3 Replies Latest reply on Jul 27, 2017 4:36 PM by jeromiec83223024

    What does the future availability of the Flash Player runtime look like?

    FerrieJB Level 1

      Hi all,

       

      I'm maintaining a product portfolio with several Flex (SDK 3.5) based products that all run in browser Flash Player plugins.

      We're encountering clients who start having problems with the availability of the Flash Player runtime on their systems (either through browsers abandoning the NPAPI plugins or Flash player specifically not being available).

       

      We're of course looking ahead and trying to determine the best way of continuing our code base, and which runtime to target to ensure that our products will remain available on as many platforms as possible.

      When I look around, I can see some possible alternatives to the Flash Player, but neither of those looks like a path I'd gladly follow:

      - with some adjusting we could make the products run in Adobe AIR, but would that be worth it (is this runtime going to be around long enough to put in the effort)?

      - I've seen Apache FlexJS trying to compile MXML into HTML5 compatible CSS/JS (but all of the important tech like AMF, E4X etc. is not supported yet, it also means converting the MXML code of our existing projects to a new FlexJS flavour of MXML, and it being an open source project there is seemingly very little guarantee of continuity in its availability)

      - JavaFX could be an option but it would basically mean rewriting our entire frontend codebase from scratch

       

      I was hoping I'm not the only one with this problem and that Adobe or other devs may give some hints as to how to ensure the target runtime of our Flex products remains available over a longer period of time (>5 years from now)?

      Is there perhaps an Adobe manufactured HTML5 compiler for Flex projects in the works, or a way to continue using the Flash Player even after most browser vendors start to block it?

       

      We have 10 years worth of development in our Flex codebase and it seems like such a waste to have to rewrite everything for a different runtime.

      Any thoughts, helpful links would be very much appreciated!

       

      Thanks,

      Ferrie

        • 1. Re: What does the future availability of the Flash Player runtime look like?
          jeromiec83223024 Adobe Employee

          Sorry about the late response on this.  I was just cleaning up some posts that weren't answered in the beta forums and wanted to give you a response.

           

          You probably already know that Adobe's support for Flex ended around 2011.  We donated the code to the Apache Foundation, and the Apache Flex project continues to develop and maintain the Flex SDK.  There is some ongoing support for Flex through the Apache foundation, but it's not something where we're throwing the full weight of the company behind it anymore.

           

          There are no plans at this time to discontinue Flash Player, but the landscape is evolving, and it's clear that the browser vendors are pursuing strategies that will increase friction for users running Flash content.  I don't see that trend reversing itself anytime soon.

           

          At this point in 2017, the HTML5 landscape has sufficiently evolved to the point where you can reasonably replicate the functionality in most Flex applications using HTML and JavaScript.  I think you're taking a gamble by maintaining the status quo.

           

          I'm a pretty pragmatic person.  If I were in your shoes, I'd probably be looking at AIR as a hedge against the browser friction, and would simultaneously be figuring out how I can modularize things incrementally to conform to the mainstream HTML/JavaScript technology stack. (e.g. replacing my AMF back-end services with REST APIs) so that if I needed to cut over at some point, I'm not staring down a wholesale rewrite.

           

          That said, I don't think you ever get to the nirvana of maintenance-free products, simply because there's so much fragmentation and change happening in the market.  New display technologies emerge with higher densities, new categories devices and form factors go in and out of fashion, browsers and operating systems are always changing, etc.  That said, minimizing risk in your technology stack will probably save you work and keep you more nimble and competitive in the long run.

          • 2. Re: What does the future availability of the Flash Player runtime look like?
            fbelhaouas Level 1

            Hi, Now that Adobe announced the EOL of the Flash Player, what is the future of Adobe Air ?

            • 3. Re: What does the future availability of the Flash Player runtime look like?
              jeromiec83223024 Adobe Employee

              There's more information over in the AIR forums, but here's the gist:

              AIR Roadmap Update