Put another nail in Adobe Flash's coffin. One of the most popular web browsers will start blocking Flash enabled webpage content starting in August. This latest move will surely expedite the eventual death of this antiquated web plugin.
Mozilla Firefox, the third most used browser in the world, "will block certain Flash content that is not essential to the user experience," writes Mozilla's Benjamin Smedberg in this blog post. He cites reasons such as "enhanced security, improved battery life, faster page load, and better browser responsiveness" for dropping Flash.
Mozilla states that this decision to block specific Flash content is expected to "reduce Flash crashes and hangs by up to 10 percent". They reinforce this statistic with a graph illustrating how the crash rates for YouTube and Facebook videos dropped significantly after they switched from Flash to HTML5.
To lessen the impact of the transition, Mozilla is advising websites that are using the blocked Flash content to reimplement them in HTML. Furthermore, Firefox will turn Flash into a click-to-activate plugin in 2017 and it will be off by default. Websites that still use Flash or Silverlight for content "should plan on adopting HTML technologies as soon as possible," Mozilla says.
This follows a similar move by Google this year to demote Flash in their Chrome web browser and make HTML5 a default. Currently, Chrome displays a prompt that a user needs to click through to enable Flash in sites that still utilize it.
This might not even be needed soon, as more and more sites transition to HTML5. Flash content will simply be blocked or unavailable. Aside from Google, Mozilla now joins Apple, Microsoft, and even Adobe itself, in the quest to phase out this old and outdated web standard.
Flash's demise has been a slow but steady downward spiral. It is a perennial target for hackers and it is a known computer resource hog that crashes computers regularly. In fact, three emergency patches for zero-day exploits were issued this year alone to fix bugs in Flash that were gaping security holes. With the rise of HTML5, it is even recommended that users block Flash in browsers or update it constantly, at least for now, until it rests its weary head and it finally goes to web plugin heaven.