Where once it bestrode the Internet like a Colossus, Adobe's ubiquitous Flash plug-in has finally begun to fall on hard times. Shortly after Adobe announced its decision to halt development on the mobile version of Flash, a group calling itself 'Occupy Flash' - ignore for now the fact that the same trivializes a rather urgent societal economic problem - has piled in on them in aggressive terms normally reserved for political screeds.
"Flash Player is dead," Occupy Flash's manifesto reads. "Its time has passed. It's buggy. It crashes a lot. It requires constant security updates."
Occupy Flash's take on Adobe ranges from technical to personal. "It's a fossil, left over from the era of closed standards and unilateral corporate control of web technology. Websites that rely on Flash present a completely inconsistent (and often unusable) experience for fast-growing percentage of the users who don't use a desktop browser."
Also singling out security flaws, they're in the same camp with the late Steve Jobs, who started his own spat with Adobe in 2010, calling Adobe 'lazy' and later, publishing a lengthy post on Apple.com, further articulating his beef with the Flash plug-in.
Occupy Flash acknowledges that Adobe, by abandoning mobile Flash to focus on HTML 5 in future mobile development, would appear to have become irrelevant. However, their goal, cheekily focused on encouraging Internet users to deactivate the Flash plug-in in their desktop browsers, is larger than any one company. Simply put, they aim to force a completely open standard on the web by encouraging users to 'invalidate' technologies that don't meet such standards. Will it work? It's a worthy goal likely to be slow-going, at least while so much of the non-mobile web runs on Flash, admittedly render many websites, like Google Analytics, less usable. (Full disclosure - I won't be deactivating Flash, at least not now). But as the intent isn't to kneecap Adobe as an entity, only to speed up the transition to an HTML 5 future, a 'movement', if you can call it that, like Occupy Flash might put pressure on developers to do just that.