Mozilla Developer Praises Apple, Trashes Flash

Common sense would suggest that Mozilla has, at the very least, reservations about Apple and its web strategy. Especially since Apple does not allow a full Firefox to run on its iOS and Apple's closed web strategy goes pretty much against everything Mozilla has laid out about an open web. However, Rob Sayre, who is in charge of developing the JavaScript engine for Firefox and is one of the leading developers of the browser, believes that Apple is actually great for the evolution of the Internet.

In a blog post, Sayre explains that Apple may have saved us all from the curse of plugins such as Flash and Silverlight. "The iPhone, and later the iPad, are the best things that have ever happened to keep these horizontal plugin plays from taking over the Web," he writes and continues: " Firefox has never had much leverage over plugin vendors, and products like Flash and Silverlight don’t really fit the Mozilla mission. In particular, Flash was a great product, but it never really participated in the global namespace that most webpages do. That was its main weakness."

The gratitude expressed by Sayre for Apple's good deeds goes on and he mentions that what Apple does is "great for the web." However, he admits that Mozilla may not entirely agree with this opinion: "I’m pretty sure the official Mozilla line on an OS that prevents installation of Firefox is not overwhelmingly positive. However, I think it’s the Apple business model that has freed us from unbookmarkable crap restaurant websites, not Firefox."

You can almost envision the discussions this post will spark within Mozilla and I would assume that they won't go down well in some spaces. What this post, however shows, is that some at Mozilla may be aligning their vision with the current trend that Flash is on its way out. Notice that Sayre was using past tense when he wrote about Flash: "Flash was a great product." Is Flash already dead in his opinion?

I would think that Flash will be supported in Firefox for some time, but I wonder if it makes Adobe feel uncomfortable that Mozilla developers are now talking about the end of Flash as well.  

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  • Silmarunya
    I completely agree with Mozilla and Apple here (and agreeing with Apple is a very rare event in my case).

    Flash is extremely insecure - it's just a big unpatched security hole disguised as media content. What's more, incompetent web developers use it to create nigh unusable sites that befoul the web by their very existence.
  • Rab1d-BDGR
    I for one won't be sorry to see the death of Flash websites. - Though I hope there will still be a way to access some of the fun old games off newgrounds etc. Otherwise, good riddance to a bad plugin!