An Ode to Flash
Ah, the late 90’s and early 00’s were such a different time. We were so young and full of energy. It was also the time when the internet was really coming into its own. More and more people were getting into the web and starting to build websites. While these websites were mostly pretty plain during this early time, some did find a way to add a bit of... Flash.
That old flash and pizzazz
Flash was a bit of a game changer in how interactive a site could be and in some ways would be one of the first front-end tools on the web. It required a download on the client computer to do anything, but once that was done the website could be very interactive and, well, flashy. This allowed the internet to be a lot more than just informational. Games, videos, and other multimedia became popular and while other technologies were available at the time, Flash was easily the most common. YouTube was largely made possible by Flash video player support.
Gone in a flash
The web is ever changing and always evolving. What was once cutting edge is now the hard-to-believe past. Newer front-end technologies are hoping to avoid the pitfalls that plagued the likes of Flash by not having a download requirement on the client-side. The web is shifting more and more away from proprietary software like Flash, but is open-source software safe from the same fate?
It is probably safe to say that while open-source software is less likely to completely die out like some proprietary software can when support runs out, it is still possible. It comes in more subtle things like that version of Drupal (like Drupal 6 recently) that is no longer supported, or a future where your Angular project is too out of date to run well on modern browsers. The only major difference is that with open-source software it is unlikely that there will ever be zero support for something because of the community-driven development.
While the future is somewhat uncertain, we can take a moment to appreciate the great progress made possible by Flash and similar technologies that really helped shape the internet into what it is today. While the modern internet has been cruel to Flash, we remember those simple games it made possible that we definitely never played when we were in computer class in school.