back to article Oi! Linux users! Want some really insecure closed-source software?

Back in August Adobe reversed its decision to stop offering an NPAPI Flash plugin for Linux and promised that version 23 would come Penguinistas' way real soon now. At the time the decision was greeted with surprise, because Adobe had not thought to update Flash for Linux since 2012's version 11.2. But the company decided that …

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  1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Answer

    Hell No!!!

  2. Number6

    At this point I'd rather they stopped bothering with Flash at all, and produced a modern version of the Acrobat Reader that handled forms and all the other features present in the Windows version.

    1. Preston Crow

      I would be happy if they just released Acrobat Reader recompiled as a 64-bit application. I would even prefer a statically linked version of the old one. It's the only 32-bit application on my system. Without it, all that multilib junk goes away.

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      There are solutions

      I have not tried to fill in PDF forms, but a quick web search showed several options. The one I would go for is pdftk (tutorial). I found evidence that Okular and Evince did not handle US tax forms in 2014. There is a list of GUI PDF editors here and here. People have reported success running some Windows PDF software with WINE.

      The good news is that Adobe appear not to have heard of ARM or MIPS. I considered trying QEMU on a Pi, but I am too lazy to read Adobe's EULA.

      1. Grifter

        Re: There are solutions

        Xournal has always come to the rescue when I needed to edit PDFs.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: There are solutions

          [take screenshots and insert text]

          Oddly enough, this is precisely the method I used to use on RiscOS some 20-odd years ago.

          At work, Xara does a decent fist of importing PDFs these days (Windows only though). At home, I tend to read using Okular, which can handle some forms. Libre Office occasionally works.

          Oddly enough, the PDFs that seem to cause the most problems are those which have "Microsoft Word Document" in the title...

          M.

        2. GloomyTrousers
          Happy

          Re: Spinning metal hedgehog

          Have an upvote, on the basis of that last sentence alone. Top stuff, sir.

        3. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: There are solutions

          If its any help to anyone I edit PDF's in Libreoffice. Pretty quick and easy

          1. Soruk

            Re: There are solutions

            +1 for LibreOffice. Worked a treat on my wife's spouse visa application form.

      3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: There are solutions

        "The good news is that Adobe appear not to have heard of ARM or MIPS."

        Shhhhhhh!

  3. Mikel
  4. moiety

    Flash. For Linux, you say? Well, well. I'm sure there's someone somewhere who wants one. I believe I can live without it, though.

    1. nematoad Silver badge
      Linux

      "Well, well. I'm sure there's someone somewhere who wants one."

      You obviously don't use the BBC iPlayer then.

      Come on BBC, drop Flash and start using HTML5.

      Oh, and by the way any chance of being able to download stuff from the BBC Store yet?

      1. MrWibble

        Opt in for iPlayer

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/html5

        Doesn't work on the news pages though.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Doesn't work on the news pages though.

          Change the browser identity. If the BBC website thinks you're using an iPad it generally seems to be happy to feed you HTML5. Personally I can't wait for them to make that a default rather than a convoluted, hard to access option - it's almost as if they have an interest in keeping Flash installed by their readers.

  5. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Bigger jumps in Version numbers

    There's an obscure operating system called Windows. It jumped from 3 to 95 to 98 to 2000 to 7, 8 and then 10.

    1. david 12 Bronze badge

      Re: Bigger jumps in Version numbers

      Windows jumpted the way that linux jumped from Feisty Dunnart to Zonked Quokka. The actual version numbers for Windows NT you listed are./were 4 and 5. I can't remember what the actual version numbers were for Win95/98 . so it might have been 95 and 98, but that was a different product - like comparing MSDOS version numbers to linux.version numbers.

      1. patrickstar

        Re: Bigger jumps in Version numbers

        Win95 was Windows 4 and DOS 7.

      2. LionelB

        Re: Bigger jumps in Version numbers

        "Windows jumpted"

        Is that you, Smeagol?

    2. Planty Bronze badge

      Re: Bigger jumps in Version numbers

      Xbox was downgraded from 360 to 1

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bigger jumps in Version numbers

        [Xbox was downgraded from 360 to 1]

        This going full circle ...

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Bigger jumps in Version numbers

          "[Xbox was downgraded from 360 to 1]

          This going full circle ..."

          Would that be a red one?

    3. Fuzz

      Re: Bigger jumps in Version numbers

      According to winver.exe Windows 10 had version number 10.0, the Windows 10 update had version number 1511, the anniversary update has version number 1607. Those are pretty big leaps.

      I think in the background though the current version number is 10.0.14393.576

      The release version of 7-zip went from 9 to 15 but that's still not as big a jump as Linux flash.

    4. mythicalduck
      Joke

      Re: Bigger jumps in Version numbers

      There's an obscure operating system called Windows. It jumped from 3 to 95 to 98 to 2000 to 7, 8 and then 10.

      You missed 2000 to XP first. Now according to my roman numerals chart, X is 10, and P means Million... so XP = 10,000,000.

      1. Rafael 1

        Re: Bigger jumps in Version numbers

        Word also jumped from 6.0 to 97, 98, 2000 too? Can't remember the details.

        Can we play a new game? Several programs jumped to low-digits to 2000 because everybody was doing it too -- Word, Wordstar, can you list others?

        On the other hand CorelDraw seems to have a rigid version numbering. Wonder if all the papers in all the desks at Corel are neatly stacked and aligned.

        1. Canonymous Howard

          Re: Bigger jumps in Version numbers

          Whaaaaat?? CorelDraw is still going?!?! Who knew!?

        2. Number6
          Coat

          Re: Bigger jumps in Version numbers

          Can we play a new game? Several programs jumped to low-digits to 2000 because everybody was doing it too -- Word, Wordstar, can you list others?

          You mean they didn't all do it to avoid the Millennium Bug?

      2. druck

        Re: Bigger jumps in Version numbers

        Now according to my roman numerals chart, X is 10, and P means Million... so XP = 10,000,000.

        That's not how Roman numerals work. XP would be 10 before 1 million i.e. 999,990.

        1. mythicalduck

          Re: Bigger jumps in Version numbers @druck

          That's not how Roman numerals work. XP would be 10 before 1 million i.e. 999,990

          Ah yes, silly me.. Still, the joke icon should give it away considering P isn't actually a roman numeral :)

          1. tapanit
            Headmaster

            Re: Bigger jumps in Version numbers @druck

            While ancient Romans didn't use P as a numeral, some medieval texts do - but its value is 400, not a million. So XP would be 390.

            :-)

      3. Jame_s

        Re: Bigger jumps in Version numbers

        1 million in roman numerals in not P

        it's M with a bar above it

      4. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Bigger jumps in Version numbers

        "Now according to my roman numerals chart, X is 10, and P means Million... so XP = 10,000,000"

        No, XP = 999,990 , just like IV = 4

        Edit: upvote to druck, I'm late by XV hours.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bigger jumps in Version numbers

      USA is going from 2016 to 1922 in three weeks time.

    6. Deadly Headshot

      Re: Bigger jumps in Version numbers

      On a more serious note, K-Meleon jumped from version 1.6.0 Beta to version 74 a couple of years ago...

  6. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Too late anyway

    The flash plugin is already dead. Mozilla has (grudgingly) implemented pepper API wrapper including in firefox ESR. So anyone who still needs flash just uses the pepper version which Adobe/Google have kept up to date.

  7. waldo kitty
    Linux

    Gotta wonder...

    What's this "flashplugin-installer" package that gets regular updates and downloads the new flash binaries from adobe for installation?? someone's missing something somewhere...

    sudo aptitude install flashplugin-installer

    OR (if the download site is overloaded and the initial update fails)

    sudo aptitude reinstall flashplugin-installer

    1. Mr Flibble
      Linux

      Re: Gotta wonder...

      On Debian, it's flashplugin-nonfree. Assuming that you have the package installed, run this:

      # update-flashplugin-nonfree --install

      and (at the time of writing) you'll get version 24.0.0.186.

      (That said: come on, BBC, stop using Flash.)

  8. Neill Mitchell

    Just about sums it up...

    Haha! Step 3 of 3 of the Adobe install screens says:

    "Thank you

    Here is another product that might interest you..."

    <Blank grey screen>

    1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: Just about sums it up...

      Haha! Step 3 of 3 of the Adobe install screens says:

      "Thank you

      Here is another product that might interest you..."

      [Blank grey screen]

      Well if they were limiting it to Adobe products, that would be accurate.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    TLA request

    Listen guys it's great you are working with us to give, back, side, and front doors to all systems but what good is that if no one is installing the stuff?

    Release another version for Linux as soon as you can eh, we might be missing some traffic.

  10. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Devil

    why can't adobe just open-source the thing?

    I have to wonder what they're hiding...

    there was a gnu project for flash called 'gnash'. It wasn't being maintained, and then one day web sites stopped working with it. Some "thing" changed, a standard, a new feature, ??? and then you couldn't play embedded flash content any more [downloading flash files works fine, just no "live" play].

    HTML5 seems to be the only real alternative now, which is fine [as long as I can BLOCK it]. I don't need html5 ads "flashing" content in my face and/or wasting my limited bandwidth.

    1. Deadly Headshot

      Re: why can't adobe just open-source the thing?

      Gnash still seems to play iPlayer fine...

    2. patrickstar

      Re: why can't adobe just open-source the thing?

      Originally Flash was just a vector animation toolkit - the files basically consisted of a set of drawing instructions, triggers for actions, etc. Then came AVM1 - this added Turing complete scripting (in a JS-like untyped language). This is what was used for a lot of what you would typically think of as Classic Flash stuff - simple games and video players etc. This is what Gnash supports.

      Then came AVM2. This is a complete high-performance (relatively speaking...) application runtime, comparable to Java for example. Supporting this in Gnash would mean rewriting most of it except the file format parser.

      All of these come as SWF files, so without looking at the contents (or trying to play them in various old versions) there's no way to know which is which. An AVM2 file still has the same basic structure, but instead of drawing and scripting commands you just have assets and a big blob of AVM2 bytecode.

  11. Bucky 2

    Pornhub supports HTML5 video now, so I don't think there's a reason to install Flash anymore.

  12. davenewman

    I remember when Flash was for creating interactive animated cartoons. You had before and after shapes, and it filled in the intermediate frames. Video came later.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I remember when Flash was for creating interactive animated cartoons. You had before and after shapes, and it filled in the intermediate frames. Video came later.

      Back when it was little more than a web-enabled player for Macromedia Director.

      Back in the late 90's IBM had a Flash-like application which merely required Java. If they hadn't screwed the pooch (read that "standard IBM business practices") we could have been using that instead.

      Oh, wait... an IBM Java-based product... Never mind.

  13. mjflory

    Linux leap

    In 1992 the Linux kernel went from 0.12 or so to 0.95 when it became X-Windows capable. That's only a difference of 0.83 but proportionally it's quite a leap. (The Wikipedia "Linux kernel" article mentions 0.12 and 0.95, but I dimly remember an 0.17, so there may have been some intermediate versions.)

  14. jsusanka

    is flash even ussed any more

    I don't even have flash installed any more.

    Google chrome doesn't even allow it to be used.

    Don't have it on Firefox and I do not miss anything on the web.

    So really why bother any more.

    I quit adobe reader decades ago. Lots of open source choices for pdfs and to edit them too.

    Last time I looked adobe was like 60 meg - really 60 meg for a pdf reader. Ok I will pass.

  15. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Coat

    Flash?

    Aha! I take it you are not talking about the saviour of the universe.

    I'll get me coat. The one with the cassette tapes converted to "Best of Queen" by storage in the cars glove compartment please

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