If you’re a Web developer, you have an opinion on Adobe Flash. Maybe you view it as an essential tool for building your games and applications; maybe you wish the Web would evolve past it as quickly as possible. Whatever your feelings, Adobe just announced a seismic change in how it deals with its long-running (and occasionally controversial) product.
First things first: Flash Professional CC has been rebranded as Animate CC, which will roll out next year with new features such as HTML5 support. Buried within Adobe’s official blog posting on the matter, however, is the perhaps-inevitable-but-still-startling acknowledgment that “new web standards” such as HTML5 will become “the web platform of the future across all devices.”
Considering how fervently Adobe has fought over the years to make Flash the main Web standard, this is sort of like a company publicly announcing that a rival’s product will eventually beat it. But Flash has been under fire for quite some time. Over the summer, for example, Facebook’s head of security suggested that the Web would be better served if Flash just went away, while Mozilla executive Mark Schmidt proclaimed that Firefox would block all versions of the software by default.
In its blog posting, Adobe announced that it would work with Facebook to ease the latter’s security concerns. “Moving forward, Adobe is committed to working with industry partners, as we have with Microsoft and Google, to help ensure the ongoing compatibility and security of Flash content.”
For developers who rely heavily on Flash for everything from games to graphics, Adobe seems to be doubling down on security and stability, which is obviously good. And for those who use Flash but want to transition their project back-ends to other standards such as HTML5, it seems that Adobe plans on facilitating that changeover, too. That being said, tech pros will need to wait for the debut of Animate CC in early 2016 to see exactly how Adobe plans on actually handling the evolution.