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Archive for March 30th, 2010

You’ve no doubt noticed the recent acceleration of the transition from Flash in favor of HTML5, thanks in large part to Apple’s refusal to support Flash on iPhone and iPad. First YouTube, and now TED, Vimeo, CBS, and Time and The New York Times are adding support for HTML5 in addition to, or instead of, Flash.

I’ve lately come to dislike Flash for personal reasons. Specifically, the Shockwave Player plugin is buggy and keeps hanging Chrome in particular and costing me a few minutes every few days while I wait for the “want to kill this plugin?” dialog to come up. It’s not the end of the world, just an annoyance. But it is annoying.

Aside: This seemed to start, or at least get a lot more frequent, around the time I installed Windows 7, which means we can have many interesting discussions about who broke whom. However, in searching around I see on Web forums there’s been a lot of chatter about Shockwave Player crashes on multiple browsers and OSes.

But given that the world is starting to move on anyway, and because I like to tinker, I wondered what “the Web without Flash” would look like on my PC. I already know what it looks like on my iPhone, but the PC gets heaver use and I generally use it to visit richer sites.

So yesterday I decided to take the plunge and uninstall Flash entirely. Flash used to be a de rigueur add-on. Now I’ll see what the Web is like without it.

So far, so good. My Machine Architecture talk on Google Video doesn’t play, but other than that the main difference is just that I see less distracting content and that I get a cute little bar at the top of many pages asking me to install a plugin to fully display the page; dismissing the bar only lasts for the duration of the page, but I find that the bar quickly fades into the background of consciousness.

We’ll see how long I can last sans Flash.

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