Monday, January 26, 2009 [Tweets] [Favorites]

The Politics of Flash

Steven Frank:

I don’t like Flash because it is responsible for the overwhelming majority of my browser crashes. I don’t like it because it consumes memory and (especially) CPU resources on my computer for almost the sole purpose of showing me advertisements, which also translates directly to reduced battery life on my laptop.

Furthermore, I resent the way that Flash rose to new heights of popularity by providing a terrible video playback mechanism that (although it largely solved the problem of video codec ubiquity) can’t reliably perform the most basic of media playback functions, such as accurately seeking within the stream, even after it’s fully downloaded.

I don’t want to boycott Flash, because there are a few sites I like that use it. But, overall, Flash means UI glitches and crashes to me. I turn off Web plug-ins in NetNewsWire and EagleFiler to avoid the crashes.


"I turn off Web plug-ins in NetNewsWire and EagleFiler to avoid the crashes."

One of the reasons I use OmniWeb is that it's always allowed me to selectively turn off the Flash plug-in.

When I want to use a page that needs Flash, I just load it in Safari, which I then quit when I'm done.


Tangentially, Google Chrome's model of each tab in a separate thread that can be identified by CPU usage and killed is a crucial architecture advancement.

Managing CPU usage in a browser process with many tabs, even with Flash turned off, is kindred to Mac OS 9 extension voodoo.

Also worth noting:

My main browser is OmniWeb (just normal WebKit) with the Flash plug-in disabled, and despite normally having 20 - 80 tabs open simultaneously, I haven't had a browser crash in well over a year...

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