Geek News: Latest Technology, Product Reviews, Gadgets and Tech Podcast News for Geeks

One More Reason to Get Rid of Flash

Posted by Alan at 7:23 AM on April 22, 2012

Usage of Adobe Flash on the internet has been on the decline for sometime now and most users view that as a good thing.  Flash, while being a great technology, has proven problematic over the years.  There have been countless security vulnerabilities, endless updates from Adobe, and many fake versions that have compromised unsuspecting users.  Now, the folks over at HTTP Archive have added one more reason to the growing list of why Flash is bad.

They recently conducted a study of the response, or download, time for some prominent web site features including Flash, Javascript, HTML, CSS, and several different image formats.  The results probably aren’t really that surprising in the sense that most of us already knew that Flash could be slow and cumbersome.  However, just how much slower than virtually all of the other web technologies, may come as a bit of a shock.  Flash is almost 4 times slower than the second slowest technology, JPEG.  The chart they published, which can be seen below, shows the “average response size” in kilobits (kb).

Flash was once the darling of the internet, but it has slowly been replaced by newer, more efficient, technologies that can bring dynamic content to web sites with much better performance.

object response size

Source: HTTP Archive is a site that analyzes thousands of web pages each month to get these types of statistics.

3 Comments

  1. From Bob Knob at 9:52 am on April 22, 2012

    I don’t agree with this specific point. Why are you comparing scripts to something that’s made to be packaged more like an application. All of those can’t be compared to flash. I have a game built with html5 and flash and the sizes are hard to compare. The advantage with flash (for the most part) is all the extra resources are packaged into one file which makes loading them a lot faster considering the browser only has to make a connection once for one file.

    I’m not saying that flash it super awesome but seriously, this is not a very good article against it. The only way that your argument would work is if you were using flash to display a pict which is ridiculous.

  2. From Terry R at 12:09 pm on April 22, 2012

    I dont get it either. I’m with Bob Knob. Flash isnt like a jpeg. Maybe I dont know exactly what all Flask does or even IS, but I don’t think it can be compared to things like jpegs, gifs, etc. Can it,and if so, how? As far as SLoooowwwww … anything that is embedded and has moving ‘parts’ is slow – but NOTHING like they used to be! Yikes. Maybe slowing down and smelling the fonts along the way is better. All this instant gratification from EVERY angle of life is really becoming disgusting.

  3. From Billy Spelchan at 3:48 pm on April 23, 2012

    As someone who has developed games in both Flash and HTML 5 I can agree with the first two posters that the article is extremely misleading. A .swf file (what Flash produces) is a collection of images (both small vector images and larger bitmap images) with script and sound files. To re-create the equivalent program in HTML 5 you need multiple image files, script files, and sound files. As you are loading these individually, you have extra overhead for each file needed and if you combined the size of all the files together they would in most cases exceed the size of the .swf file. The worst part is that as people continue to hate on Flash, the annoying flash ads will simply be ported to annoying HTML 5 ads which will take up more bandwidth and CPU power as the JIT compiler built into Flash is better than most JavaScript implementations. Effectively, because people want to hate Flash, they will end up with the exact same annoying ads but at greater cost to them.