Why I Hate Flash
I periodically get into discussions about why I don't install Adobe Flash in my web browser. Why should I? It's my browser and Flash isn't required to surf the web. Beyond the defiance, I do have other real reasons.
- Flash Cookies. These are like regular browser cookies but lesser known. They bypass the browser security settings because Flash isn't part of the browser internals. This is a big corporation push for what they want and not what is necessarily in the best interest of the consumer. Flash cookies are sharable among different web sites if they know what to look for. Flash cookies can be large and stay forever. A manual cookie flush in the web browser will NOT flush Flash cookies. This is a way to track someone nearly forever, is abuse, and a privacy violation. You are being violated right now if you have Flash installed.
- Advertisers go nuts with flash because they know you can't block it easily. Flashing ads/visual movement draws the eye away from static information on the page to the advertisement. They exploit this. It is obnoxious to have the whole web page moving when one is only trying to read a magazine article.
- Adobe has been known to have weak security for both Flash and PDF for a long time. I periodically get CERT warnings about Flash weaknesses that could be exploited by a cracked web site. If one goes to one of these sites, the computer is infected with malware by the time the web page displays. That malware often starts downloading its "friends". Its "friends" start downloading their "friends". Before one knowns it, the entire computer is bogged down by trash and important data has been likely stolen (like logins, passwords, and bank data). The only way to salvage the system is to back up uninfected data, low level the system, and start with a fresh reinstall.
- The unskippable "Cool Intro" that isn't. Web programmers need to be fired for this. It is an obnoxious waste of time that they get paid for. These are even more annoying after the forced first viewing.
- I've only run into a handful of sites that actually use Flash properly in all my web browsing years. "Proper" is the rare exception, not the rule. Even these sites could have easily been converted into traditional HTML pages.
- Some web sites force you to use Flash on some navigation bars when there is absolutely no need for it. Once again, web programmers think they are "cooler and hipper" than they actually are.
- The extra bloat of Flash eats up a lot more RAM and cache per web page. It also makes the page slower to load because there is more to download.
- Reading a web page while the CPU is "idling" at 100% from the obnoxious Flash in the page. I have better things to use my processors for. A CPU pegged at 100% cannot go into idle mode, wastes a lot of electricity, and generates a lot of heat. This is bad for laptops on battery. A web browser is also not the only thing I'm running on my computers, and I resent a web page eating up so many resources. As multi-core processors become more prevalent, this truth becomes more relevant. Social networking sites are often a good example of what NOT to do.
- The sounds, music, and jingles to "experience" the page are annoying. It is often played on top of other music/lectures I am listening to and sounds awful.
- Without Flash, the page loads and handles much faster. The web browser and computer also handles much better with the lesser load.
- ADHD gives me about 3 seconds of tolerance for fluff to load on a page. I suspect this is true for many others.
- Even when Flash is used to display real information, dissolves, fades, and transitions tend to become very cumbersome, eat a lot of processor time, are distracting, and are annoying. The page slows down immensely while Flash is doing something.
- Showing off "l33t haxx0r" web skills. If your web site has more show than content, do the rest of the world a favor and delete it. There's already enough wasted trash on Internet without you adding to it. Try impressing the world with your content instead of wasting our time with showy nonsense.
- When I said I don't install Flash, that wasn't entirely true. I currently have it installed on a Linux live CD running in a VirtualBox sandbox. Using it is cumbersome and annoying, but sometimes I have no choice. At least at the end of the session, I can blow all the trash out of my system.