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Adobe Flash

Definition - What does Adobe Flash mean?

Adobe Flash is a proprietary application development platform developed by Adobe Systems. The primary focus of the Flash platform is the creation of Rich Internet applications (RIA), which combine graphics, animation, video and sound for an enhanced Web user experience.

Techopedia explains Adobe Flash

The Adobe Flash platform is comprised of several different technologies, including:

  • Flash Professional: A tool primarily used for animation design and creation
  • Flash Builder: An integrated development environment (IDE) used to create RIAs
  • Flex: The Flash development framework, including the software development kit (SDK)
  • Flash Player: A client browser plug-in that provides the runtime environment for Flash applications on the Web
  • Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR): A desktop runtime environment for Flash applications
Adobe Flash has enthusiastic supporters and critics. On the positive side, developers have used the platform to produce amazing animations that enhance Web surfing. Detractors, however, have noted negative Flash aspects, including the following:
  • Frequently used to produce ads and banners that are annoying to users.
  • Requires the Flash Player browser plug-in to display a Flash application in a Web page.
  • Controlled by Adobe and not an open-source platform.
  • Poses potential security risks.
  • Can cause slow Web page display times.
Most browsers provide the option to disable the Flash Player plug-in.

Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple, was famously averse to Flash and did not support it in the iOS (mobile) version of the Apple Safari browser.

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