Macromedia Flash has rather gone out of fashion these days. But in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s it was everywhere on the web. Some of them were really rather good. Here is a small assortment of my all-time favourites I have collected over the years.
Please note, none of these are my work. All I have done is collected a few and curated them, for old time’s sake. Also note they are all in Macromedia/Adobe SWF “Shockwave Flash” format. At one time, this would require you to have some sort of Flash player installed and enabled on your system. But not any more! We have Ruffle installed on this site, so you can view Flash presentations without needing a browser plug-in. Try a few of these and watch what happens…
Macromedia Flash was an interactive web authoring platform. In fact it was Macromedia’s flagship product.
Flash was originally created at FutureWave Software as ‘FutureSplash Animator‘ back in the early 1990’s. FutureWave pitched the product to Adobe Systems, but an agreement was not reached and Adobe initially promoted rival specifications to Flash. In January 1997, FutureWave was acquired by Macromedia for an undisclosed sum. FutureSplash Animator was rebranded ‘Macromedia Flash‘.
The Flash Player plug-in was used to deliver interactive multimedia over the web with animated graphics and streaming video. However, following a spat with former Apple boss Steve Jobs back in 2011, Adobe deprecated the Flash platform. Support was phased out of major browsers by the end of 2020. This meant that literally millions of flash presentations became obsolete and unusable almost overnight.
End of Life
In April 2010, Apple CEO Steve Jobs wrote an open critique of Flash platform to justify his refusal to support the technology on Apple’s successful iOS line, which included the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. An Apple engineer later stated that Jobs was offended that Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen would not take his phone calls for what he perceived to be “mere engineering problems“.
Web browser developers began to blacklist the Flash Player plug-in by default due to security issues. In November 2015, Adobe announced that the next version of the Flash Professional authoring application would be rebranded as Adobe Animate (released in February 2016) to reflect the change of product focus.
In July 2017, Adobe announced that it would phase out support for Flash Player by the end of 2020. Support by major browser developers, such as Microsoft and Mozilla was phased out by 2020-12-31. The latest Flash plug-ins began blocking playback of content on 2021-01-12. Instead, an image would be displayed that would link to an end-of-life notice from Adobe. For enterprise customers that still need to transition legacy Flash content to alternate technologies, such Adobe AIR, Harman International became an officially licensed distributor and enterprise support provider.
Fortunately for us however, the Open source community has stepped in. For some years, software such as Gnash has been available to play Flash presentations locally. Gnash has become a mature and reliable product that is now part of most modern GNU/Linux distributions. Even better there is now a fairly effective Flash player emulator, written in Rust, called Ruffle.
- These presentations are in Macromedia/Adobe SWF format and normally require an SWF “flash” (or flash emulator) plug-in installed and enabled on your browser.
- Adobe discontinued Flash support in 2021. However there are alternatives. Our current favourite is Ruffle.
- You can also install Ruffle as a browser plugin so you can safely view Flash presentations on other sites. This may be obtained by searching your browser’s available extensions/plug-ins. Ruffle works a treat with all many legacy flash presentations. More info…
- There’s lot more information about Flash, its demise, and its subsequent rebirth over at the Wikipedia.
- This small collection of Flash presentations have all been collected from various internet sites over the last twenty years or so. These are the presentations that struck me, for whatever reason, as some of the most interesting examples of the art-form They are presented here for historical purposes. If you are the owner of any of these items and you do not wish it to be used on this site the please contact me, with proof of ownership, and it will be removed ASAP.