Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Chrome Google The Internet Communications Network Networking Operating Systems Software Build Games Technology

Google: Chrome 53 Will 'De-Emphasize Flash In Favor of HTML5' Next Month (venturebeat.com) 68

Google announced in a blog post today that Chrome will officially start to "de-emphasize Flash in favor of HTML5." VentureBeat reports: "In September 2016, Chrome will block Flash content that loads behind the scenes, which the company estimates accounts for more than 90 percent of the Flash on the web. In December, Chrome will make HTML5 the default experience for central content, such as games and videos, except on sites that only support Flash." Google detailed next month's plan (design doc), when Chrome 53 will be released: "In September 2015, we made 'Detect and run important plugin content' the default plugin setting in Chrome, automatically pausing any cross-origin plugin content smaller than 400px in width or 300px in height. This behavior has an exception for any plugin content that is 5x5 or smaller or is an undefined size, because there was no canonical way of detecting viewability until Intersection Observer was standardized and implemented. We would now like to remove this exception and instead not load tiny, cross-origin content. If the user has their plugin setting set to the default of 'Detect and run important plugin content,' the browser will not instantiate cross-origin plugin content that is roughly 5x5 or smaller or has an undefined size. An icon will be displayed in the URL bar indicating that plugin content is not running, allowing the user to reload the page with plugin content running or open settings to add a site-wide exception. Other choices of the plugin content setting are unaffected by this launch."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Google: Chrome 53 Will 'De-Emphasize Flash In Favor of HTML5' Next Month

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 09, 2016 @05:33PM (#52674305)

    It's never going to go away if we keep supporting it

  • Google Grow a Pair (Score:5, Insightful)

    by avandesande ( 143899 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2016 @05:49PM (#52674387) Journal
    Just remove it. Sure you will lose maybe .5% of users but you will put a stake in the heart of the monster, and those lost users will come back eventually.
    • Sure you will lose maybe .5% of users...

      .5%? I wish that were true. My browser is set to ask before flash, and commercial web sites are constantly asking for flash to run. I hate flash, but everybody uses it, particularly for streaming content, and the boys at Chrome do not want to risk their place as the go-to browser. I only hope this step is the first of a thousand cuts that may finally kill this beast.

      • by Barefoot Monkey ( 1657313 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2016 @06:34PM (#52674629)

        I find that the vast majority of sites that ask for Flash when it's set to "ask to activate"/"click-to-play" will work just fine when Flash is set to "never activate" or removed entirely.

        Have a look at this fairly typical code to play a video file:

            <object type="application/x-shockwave-flash" data="player.swf">
                <param name="file" value="video.mkv">
                <video src="video.mkv">
            </object>

        If Flash is installed it uses the embedded Flash applet "player.swf" to play the video, otherwise it simply plays the video directly. However, when Flash is click-to-play, the object element is treated as an opaque placeholder until the user clicks it, whereupon Flash becomes activated.

        I don't know the details on how Google is "de-emphasising" Flash, but I'd imagine that they check to see whether the object has child elements other than <param> inside, and replace it with the click-to-play placeholder only if it does not instead of doing so all the time.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I decided to try that on my Firefox setup, and it did (a bit surprisingly) display correctly all the sites I frequent. Sites that are of a bit older design and which I thought didn't have an alternative for Flash.

    • If Google grows a pair as you suggest, then existing vector animations using Flash (Homestar Runner, Weebl and Bob, Animutations, and user contributions to Newgrounds) will become unusable. Even if these are "and nothing of value was lost" to your personal taste, they aren't "and nothing of value was lost" to all viewers. Rendering the SWF to pixels and encoding the result in WebM is an imperfect solution, as it loses interactivity (a lot of SWFs on Newgrounds are games). It also bloats file size by a factor of ten in my tests, which isn't helpful for users on slow or harshly capped connections. So going forward, what will be the recommended way to exhibit old and new vector animations?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Not only that but both my laptop and desktop both run flash more smoothly and faster than html.

      • js+html+canvas API is a perfect way to encode vector animations, with similar compression ratios (assuming transport compression) as flash. For legacy content, there is shumway. But right now the task is to get flash out of mainstream websites, which still rely on it for some reason or another.

        • js+html+canvas API is a perfect way to encode vector animations, with similar compression ratios (assuming transport compression) as flash.

          I agree that Canvas or SVG would be the ideal solution going forward. Have you tried any non-Adobe tools for authoring such animations that you're willing to recommend? I don't want to rely on Adobe Animate because it's available only for rental.

          For legacy content, there is shumway.

          If Shumway could replace Flash Player the way pdf.js replaced the Adobe Reader plug-in, that would be great. But as far as I can tell, Mozilla canceled Shumway. There hasn't been a status report [mozilla.org] in over a year, and the graph of contributions to Git [github.com] appears to have f

      • People who developed content for a proprietary platform are subject to the whims of the platform owner. In this case, the whims of Adobe primarily involve failing to patch security holes and allowing widespread use of their platform for user-hostile purposes. They could have invested in security, and policed Flash usage. They chose not to, and now Adobe (and their users) are paying the price.

        Sadly, Flash is not going away [adobe.com]. As I understand TFA, the new version of Chrome will still work just fine with Flash c

      • If Google grows a pair as you suggest, then existing vector animations using Flash (Homestar Runner, Weebl and Bob, Animutations, and user contributions to Newgrounds) will become unusable.

        Frankly, so what? Flash will still be available for those who want it. And even if it died completely starting tomorrow and we lose a few works of art forever (which won't happen), I would still consider it a fair exchange considering the problems Flash has caused and continues to cause. Those authors made their product in a proprietary format. Live by the sword, die by the sword. If someone cares enough to bother to preserve the animations then they'll be preserved.

        To be honest though I haven't even

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          If someone cares enough to bother to preserve the animations then they'll be preserved.

          I care enough. But almost all countries also have a life plus 50 year or more copyright regime. So how should I go about tracking down the author of each such animation and seeking his permission to preserve it?

          • I care enough.

            I rest my case. If it's something that matters, odds are good that someone will preserve it. Actually many things that don't matter get preserved too. I'm routinely astonished at how sentimental people get. I used to work in the auction business so I've seen some things you wouldn't believe in that regard... People love to collect.

            But almost all countries also have a life plus 50 year or more copyright regime. So how should I go about tracking down the author of each such animation and seeking his permission to preserve it?

            You're presuming the author wants to have it preserved. They might not. But let's assume they do. You might have to do some leg work to find them. That's part of the deal

      • The number of people that care about what you are talking about is vanishingly small, like a fraction of a percent. The rest of us don't care.
    • No. Leave it until it dies completely on the web. Sometime I visit a flash site because I *NEED* to. I like that Chrome comes with flash plugin installed so I don't need to worry about installing/keeping it up to date. Oh and I have all plugins disabled by default via click to play policy.

  • "content that is 5Ãf--5 or smaller"
    (the jumble above is the correct spelling of 'angstrom'.)

    So, yes, that's quite small. It can probably be removed without dire consequences ...
    Or is it that slashdot doesn't recognize common text standards?

    • There was a time when Slashdot tried to support character encodings properly. Then vandals had to mess it up by embedding bidirectional override characters that broke the layout and spoofed moderation scores [slashdot.org], and other vandals started using box drawing and CJK characters to make obscene glyph art. After this, Slashdot started to apply a code point whitelist. Yet somehow SoylentNews has implemented working UTF-8.

      • by rastos1 ( 601318 )

        I followed the link. And IMHO the approach taken to deal with the problem is epitome of " throw the baby out with the bathwater".

        But OK, if we are, after 14 years, still worried about this problem, then I suggest (hey whipsplash!) to review the whitelisted characters and add whatever screwed "Gray's Anatomy" and "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D" in this post [slashdot.org] - I guess it's "'right single quotation mark U+2019".

        (note to self: write down other instances of this problem when I see them).

        • It really shouldn't be this hard to do Unicode comments safely. First, all text should be in UTF-8, with no conversions anywhere. It's crazy that code points not on the whitelist show up as scrambled text; they should at least be replaced with a standard placeholder code point using a competent UTF-8-capable regex library while rendering the page. Second, put together a trivial script to collect all the non-blacklisted code points which have been filtered out and present them for review. After review each c

  • by subk ( 551165 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2016 @06:51PM (#52674719)
    Gee, that's great, but when is the Google Play Music team gonna get off their asses and fix HTML5 support??
  • So people started restarting Chrome today, and the latest version breaks videos if they dont habe SAR (source aspect ratio) metadata in the file.

    If you view the raw video in chrome, it appears the same in chrome 51, but if you use it in a page its weirdly stretched - for our site it came out wide.

    Anyone else notice this? It's fixable if you use ffmpeg to set SAR to 1:1, but that's a lot of reprocessing.

  • I'll be curious to see how Chrome handles sites like Reuters, where they mystifyingly try to force Flash down your throat if you're not on a mobile device - even if Flash isn't installed.

    • by NotInHere ( 3654617 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2016 @08:31PM (#52675149)

      They'll still allow it. Until google decides to drop flash support, nothing will really happen. Really, they should simply say that flash will be removed on Jan 01 2018, and then every site will abandon flash. Or even better: lower the score in google search results if a site uses flash and has no js fallback. That's the biggest power google has, it works wonders.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    HTML5 is splintered mess that is in no way a replacement for the capabilities of the Flash ecosystem.

    In the meantime, where is WebAssembly?

    I love going backwards - what a privilege to have to watch.

  • Yeah, that's nice and all, but I hope they fix Google Play Music to use an HTML5 player before kicking Flash to the curb.
  • We've got a whole month to redevelop our video streaming platform from the ground up.

Building translators is good clean fun. -- T. Cheatham

Working...