Adobe discontinuing standalone Flash for Linux

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t3g
t3g
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Seems to be Google Chrome exclusive now. Let's hope this pushes more people to improve Gnash or HTML5 video as it will be harder to view Flash content. Its a shame too many big name sites still rely on the silly plugin.

http://www.geek.com/articles/news/adobe-makes-flash-for-linux-a-chrome-exclusive-20120222/

lembas
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Excellent news!

And nothing of value was lost.

t3g
t3g
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Like some of you, I would like to see two things:

1. Adobe releasing the source code for Flash on Linux or releasing a GPL
version of it like how we have OpenJDK for Java. This will probably never
happen but at least we can dream right?

2. A big company like Canonical putting the manpower to improve Gnash or
Lightspark to make them on the same level. This is not to knock open source
"communities" but most don't have the manpower to improve things on the same
level as a big company like IBM. That is why there was such a freakout over
Kubuntu when Canonical cut the cord with them about the quality of it from
here on.

Cyberhawk

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That's dangers of non-free software come true for you. If a company develops a closed program, everything related to this program will be dominated by them. That's a stupid, potentially spying plugin, so no big loss there. But it shows that we are on the right side of the fence.

Flash is dying anyway, I've heard from people it is a bitch to use as a developer and html 5 can embed videos more easily and most important without the need for a plugin.

Loic J. Duros
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They are working on a version that would only work on **Chrome** (I
suspect it would work in Chromium).
This comes somewhat as a surprise to me that Google worked in close
collaboration with Adobe for this...
For me it's one more reason to use Mozilla-based browsers (Abrowser,
Icecat, ...)!

On 02/22/2012 01:39 PM, Igor [dot] Zobin [at] tatz [dot] com [dot] ua wrote:
> That's dangers of non-free software come true for you. If a company
> develops a closed program, everything related to this program will be
> dominated by them. That's a stupid, potentially spying plugin, so no
> big loss there. But it shows that we are on the right side of the fence.
>
> Flash is dying anyway, I've heard from people it is a bitch to use as
> a developer and html 5 can embed videos more easily and most important
> without the need for a plugin.

t3g
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Maybe it was some partnership between Adobe and Google to boost usage of Google Chrome. I know that from now on if people want to use Flash on Linux, they would have to either just use Chrome or have a symbolic link in Firefox to link to the Chrome SWF plugin. Firefox users may be screwed though as this may be for browsers that support Pepper API. Either Mozilla supports it or they get left behind unfortunately.

This really does suck for those who use Chromium and do NOT want all of the Chrome nonsense but still like the browser. I suppose it is still possible with Chromium, but wouldn't that require the manual installation of the plugin from the Chrome package each time it is updated?

Cyberhawk

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It will be more like a partnership to kill Flash for good :P Or that's what I hope.

marioger
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Something sounds weird because youtube is Google and youtube is the only streaming video site that promote html5. Is this the end of html5 on youtube? it must have a counterpart for Google. I mean where is the advantage for Google then? Adobe has made a huge gift to Google and now what? Google has promise to stop html5 on youtube, what else?

Adrian Malacoda

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About time Adobe took out the Trash.

pvalley
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I think its more that adobe knows how old flash is they have more then enough cash out of it and are now saying good bye to it they more then likly will be working on improving flash code for html not for chrome although chrome will benefit from it will firefox?

t3g
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If they do continue to support Flash on Windows and Mac, I am hoping they implement WebM support. That would make things easier for older IE versions and browsers that do not support WebM to still get support without having to use H264 encoded files.

jxself
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"If they do continue to support Flash on Windows and Mac, I am hoping they implement WebM support. That would make things easier for older IE versions and browsers that do not support WebM to still get support without having to use H264 encoded files."

There are other ways for people using such browsers to play WebM files without needing to install proprietary software.

* For Windows Media Player 12 on Windows 7, install the WebM Media Foundation Components: http://www.webmproject.org/ie/

NOTE: Though the components refer to Internet Explorer 9, installing them will add system-wide WebM support in applications that use Media Foundation.

* For earlier versions of Windows Media Player, follow the instructions for installing the WebM DirectShow filters: http://www.webmproject.org/tools/#directshow_filters
NOTE: As indicated, be sure to also install the Vorbis audio filters.

Finally, there's also a project working to make a WebM decoder implemented in Java so that you don't have to install third party software.

Chris

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It will be interesting to see how Canonical handles this. They didn't handle the Oracle debacle very well when Oracle killed more favourable distribution terms for the non-free version of Java. This is the second dying technology in the past couple of months to cause problems.

While both of these are still available you have to wonder who is behind it. We need to be more active in finding solutions to these problems. Apple (or was it Adobe?) also killed Java off on the Mac.

The majority of Flash's desirability on the web is the DRM it offers. This is true of Silverlight as well. How can these issues be resolved without DRM?

The industry is forcing DRM on consumers and consumers aren't resisting. There are some users who are reverting to piracy although that doesn't really solve the problem.

There probably needs to be a push to change the law to stop DRM. We need better coordination of the major organisations that have an interest in it.

Think anti-ACTA protests for DRM.

jxself
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The disappearance of Flash for GNU+Linux systems should be celebrated, IMO. It was a proprietary, user-subjugating program. With it disappearing from the GNU+Linux world, it's one less tool that Adobe can use to divide people and keep them helpless. Flash doesn't matter anymore anyway. Denver wrote a good article a few months ago explaining why: http://ossguy.com/?p=1037

Whatever Canonical does (or doesn't do) won't have any impact on those that refuse to install proprietary software in the first place. "I heard about a proprietary program called Flash. I refused to install it, because it was proprietary. Later I heard it was being discontinued. That didn't bother me, because I had never used to to begin with so I went on with my life."

tash
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You can't ignore that Flash is all over the web, when is not installed, you're linked to adobe's web site, not to mention all those sites that you can only navigate with it.

Sad but true, but at least we already have gnash.

BTW Flash is not only a video player my friends.

Chris

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I generally agree with the idea it should be celebrated and it is user-subjugating.

What Canonical does has little impact in general on what web sites use. Mozilla has a much bigger impact on what web sites use.

The problem is Adobe has discontinued flash for GNU/Linux firefox. Not for firefox. If Mozilla blocks the plug-in on Microsoft Windows it will have a positive impact. It won't change things terribly though. It will reduce the negative impact to users of free operating systems in some cases.

Many of the web sites which require the non-free flash player will just find some other way to work around it that still doesn't work on free platforms.

Neither Google or Mozilla are doing enough to oppose non-free software. Google can be said to actively promote non-free software. Mozilla to a lesser extent.

Magic Banana

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I do not think Mozilla should *block* proprietary plugins. The users should be free to subjugate herself.

What Mozilla should do is not inviting the user to such a subjugation. That would basically turning Firefox into Abrowser. ;-)

Adrian Malacoda

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It would be nice and refreshing for Canonical to respond by getting behind Gnash and/or Lightspark. Adobe Trash is suboptimal and really has no place on the web but the harsh reality is that it's already there.

Sadly, this probably won't happen. They will most likely make a deal with Google and Adobe to ship Chrome as the default browser, because that is what they think is best for their users.

Chris

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Canonical could probably just implement the piece that is missing for Firefox to support Adobe's new flash. This assumes that there is no restriction in Adobe's license for the packaging of the pieces needed.

Chris

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Canonical could probably just implement the piece that is missing for Firefox
to support Adobe's new flash. This assumes that there is no restriction in
Adobe's license for the packaging of the pieces needed.

miga
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I'm really hoping this sparks Lightspark development (that sounds like a really bad joke...) and Gnash development quite a bit.

I still hate how I have no choice but to use Flash (schoolwork uses 100% Flash on the latest version, doesn't work with Gnash/Lightspark, and it's ridiculous) on an already non-free environment ('cuz I'm not installing it on a Free environment, it would irritate me). Hopefully this changes things and makes the open source flash players comparable to the official, closed source version, or even better, helps out the transition to HTML5.

...or the worst could happen and Google Chrome would be set as the default browser for almost every non-free GNU/Linux distribution because of this.

I dunno. Time will tell, I guess.

Chris

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I always use to complain. Believe it or not there are others running into these same issues. I attended university with about 10,000 students and there was frequently a fix when IT did something really stupid. That is when they implemented platform centric solutions. In the end they always ended up giving the non-Microsoft/Apple users a fix.

They were frequently unresponsive to many freedom related issues although there was still a minimum of response to critical issues. For instance one time they were rolling out a new wireless system. This system redirected users to download a platform centric program in order to connect to the Internet.

Within hours of my call they had resolved the issue and all users could connect again. It did take more than one call though. There were about 5 other calls that morning about the problem. I had nothing to do with the other calls and in fact those other people had made contact with IT before I knew about the issue.

There were other things I didn't like that they refused to fix. One being requiring Microsoft Windows and Mac users to install a non-free program to connect to the non-academic network. They claimed this program only scanned your system and verified you had up to date anti-virus and other security updates. I had no issue with them locking out users whose systems were causing network issues. There were a number of ways to do this. My issue with it was they felt they had the right to force upon users spyware just so that they could connect.

I was not impacted by this as the GNU/Linux systems only required a user to login through a web interface. There was no requirement to install this spyware. I didn't use the non-academic network at all actually as this was for students living on campus. I was fortunate to be able to rent an apartment nearby with one of the only 'fibre to the home' towns in America. At the time this was one of the first towns/cities to implement fibre to the home (2003).

The spyware that the university used on the non-academic network was called Cisco CleanAccess. It has since changed names I believe. Spyware has a number of different definitions too. In my opinion this would have counted. So would some of the software included in Microsoft's OS.

miga
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See, I was always basically told to just install Windows (which I'm forced to use, like I've said before, because of this). They're not even giving the GNU/Linux systems any sort of chance of being freedom-respecting. Yeah, I could just install Adobe Flash on GNU/Linux, but then what will I do if it breaks my system or causes too much trouble to deal with? Nobody but Adobe can fix it. I'm sure that things won't change even though Flash is now almost dead in GNU/Linux. They'll tell you to upgrade to the latest version when they decide to update their user interface to Flash 12, you'll tell them that Adobe no longer supports GNU/Linux and can't go past Flash 11, and they'll just say to "use an operating system that supports Flash". That's not how you fix anything, that's how you force others to use the software you want them to use.

So, I have two choices: Use proprietary software, or fail high school. Of course, I have to take the option of using proprietary software, because I do want to move on in my education. It truly is frustrating, especially considering I've wanted to switch to using only Free Software for at least a year now, and am held back by doing so until I'm able to graduate.

I love my GNU/Linux setup (Parabola with a somewhat custom GUI with parts from Xfce4, MATE and other applications built on top of Compiz), but I'm forced to stay away from it.

Oh well.

Daniel Molina
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> So, I have two choices: Use proprietary software, or fail high school.

Which service using flash are they expecting that you use? If it is
showing videos, probably there are solutions.

I had good experiences with my teachers about that since we had success
finding a solution, not with flash but with .docs and the use of
non-free programs for doing calcs. It requires a bit of will, but doing
that you are been an activist and you're changing your environment, even
if you finally have no other option that use privative software. You
will be creating/continuing the idea that privative software is problem
inside the minds of your environment. Teachers are more open than we
think, though.

I wish you good luck at any case.

miga
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I wish it was just for showing videos, but every aspect of the user interface past the login/homepage is Flash. The only way to even get into the classes/send messages/anything would be having to use the Flash-based interface. It was made using the open source Adobe Flex framework, but none of the FOSS players are able to render it (Lightspark and Gnash are the ones I know of and have tried).

I was told that they'd be working on an non-Flash based version, but that isn't until later (I was told about late 2012 or early 2013). I'll probably have graduated by the time that they actually do make the switch.

I've nearly been able to give up all the proprietary software I've used, but this is the one thing holding me back from being completely free.

Chris

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I always use to complain. Believe it or not there are others running into
these same issues. I recalled on a campus of about 10,000 students in the
first hours of a unhealthy change there would be people calling IT for
instance to complain.

They were frequently unresponsive to many issues although there was a minimum
of response to critical issues. For instance one time they were rolling out a
new wireless access point system in a building and this system redirected
users to a page with a Microsoft Windows executable file. To connect it
*required* you to install this program. There was no good reason for it. If
there was a VPN solution that they wanted to implement for security purposes
it should be standards compliant and have a free software compatible solution
for non-proprietary platforms.

They quickly fixed the issue within hours of my call. I wasn't the only
person to contact the IT department about the issue although it certainly
helped move things along.

t3g
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Like some of you, I would like to see two things:

Adobe releasing the source code for Flash on Linux or releasing a GPL version of it like how we have OpenJDK for Java. Work by the open source community and Adobe could be perfected with the GPL and proprietary versions mirroring each other. This will probably never happen but at least we can dream right?

OR

A big company like Canonical putting the manpower to improve Gnash or Lightspark to make them on the same level as the proprietary version. This is not to knock open source "communities" but most don't have the manpower to improve things on the same level as a big company like Red Hat or IBM. That is why there was such a freakout over Kubuntu when Canonical cut the cord with them. Big worry about the quality of the distro after the main developer wasn't being paid for his work.

Chris

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While I'm sure you realize this already it won't happen because of the DRM portions that are a big seller for Adobe's tools. The tools are where they make money.

t3g
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Well, I would believe that Adobe makes much more money off of their Creative Suite of products than anything related to Flash. Especially when industries rely so heavily on Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver with each program in the hundreds of dollars.

If Adobe released the source code for Photoshop or had a GPL version, then their potential business model would be threatened. Same with Microsoft with Office. As someone said before, Flash is different because it was offered as a free plugin that many sites use for interactive features and video. The average Joe can do without Photoshop because it is not a requirement to watch a streaming UFC fight or ESPN video on the internet. Flash is.

We have seen many examples of sites that used HTML5 instead of Flash for interaction like that Arcade Fire experiment by Google. The problem with that is we still have to wait for the popular browsers to support all the features and the ancient ones like IE6, IE7, and Firefox 3.6 to be completely phased out of existence.

Chris

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If Adobe releases the source to it's flash player big media would not use it. The critical feature to them and many other large sites is the DRM. Thus there would be fewer sales of Adobe's flagship product. Other uses of flash are less significant. My understanding is they are releasing specifications. The portion which is not released is DRM related.

Chris

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While I'm sure you realise this already it won't happen because of the DRM
portions that are a big seller for Adobe's tools. The tools are where they
make money.

miga
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They could release the source without the DRM components or any proprietary components which they don't hold the copyright to. Yeah, we wouldn't be able to play back DRM-protected content, but for people who are trying to use a free software operating system, who cares? Plus, we could probably replace the missing proprietary components (like any codecs or stuff like that) with our own free software ones.

That way, their 'big seller' would still remain in their proprietary versions, we would be happy with our free software versions, and everything would be good.