Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Why Flash and Java are no longer installed by default on Mac OS

Apple has announced that they are no longer installing Flash and Java by default on Mac OS. Many said that Apple is trying to restrict the options presented to developers. I disagree.

It may be one of the reasons but in my opinion, it's not the main reason. I feel that there are 2 main reasons why they are no longer pre-installed:
  1. Flash and Java do not run optimally on Mac OS
  2. Number of Flash and Java security vulnerability reports have been increasing

Anyone who uses the Mac knows that Flash for some reason runs quite slowly on the Mac, and it uses quite a bit of resources. I have no idea why but this has been the case for some time. For Java, I do not really think it's significantly slower though. However, we all know that Steve Jobs focuses a lot on user experience and given his track record, it's not surprising that he's making some noise over it.

The main reason I feel though is the number of security vulnerability reports for Flash and Java. Everyone knows that Microsoft and Apple are playing a number game now. Apple has always claimed that they are more secured than Microsoft. By not installing Flash and Java by default on Macs, they will indirectly reduce the number of security vulnerability reports for Mac devices on the whole, thereby making them more secured. That's also the reason they stopped doing a Mac version of Java. They do not want to waste resources fixing a product that is not theirs, and they do not want to keep patching the Mac OS over problems unrelated to their product. Mac OS patches are quite big by the way.

I do not think that they will restrict Flash and Java from the Mac OS itself, with the exception of iOS. Flash can always be downloaded and installed and in the case of Java, if it is truly open source, someone will be able to make a version that runs on the Mac. After all, Mac is Unix based and Java can be installed even on a Linux machine. I don't see why it cannot be installed on a Mac.

We'll wait and see.


Rhinestic said...

but it's bad for media companies, coz nowadays, clients want applications to magically work on ALL platforms. @.@

Rhinestic said...

and by magically, meaning they want to see the app on their screen even though they have not installed the player and the first thing they blame is the company that did the app. or they dislike seeing the please install the latest player by clicking here..

Anonymous said...

Of course! 80% of the people out there are layman when it comes to technology: why should they know the difference between HTML5 and Flash?
They just want to go to a Website and see the contents. Doesn't matter which device they use.
Geeks tend to forget that the majority of the world are not geeks. They expect everyone to respect technology like they do and get upset otherwise. They fail to see that technology is a means to an end, not the end itself, and certainly not the only means.

chantc said...

I was saying from the technical point of view. That's why it's a technology rambling. :)

Let me say it in the layman terms.
1 - You're doing a project.
2 - It's a base foundation (your product), which other useful things can be built on top of.
3 - Flash and Java, which you do now own, are something that was built on top of your product.
4 - You package it together with your product but Flash and Java kept getting security vulnerabilities, which lead to you chasing them to fix it.
5 - You get blamed for the problems of Flash and Java even though it's not your product.

In this case, will you still continue to package Flash and Java?

By the way, you're not allowed to treat Flash and Java like your own product because it's patented and you'll get sued.

I understand that users are focused on the results, but so is everyone else. However, results can be achieved because certain actions were done.

The process of achieving the result is important because one must understand whether the desired outcome is achievable based on what you are being thrown at. Sadly, many people do not care and do not want to understand about this process and sometimes ask for the impossible.

Being results-oriented is important, but knowing how it can be achieved is equally important.

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