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Flashplayer Drop in 2020

lunerlander

New Member
Just wondering whats going to happen to current and future post that require Flash plug in since it will be dropped at the end of 2020
 

Dragoneer

Site Developer
Staff member
Site Director
I don't know as of yet. This is something we're looking into and trying to make plans for. Part of the problem is, even if we can convert older submissions to animated MP4, it leaves any older flash animation with interactivity in the lurch. I think about this problem almost daily, especially with regards to our old content.

Some of the solutions are kind of expensive to implement and we just don't quite have the budget for some alternatives.
 

lunerlander

New Member
im generally curious as to how easy/hard it even is to convert flash to an mp4 file. would you have to do it manually or just have a program do it?
 

Dragoneer

Site Developer
Staff member
Site Director
im generally curious as to how easy/hard it even is to convert flash to an mp4 file. would you have to do it manually or just have a program do it?
There's server scripts that you can use to convert them over, but they tend to require a bit of horsepower behind the hood to do so on-the-fly. And they don't work with interactive flash files either, so converting everything over to MP4 to preserve our older submissions just isn't possible. It makes the situation more complex than it needs to be.

To my knowledge, there's no proper alternative for interactive flash files.
 

Dragoneer

Site Developer
Staff member
Site Director
I found it to be a bit curious that they gave us more than a year's notice.
Well, they're killing something without offering an alternative. Flash is great for interaction, and while HTML5 can do a lot of things, I don't know many sites that allowing users to upload raw HTML5 animations (even in sandboxes). There are some that allow it (Codepen) but there's a lot or risks associated with that.
 
C

CrookedCroc

Guest
Flash is gonna die next year huh...
Gonna miss all of those old flash games I used to play around elementary and Jr high school

I guess they could be saved and stored somewhere but will they ever be usable again?
IMG_20190515_012856.jpg
 

Dragoneer

Site Developer
Staff member
Site Director
I guess they could be saved and stored somewhere but will they ever be usable again?
View attachment 68148
flashplayer.fullstacks.net: Cloud SWF, Flash Player with Drive

Now, there are Flash emulators online, so that may be something we could do... but I legitimately don't know how much server processing power that would take, so it's hard to say if this is an option at all to protect that content. The problem is all these solutions cost money and server hardware, and that's something that's always in short supply around these parts.
 

Lysirell

Ruffus, the Eurasian Lynx!
I was expecting this to be a problem for FA since the first time i saw that flash was going to be dropped. Hope that there will be some solution for this, otherwise it will become a great problem for those who dedicate most of their time into animation.
 

lunerlander

New Member
wow, this is starting to look like that kill one to save a thousand or kill a thousand to save one scenario. I honestly never knew this would be such a tough thing to do. I can also imagine if you make it where you can only upload MP4 files that the data consumption would be through the roof.
 

Dragoneer

Site Developer
Staff member
Site Director
wow, this is starting to look like that kill one to save a thousand or kill a thousand to save one scenario. I honestly never knew this would be such a tough thing to do. I can also imagine if you make it where you can only upload MP4 files that the data consumption would be through the roof.
Yep. Video files will be a chunky thing to store and our long term storage plan could need to be revisited earlier than anticipated. But the biggest problem: how much more bandwidth would it add? Could be significant depending on the amount of Mp4 video that gets uploaded. Could be minor. It's hard to forecast.
 

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
IIRC there's a Javascript implementation of Flash player, which might be an alternative? Since it's JS it should run user-side and probably not be too harsh on server resources?
 

Cawdabra

Well-Known Member
IIRC there's a Javascript implementation of Flash player, which might be an alternative? Since it's JS it should run user-side and probably not be too harsh on server resources?
If you're talking about Shumway, sadly that project has been discontinued for years now, and there's no WebExtension version of it so you can't install it on any modern Firefox.
 

Dragoneer

Site Developer
Staff member
Site Director
IIRC there's a Javascript implementation of Flash player, which might be an alternative? Since it's JS it should run user-side and probably not be too harsh on server resources?
Some of these solutions still require server performance or for the user to download a lot of data to do it. I haven't found a direct solution because, unfortunately, googling for server-based flash alternatives comes up with 10,000 links which have nothing to do with what I'm looking for. If there's a reasonable solution out there it's not quite apparent.
 

Dragoneer

Site Developer
Staff member
Site Director
If you're talking about Shumway, sadly that project has been discontinued for years now, and there's no WebExtension version of it so you can't install it on any modern Firefox.
If you know of any server side emulators or alternatives I'm all ears. My google fu on trying to find solutions has not resulted in much usage. I can find ways to render Flash videos into MP4, sure, but nothing that allows people to essentially emulate Flash.
 

Slayde

New Member
Its google that is killing flash in their chrome browser. Not every browser is killing flash plugins. You can use Opera just fine with flash. THey claim that they are doing it because flash presents security issues, but I highly doubt that is really the reason.
 

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
If you're talking about Shumway, sadly that project has been discontinued for years now, and there's no WebExtension version of it so you can't install it on any modern Firefox.
I have no idea what specific project it might be; I've just had friends with more of a finger on the tech pulse mention it. I personally managed to dig up a free-standing Flash player when my browser didn't want to play nice with downloaded Flash apps, so that's what I use when I run into issues.
 

RailRide

The Real Wheels of Steel
Waaaay back in the dark ages of dial-up Internet, when 486 machines running Windows 3.1 were mainstream, I used to mine my browser cache for SWF files I watched on Newgrounds. Around that time, the Flash player had an option that could convert SWF files to self-playing "Projector" files (I assume it simply packaged a playback routine into the file itself, which became an .EXE). You could then run the file with full interactivity, even on machines that did not have the Flash player installed. I still have an archive of these Projector-ized animations from the heyday of Newgrounds and other Flash portals (Icebox, Mondo, Camp Chaos, etc). This made me wonder if a server could be made to play SWFs and simply stream the output to the viewer.

Upside:
--unlike conversion to MP4, the file remains an SWF on the server and its size would remain unchanged
Downsides:
--probably still requires significant amounts of server horsepower
--may have licensing complications reaching beyond Flash's grave
--preserving interactivity basically means you've created a Stadia for SWFs, likely not worth the expense/effort.
--and of course, security

---PCJ
 

Dragoneer

Site Developer
Staff member
Site Director
This made me wonder if a server could be made to play SWFs and simply stream the output to the viewer.
This is kind of what I was wondering -- is there a simple way to do something like that? Or even a server-like emulator? Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any software like that which I can find.

Unfortunately, it could just be that a lot of Flash files end up unplayable (at least in certain browsers). It's ending suppot in Chrome, but that doesn't mean you can't use Firefox.
 

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
This is kind of what I was wondering -- is there a simple way to do something like that? Or even a server-like emulator? Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any software like that which I can find.

Unfortunately, it could just be that a lot of Flash files end up unplayable (at least in certain browsers). It's ending suppot in Chrome, but that doesn't mean you can't use Firefox.
I could see, once support decisively and definitely ends, disabling the ability to upload new SWFs and adding a disclaimer in old Flash submissions to the general effect of "Flash support has been dropped by most browsers. You may still be able to view and interact with this submission by downloading the submission file and opening it in a free-standing Flash player such as <insert a few examples here>"

It's not perfect, but I don't know that any solution would be.
 
Its google that is killing flash in their chrome browser. Not every browser is killing flash plugins. You can use Opera just fine with flash. THey claim that they are doing it because flash presents security issues, but I highly doubt that is really the reason.
Adobe is killing flash so every browser will drop flash support. Some browsers are just dropping it sooner than the others. Here's the timeline: https://www.coderhood.com/adobe-flash-end-life-timeline-infographic/
 

Dragoneer

Site Developer
Staff member
Site Director
I could see, once support decisively and definitely ends, disabling the ability to upload new SWFs and adding a disclaimer in old Flash submissions to the general effect of "Flash support has been dropped by most browsers. You may still be able to view and interact with this submission by downloading the submission file and opening it in a free-standing Flash player such as <insert a few examples here>"
That's probably going to happen sooner rather than later. It almost makes no sense to keep supporting Flash. It's already dead on all mobile devices, and with Chrome joining the fray, the abilities and methods to view it are dying. I don't even have Flash installed on my computer as it is.
 
From my understanding of it, Flash is not ceasing to exist in its entirety, it's just being dropped as a default plugin for modern browsers. You can still run .swf files from Windows using the standalone Flash Player program, and there will 100% without-a-doubt be browser plugins that let Flash objects run in modern browsers.
 

Dragoneer

Site Developer
Staff member
Site Director
I was made aware of a Flash alternative called Ruffle that may be the answer to preserving Flash. We're not alone in our task of preserving our older content. I don't know if it's the solution, but it's the most hopeful answer yet.

github.com: ruffle-rs/ruffle
 

RailRide

The Real Wheels of Steel
That's probably going to happen sooner rather than later. It almost makes no sense to keep supporting Flash. It's already dead on all mobile devices, and with Chrome joining the fray, the abilities and methods to view it are dying. I don't even have Flash installed on my computer as it is.

My main uses for it were viewing the animated weather radar images on the National Weather Service site. Previously Chrome would ask you if you wanted to run the extension. This week it started telling you the extension was blocked, full stop, do not pass go, do not collect $200. Firefox doesn't even tell you that much. I had to fire up IE in order to see how many thunderstorms were visiting my neck of the woods that afternoon (there was a conga line of them)

---PCJ
 
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