I was over in a Flash

On Thursday, December 31, 2020, Adobe Flash Player, loving child and friend, passed away at the age of 24.

Flash was born on January 1, 1996 in San Diego, CA to Charlie Jackson and Jonathan Gay at FutureWave Software. Flash was born when Charlie and Jon realized the potential for a vector-based web animation tool that might challenge Macromedia Shockwave technology. Originally Flash was named FutureSplash Animator after it's less successful sibling SmartSketch, a pen computing program. By the end of ’96 Flash had been picked up by Macromedia.

Flash was passionate about production of animations, Rich web applications, desktop applications, mobile apps, mobile games, and embedded web browser video players. For a time Flash was the go to platform for online video gaming. Websites such as Newgrounds, Miniclip, and Armor Games were dedicated to hosting of Flash-based games.

Although Flash was previously a dominant platform for online multimedia content, it was slowly being abandoned as Adobe favored a transition to HTML5, Unity, or other platforms. In 2010 Steve Jobs published an open letter called “Thoughts on Flash” explaining why Apple would not allow Flash on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. He cited the rapid energy consumption, computer crashes, poor performance on mobile devices, abysmal security, lack of touch support, and desire to avoid “a third party layer of software coming between the platform and the developer”. He touched on the idea of Flash being “open”, claiming “by almost any definition, Flash is a closed system”. Jobs dismissed the idea that Apple customers are missing out by being sold devices without Flash compatibility by quoting a number of statistics, concluding with “Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content.”

Flash is survived in life by it’s base programing language C++, as well as Adobe Animate, a professional version of itself.

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Carlos Fernandez

Full Stack Developer with a background in Natural Resource Management and Leadership