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If there’s one thing more annoying than advertisements in a web browsing experience, its Adobe’s awful Flash Player. The runtime is about as buggy as an entomologist’s laboratory and as slow as a slug on a sticky treadmill, but more and more companies are trying to find ways of making Flash obsolete once and for all.
The latest is Mozilla.
The latest Nightly build of the company’s Firefox web browser includes Project Shumway, a little bolt-on that allows the browser to run Flash-based content on web pages without the use of Flash, thus making the browser more secure and much, much faster.
Although it doesn’t work on the websites that matter, namely streaming video services like Vimeo, the inclusion is a welcomed start. But how does it work?
According to the official Shumway page, the add-on uses new web technologies to render the SWF file format “without native code assistance.” Think of the add-on as another type of Flash player, and you have a vague idea of how it works. It’s novel and could revolutionise Patch Tuesdays and online security in the future.
Although Adobe must be crying in a corner citing the announcement, for the general public this is a welcome move. Flash has become a slob on Windows machines, and yes, I do speak from experience. Removing the need for the plugin will speed up browsing and page loading times insurmountably.
While Shumway is not yet ripe for consumer picking just yet, the Firefox Nightly version can be downloaded here and the Amazon webpage (currently the only page where the add-on works) can be tested here. Note, the Nightly is pre-release software, so it could very well contain bugs of its own.
If you have given it a go though, tell us of your adventures in the comment box below.