'Occupy Flash' movement wants Adobe's plug-in dead

'Keeping Flash Player alive on the desktop doesn't accomplish anything,' says group

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Two members of the group, including the spokesman -- who said he is a user interface designer based in Seattle, Wash. -- and a website designer, crafted the Occupy Flash site over the weekend.

Occupy Flash urged browser users to uninstall Flash Player, and provided instructions for both Windows and Mac OS X users to do so. It also called on developers on stop using Flash in future projects, and encouraged users to upgrade to a browser that supports HTML5.

Adobe did not reply to a request for comment on Occupy Flash's manifesto and movement.

The vast bulk of the response to Occupy Flash -- "98% positive," the spokesman said, has been upbeat, but the group has received some angry messages.

"We have no hatred for our fellow Flash developers," the representative said, noting that at one time or another, all in the group have worked in Flash. "They may feel that we're threatening their jobs, but we're on the side of moving the Web forward. We want to make sure the technology is moving forward."

In that way, Occupy Flash is reminiscent of Microsoft's campaign to kill off Internet Explorer 6 (IE6), which urges users of the decade-old browser to replace it with a newer application, such as IE9.

Occupy Flash didn't miss the connection between it and Microsoft's attempts to eliminate IE6.

"The IE6 countdown has made great progress," he said, talking about the website Microsoft launched last March that shows the aged browser's current usage share. "But it's still fairly entrenched."

IE6 was targeted by Microsoft in part because it can't support HTML5.

"We're pretty realistic about the facts," said the Occupy Flash spokesman. "Flash Player is on like 99% of the desktops. Our little movement won't change that, but we want to start the conversation.

"There are some issues that need to be solved in HTML5 -- it's still a work in progress -- but it's getting there," the representative said. "Things change, that's the nature of the industry. But developers and users will adapt as they always do.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

See more articles by Gregg Keizer.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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