The End of Flash in 2020? Converting From Flash to HTML5

Updated on November 3, 2019
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Amelia has over 25 yrs of experience in the IT, Training and Education, and eLearning industry.

The End of Flash in 2020?

The End of Flash in 2020
The End of Flash in 2020 | Source

What's Happening With Adobe Flash? Goodbye Flash!

Adobe made an announcement in 2017 that by 2020, they will no longer support the flash player plug-in. Google and Microsoft have announced that they will disable the plug-in by default in their browsers by early 2020.

Official Statement From Adobe

In the official statement from Adobe, in July 2017, they stated "In collaboration with several of our technology partners - including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla, Adobe is planning to end-of-life Flash. Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats."

Flash Will Be Obsolete By the End of 2020

In April, 2010, Steve Jobs actually predicted this would happen. He did not think it was a good idea to move forward with Adobe Flash because he believed that Flash Player was created for the PC era, but when it comes to mobile devices, Flash fell short for 6 reasons:

  1. Openness
  2. The "Full Web"
  3. Reliability, Security and Performance
  4. Battery Life
  5. Touch
  6. Substandardized Quality of 3rd Party Development Tools

Steve Jobs thought the use of Flash Player would limit the iOS experience. Instead, he pushed for the use of HTML, CSS and Javascript. He also stated that Flash Player caused crashes with MAC's.

What Exactly is Flash?

Flash is a multimedia software platform used to produce animations, desktop applications, and mobile games and applications. Flash graphics and animations are viewed in a browser through use of Flash Player, and AIR and some third-party players are used for viewing desktop and mobile apps.

HTML5
HTML5 | Source

What is HTML5?

HTML, which stands for Hypertext Markup Language is a markup language used by the World Wide Web, and the "5" after HTML just means that it's is the fifth generation of the HTML standard. It's basically just the coding language that allows us to see stuff online.

What if you already have courses, animations, ads, apps and other content published in Flash? Now appears to be the time to start looking at devising a plan to convert courses and other content to HTML5, which will address new modern designs. HTML5 is mobile ready and responsive so content will automatically adjust on different mobile devices with regards to sizing and usability.

HTML Code
HTML Code | Source

What Should You Do With Content Published as Flash?

What should you do if you have content like online courses, apps and other learning assets built in or published in Flash? As of 2020, any flash content (either built in or published as Flash) may no longer work. So instead of waiting until 2020, it's important to start planning now.

Create an Action Plan
Create an Action Plan | Source

Create an Action Plan for Conversion to HTML5

First, and foremost, formulate an action plan. Evaluate content which contains flash units and determine whether if it's time to:

  • Retire the app, course, program or other asset; or,
  • Convert the published content to HTML5; or
  • Rebuild/redesign the app, course or other content.

In some cases, a course or other asset may have to be re-designed or revamped altogether, or you may be able to be leverage a portion of the content for your redesigned content. It really depends what's contained in the published content including how many any animations you have, and how many flash units are contained in your published app, course of other content.

Of course, converting the Flash content only applies to developers who have the source files. If you don't own the source files and have purchased flash content including an app, game, animation or course, for example, you may have to replace your content or program altogether.

Something you'll want to consider is creating a list of all courses and other assets that you have on-hand to evaluate them to determine what you need to do.

  • For courses which need to be converted, create a cross reference list for reference and tracking the conversion process.
  • Note what content tool was used to create the course - typical tools may include Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, Adobe Animate, etc.
  • Locate and note the location of all sources files.
  • Determine what course assets are reusable including graphics, animations and other content.
  • If you have a large number of courses to be converted using the same tool, you may want to create a list of standard settings for all developers to refer to during the conversion process. This will streamline the process or at least make it easier for all the folks who are converting the courses.

How Do I Convert My Content From Flash to HTML5?

If you have source files for your content on-hand, check your existing development tools to see if there are publishing options to publish in HTML5. Try publishing as HTML5 and then test thoroughly to determine if the output is successful. Remember to test on both mobile and desktop devices.

If your content does not convert successfully, you may need to revamp portions of your asset, or you may need to replace the entire program.

Mobile Devices
Mobile Devices | Source

What If There's No Option to Convert or Publish to HTML5?

There are tools for converting Adobe Flash to HTML5, including Adobe Edge and Google Web Designer. Third-party tools also exist but check the validity and dependability (read reviews) before you download any free conversion tools.

Need more help? I found these helpful articles:

What Can You Expect When Converting From Flash To HTML5 (references Adobe Animate):

https://theblog.adobe.com/what-to-expect-when-converting-flash-to-html5/

8 Tips To Convert Flash To HTML5 That Will Help Your Business:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/elearningindustry.com/8-tips-convert-flash-to-html5-will-help-business/amp

Publishing Files To HTML5 Using Adobe Captivate:

https://helpx.adobe.com/captivate/using/publish-projects-html5-files.html

How Switching From Flash To HTML5 Can Profit Your Business (references Articulate Storyline):

http://blog.learnchamp.com/en/bye-bye-flash-how-a-switch-from-flash-to-html5-can-profit-you

Reminders:

Once everything is converted and uploaded to your server, be sure to re-test your converted content on a variety of devices including desktop computers, tablets, iPads, and other mobile devices. Consider creating a QA (Quality Assurance) checklist for tracking testing progress, including device, browser, errors encountered, successful or unsuccessful outcome, and any other specifics for the app or program. This is especially helpful if you have a team of testers in multiple locations.

There are more and more articles and videos available every day on this topic. I've listed some videos below for more reference and various sources containing articles on the Flash announcement.

Sources: google.com, mashable.com, adobe.com, wikipedia.org
Specific articles discussing the end of flash:
https://theblog.adobe.com/adobe-flash-update/
https://webkit.org/blog/7839/adobe-announces-flash-distribution-and-updates-to-end/
https://www.blog.google/products/chrome/saying-goodbye-flash-chrome/
https://blogs.windows.com/msedgedev/2017/07/25/flash-on-windows-timeline/
https://blog.mozilla.org/futurereleases/2017/07/25/firefox-roadmap-flash-end-life/

What do you think about the end of Flash? Please leave a comment below.

What is HTML5? An Excerpt from lynda.com

Steve Jobs Was Right: Adobe Flash is Dead!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Amelia Griggs

    Comments

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      • NNazir profile image

        Nauman Nazir 

        2 weeks ago from Pakistan

        Flash was great; it was heavy though. Its designs were crispy, it offered great vector animation.

        Too bad for Flash that new technologies like CSV animation surfaced and made things so difficult for it that it has to give up.

        What about those books which were written to teach ActionScript?

      • profile image

        CleanLies 

        4 weeks ago

        Another misleading article of what Flash and HTML5 are.

        Flash API embed a vast interpreted language called Actionscript, HTML5 is NOT an interpreted language but only an Hypertext Markup language like XML or SGML or XHTML.

        So journalists, PLEASE SAY Flash to Javascript, as javascript is (for now) the interpreted language that can cover (but not all unfortunately) the Actionscript classes.

        Now my opinion about Javascript, it's a absolute language mess that even not cover 80% of the beautiful Actionscript language, example, Typing, Vector arrays, fluidity of animations are crap in JS, UDP streaming, Multicast, SharedObject, NetGroup etc... is simply impossible in JS.

        Good news, There will be a chance to run a SWF into WASM, but the work is still huge.

        Anyhow, replace a simple Flash HLS video component into html5 is nut, but a complex UI application is quasi impossible..

      • profile image

        Steven 

        6 weeks ago

        OMG, This is so ridiculous to even think that all the money and TIME that has gone into Flash and now the big guys are pulling the plug??? Make Flash open source right now Adobe and don't look back because we the majority who deal with the web at the very core are sick and tired of this. I for one have grown very tired of Adobe's little monitor tools that go into every aspect of what programs you have running on your personal computer. That is an invasion of privacy and I for one keep turning them off but every time an update is required to so called fix a security hole they put them back live again and here we go. Stop infringing on our privacy. We made you and we can break you. Open Source Forever!!!!

      • profile image

        6 weeks ago

        but how can me and my mom live without the adobe flash?

      • profile image

        Anthony 

        2 months ago

      • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

        Amelia Griggs 

        2 months ago from U.S.

        Kevin, I'm not sure but I'll see what I can find out. If anyone else who may be a gaming developer may know, please comment and let us know what you think.

      • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

        Amelia Griggs 

        2 months ago from U.S.

        Thank you for your comment, Gowardhan Doddi. I'm including your feedback comment for anyone who may want to check your ebook for conversion. Although not all flash based programs and files may be easily converted, it's helpful to have as many resources as possible to consider for research.

      • profile image

        Kevin 

        2 months ago

        How is this going to affect online game sites like Notdoppler.com, fog.com, miniclip.com, armorgames.com, and any of dozens of others that use Flash to run their games? I don't know a darn thing about computer programming, but I don't think HTML is suited for Flash-type games. It's not exactly super important, but it effects normal people like me.

      • profile image

        Gowardhan Doddi 

        2 months ago

        Converting your courses from flash to hml5 may seem overwhelming but you can use the 4R strategy given in our eBook to kick start your flash course conversions

        https://resources.commlabindia.com/ebook/flash-to-...

      • profile image

        Linda 

        3 months ago

        So what some people are saying is that this "Flash is on its death bed" is as fake as "The World is Coming to an End?" get ready for the worse at the end of 1999, for computers can't deal with 2000? How many times have people run for cover only say, "Oh, false alarm!"! One of these days no one will move and it's going to be a major oops! Now that one was true! LOL

      • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

        Amelia Griggs 

        3 months ago from U.S.

        Good points gowron and others who have provided a lot more insight on newer information. I think initially a lot of us panicked with the announcement about flash in 2020. I am planning on updating and revamping this article. Thanks for your comments and insight!

      • profile image

        Billy Joe 

        3 months ago

        there is no truth in any of this. you can't just tell people to convert their sites to HTML5, it can't be done 90% of the time. you're basically spreading fake news. the solution is to use other browsers that are going to continue using flash (3rd party flash players are on the way).

        for those who aren't buying into the HTML5 BS, keep using flash. it's not going away.

      • profile image

        gowron 

        3 months ago

        flash and HTML5 are not interchangeable, period. flash =/= HTML5. one does not simply convert one to the other, it's impossible. swiffy didn't actually convert flash to HTML5, it simply read functionality of Action Script and made "suggestions" in javascript, 90% of the time it was broken.

        the only thing that did seemingly convert was the animation aspect. it made sprite sheets, analyzed the movement/frames/tweens etc and turned it into code, executed by (temporarily available) swiffy runtimes... which too will be discontinued in the near future. so if you have a swiffy site, expect it to break soon.

        flash either needs to go open source, or the last version of flash player be implemented in a 3rd party browser made specifically for viewing flash sites (a use at your own risk implementation)… or Adobe can get off its lazy @$$ and actually make a proper program that converts AS2 to HTML5. they made actionscript, they should have everything they need to do it. and here everyone's saying everyone needs to start converting lol, how? can't be done without Adobe stepping up, otherwise they have no right to discontinue the player.

      • profile image

        Poopoo 

        4 months ago

        Well actually, Flash content worked very well with touch. Take Club Penguin for example. Club Penguin Rewritten which is still Flash, works great with touch

      • profile image

        Morgan 

        11 months ago

        Adobe and Google live feed conference back in December, resolution was that Adobe will serve up Flash far beyond 2020 if not indefinitely. This is a major roadmap change.

        There were concerns that anti trust lawsuits were brought up and that users have the right to preserve and present their flash works on the web regardless of what Google (pushing real hard on HTML5) believed the platform's security status was.

        Adobe have now stated that flash will continue to be available to those that seek it, especially for historical and freedom of speech factors.

        HTML is not a replacement for Flash, it is a replacement for fundamental web infrastructure. Flash is a plug-in that never was meant to be a pillar, it was more if a luxury. Google has this whole thing way overblown.

        If you wanna talk security, HTML5 is far worse because it can't be patched. Flashplayer is optional and had a team (jobs) dedicated to maintenance and they stopped because Google ordered it.

        Unlike flashplayer, HTML5 is forced on 100% of users. There are no browsers that omit HTML5 baked into it's core. This is what the web is now. There are exploits that are capable of NSA style monitoring which Facebook now employs. There are exploit cheat sheets available, and again, they can't be patched because many of the commands are part of the core, they'd end up breaking thousands of websites overnight and many features would cease to work ever again.

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