install whatever the fuck I want on this operating system, same for hardware, when I drop
a good $500 on a piece of hardware like a smartphone, I feel I do own this hardware and
so I should be able to do the hell I want with it.
And I do feel even more so the same when it come to the browser, it is a piece of software
that run on my hardware, on my operating system, so I'm in my own right to chose which
plugin/extension/addon run within it or not.
Now what do we have here with those "proposals" ?
Well... the intent is clear, some browser vendors (so far Chrome, Firefox and Brave) have
decided that HTML5 is the future of the web and for the own good of their users they should
remove the Flash plugin because security/instability/etc. usual bullshit.
It's still the same thing, it is about a platform land grab.
When Google produce a browser like Chrome, they don't do it out of their good heart, they do it because the web is seen as a platform and they do want a piece of it, same for Mozilla with Firefox, and any other browsers.
The opposite is true too, when you are Apple, you do not really gives a shit about the web platform as you are much more interested in your iOS platform, hence why Safari browser updates (both desktop and mobile) were so slow or you could say had "updates postponed to later date" (like WebGL).
I have literally gazillion of examples with Microsoft etc. but let;s stop here.
But here the true bullshit, everyone is presenting HTML5 as this free and open and standard thing that everyone should adopt wholeheartedly, "the only way to move forward" they say, but the reality is HTML5 is not that free, not that open and not that standard.
what? heresy you say ?
nope, HTML5 is joint technology promoted by who ? browser vendors
that's it, if you are not at the table of those browser vendors you have strictly nothing to say
see E4X ? it is a standard, welll considered withdrawn now
see Ecma-357.pdf (see that "ECMA-ST-WITHDRAWN" in the URL?)
here the beginning of it
On 13 June 2002, a group of companies led by BEA Systems proposed a set of programming language extensions adding native XML support to ECMAScript (ECMA-262). The programming language extensions were designed to provide a simple, familiar, general purpose XML programming model that flattens the XML learning curve by leveraging the existing skills and knowledge of one of the largest developer communities worldwide. The benefits of this XML programming model include reduced code complexity, tighter revision cycles, faster time to market, decreased XML footprint requirements and looser coupling between code and XML data.
The ECMAScript group (Ecma TC39-TG1) unanimously agreed to the proposal and established a sub-group to standardize the syntax and semantics of a general purpose, cross platform, vendor neutral set of programming language extensions called ECMAScript for XML (E4X). The development of this Standard started on 8 August 2002. This Standard was developed as an extension to ECMAScript Edition 3, but may be applied to other versions of ECMAScript as well.
but you see not all the seat at the TC39 table have the same value, if you are BEA Systems you are not as big as Google or Mozilla.
Exactly the same reason why ECMAScript 4 was abandoned, because y'know it would be "breaking the web",
but things like TypeScript or ES5/ES6, oh no ... those do not break the web ...
translate: those have been brought to the table by the big ones and so they will not be "abandoned" or "withdrawn".
There is a thin balance to respect on this decision table, Google or Mozilla or Microsoft will be highly influent, but they can not have too much power vs the others big ones.
So when I see browser vendors that push to disable by default another tech, I see something like "oh let's try to push our own tech now", and that's not about the users interest, it is about their web platform land grab.
eg. "we decided with each other that HTML5 is the way to go, now we want to push it harder and we do not accept any competition"
It is a bit like being a car salesman, if you are working for Mercedes and tolerate to put few Toyota on display because they are popular with people, at the end of the day you still try to sell Mercedes cars, and you will have no hesitation whatsoever to make those other cars go away. If the users do not see them they can not buy them.
Let's ask the basic questions:
Why do plugin exists in the first place ?
because HTML could not do the job
How plugins became popular ?
people went out of their way to download them on other web sites
and install them into their browser so they could consume
a special kind of content they do like a lot
How plugins became bundled by default in the browser ?
because that way people did not have to go and download them
their favourite thing was already there pre-installed / bundled in the browser
Why block plugins now ?
force users to consume more or only HTML5 content
But seriously, why block plugins now ?
because given the choice the users would probably chose the plugin content vs the HTML5 content
see the opposite logic there ?
browsers want to bundle the plugin by default because it is what users want to consume some content
but at the same time browsers want to limit how much non-HTML5 content the users consume,
so they want to block that plugin by default.
Why not simply stop bundling the Flash plugin and let the users decide to install it or not ?
well.. there are still Billions monthly Flash player plugin download/install from Adobe web site,
the most efficient way to block users to consume Flash content is to remove their choice,
eg. "it's already there but it's not really there and available"