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Adobe's mangement of Flash

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Chris Pettit
Adobe's mangement of Flash
on Jul 15, 2015 at 3:15:27 am

My programmers and I have used Flash for many years to develop independent, free standing touchscreen applications on rapid deadlines, when alternate app development workflows were, and STILL are (in many cases), NOT a practical option. We are well aware of how deprecated the platform is and are actively looking for alternatives.

But what The hell happened to defending this platform in the meantime? Or coming up with alternatives? Not just for web, but for all its other uses? And IF its dead as an application development tool for good reasons, where are the alternatives? From Adobe or anyone else?

I went to deploy review assets online today, that have nothing to do with final application deliverables (which will NOT be online or browser based), but discovered that the world just changed radically in the last 24 hours. Spent my day explaining:

http://money.cnn.com/2015/07/14/technology/flash-firefox-facebook/

There is still a reasonably large base of developers using Flash to develop applications of various complexities. It's NOT just about antiquated websites people. Adobe bought out Macromedia because they couldn't develop a decent web application to save their lives.

And now they are going to just fold like a cheap suit.

When big companies buy out smaller competitors, sometimes the rest of the world lives with the consequences....


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Chris Pettit
Re: Adobe's mangement of Flash
on Jul 15, 2015 at 3:34:10 am
Last Edited By Chris Pettit on Jul 15, 2015 at 4:23:47 am

"Adobe said it took Flash's security "seriously" and was planning bug fixes." Flash is widely used on many websites for both multimedia and interactive elements.

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-33520935

And another:

http://www.cnet.com/news/gone-in-a-flash-facebook-says-adobes-plug-in-is-a-...

Oh and this one is a real winner:

"Two critical flaws in Adobe Flash Player were found this past Friday (July 10), and Adobe can promise only that it will patch the vulnerabilities sometime this week. Until then, it's best to disable Flash Player in all desktop Web browsers."

http://www.tomsguide.com/us/disable-flash-how-to,news-21335.html

And another:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/07/14/adobe_response_to_security_holes/

But hey, you can use your smartphone to sample colors, so what are you bitchin' about?


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Chris Pettit
Re: Adobe's mangement of Flash
on Jul 17, 2015 at 2:09:28 am

Another example of how bad the last 48 hours have been for Adobe.

http://occupyflash.org/

I know most of the people on this forum are editors etc, and don't know about (or care) about the implications of Flash and its place in regards to internet content and security. But this is very big news for how business propagates content: Advertising, dynamic content, on and on. On every level. And frankly Flash as a web format needed to die a long time ago. But it aint gonna be easy, and there is NO replacement waiting in the wings, at least for designers. Are we all ready to turn over rich content to programmers at this point?:

An ironic sample to emphasize:



Adobe has a whole new set of enemies. Big ones.

I really dont care about Flash as a web based format, and I havent for many years. But things are about to change. Quick.


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David Mathis
Re: Adobe's mangement of Flash
on Jul 17, 2015 at 2:40:09 am

On my Windows laptop, over the last several days, I been updating Flash on a near daily basis. Running on Windows 7 at the moment, update cycle has been constant there as well.


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Chris Pettit
Re: Adobe's mangement of Flash
on Jul 17, 2015 at 2:56:04 am
Last Edited By Chris Pettit on Jul 17, 2015 at 2:58:21 am

[David Mathis] "On my Windows laptop, over the last several days, I been updating Flash on a near daily basis. Running on Windows 7 at the moment, update cycle has been constant there as well."

Are you getting the notifications? Many of the people I have talked to are not, so the only way they know that they are completely exposed with security threats is the media exploring the issue...

which Adobe appears to want to curtail...


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David Mathis
Re: Adobe's mangement of Flash
on Jul 17, 2015 at 3:14:31 am

I would get a notification but went directly to the Adobe website as a precaution. Even if the message looks legitimate I do not click on the link. Sometimes there is no message. On the Mac side, really have not noticed it as much but I use my iPad more often. Sometimes technology is not a good thing.


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David Mathis
Re: Adobe's mangement of Flash
on Jul 17, 2015 at 9:09:41 am

I truly miss the analog days. I really believe computers are making life miserable at times. Need to update this, more bugs than what one would find in a old shoe box in the attic, and this software is not compatible because of system requirements. I guess the same could be said about older technology, like the phone. Excuse me while I bang my head on the wall. LOL


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David Lawrence
Re: Adobe's mangement of Flash
on Jul 17, 2015 at 5:34:51 am

Chris, I understand your pain. Nothing worse than having a platform you depend on pulled out from under you.

When I was at LFL, we used HyperCard to build interactive projects. I moved from that to SuperCard, then in the 90's mFactory's mTropolis. The only platform still around is SuperCard but I haven't touched it in over a decade. Never got into Director or Flash. Didn't like the timeline model for building event-driven interactivity.

At this point, Flash is probably beyond repair. The first thing I do on any new Mac OS install is install ClickToPlugin on Safari. It keeps Safari running fast an light. Much better browsing experience.

Can you use SuperCard or Max for any of your Kiosk projects?

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Chris Pettit
Re: Adobe's mangement of Flash
on Jul 17, 2015 at 6:10:46 am

[David Lawrence] "Can you use SuperCard or Max for any of your Kiosk projects?"

Thanks David, I'll run it by my programming guys, but as I recall SupeCard is a Mac only solution. For various reasons we have to be platform independent. We also have been leveraging the flexibility in interface design that was created by the original MM geniuses and then added to by the improvements in integrated HD H264 video deployment. These are hard things to port to a new platform.

I'm being told that a straight CSS / HTML5 / JS approach is the best alternative to Flash right now, but it has 2 MAJOR drawbacks: It still requires some kind of a stripped down browser to deploy as a fullscreen TC app, and as a designer/animator (me) I loose all control over how the animated interface actually works since that is being driven by code instead of hybrid code/timeline approaches now exclusively.

Also, we are still able to use Flash as a development tool for now because we aren't dependent on the player in a browsers to deliver it. We're deploying AIR and EXE based apps.

But it has the potential to become a political liability developing apps with a tool that is getting such a bad name because of bugs and security.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Adobe's mangement of Flash
on Jul 17, 2015 at 9:59:11 am

[Chris Pettit] "I'm being told that a straight CSS / HTML5 / JS approach is the best alternative to Flash right now... It still requires some kind of a stripped down browser to deploy as a fullscreen TC app"

We have done exactly this a couple of times now, deploying HTML5 with Open Kiosk [link].


[Chris Pettit] "... as a designer/animator (me) I loose all control over how the animated interface actually works since that is being driven by code instead of hybrid code/timeline approaches now exclusively."

I don't know the limitations, and I guess it wouldn't help you anyway, but the current release of Flash Professional can target HTML5 Canvas and WebGL.

Personally, I'm glad to see Adobe moving to support open standards, but that's no excuse for the current state of the Flash Player. Good luck.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Chris Pettit
Re: Adobe's mangement of Flash
on Jul 17, 2015 at 1:58:16 pm

[Walter Soyka] "We have done exactly this a couple of times now, deploying HTML5 with Open Kiosk [link]."

Great to hear Walter. We had a discussion about this very issue just yesterday, sending link to my partners now, thanks for that.


[Walter Soyka] "I don't know the limitations, and I guess it wouldn't help you anyway, but the current release of Flash Professional can target HTML5 Canvas and WebGL."

Small world, we discussed this issue as well. All my usual rants aside, this actually is an option we might explore. This type of work is generally not what I'm talking about when protecting the "art" of my work, so a limited scope subscription might be an option. IF it actually works

Our big question yesterday was "what CAN it do, and what CANT it do?" Do you have experience with the issue? Thanks again for your input


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Herbert van der wegen
Re: Adobe's mangement of Flash
on Jul 19, 2015 at 8:15:46 am

Opera includes a kiosk mode by default, which is quite handy.
http://help.opera.com/Mac/12.00/en/kiosk.html

Plugins for Chrome are also available to put it in Kiosk mode, I believe. I have not tested this myself.

Another option is to use NW.js to convert your html/css/js project to a desktop app for Windows, Mac, or Linux. http://nwjs.io/

And with the help of Cordova and any compatible platform such as PhoneGap Build, the Intel XDK, or Ludei's webview-based platforms, your html5 application can be leveraged on mobile platforms.

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Chris Pettit
Re: Adobe's mangement of Flash
on Jul 19, 2015 at 11:54:58 pm

[Herbert van der wegen] "Plugins for Chrome are also available to put it in Kiosk mode, I believe. I have not tested this myself."

thanks Herbert, I appreciate all the input I've gotten on this issue


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Walter Soyka
Re: Adobe's mangement of Flash
on Jul 20, 2015 at 12:53:07 am

[Chris Pettit] "Our big question yesterday was "what CAN it do, and what CANT it do?" Do you have experience with the issue? Thanks again for your input"

Sorry, Chris, but I don't know. I'm actually pretty eager to find out myself. I just don't want to find out in the middle of a project! I will ask around a bit and see if I can turn anything up.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Chris Pettit
Re: Adobe's mangement of Flash
on Jul 20, 2015 at 2:15:23 am

[Walter Soyka] "I just don't want to find out in the middle of a project!"

yep, thats why I haven't posted anything additional about Fusion. I simply haven't had time to really try out new workflows, much less integrate them yet,

Better to stay with what you know until work allows. This has been my busiest summer ever, so new workflows scare me at the moment.

But only temporarily. I appreciate your input.


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David Mathis
Re: Adobe's mangement of Flash
on Jul 20, 2015 at 3:20:56 pm
Last Edited By David Mathis on Jul 21, 2015 at 3:56:12 pm

I am curious as to hear how Fusion will fit in as an option for touching up stills. Nice set of color correction tools she has which has me very much interested. Not saying that Photoshop is bad by any means. Just personal preference.

I am considering using both for minimalist style title sequence type of work. Motion will be used for animating stuff. Like to hear what others have to say. Cheers!

* EDIT *

As much as I love FCP X, the new version of Resolve looks extremely tempting as well. Also, I might try doing a poster type of title sequence. Less is often more.

Side note, been looking at adding Adobe stock (not the kind you trade) to my toolkit. I know that the old school license may never be again but why not have that option with a two year mandatory subscription to Adobe stock. Would be a better situation for all. In fact I would love to see BMD add stock footage to their offering.


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Richard Herd
Re: Adobe's mangement of Flash
on Jul 21, 2015 at 6:07:37 pm
Last Edited By Richard Herd on Jul 21, 2015 at 6:14:54 pm

[Chris Pettit] "We are well aware of how deprecated the platform is and are actively looking for alternatives.
"



[Chris Pettit] "free standing touchscreen applications on rapid deadlines,"

Have you looked at Scala? http://scala.com/explore/kiosk/


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