Flash sucks. Install ClickToFlash on your Mac to disable flash in Safari. And enhance your browsing experience

Yes, I’m a huge flash hater. Flash has no place on the iPhone, I’m happy that it’s not on the iPad, and I really hope that it’s phased out of the desktop in the next few years. Flash eats resources, slows computers, drains batteries, and causes my fans to spin!

So I was thrilled when I learned about ClickToFlash.
  • It disables flash throughout your browser
  • Pages load much faster, and it blocks out many ads
  • You can click on any flash element to activate it instantly
  • Youtube videos are replaced by quicktime players with higher quality mp4 videos
My browsing experienced is much better. I’m a huge fan. So why are people so obsessed with flash? Flash is commonly found in three different forms:

1. Actually website design. This is horrible, and being phased out. You should AJAX your site, use CSS3, HTML5, and other techniques to make your sites smooth, and fast. Flash is no longer necessary. If I go to a site implemented in flash, it feels like going to a site with Java on it. Remember those days? Load times, can’t copy text, no bookmarking. No thanks.

2. Video. Yes, most online video is played in flash. But I am very confident that this will not be the case in a year or two, especially given HTML5 has built in support for video playback. Most online video (including Posterous video) is encoded in h.264 mp4 files. These don’t need flash to play. These play just fine on the desktop and on mobile platforms in quicktime.

3. Games. You still need flash for web based games. But I don’t play games so I don’t really understand that user base. Seems like it’s a pretty small minority, and they can install the plugin if they need it.

Flash on the web is like the floppy disk. In 1998, the floppy’s days were numbered. But it took a company like Apple to drive a nail into the coffin. Only Apple has the balls to stop supporting old standards and let the industry move forward. “Sorry guys, we aren’t supporting flash. It stinks.”

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This is what Youtube looks like with ClickToFlash. Click here to download it.

22 comments

  1. I couldn’t disagree more with you Sachin. Flash is a self contained interactive framework that has the capacity to do things that the rest of the web hasn’t caught up with yet. Not even HTML5. Sure, when you’re talking about blog posts and CSS margins, you may no longer need flash. But for it’s ability to connect interactivity with the latest web services. There is currently no better alternative. And 98% of browsers have flash installed on them. The next frontier and contentious mark is mobile, the mobile web will one day be bigger then the desktop computer screen’s web. If flash doesn’t find it’s self in a similar market share on this web. Then that’s when I see things breaking down for it. But not before that.

  2. How do you embed that lightbox effect? I want to do exactly that with my Posterous. Can you tell me how you did that with Javascript disabled?

  3. Wow I just learned a lot. Thanks. I will try this on my Mac and see how it goes. Website builders always try to sell the flash component to people in real estate and I’ve always been told never to add that to my site since it has zero SEO. Now I know more thanks!

  4. I have it installed. However, as a developer, this thing is driving me nuts. I do a lot of javascript bridging with flash and it creates all sorts of issues. The inner HTML params in the object/embed tags do not render (which tell my javascript that they don’t have the plugin), and then later I go to invoke a JS against but its not there. It’s the ClickToFlash proxy object. No great work around. Right now I’m using zero pixel javascript objects to script sound playing because the audio HTML5 tag hasn’t gained enough acceptance to trust. It’s really causing me headaches. I’m having to rewrite using older/alternative plugins (Quicktime, Realplayer, WMV, HTML5 tag (in Chrome only)) to try to play the media. Adds a lot of extra junk for a simple inline media player in the page.

  5. Works like a charm, Sachin. Thanks. As you know, but many do not, QuickTime always (well, always since around 10 years ago) could do everything Flash does – sprites, motion, interact with database, and more. I played with QT functionality in the late 90’s. Back in Jan 01, I took a QuickTime scripting workshop. We were told that whoever comes up with the best "jukebox/music/video player" would have it made. Then came iTunes. Based on QuickTime.

  6. Flash does suck on a Mac+Safari but that’s due to Apple’s restrictions to its hardware and not allowing GPU acceleration for Flash

  7. i install clicktoflash on safari on my macbook and when i try to open youtube abd choose quicktime, the video just dont open it

  8. I don’t know what to say… First of all why do you hate flash so much?? You’re saying that it slows down your computers and makes the fans spin. Well I don’t have any problems with flash slowing down my computer because I’m using windows and I have built my pc all by myself. Then that fan thing you mentioned… I don’t know about you but I do want my fans to spin because I don’t want my 4,2ghz i7 to overheat when I’m playing games or using some cpu intesive software. But I know how you mac users feel about flash since I have mac OS partition in my pc and flash runs just incredibly slow on mac OS! So I think you should blame Apple and It’s restrictions before complaining about plugins like flash. You also mentioned that flash doesn’t have a place in iPhone. Well I’m actually writing this message with my jailbreaked iPhone that has flash player installed in it. And have I encountered any battery, performance or security issues? Of course I have, but that’s still better than not having flash! Feel free to reply to me and I’ll reply to you.

  9. Flash sucks but QuickTime doesn’t??? QuickTime is the saddest piece of crap software that Apple has hung on to for years. Up until a year or two you had to pay $30 to watch videos full screen. LOL

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