Removing Flash

by Christopher Paul on May 1, 2010

Adobe Flash CS4

Image: Adobe Flash CS4, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from Thiemo Gillissen’s photostream

A lot has been said about the pros and cons of Flash on the Mac, iPhone, and PC. While I do love the many video sites that use the Adobe/Macromedia technology, I have to agree with most of what Steve Jobs discusses in his Thoughts on Flash blog post. Flash is buggy, slow, and it cripples my MacBook Pro nearly every time I play a video; the annoying ads that whirl and play sound without my authorization have forced me to use an ad blocker in the past and, now, I just read RSS feeds and Instapaper to avoid that garbage. And I’m very happy my iPhone and, soon to be mine, iPad doesn’t have Flash to weigh it down.

But all the talk about Flash has been, well, talk. Most of us probably still have Flash on their computer even if they hate it. Linux users, myself included, have gone out of their way to install Flash using hacks and ugly commands to get their YouTube fix.

But for me, that changes. I’ve uninstalled Flash from my laptop and will try living without it for at least a week. And I think I’ll be successful and won’t miss it too much – both YouTube and Vimeo support HTML5 in limited ways. If I need Flash, I suppose I can always use Google Chrome since it bundles the app with the browser for some God awful reason. But I really like Safari with the latest WebKit nightly build over so it certainly won’t be my primary browser.

Let’s see if I can stick with it. I’ll give it at least a week – and maybe two if I can’t get to the computer that much – and report back.

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