Steve Jobs was right. The first person who advised me to get a Flash blocker was Blake Matheny. Blake is one of the best engineers I've ever had the pleasure to work with – and I've worked with him both at Compendium and at ChaCha. You'd think that I would have listened to a guy that transformed the entire infrastructure and platform at at least two different technology companies.
I didn't listen to him. I just kept plodding along… using Chrome and Firefox and watching pages freeze, stall, or even lock up my laptop temporarily. At times, I had to kill the browsers.
This last week, I had a fantastic meeting with Michael Cloran from Developer Town. Michael has collected the best of the best in developer talent with his venture startup… and guess what? They all use flash blockers. He told me he recently started using one and it's been incredible how fast sites are rendered and how few problems he's had.
So, on Tuesday I decided to try it out. I loaded up a flash blocker for Chrome. I've been in heaven all week. Everything loads faster, nothing freezes, and I'm not missing the Flash experience at all. From time to time, I need Flash so the blocker allows me to simply click on the Flash component and it loads up. Additionally, I can right click (e.g. Youtube) and select to always allow Flash to load from the site.
If you're running another browser, you have options:
- Chrome – FlashBlock
- Firefox – Flashblock add-on.
- Safari – ClickToFlash.
- Opera – Flashblock.
- IE 7 – Ad Blocker has Flash blocking.
- IE 8 – has a modification to turn on per-site Flash blocking.
You'd be amazed at how many sites utilize Flash. I have a feeling that some of the site owners don't even realize it. From time to time, I load up this blog and didn't realize that 3 advertisements were coming up in Flash. There's nothing flashy about them… but they're there!
Here's a more obvious example, the Alerding Castor site without and with Flash. Mousing over the flash highlights it and clicking on it runs the Flash module.
As HTML 5 becomes a reality, Adobe really needs to get it's but in gear to re-architect Flash from the ground up. I don't like agreeing with Steve Jobs, but in this case he's dead on. As for companies who are staking their futures on Flash, you may want to get a back-up plan. If you haven't seen HTML 5, Apple has a great demonstration… although they require you to use Safari to view it.