Flash is not a de facto standard technology

John Gruber continues to hammer home the reasons why Apple’s abandonment of Flash on mobile and touch devices is a good thing for web standards:

If no one releases a popular web browsing platform that lacks Flash support, then web sites that already publish Flash content are never going to move away from it. I think the web would be a far better place without Flash, or, at least, with Flash relegated to a position like that of Java applets: there if you want it, but not a major foundation.

Flash is never going to decrease in popularity so long as all web browsers support it. Flash might decrease in popularity because of iOS. If you believe that Flash’s current position as a de facto standard technology is harmful to the web, then users — not just iOS users but everyone using the web — would benefit if that happens.

I don’t think Flash is quite as evil as some commentators make out – it can be a powerful tool. But I agree that it needs to be repositioned: less as a standard web technology, and more as a bespoke application platform. So much of the stuff people use Flash for can now be achieved almost effortlessly with modern Javascript frameworks and clever use of CSS. I’ve yet to see a practical example of where Flash could be applied to applications on a mobile device.

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