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Safari 5.1.7 update disables out-of-date Flash versions

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Apple on Wednesday released an update to its Safari web browser that automatically disables old versions of Adobe's Flash Player as they don't have the most up-do-date security features.

After pushing out OS X Lion 10.7.4 which included Safari version 5.1.6, Apple rolled out a separate update for the browser that can be downloaded by OS X 10.7.3 Snow Leopard, OS X 10.7.4 Lion and Windows users.

According to Apple's Safari 5.1.7 Support Page, the update is meant to disable older versions of Flash that pose a security risk as they lack the latest vulnerability patches.

Safari 5.1.7 will scan a Mac's Flash assets for out-of-date software, disable it if found and inform the user via a dialog box. A link to Adobe's website is integrated into the dialog so that users can easily locate and install the most current Flash Player.

If users need to roll back to a previous version of Flash, they must navigate to the "/Library/Internet Plug-Ins (Disabled)" folder on their Mac, drag "Flash Player.plugin" into the active "/Library/Internet Plug-Ins" folder and restart the browser. A brief tutorial is provided at Apple's Support Pages.

From the release notes:
Lion

Safari 5.1.7 contains improvements to performance, stability, compatibility, and security, including changes that:

Improve the browser's responsiveness when the system is low on memory
Fix an issue that could prevent webpages from responding after using a pinch to zoom gesture
Fix an issue that could affect websites using forms to authenticate users
Disable versions of Adobe Flash Player that do not include the latest security updates and provide the option to get the current version from Adobe's website.

Windows

Safari 5.1.7 contains improvements to performance, stability, compatibility, and security, including changes that:

Improve the browser's responsiveness when the system is low on memory
Fix an issue that could affect websites using forms to authenticate users
Apple has become increasingly leery about third-party applications, perhaps due to the recent Flashback malware debacle that affected more than 600,000 Macs worldwide. One of the trojan's first iterations was discovered in 2011 when it disguised itself as a Flash Installer, though the exploit had nothing to do with Adobe's software.

Most recently, Apple released a Java update to cope with Flashback and even created a dedicated removal tool for those Mac owners who didn't already have Java installed on their computers.

Safari 5.1.7


The Safari update comes in at 44.98MB for Lion and 47.72MB for Snow Leopard and can be downloaded via Software Update or Apple's Support Downloads page.
post #2 of 35

Why not just have it come with Click2Flash installed and prevent Flash from installing in Safari at all?

 

In before cries of "Monopoly!" I'd like to see them explain that one.

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post #3 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Why not just have it come with Click2Flash installed and prevent Flash from installing in Safari at all?

 

In before cries of "Monopoly!" I'd like to see them explain that one.

 

Certainly it is only useful to have Click2Flash installed if you already have Flash? It is my understanding that with Click2Flash, it will look to the server of the website as the browser has Flash installed and won't show alternative media intended for users without Flash.

post #4 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zandros View Post
Certainly it is only useful to have Click2Flash installed if you already have Flash? It is my understanding that with Click2Flash, it will look to the server of the website as the browser has Flash installed and won't show alternative media intended for users without Flash.

 

Nope, Click2Flash provides direct MP4 alternatives to video (in a QuickTime shell) as opposed to site-specific HTML (if there is one), so it's good for that.

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post #5 of 35
Good for them. There's little, if any, reason to stick with an older version if you're going to the latest version of a browser. I think Firefox or Chrome does similar. If it's too far out of date, one or both of those will tell you when the program first opens.
post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Nope, Click2Flash provides direct MP4 alternatives to video (in a QuickTime shell) as opposed to site-specific HTML (if there is one), so it's good for that.

 

Ah, that is true of course. Personally I feel the whole clicking step is somewhat annoying but since current implementations and "best" practices seem to favour auto-loading and auto-playing of video it can be useful sometimes.

post #7 of 35

There's a similar update version for Windows as well, just downloaded and installed on my Sony laptop, also version 5.1.7.

post #8 of 35

Cue the haters, time for you to pipe in about Apple controlling everything.

 

I see it more as the lawless (web) frontier is getting a Justice of the Peace to keep the bad guys in check.

 

Wouldn't you love to see a movie with Steve Jobs as a digital age detective Callahan squeezing the Flashback programmers necks and saying, "Go ahead, make my day!"

post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zandros View Post

Ah, that is true of course. Personally I feel the whole clicking step is somewhat annoying but since current implementations and "best" practices seem to favour auto-loading and auto-playing of video it can be useful sometimes.

Most variations on the idea allow you to white list sites so you don't need to click, which is good for repeat visits to a trusted site.
post #10 of 35

They are treading in really dangerous territory here to disable software for people automatically. Let's hope there aren't any hitches that prevent a user from getting Flash installed and back running.

post #11 of 35

Flash IS dangerous territory. Not a problem of Apple’s causing, but they’re stuck with the reality of dealing with it.

 

As for ClickToFlash and what servers see... I think they DO see Flash as installed and thus will not present non-Flash alternate content. I have run into that issue myself when designing sites to have non-Flash/JavaScript/CSS3 animation an an alternative to the Flash content most people see. ClickToFlash messes with my Flash (and especially Flash version!) detection pretty badly. I’ve had to code special error messages just for CLickToFlash users, telling them how to bypass ClickToFlash, or my content that uses the newest Flash plugin won’t play at all, and nor will the alternate version. Depends on the specifics of the situation. It definitely interferes with some current best-practice methods of Flash detection. And with Stage3D, Flash version detection just became much more critical too. A script can detect your Flash version because you haven’t “clicked to Flash”... so it may just display a static image (or whatever) and not even give you the option of Flash at all.

 

Yes, ClickToFlash will display alternate-format video for some popular video services, but that’s a specific (and often nice) workaround built into ClickToFlash. It doesn’t work for ALL non-Flash alternate content, especially non-video content.

 

I’d HATE to see ClickToFlash built into Safari! It’s a neat “trick” and I use it, but it’s sending misleading info to web servers, and there are times when developers have no elegant way to deal with that for their users.

post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

ClickToFlash messes with my Flash (and especially Flash version!) detection pretty badly. I’ve had to code special error messages just for CLickToFlash users, telling them how to bypass ClickToFlash, or my content that uses the newest Flash plugin won’t play at all, and nor will the alternate version. Depends on the specifics of the situation. It definitely interferes with some current best-practice methods of Flash detection. 

You can try to load a Flash movie and check the Percent Loaded > 0 if not, it is blocked so you redirect with a url parameter that loads your alternate content.

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post #13 of 35

I guess that is fine for the 5 People that still use Safari

post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by agramonte View Post
I guess that is fine for the 5 People that still use Safari

 

You're hilarious.

 

See what I did there? I made an equally false statement.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #15 of 35

I have removed Flash from my Mac months ago and I am not looking back. Removing Flash and using AdBlock makes my internet experience much more enjoyable.

post #16 of 35
Quote:
Improve the browser's responsiveness when the system is low on memory

How about improving the memory leaks that cause the system to become low in memory?

post #17 of 35
20 posts and no one has mentioned how Apple has no right to keep me from using older versions of Flash that are a security issue.

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post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

20 posts and no one has mentioned how Apple has no right to keep me from using older versions of Flash that are a security issue.

Zither Zather stole your account, homie.

post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post

How about improving the memory leaks that cause the system to become low in memory?

I see Safari using 350MB on my computer. Is that really such a big deal? I guess my Firefox instance is really asking for it at 550MB. Granted, my Chrome instance is 150MB, but when it comes down to it, I'm not worried about the extra dime's worth of memory.

edit: I noticed that Chrome has a main window, plus a bunch of separate app-threads for rendering each tab (I think), putting Chrome somewhere between Safari and Firefox.
Edited by JeffDM - 5/9/12 at 9:24pm
post #20 of 35

Safari Freezes

I just hope that the stability of Safari improves in this version! It never crashes on iOS but since installing Lion it often 'freezes' (won't respond to input) and has to be force quitted. I sent bug reports but succeeding updates haven't addressed this.
post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


I see Safari using 350MB on my computer. Is that really such a big deal? I guess my Firefox instance is really asking for it at 550MB. Granted, my Chrome instance is 150MB, but when it comes down to it, I'm not worried about the extra dime's worth of memory.
edit: I noticed that Chrome has a main window, plus a bunch of separate app-threads for rendering each tab (I think), putting Chrome somewhere between Safari and Firefox.

 

Hmm, Safari itself on my system is using 202MB.  But it's Safari Web Content that is over 1GB.

 

And that happens no matter what I do, after some period of time.  I've never been able to figure out what's causing it.  By tomorrow or the next day, it will be much, much larger.

post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post

Hmm, Safari itself on my system is using 202MB.  But it's Safari Web Content that is over 1GB.

And that happens no matter what I do, after some period of time.  I've never been able to figure out what's causing it.  By tomorrow or the next day, it will be much, much larger.

I see, not good. What have you tried so far? Have you tried disabling unnecessary extensions? The extension that I do keep is one that blocks flash.
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post

Hmm, Safari itself on my system is using 202MB.  But it's Safari Web Content that is over 1GB.

And that happens no matter what I do, after some period of time.  I've never been able to figure out what's causing it.  By tomorrow or the next day, it will be much, much larger.
While a memory leak could be happening nothing yet written would lead me to that conclusion. The size of Safari Web Content is directly proportional to the Safari tabs and windows you have open. I usually have plenty of tabs open so using 1GB is expected. I've never seen it grow just from sitting idle and open. I also have 8GB RAM which means that 1GB isn't an issue for me (not sure if the amount it uses for caching intelligently scales depending on the available resources). I rarely see more than 50% of RAM registering as wired or active in iStat Menus.

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post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Good for them. There's little, if any, reason to stick with an older version if you're going to the latest version of a browser. I think Firefox or Chrome does similar. If it's too far out of date, one or both of those will tell you when the program first opens.
 

 

You have no idea what you're talking about.

 

Adobe's updates to Flash are often catastrophic to Flash products built on older versions. I'm talking 1 or 2 minor versions back (weeks usually, not even months).

 

I don't care about so called Flash "vulnerabilities". I care about products working.

 

Any move by Apple (such as this one) that disables old versions of Flash is idiotic, and a big problem for me. I'm sure I get to hear all about it at the office tomorrow. I'll just tell the team that JeffDM on some forum says there is little to no reason to use an out of date version of Flash (such as 11.1)...they'll get a kick out of that.

post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

Adobe's updates to Flash are often catastrophic to Flash products built on older versions. I'm talking 1 or 2 minor versions back (weeks usually, not even months).

 

And Apple's the one that gets beaten up for not supporting old products.

 

Funny world, this.

Originally posted by Marvin

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post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


I see, not good. What have you tried so far? Have you tried disabling unnecessary extensions? The extension that I do keep is one that blocks flash.

Well, I just got rid of some that I hadn't used in a while.  Maybe that will help.  thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


While a memory leak could be happening nothing yet written would lead me to that conclusion. The size of Safari Web Content is directly proportional to the Safari tabs and windows you have open. I usually have plenty of tabs open so using 1GB is expected. I've never seen it grow just from sitting idle and open. I also have 8GB RAM which means that 1GB isn't an issue for me (not sure if the amount it uses for caching intelligently scales depending on the available resources). I rarely see more than 50% of RAM registering as wired or active in iStat Menus.

See, that's the thing: It does seem to grow sometimes when it's idle.  And yeah, I have 8Gb too, and it seems to just keep increasing.  When I had 4Gb, it would grow to a certain point.  Now, with 8Gb, it grows larger.

 

I don't know, maybe it's just me, and the way I use Safari.  But whenever I have long uptimes, I end up needing to Quit Safari at some point and re-start it.

 

Anyways, thanks.

post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post

Well, I just got rid of some that I hadn't used in a while.  Maybe that will help.  thanks.
See, that's the thing: It does seem to grow sometimes when it's idle.  And yeah, I have 8Gb too, and it seems to just keep increasing.  When I had 4Gb, it would grow to a certain point.  Now, with 8Gb, it grows larger.

I don't know, maybe it's just me, and the way I use Safari.  But whenever I have long uptimes, I end up needing to Quit Safari at some point and re-start it.

Anyways, thanks.

It might not be just you, you might have realized the problem when others didn't. But sometimes a web browser is blamed when it's an extension or plug-in. I'll keep an eye on Safari to see if it balloons.
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Why not just have it come with Click2Flash installed and prevent Flash from installing in Safari at all?

 

In before cries of "Monopoly!" I'd like to see them explain that one.

 

What? They're not killing Flash plugins, they're disabling the ones that have known security risks. IMHO all browsers should do this for older versions of Flash. The next version of the Flash plugin is scheduled to come with silent updates for both mac and windows (not sure able linux) but this should become a non-issue. Flash Plugin users should adopt the newest runtimes for the optimal experience anyway. 9 is ancient, 10 is sorta fast, and 11 is pretty quick, very stable (if coded correctly), and has a ton of new features.

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post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Good for them. There's little, if any, reason to stick with an older version if you're going to the latest version of a browser. I think Firefox or Chrome does similar. If it's too far out of date, one or both of those will tell you when the program first opens.

 

Chrome browser has a built in version of Flash using a new plugin architecture. It updates with the browser behind the scenes. Firefox prompts you to update Flash when it's out of date, which will soon be a useless feature since Flash will update itself in the background when needed. It's worth noting that they've been talking about doing this with Flash plugins since Flash 3. 

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post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


It might not be just you, you might have realized the problem when others didn't. But sometimes a web browser is blamed when it's an extension or plug-in. I'll keep an eye on Safari to see if it balloons.

 

Good deal, thanks.

post #31 of 35

Safari has become an authentic piece of crap ( to use an euphemism ) ever since 5.0.5 ( the last stable release i remember )

and 5.1.7 is the worst of all releases for me (it needed 2 restarts today)

 

I experience crashes - bandwidth bottlenecks (only safari, the other apps have normal internet throughput while safari thinks the internet is down) - tabs loose their context

and have to be reloaded

 

I am to the point of abandoning Safari for some other browser, i can't stand Safari anymore

 

Sent bug-reports to Apple ever since 5.0.5 but no luck.

post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by netbsd View Post
Safari has become an authentic piece of crap ( to use an euphemism ) ever since 5.0.5 ( the last stable release i remember )

and 5.1.7 is the worst of all releases for me (it needed 2 restarts today)

 

I experience crashes - bandwidth bottlenecks (only safari, the other apps have normal internet throughput while safari thinks the internet is down) - tabs loose their context

and have to be reloaded

 

And I experience none of this. There's something wrong on your end.

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post #33 of 35

The fact that you don't experience issues does not mean there is something wrong on my side. There are other people having problems with safari, at least one other on this thread.

A while ago i reverted back to 5.0.5 and all of my issues (and those have always been the same) disappeared

post #34 of 35

From post Safari 5.0.5 i have been using AdBlock Plugin to kill the Overwhelming number of ads that populates webpages today.

I have switched back to ClickToPlugin that i used till 5.0.5 because it had to be updated for post Safari 5.0.5.

 

I will report back if i realize that AdBlock was the cause of my Safari issues

 

REPORT:

 

Safari continues to crash for me at an average of one time a day even with ClickToPlugin


Edited by netbsd - 5/22/12 at 4:00pm
post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

And I experience none of this. There's something wrong on your end.

 

I've seen it happen. It's probably their DNS prefetch. Once they introduced that, the whole thing has become a basket of pain

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