The days of Adobe’s Flash plug-in dominating large parts of the web are numbered. In other words, HTML5 allows us to experience the Internet natively, and escape what Mozilla VP of products Jay Sullivan calls “plug-in prison.”
Sullivan is gung-ho about HTML5, which has become a major selling point of Firefox 4, the browser’s latest iteration set launch in the coming weeks. That’s great news for Firefox’s 450 million users, but it’s not so positive for Adobe, which could see one of its premiere products become irrelevant. So is Flash going away?
”A lot of it has to do with HTML5. With Firefox 4, Internet Explorer 9, and Chrome, to the extent that we provide functionality in enough browsers, then the developers will switch over to HTML5, especially in mobile, where you can’t have Flash popping up on every page just to do some little animation. The idea that you’d have to embed an entire instance of the Flash player just to play a 30 second audio clip? It’s crazy,” he said.
Fast Company pointed out Mozilla’s moves to isolate Flash from the rest of Firefox after a review of crash data found Adobe’s plug-in brought down the browser more often than any other. Ironically, users of Chrome browser were experiencing constant crashing of the Flash plug-in – which’s built into Chrome – after updating to version 10 of the browser.
In a forum thread, users have reported success after disabling the built-in plug-in and relying on a newer, external version used by other browsers including Firefox. Google’s ”Toni” has assured users the search giant is looking into the issue. In the Register interview, Mr Sullivan said Mozilla had ruled out building Flash into Firefox for fear of stability issues.
“HTML5 is the longer-term answer,” Sullivan says. “We’re on that path now.”