Building notes, projects, and occasional rants

Apple vs Flash

Update: Firefox also has multiple file upload since 3.6, fixed.

As expected , the iPad will not support Flash, and this brought back all the discussion that went on when the iPhone appeared. I find it interesting that Gina Trapattani is seeing a reduction on Flash-enabled browsers (and thats not counting iPhones, just regular browsers) on her sites. Also Gruber (but he is counting iPhone's) and Alex Bayo.

As a end-user I would not mind see Flash burn in hell. On a regular day, I used to have regular Safari crashes. Since I installed ClickToFlash, I don't see them anymore. Maybe it is related, maybe not, but my suspicion is that the culprit is the Flash plugin.

But there are at least two features that I use several times per day that right now require Flash: multiple file upload, and clipboard access.

The first, multiple file upload, is solved by HTML5. Its in the spec, and implemented in Safari4 and Firefox 3.6+. I think that Chrome 2 already supports this too.

Regarding copy-to-clipboard, the situation is less clear. There is a section in the HTML5 spec about copy-and-paste, but it is inside the drag and drop chapter, and I don't know how it can be used today, if at all.

So the two last remaining useful (as in work-related useful) uses of Flash will soon have HTML5-based replacements, and that means that I will not miss Flash at all.

But that is not to say that Apple is right about this. As the person who bought (or will buy) one of this Apple devices that lack Flash support, it should be my decision to enable or not a technology that for better or for worst is still widely used. I do not want a Flash plugin, but I would not mind a Flash runner app. A dedicated browser, totally written and supported by Adobe, and available for free on the App store. With that, I would have a choice to click the blue legos and see the the Web as Adobe think it should be. (shudders)