Flash

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Adobe Flash logo.

Flash is a multimedia software environment primarily run as a Web browser plugin or an application. Designers can create many different forms of interactive audio-visual media including vector graphics, raster graphics, the animation of both, music and sound, all while handling user control. All of this behavior is controlled through Action Script. Although most browsers now disable Flash, you can still run Flash applications in your desktop with the Flash Player Projector Content Debugger.

The product was originally called SmartSketch and developed by FutureWave Software in the early 1990s. It was bought by Macromedia in 1996 and renamed Flash and, when Macromedia was purchased by Adobe in 2005, became an Adobe product. Flash has been superseded by Abode AIR, and Adobe will cease support of Flash in 2020. Most Web browsers are now blocking Flash, but there are still ways to run Flash.

For about a decade, Flash was a dominant form of multimedia on the Internet used for games, advertising, and streaming music and video. However, it was plagued with security flaws, poor memory management, and used so much for obnoxious ads, people became sick of it. When HTML 5 gave designers the bulk of the same abilities as Flash, but without being tied to Adobe, Flash quickly began to lose popularity.

One of the sad things about Flash being discontinued is that there is a great potential of a loss of software because the software is kept server-side. For traditional discontinued platforms like Commodore 64 or MS-DOS, software was always released on disks, so, even after the hardware stopped working, the data on the disks could be saved and the hardware emulated. With Flash, someone can always write a Flash emulator, but the software can only be saved if it was saved from a Web site. Since all Web sites eventually go offline, many Flash games can be lost forever if someone doesn't save the Flash files first, and, unfortunately, most sites purposely make it difficult to download the SWF files.

Personal

I became aware of Flash in the early 2000s because of Internet gaming sites and video streaming. I mostly hate Flash because sites used it to litter their pages with obnoxious ads. Always wanting to develop games, I once downloaded a sample Flash studio through Adobe and found it to be the worst vector editor I had ever used.

Games

See all Flash Games.

The following are games developed in Flash that are important to me.

Links

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