This might actually be a bit overdue but something quite symbolic happened the other day. I consciously removed Adobe Flash from my Mac dock.
There was a time during my stint as editor of Web Designer magazine that I promised myself I’d learn Adobe Flash. I even considered taking it up properly and swapping career paths, but could never find the time. Or indeed the timeline for that matter. Just a little in-joke there for Flash geeks, I couldn’t resist.
Now I’m effectively unemployed I’ve been more preoccupied with mastering WordPress. So as I reshuffled my OS X icons the other day, I did something quite significant. I removed the Creative Suite 5.5 icon for the Adobe Flash IDE from my Mac dock. To put this into context, I have a whopping 27 inches for accommodating bloody icons and it still bit the dust. Frankly though, what weird alternative future exists where I’m going to need it? That’s when I suddenly realised this swift, seemingly insignificant act was effectively laying a poignant wreath.
There was a lot to hate about Adobe Flash in all fairness. However there is a kind of ‘baby with the bathwater’ thing of being too quick to celebrate its demise. In its heyday the intentions were good and in so many ways it provided the proto-dynamic web we take for granted today. Inevitably though things move on for whatever motive and the convergence of HTML5, CSS3, PHP and jQuery has made things better.
“They (Adobe) went all Norman Bates and refused to acknowledge its death, putting a wig on its skeleton and leaving it rocking in a San Jose basement.”
Tellingly, I actually hadn’t missed Adobe Flash content since I bought my current Smartphone. To provide an indicator of time, with some shame I’m still using a launch day iPhone 3GS. This either proves my online habits are startlingly limited or that Flash’s brand of frivolity has in fact been unfashionable for yonks.
It swiftly becomes a chicken and the egg thing too, with not many keen to develop for it anymore. Admitting to being a Flash developer these days has quickly become akin to farting in a crowded elevator. I feel sympathy for the incredibly talented guys that have invested so much in it, as well as a twinge of regret for Adobe. As a company I admire them greatly, but its stance on Flash for a while was creepy. They went all Norman Bates and refused to acknowledge its death, putting a wig on its skeleton and leaving it rocking in a San Jose basement.
What I hope they are now rightly doing is using it to their advantage. Grasping the nettle and killing it on its own terms. If they take control for burying it and use the initiative for innovation then it becomes an opportunity. Adobe Flash still has great tools and dedicated developer support so it would be foolish to throw that away. We’re just in a fortunate position where the exported runtime needn’t be Flash code. Winner!
Now what’s next for the dock chop, Microsoft Office anyone?