I am embarrassed to say that I actually have no idea what flash player does. I do know that I am always updating it and it sometimes interferes with other programs and requires som clicking.
Now that we've established that I am clueless; how will this change affect my computing experience?
My ultimate concern is that I have thousands of family pictures from digital cameras and scanned and phones, Tons of movies and music and lots of important documents in pdf form. Will I lose them? Will this affect them? Thanks for the help
Here's a basic starting point, though it may not be complete...
1. Flash Player is used in web browsers.
2. For most of a year, web browsers have put up a warning that you are visiting a web site using Flash Player.
So, no warning, no problem with the site.
Also, PDF is not connected to Flash Player; Adobe invented both, but they are entirely different. (But it's complicated; videos inside PDF files might stop working).
There was a time where you needed Flash Player to deliver streaming video, but major browsers have native support for streaming and DRM-protected video now, and it's pretty uncommon to run into video streams that require Flash at this point.
There are a couple video formats that are Flash-specific (FLV, F4V), but it would be pretty unlikely that you have movies in those formats (especially if they're less than a decade old). Aside from that, they're probably in native video or photo formats that Flash Player might be able to read, but wouldn't really matter in terms of being able to view or read them. Flash Player is almost certainly not the thing you're using to view them, nor is it required.
Adobe Acrobat (PDF) is a totally different product and unaffected. It's possible to create a PDF that embeds Flash content. After Flash is EOL, the PDF should still be readable, but any embedded Flash content will be dead. Embedding Flash in PDFs is pretty niche (I've never seen it outside of our test suite), and other embedded use-cases like Flash in PowerPoint or Excel have largely been turned off for several years.
Consumer FAQ on Flash EOL
I wish it were true that I won't be impacted but as a teacher I'm constantly searching for resources and find that older resources that require flash have not updated because they don't have funding to update their websites. Anyone have suggestions on how to run an old website that uses flash now that I cna't use it nor can my students?
So frustrating, especially during the pandemic teaching remotely, etc....
No, this is the whole point. We gave the industry three years advanced notice, so that content developers had time to migrate content.
Here's the original announcement from 2017:
More importantly, we're not doing this in a vacuum. In tandem with Adobe retiring Flash, all of the major browser vendors are retiring support for browser plug-ins. This is ultimately good for the health of the web, but it means that even if you had an old version of Flash, you will soon be hard pressed to find a browser that will continue to run it moving forward.
Software is never "write once, run forever", and 25 years of support and backward compatibility is a phenomenal run. The native web platform is now largely capable of producing content comparable to what you'd build in Flash, and it's time to move on.
When Flash Player ends on Dec 31st, chances are you'll never miss it. Most content creators stopped using Flash years ago.
Any browser can open an image. And there are plenty free image viewers online line FastStone and IrfanView,
PDF needs a PDF viewer (not Flash Player).