Should Adobe make Flash open source? [POLL]

Last week, we wrote that Adobe was “calling time” on Flash, according to a blog post from Adobe Corporate Communications with the rather unexciting title of Flash and the Future of Interactive Content.

Other reports were rather more blunt.

Techradar wrote Adobe finally kills Flash, WIRED couldn’t resist the tautological Adobe Finally Kills Flash Dead, and BGR Media went for the unequivocal Adobe Flash is finally dead.

None of those headlines was quite right – least of all BGR’s, which actually dates back to December 2015, thus making it nearly two years ahead of this year’s headlines…

…which themselves turned out to be three years too early.

In fact, Adobe has said simply that it “will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020.”

In other words, even those of us who have been trying for years to wean the world off Flash still don’t have much to celebrate.

In more than three years’ time, people will still be using Flash, and Adobe will still be stuck in the ongoing process of “encourag[ing] content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to [the] new open formats [like HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly].”

With all this in mind, why would anyone want to keep Flash going even longer?

Long live Flash!

Finnish software developer Juha Lindstedt thinks he has an answer, and a petition to go with it:

Flash along with its sister project Shockwave is an important piece of internet history and killing Flash and Shockwave means future generations can’t access the past. Games, experiments and websites would be forgotten.

So he’s asking Adobe to release Flash as open source, just in case.

Open sourcing Flash and the Shockwave spec would be a good solution to keep Flash and Shockwave projects alive safely for archive reasons. Don’t know how, but that’s the beauty of open source: you never know what will come up after you go open source!

We’ve not convinced.

After all, we already live in a world from which many other important pieces of internet history have as good as vanished, apparently without causing us to lose our grip on either the past or the future.

(OS/2, Macromedia Director, Google Gears, Netscape Navigator, Gopher, Usenet and France’s ultra-low bandwidth Minitel all spring unbidden, and unchronologically to mind.)

But it’s not up to us, it’s up to you!

Have your say

Have your say by voting in our poll:

And have more say by telling us what you think in the comments below.

(You may remain anonymous.)