Kill the Flash
My disdain for Flash has been well documented here on this blog. It the most ugly pervasive piece of software bugging the universe since its introduction and it gets more and more ugly with each iteration - especially on the mac. That ugliness is not only shown in the creation environment - sporting an interface that is only usable for people who are total masochists but also in its exclusiveness and non-openess of the resulting content (closed containers of anything on the web need to just simply go to hell) riddled with patents all throughout surpressing any healthy developer community that is not just in it for the fame of making the worst usable interface but its plugin iteration installed on million of mac is also DOG FUCKING SLOW. Next to the horrible Skype its the only other program that can make my computer feel like its trying to render a 3d animation on 1992 hardware - and its just rendering freaking vectors and a couple of mostly low res pixels - cross checking with some advanced compositing applications has revealed that the drawing code in Flash must have some extra loops in it to make it extra super slow and trying to make the power companies rich by trying to make the computer work harder and therefore draw more power then it needs to.
Flash 10 makes matters WAY worse - besides the press release copying outlets (MacTechnews, Golem f.e.) claiming otherwise. While with Flash 9 you could possibly open 10-15 movies side by side without crashing your browser or bringing everything to a complete halt (smoothly playing seems only possible with max of 3 video res movies at the same time) Flash 10 does barely one with 80% processor utilization - make it two and you are in 10-15 frames per second land. Well it just speeds up Flashs total selfdestruction and might speed up ramming through HTML5 (video/audio embed tags) and CSS3(animation) and SVG (vectors vectors vectors) in the end.
In the meantime I saw Todd sporting a handy small plugin for Firefox that displayed just green squares where there should be Flash content and you could click on it to display the actual content - since I am not using Firefox (too slow on a Mac) but rather use Safari I didnīt bother to ask what the plugin is called but today I stumbled over a similar plugin for Safari. It even works with the yet unreleased WebKit nightly builds (which I run exclusively - I like to be on the edge of things - and unlike Flash - Safari will see a tremendous boost in speed in its next iteration which everyone can already enjoy using a nightly build of Webkit). So for getting rid of Flash without getting totally rid of it - because well people like putting Videos in a container of a container of a browser of a OS - and I like/need to watch movies at points - there is the Safari plugin called ClickToFlash. You get grey boxes with a gradient and a "Tasteful 'Flash' icon now drawn on top of" it (the developer). Click on the box and the flash content loads on demand. I am enourmously happy. And for Webdeveloper still thinking its a good idea to put any flash in menus or other content that is not absolutely requiring flash (no content really is but that is a different issue) - screw yourself - get a live - learn how to use open standards - I will be unable to navigate your site in the future and so do many many more people. A nice side effect btw is that all ads seems to be completely vanished except for pure text google adsense - didnīt even notice that ads are nowadays almost exclusively flash - browsing just got so much more uncluttered, faster and better :)
You can download the very open source code and a prebuild installer (scroll down because that is what you want) here.