Google Will Limit Flash To Click-To-Play In Chrome, All But Killing It


Adobe’s Flash has been dying a slow death for years. No one is trying to stop it, no one will miss it, and at this point enough progress has been made where its absence will not even be noticed by most citizens of the web. Even Adobe has put it to rest, providing support but no real forward development; replacing it with the HTML5-focused Adobe Animate. With seemingly never-ending performance and security issues, Flash will be having a harder time finding an audience on the web as Google will be disabling, but not entirely-removing it from its Chrome browser later this year.

Later this year we plan to change how Chromium hints to websites about the presence of Flash Player, by changing the default response of Navigator.plugins and Navigator.mimeTypes.  If a site offers an HTML5 experience, this change will make that the primary experience.  We will continue to ship Flash Player with Chrome, and if a site truly requires Flash, a prompt will appear at the top of the page when the user first visits that site, giving them the option of allowing it to run for that site.

What this essentially means is that Flash will be disabled by default; but if detected, users will be given an option to play just that content instead of being led to an Adobe support page to install the plug-in and activate it across the entire browser experience.

Realizing that Flash is still present to a degree, Google will white-list certain sites, specifically the top 10 that rely on Flash, giving them enough time to modernize their sites before their content is blocked as well.

To reduce the initial user impact, and avoid over-prompting, Chrome will introduce this feature with a temporary whitelist of the current top Flash sites. This whitelist will expire after one year, and will be periodically revisited throughout the year, to remove sites whose usage no longer warrants an exception.

As of now that white-list includes:


And no, the irony of YouTube being on that list is not lost on us. Although it does have an HTML5 version to fall back on. Enterprise users will get more control of the white-listing and the ability to completely shut off this feature in case they require it for their own IT, security, and intranet uses.

Chrome will also be adding policy controls so that enterprises will be able to select the appropriate experience for their users, which will include the ability to completely disable the feature.

Google will be moving forward with the plan in the fourth quarter of this year. Although this will cripple Flash even further, it will still continue to exist for some time to come. But anything that shrinks its presence on the web is a good thing.

  Source: Chromium-dev Group
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