Adobe Flash Player gets one last update before its demise

Few web technologies are probably equally loved and hated as much as Flash, created by Macromedia and now owned by Flash. Flash created a whole genre of content and a generation of sites that the creators of the Web may have never thought possible and probably wished never came to be. Those will soon be history, quite literally, as official support for the Flash Player inches closer to its death. But not before Adobe strangely pushes out one last update that will be relevant for only a month.

Flash gave the world something that was pretty much impossible back in the early days of the Web, empowering dynamic and fanciful looking websites, web video, and interactive content, a.k.a. games. Over time, however, Flash's numerous security holes made it a liability and the technology didn't scale well to the rest of the Web. Today, we have the likes of HTML5, CSS, and Javascript to deliver the same experiences with fewer vulnerabilities.

Adobe announced Flash's retirement years ago but it is pushing one last update today. The update itself is pretty generic, referring to "important bug fixes". The announcement, however, also comes with a rather poignant message of farewell and thanks to the users and even fans of the technology. Despite its recent notoriety, it would be hard to deny how Flash influenced modern Web technologies, especially as a means to get away from it.

The announcement also serves as a reminder for important dates to keep in mind. Flash will no longer be supported after December 31, 2020, but the Flash Player will no longer even play Flash content starting January 12, 2021. Rather than just letting the program lay dormant, however, Adobe "strongly recommends" that users uninstall it completely to prevent it from being used as a security hole.

Flash's legacy will live on, of course, and even some of the more popular content will actually continue to exist. That's mostly thanks to efforts from the likes of the Internet Archives who are working with the Flash community and developers in preserving another large chunk of Internet history that would eventually be forgotten otherwise.