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Discontinue of service of Flash Player on internet browsers.

New Here ,
Nov 09, 2016

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I am a course developer using Captivate 9 to develop and design several eLearning courses for a company.  I was in a meeting last week and was told that most internet browsers would be discontinuing support of Flash Player.  This is important for me to know because I have several video assets and animation simulations, however Captivate will only let me use a FLV or SWF file not a MP4 or any other format.  So if Flash Player is not going to be continued in every browser then I will have to find other types of assets as part of the training material.

I realize that you answered this question over a year ago, but there have been announcements in Wired Magazine and others resently that I found to be creditable about Flash Player being blocked on Google Chrome and other internet browsers of Flash Player ads but will is still work for animation and videos embedded in a Captivate HTML 5 project?  Therefore I needed to follow up with Adobe to find out if any of this is true and the LMS people I'm working with are wrong.  I need a solution to this as soon as possible.  I've got several assets that need to be developed and if not in Animate then I need to find something else.

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Discontinue of service of Flash Player on internet browsers.

New Here ,
Nov 09, 2016

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I am a course developer using Captivate 9 to develop and design several eLearning courses for a company.  I was in a meeting last week and was told that most internet browsers would be discontinuing support of Flash Player.  This is important for me to know because I have several video assets and animation simulations, however Captivate will only let me use a FLV or SWF file not a MP4 or any other format.  So if Flash Player is not going to be continued in every browser then I will have to find other types of assets as part of the training material.

I realize that you answered this question over a year ago, but there have been announcements in Wired Magazine and others resently that I found to be creditable about Flash Player being blocked on Google Chrome and other internet browsers of Flash Player ads but will is still work for animation and videos embedded in a Captivate HTML 5 project?  Therefore I needed to follow up with Adobe to find out if any of this is true and the LMS people I'm working with are wrong.  I need a solution to this as soon as possible.  I've got several assets that need to be developed and if not in Animate then I need to find something else.

Please Help Me

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Adobe Employee ,
Nov 09, 2016

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Your assessment of the credible reporting sounds pretty accurate.  As usual, reports of our death are greatly exaggerated.  I would encourage anyone looking for accurate information to go find the actual public statements by the individual browser vendors for clarity on the browser roadmaps.

In my personal opinion, an unfortunate number of tech blogs generally tend to confuse what they'd like to see happen with what's actually happening in the space, and it's too common to see published speculation (and regurgitation thereof) instead of actual researched stories.  There are definitely still bright spots where people are bringing journalistic integrity to tech journalism, but like the larger journalistic landscape, it's an under-appreciated and sorely needed few doing quality reporting.

That said, there's an obvious trajectory towards making Flash content more difficult to run in the browser, and while ads and tiny content (tracking pixels, analytics, etc.) are the target today, it probably behooves you to start migrating your content towards HTML5.  Despite a huge effort to harden Flash, like the browser, it's primary job is to process untrusted, potentially malicious content, and that inherently expands the browser's attack surface.  Constraining what Flash runs to only trusted authorized content by way of click-to-play is a predictable strategy, which makes the attack surface impractical and generally uninteresting to bad guys.

There's already clear precedent in how the browser community handled the Java plug-in, and while there's a lot of great educational content built on Java still in use in higher learning today (particularly in the computer science and higher-level math arenas), it's painful and cumbersome to run, requires changing security settings, and would be a much better experience as native HTML content.

Unless you need features in Flash that aren't available in HTML and JavaScript (Flash technology is still superior for things like complex 3D games and commercial broadcast video), HTML is the optimal choice -- especially if you're building new content.

As far as Animate CC goes, it's actually a great choice for targeting either HTML5 Canvas or Flash.  Animate CC offers the same familiar workflows that Flash animators are comfortable with, but it will output directly to HTML5.  If you already have simple Flash-based animations and/or ActionScript 3 content that you want to reuse, converting them to HTML Canvas is also generally pretty easy.

Create HTML5 Canvas documents in Animate CC

For video, Adobe Media Encoder should provide an easy mechanism for converting existing .FLV video to H.264 video suitable to HTML embedding.

In short, while Flash Player is not going away tomorrow, it's certainly difficult to predict with any kind of certainty what things will look like a decade from now, especially when the decision to deprecate plug-ins lies with the individual browser vendors.  We're committed to keeping existing Flash content working to the extent possible, and while I find it unlikely that browser vendors would completely eliminate users' ability to choose to run Flash Player, it's easy to see a future where there's more friction in the experience.

Standardizing your content on HTML5 is your best bet for long-term compatibility, and for minimizing time spent on students' issues viewing course content.

Hope that helps!

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New Here ,
May 23, 2018

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dont understand your lenghty answer. WHY is flash being discontinued. I use a popular platform on TDAmeritrade that uses flash and was told it will not be available soon because it runs on flash. Pleas respond directly to [Personal contact info removed - Mod]

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Adobe Employee ,
May 23, 2018

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Long story short, there are technologies built into the browser (e.g. HTML5 and JavaScript) that would allow TD Ameritrade to do exactly what they're doing now, without Flash.   The reason that we're deprecating Flash Player over such a long time is explicitly to allow content providers to migrate to those technologies.

From the 90's through the 2010's, Flash significantly extended the capability for designers to do cool stuff on the web.  The web platform has largely caught up with what Flash Player offered. 

At the same time, the security landscape has evolved from a world where the big threats were kids in basements to a landscape where the players are large highly skilled teams, funded by organized crime and international military and intelligence organizations.

While we continuously work to harden Flash and stay ahead of the latest security research, minimizing the attack surface presented by the browser is an imperative.  Removing support for plug-ins removes a lot of code and complexity, which makes life easier for browser vendors.

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Advisor ,
May 23, 2018

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ask developers to recode millions line of codes from millions applications is just an heresy.

it's ok for a design, it's not ok for code developers and RIA applications.

I just hope Adobe will make all our code wasm compatible soon, and get rid of the so called "plugin".

I'm sorry but use the excuse of "kids in garage" trying to hack a website is more a fiction than reality.

the truth is a plugin that last 20 years with a lot of security bugs corrected was very useful to build html5 and javascript new versions to avoid the same mistakes,

and I'm not really sure that Adobe will trash 20 years of knowledge and user development. Also HTML5 and javascript still not offer full implementation of actionscript.

and AS still much better and clearer to program, avoiding mad cross platform compatibility. Another point, a lot of SWF are used in production mode since years and no developers are behind anymore to convert or modify them, or simply the sources does not exist anymore, that will be a serious issue for the internet history and archiving.

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