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Monday, August 24, 2009

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Maggie Darwin (@MaggieL)

Sorry, but given Adobe's recent security track record for Flash and Adobe Reader, I'm not thrilled by the prospect of having Adobe code kicked off in my viewer, especially when it may promiscuously load whatever URL is specified by the owner of a particular parcel into my computer.

The vast majority of the excitement about running Flash in-world is driven by the desire to show video with Flash-based video viewers. With HTML5 standardizing internet video, we should soon need a lot less Flash in our lives.

I say that's A Good Thing.

Indigo Mertel

I wouldn't be surprised to see a MS Silverlight plugin for SL soon, considering the quite active MS-sponsored .NET developers group inworld.

Jovin

Totally agree with Maggie - Flash is proprietary, slow, expensive (on CPU) and can too often be used to snoop. Check out this article then check your hard-drive - http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/08/you-deleted-your-cookies-think-again/

There's another reason Flash may not be required - Google just bought On2 who own the video codec that Flash (most often) implements. Google also own YouTube and, of course, Google Video. Google now own the codec that runs those sites and Adobe don't. It's not unlikely that Google will make the video codec open-source and, as Maggie says, part of HTML5 and Flash can go hang...

As far as Flash goes, be careful what you wish for.

HatHead Rickenbacker

Maggie & Jovin: it is a plug-in, not in the client base code, so you don't have to install it if you don't want to.

Maggie Darwin

HatHead, I know what a plug-in is. But this will fragment the platform if it's released and half of us install it and half don't.

We don't need Flash in-world. QuickTime is bad enough.

Maggie Darwin

See

http://isc.sans.org/diary.html?storyid=7015

...for an example.

Metacam Oh

I've never once had a problem with flash and think this a bit paranoia. Not to mention anyone who owns a parcel of land has payment info on file with the lab so if they had malicious flash on their parcel they could easily be tracked.

Negko deVinna

Flash in second life?
A dead end to performance and user experience.
Since they are the first on the 'rich media content and interactivity on the web' market with Flash, they just stopped optimizing code. Every new version of flash is just heavier and eats more cpu. Flex, the 'pro' declination of flash, is no better.
Curiously, it reminds me of the story of this (very) dominant OS manufacturer who one day just stopped making good products....

Bottom line: if the idea is to have control rich user interfaces on prims, then it would be better to have something like an onlive plug in, that basically streams a video of UI with interaction, all the computing being done in a CPU farm... my 2 Linden cents.
Bottom line 2: please have mercy for my processor!

Tateru Nino

The first versions of the inworld web-browser supported Flash. One of the first things I tested. This support was disabled in subsequent versions.

Jovin

There's another interesting question regarding Flash video - the new version of QuickTime X, that ships with Snow Leopard, apparently has inbuilt support for playing Flash video. If Apple make Quicktime X available as a general download, separate to 10.6 and available for Windows too, then SL instantly gets Flash movie playback without the need for a dedicated Flash plugin. Unfortunately there's no news at the moment about whether this is what's planned...

Ari Blackthorne

Ditto Maggie.

It's not just the security issues with Flash, it's also the bloat. Adobe software has become sloppy and bloated over the years.

I still prefer Photoshop version 7; I only look at PDF files in aftermarket readers, I keep the Macromedia version of Fireworks.

Don't get me wrong - please - Adobe makes awesome software, they really do. It's just that for my tastes, it's become unweildy and bloated.

But also the main reason Flash is not available on the iPhone/Touch? Because there is a real fear that Flash will become the "standardized" player for movie files. Yes, really, that is among the main reasons why Flash is not allowed to run on the iPhone. Too many amateur video creators are using the "lazy' method of plopping Flash versions online without regard to bandwidth and quality. (yes, I know, some would most likely just post YouTube and Vimeo embeds - fair enough.)

And those of us in that industry (video and media) really do also fear that FLash might become some kind of grassroots 'standard' player. Adobe already is to multimedia and publishing what Microsoft is to Operating Systems.

But beyond all that, here is what needs to be considered: currently Quicktime is supported, which plays video wonderfully in H.264 codec.

Flash also plays H.264 codec (experiment: take any .mp4 file and change it to .flv and play it in Flash player)

However, the Flash player is sluggish, bloated footprint, uses more ram and output lesser quality. I can see going to a parcel in SL and someone decides to force-feed a video in Flash format: if you think lag is bad now...

Try drinking water from a fire-hose sometime. That's your system on a parcel like that.

LOL

Maggie Darwin (@MaggieL)

Metacam: You've never had a problem with Flash *that you know about*.

If you've been a victim of any of the numerous Adobe exploits in the wild you may be in a botnet or hosting a keylogger and not even know it.

Yet.

And it would be cold comfort 'way after the fact to just possibly be able to figure out which of the millions of prims in thousands of parcels you visited once may have had a malicious URL in it and trace it back to the disposable alt who rented the parcel at the time.

This isn't, as you claim "paranoia"; it's fundamental 21st century network security. Dismiss it at your peril.

Maybe you haven't been in-world long enough to remember this: http://www.tuaw.com/2007/12/05/quicktime-exploit-in-the-wild-demoed-on-second-life/

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