Flash starts to become irrelevant

JD, posted about this article.

There, Bruce Perens is quoted:
“To some extent, I think Macromedia may have missed the boat.” “Eventually, browsers will all have SVG plug-ins, and at that point, Flash starts to become irrelevant.”

I don’t think so. Why? Because SVG has been around for so long – and still mentioned as an emerging standard, because it didn’t manage to emerge for years now – and SVG plug-in is even maybe more ubiquitous than Flash plug-in: it’s included with Adobe Acrobat Reader…

Sorry Bruce, I don’t think it’s related to browser plug-ins… It’s about getting the job done.

Flash vs. SVG is a great example where Web Standards fail. It’s nice to have open standards, like free software, but they need to work, free garbage is still garbage. In fact, I think W3C has missed the boat by endorsing SVG. (I believe SVG has its uses, but not as intended – the interactive animation web standard. SVG is good for displaying some vector data like maps).

In the same article David Mendels of Macromedia is also quoted:
‘We made a commitment in the 1990s that we weren’t going to keep (Flash) a narrow, quirky thing that doesn’t interoperate with other people’s products, and we’ve followed through on that. I think we’ve been very successful in making Flash a widely supported open standard.”
“Some people have very strong religious views that everything should be open-source or everything should go through a standards body, I don’t have views like that…I want to address what people are telling us are the real problems, through whatever vehicle makes sense.”


Note: If you have $5300-$10.000, you can have Bruce Perens speak at your event. Details here.

This entry was posted in Flash.

10 Responses to Flash starts to become irrelevant

  1. John Dowdell says:

    Thanks, Burak. But a quick note on “SVG plug-in is even maybe more ubiquitous than Flash plug-in: it’s included with Adobe Acrobat Reader”….
    These graphs shows just part of the story:
    In March 2004 Media Metrix asked their regular consumer focus groups whether they could immediately see various types of pages in their current browser, without downloading anything new. 98% could see SWF2 content (and over 90% could see SWF6)… 82% could see some type of PDF… 17% could see some type of SVG.
    What we haven’t documented well on that page yet is that these were PDF3 files that were tested! Adobe bundled their SVG2 plugin inside their ASV5 plugin for awhile, but never added their SVG3 plugin, or put any standalone SVG ability in their ASV6 plugin. I suspect most of those 17% who could see a simple SVG drawing were using the Adobe SVG Viewer 2 which shipped with Adobe Acrobat Reader 5 for awhile. (Generally, larger downloads tend to have slower adoption and upgrade rates than smaller downloads.)
    No big thing — the “ubiquity” case is just a bit stronger than mentioned, that’s all.
    I agree with you that the SVG file format can be useful… it’s that “SVG vs SWF” wrestling match which has never made much sense for me….. ;-)

  2. Thank you JD for the detailed comment.
    I knew I was a bit(!) exaggerating about that.
    If Adobe now doesn’t have the SVG plug-in with Acrobat Reader distribution, I can only say that (1) They made a good decision (2) It won’t help SVG get any popular.
    In any case, I believe SVG had more than its fair share of chances, and failed.
    I think that the ubiquity of Flash plug-in, is not the reason today everybody uses Flash, it’s a result achieved over the years, the other way around.
    Best regards,

  3. JesterXL says:

    I speak for free, hehe…

  4. LOL Jesse…
    He’s got a big picture on that page with a penguin neck tie. Probably assumed for print use. He’s also got a broken link to his detailed bio there :)
    Seriously, why not free speaking and paid software? Closed source and open speech?
    Best regards,

  5. You would think for $10,000 you’ld get better information than that! There is reading the tea leaves, and there is smoking them…
    I’ve worked a lot with svg and have found (the hard way!) many many many places where svg just doesn’t cut it. I used to try to debate or even lobby for changes when these swf/svg debates would come up, but now I couldn’t be bothered. It never will unless it changes into something that doesn’t resemble svg. Given the fact that most people in that camp already consider it 1000% better, that is unlikely.

  6. Thanks Robin.
    I think you are really qualified to make that comment: ‘(there are) many many many places where svg just doesn’t cut it.’ We have worked with SVG too, but very briefly.
    Best regards,

  7. erikbianchi says:

    Let’s not forget that an swf can parse a svg file.
    I don’t think the same can be said about svg parsing a swf.
    Speculating but if svg did all of a sudden take off I don’t think it would be too much of a stretch for Flash to directly export to an svg file.

  8. flex-mx says:

    SVG Makes “Flash Irrelevant”?

    Burak Kalayci has a good summary and comments on some SVG vs. Flash talk that’s been going around lately (starting with John Dowdell’s post). Burak comments on Bruce Perens statement that when browsers start to have SVG plug-ins, Flash starts…

  9. Andres Felipe says:

    naahh, dont much care to your comments, we should focus creating a new class of virus to infect the world with the flashplayer plugin and help macromedia for the world domination
    dont make sense ?

  10. No, doesn’t make sense.
    The world is already ‘infected’ with the Flash player.
    Maybe that would be the last resort for SVG, but it will surely give SVG and W3C a bad name.