Occupy Flash speaks out

Anti-Flash movement on the web's tipping point

As reported on this site last month, Adobe has cancelled Flash for mobile, but some designers and developers think we should take things further and remove Flash entirely from the world's computers. This is part of the manifesto behind Occupy Flash. Although the site's now infamous within the web industry, we wanted to find out a little more about the reasoning behind the project.

According to a spokesperson, Occupy Flash was primarily set-up because the group (about ten developers, working worldwide) see the current road-map for Flash as a dead-end: "Adobe has withdrawn support for Flash mobile devices. It's not supported in iOS or Windows Phone, and Windows 8 tablets will not support it for touch. Android support is spotty, and will in all likelihood not exist in version 4." We were told that with mobile traffic growing rapidly, the thought of "two internets" – one for desktops, with Flash, and a non-Flash one for mobile – makes no sense.

For those behind Occupy Flash, this moment in time feels like a tipping point: "Flash is dead on mobile, and HTML5 is clearly the future for mobile and the desktop. There's work to do on HTML5 support, but it's quickly getting there. In our opinion, actively supporting Flash at this point is only prolonging its death, and so our movement is a call to action to move things along faster."

Of course, Adobe doesn't see it that way; it's still stating that Flash has an important role to play in the browser, largely in online gaming and video. "We would respond by saying that honestly right now it depends on who you are," said Occupy Flash's anonymous representative. "Sophisticated games are possible in HTML5, but if you're an avid social gamer, you may not want to [do without Flash] quite yet. But video is less of a problem – YouTube supports HTML5 video, and many other video sites are following suit."