Originally Posted by Andy_McDonald
...when in fact, Adobe published the SWF specification as part of the Open Screen Project (http://www.adobe.com/devnet/swf/pdf/...t_spec_v10.pdf
) - that's a pretty significant inaccuracy that I hope will be corrected by the author.
The fact that Adobe has documented the SWF file format specification has nothing to do with .swf files being closed or "opaque" binary files as opposed to being open, human readable HTML/CSS. There is nothing about a file type's open specification that results in its contents being open source. The web has always been open by design. Flash is an attempt to make content and information into a binary blob that can only be interpreted via the Flash runtime.
We might as well just replace web page with Windows .exe files! Or whatever binary file AOL used to use before the web browser.
Please correct your misleading comment, as it is likely to confuse users into thinking that Flash is an acceptable alternative to the open web.
Regarding my second point, I think people are failing to recognise that Flash is just a tool. Whilst I accept that the Flash Player (and Adobe products in general) has become slightly bloated, this is just a function of it's enormous popularity as a easy-to-use multi-purpose tool. Most of the crashes that people experience with Flash content can probably be attributed to poorly written code on the part of the designer / developer - something that the strictly-typed nature of ActionScript 3.0 seeks to address.
The Flash runtime is notorious for crashing and maxing out the processor just when playing YouTube videos. There is not any likelihood of any "bad third party code" this can be attributed to. It is Adobe's bloated plugin and overreaching architecture which attempts to deliver a closed web-alternative that it completely owns.
In my opinion, Flash plays a vital role alongside standards such as HTML and CSS in that it's low barrier to entry (from a development perspective) enables a great deal of amazing creativity (as well as a lot of crap). It is this experimentation that drives standards to incorporate new features as they reach critical mass (Flash video is a perfect example).
As a researcher with no formal CS training, I use Flash to develop applications that allow people to interactively design their own textile products (using Nintendo Wiimotes, RFID, Augmented Reality, microphone / webcam input, etc) and have the compositions re-generated at high-resolution in Illustrator / Photoshop ready to be digitally printed onto fabric. Not something that would be easily done in HTML5.
You are entitled to your opinion, but the web had video before Flash. And given the clean, open, and plugin free nature of the web and HTML5, there really isn't any reason to return to Flash for new projects, unless one is a Photoshop user without any web skills and only interested in throwing together a prototype.
Flash encourages unskilled people to create inaccessible, slow, and poorly designed replacements for web pages, and forces the rest of us to use Adobe's poor quality plugins to render them.
Not that our individual opinions matter much; Apple and Google are committed to replacing Flash with HTML5. Adobe can't do much but advertise how many phones license Flash, as if that even matters. Those phones also run Java. Neither is very relevant in the future of mobile software.
As for banner ads, yes they'll be around without Flash, but at least they won't kill your mobile CPU just to deliver a simple animation. Ads and video presentation are together 95% of the Flash in use on the web. Neither needs Flash.