Adobe has announced the end-of-life (EOL) for Flash, the once-ubiquitous plug-in that played a pivotal role in bringing video and gaming to the Web.
Adobe plans to stop updating and distributing Flash Player at the end of 2020, and is encouraging content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to new open formats.
In its official statement, Adobe says: “Where we’ve seen a need to push content and interactivity forward, we’ve innovated to meet these needs. Where a format didn’t exist, we invented one — such as with Flash.
“Over time, as the Web evolved, these formats were adopted by the community, in some cases formed the basis for open standards, and became an essential part of the Web. As open standards like HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly have matured, most now provide many capabilities and functionalities that plugins pioneered and have become a viable alternative for content on the Web.
“We’ve seen helper apps evolve to become plugins, and more recently, have seen many of these plugin capabilities get incorporated into open Web standards. Today, most browser vendors are integrating capabilities once provided by plug-ins directly into browsers and deprecating plug-ins.”
Adobe has begun to see a decline in user numbers of Flash, with only a few holdouts in education and gaming. To make the transition easier for those still using Flash, Adobe plans to work with partners like Facebook in helping gaming developers migrate to open Web standards, as well as partners like Apple, Mozilla and Google to continue to offer safety updates for Flash in their browsers.
Govind Balakrishnan, vice-president: product development at Adobe, says: “We are proud of the legacy of Flash and everything it helped pioneer — few technologies have had such a profound impact on the Internet era. Adobe has always been about reinvention and creativity and we’re excited to help lead the next era of digital content creation.”