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'Occupy Flash' web hippies aim to rid world of Adobe plugin

Anti-Flash mob not actually occupying anywhere, though

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An "Occupy Flash" website is urging PC users to rip Adobe's ubiquitous media player off their computers and embrace HTML5.

The Occupy Flash site describes its goal as ridding the world of Adobe's Flash Player plug-in because, it says, HTML5 has won the future of the web. Adobe earlier this month admitted it is no longer developing the mobile version of Flash.

Flash Player is a security nightmare, doesn't work on most devices and makes the web less accessible, the group said, adding: "At this point, it's holding back the web." The group continues:

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. It introduces some scary security and privacy issues by way of Flash cookies.

The group wants the world to avoid another situation similar to the lingering existence of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 6, where the browser lives on because "a contingent of decision makers" mandates its use.

Flash is resident on more than 90 per cent of internet-connected PCs, according to Adobe, and is the default choice for many building online animations, ads, films and other media content.

Inevitably this means there will be "some pain and sacrifice involved" in removing Flash, the site bravely states, "but the more of us who run browsers that don't support Flash, the quicker that pain will subside".

There's no indication of who is behind Occupy Flash or how many people are involved. Instead the group decided to stay anonymous.

Anybody with half a memory will remember it was Apple's late chief executive Steve Jobs who launched a solo crusade against Flash, saying HTML5 was the saviour of the web. It would therefore be easy to conclude Apple or some juiced-up Apple fanbois are continuing Jobs' work through Occupy Flash. The site has claimed it has no corporate backer.

One thing Occupy Flash has admitted, though, is that it's shamelessly co-opted a populist terminology, as it has not - nor can it - occupy anything. "Regardless, we love the idea of normal people taking on big corporations in the interest of the population at large," the site's administrators add. ®

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