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Good Riddance to Flash

The Age reports that Adobe has ceased development of Flash for mobile systems [1]. This is described as leading to an improvement in the web experience for iPhone and iPad users, but the more important thing is that it will improve the experience for everyone. The Flash plugin has always been a resource hog and has never been properly supported on all the common platforms. Also most sites that use Flash never needed to as there were other ways of getting equal or better results without it.

Now that Flash is officially on the path to obsolescence everyone can move to HTML5.

I use the following configuration directives in my Squid configuration to block Flash, I selectively enable Flash for the few web sites which use it for useful things. Blocking flash in this manner means that desktop systems which have the Flash plugin installed probably won’t be vulnerable to Flash security flaws as it is unlikely that one of the few sites that I permit to send Flash to my network would end up hosting hostile Flash code.

acl swf url_regex swf$ swf\?
acl swftype req_mime_type -i ^application/x-shockwave-flash$
http_access deny swf
http_access deny swftype

Wikipedia has a comparison of HTML5 and Flash. One interesting benefit that is claimed for Flash is that it allows DRM and it supports inserting commercials and in other ways giving the user an experience that they don’t want. It seems that to put some more nails in the Flash coffin we need tools to suck video from Flash sites regardless of DRM and which skip commercials.

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