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To commemorate Adobe's upcoming Flash end-of-life this December, I've written a short story about how history will remember it in ten years.

Spoiler alert: it probably won't. So I'll get to give my biased account of it to anyone who'll listen.

Feedback appreciated!

rezmason.net/what-was-flash.ht

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@rezmason i am not grateful to steve jobs for much, but killing flash is high on that list.

freinds who did animation for a living loved flash and consider html5 a living hell

@bamfic Every Flash critic was right, and every Flash apologist was right.

IMO, HTML5 is great at what it does, and it doesn't do everything Flash did. The bad things Flash did are now bad things that browsers do. A creative community rose and fell, noteworthy software came and went, and the primary gains were felt by giant corporations.

But more to the point, the web wouldn't have matured without Flash's help in the early years, and to that we owe it a bit of gratitude 😊

@rezmason pretty good. I liked the end.

I disagree that flash won’t be remembered in 10 years. Maybe the software dev side of it, sure. But one thing you don’t touch on was the massive amount of Flash games and animations on sites like Newgrounds.

Flash was pretty revolutionary in this sense, it was relatively easy for newcomers to make games/cartoons and share it with the world, and it undoubtedly created a new breed of animators and game creators.

It’s a shame all those crappy Newgrounds games and cartoons will be lost to the sands of time.

@net There is a sort of time capsule being made, called Flashpoint, but if we're being honest with ourselves, by 2030 most app platforms will restrict the execution of code in ways that will make Flashpoint's solution too cumbersome for casual nostalgiacs to leverage.

New platforms compete with the memory of old platforms. Erasing that memory makes it easier to deliver "novel" experiences. So the enemy of software archivists is not only time, but also runaway capitalism.

@rezmason I love the presentation of this as a tech interview from the future, and I mostly agree. But I feel like flash will have more of a legacy in the future among the people who grew up on newgrounds and the generation of kids playing flash games in the school library at lunchtimes. Flash itself might be forgotten, but I don't really see anybody forgetting the culture it created.

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Merveilles is a community project aimed at the establishment of new ways of speaking, seeing and organizing information — A culture that seeks augmentation through the arts of engineering and design. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.