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Mozilla Developer Praises Apple, Trashes Flash

Common sense would suggest that Mozilla has, at the very least, reservations about Apple and its web strategy. Especially since Apple does not allow a full Firefox to run on its iOS and Apple's closed web strategy goes pretty much against everything Mozilla has laid out about an open web. However, Rob Sayre, who is in charge of developing the JavaScript engine for Firefox and is one of the leading developers of the browser, believes that Apple is actually great for the evolution of the Internet.

In a blog post, Sayre explains that Apple may have saved us all from the curse of plugins such as Flash and Silverlight. "The iPhone, and later the iPad, are the best things that have ever happened to keep these horizontal plugin plays from taking over the Web," he writes and continues: " Firefox has never had much leverage over plugin vendors, and products like Flash and Silverlight don’t really fit the Mozilla mission. In particular, Flash was a great product, but it never really participated in the global namespace that most webpages do. That was its main weakness."

The gratitude expressed by Sayre for Apple's good deeds goes on and he mentions that what Apple does is "great for the web." However, he admits that Mozilla may not entirely agree with this opinion: "I’m pretty sure the official Mozilla line on an OS that prevents installation of Firefox is not overwhelmingly positive. However, I think it’s the Apple business model that has freed us from unbookmarkable crap restaurant websites, not Firefox."

You can almost envision the discussions this post will spark within Mozilla and I would assume that they won't go down well in some spaces. What this post, however shows, is that some at Mozilla may be aligning their vision with the current trend that Flash is on its way out. Notice that Sayre was using past tense when he wrote about Flash: "Flash was a great product." Is Flash already dead in his opinion?

I would think that Flash will be supported in Firefox for some time, but I wonder if it makes Adobe feel uncomfortable that Mozilla developers are now talking about the end of Flash as well.  

  • K2N hater
    I must agree that Flash was a great thing in the past (being nowadays nothing but junk that allows huge pop-up adverts and spying supercookies) but that guy is clearly asking for a job at Apple.
    Reply
  • woshitudou
    Apple can't allow flash on it's devices because free flash games and apps would destroy the great app store market they have. I don't like Flash in FF but it's fine in IE
    Reply
  • jhansonxi
    I would like to see the end of Flash, Silverlight, ActiveX and H.264 in HTML5.
    Reply
  • dman3k
    jhansonxiI would like to see the end of Flash, Silverlight, ActiveX and H.264 in HTML5.Apple's reason to not use Flash may not be the reason why I want flash eliminated as well, but do we really have to thank Apple for killing an used-to-be-necessary evil? I think we should thank the developers of HTML5 instead.
    Reply
  • mauller07
    Flash in its entirety is not bad and it has capabilities still that HTML5 does not, also a lot of the time it is not flash itself that causes problems but its implementation by the developer.
    Reply
  • killerclick
    I'm a web developer and although I don't really like Flash, my clients love it and pay a premium to have big, loud, flashy Flash sites. So f#@k off, standards-Nazis and don't mess with my meal ticket.
    Also Flash sites can be bookmarked and have back button functionality if the developers do them properly.
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    jhansonxiI would like to see the end of Flash, Silverlight, ActiveX and H.264 in HTML5.
    Why would you want to kill H.264 in HTML5 when it presents one of the best things about HTML5: Not having to have a separate plug-in. I love HTML5. On You Tube, 1080P HTML5 video loads much faster than Flash.

    While Flash brought a lot of nice features to the web, the majority of it is crap now. Flash was started for animation and cool site features but is mainly pop up adds of annoyance and crapware.

    I remember designing menus for website using Flash to give it the drop down effect. But that was with Flash 4. A long time ago.

    dman3kApple's reason to not use Flash may not be the reason why I want flash eliminated as well, but do we really have to thank Apple for killing an used-to-be-necessary evil? I think we should thank the developers of HTML5 instead.
    Pretty much this. All Apple did was say no to the plug-ins. HTML5 was the real reason and actually browsers like IE9 and FF 4.0 will be the real reason we see less Flash due to their push of HTML5.

    I don't mind Silverlight honestly since its rare to find and when it is found, its normally just for videos which seem to playback smoother than Flash. But still a browser without a ton of addons is the best way to go for a great web experience.
    Reply
  • ProDigit10
    The only good flash brought was that it was easily blocked by an ad aware program.
    I worry about HTML 5, where ads will be harder to block!
    Reply
  • Vladislaus
    jimmysmittyWhy would you want to kill H.264 in HTML5 when it presents one of the best things about HTML5: Not having to have a separate plug-in. I love HTML5. On You Tube, 1080P HTML5 video loads much faster than Flash.He didn't said that wanted the video playback capabilities of html5 removed. Most likely wants to kill H.264 because it's not a open format so it shouldn't belong on HTML. The internet also had a problem in the past with another format, GIF. Most people don't want history to repeat itself.
    Reply
  • sykozis
    Every time I read something about Firefox anymore...I'm more glad I never jumped on that bandwagon. The browser takes forever to load....and it doesn't load webpages any faster than IE does. In the time it takes Firefox just to load...I can be at any website of my choosing using IE or Chrome...
    Reply