what happened to linuxflashplugin?

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at toybox.placo.com
Mon Feb 18 12:53:57 UTC 2008

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-freebsd-questions at freebsd.org
> [mailto:owner-freebsd-questions at freebsd.org]On Behalf Of Jonathan
> McKeown
> Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 11:19 PM
> To: freebsd-questions at freebsd.org
> Subject: Re: what happened to linuxflashplugin?
> On Thursday 14 February 2008 00:14, Erik Osterholm wrote:
> > > IMHO, for an individual to state that Flash is not a relevant issue
> > > simply because they choose not to employ it, is similar to patient
> > > claiming that cancer research is a waste of time simply because they
> > > are not afflicted with the condition.
> >
> > Bad analogies are like a leaky screwdriver.
> >
> > All throughout this thread, there have been people mixing up issues.
> > It's true that Flash is used on many, many websites, but one of the
> > earliest "complaints" I saw regarded Flash-only sites--sites which
> > require Flash in order to navigate.  These sites seem fairly rare.  It
> > is manipulative and misleading to argue that because so many sites
> > /make use of Flash/, then /Flash has become an integral part of the
> > web/.  I browse with Flash disabled all of the time, only enabling it
> > specifically when I need it to use the web site.  It certainly
> > happens--but it's not a constant thing.  I'm aware that Flash content
> > exists on the pages I view, but most of the time it's supplemental,
> > and the page degrades quite nicely without it.
> This is the best summary of the issues I've seen in this thread.
> One last time, because we're going round in circles:
> I don't have a problem with people putting in the effort to get
> Flash working:
> I'd be even happier if Adobe would do it themselves; but there's not much
> that Flash is essential for, and to claim that ``half the entire Web'' is
> unusable without Flash, seems somewhat overstated. There are many
> sites which
> degrade, more or less gracefully, in the absence of Flash, but,
> like Erik, I
> don't come across many that are completely unusable.

I agree.  My experience is that most of the advertising sites
use Flash.  My guess is with the sourceforge thing that what is
requiring it is not Sourceforge itself, but rather some 3rd party
advertising site that their page is liked to.  I see this quite
a lot on cnn.com and so on.  Not being able to see those sites
is no loss, in my opinion.

I don't, however, put any credibility into the conspiracy theories
that Flash has code to disable it on BSD.  MacOS X runs flash just
fine and MacOS X is just as BSD as FreeBSD is.

The thing is that you can easily run Remote Desktop on your
FreeBSD system and remote-term into a headless Windows XP system
you have kicked under your desk, so I don't see that even if
Flash was Windows-Only it would be a great problem.  Or, you can
SSH into a convenient MacOS X system and run Firefox as a client
on the MacOS X system and display it's output on your FreeBSD
desktop.  So please explain to me how exactly FreeBSD not being
able to run Flash is a huge problem?

> I still haven't seen any comeback on the accessibility issue: is
> it really the
> case that banks in the USA (for example) have websites that are not
> accessible to a section of the population, and that this isn't
> covered by the
> ADA? (I'm not trying to score points here: I'm genuinely interested).

There is a court case right now that's wending it's way though the
US courts that addresses this.  If you google around for it you
can come up with it.  As I recall some blind person sued a
public website because of this.  My guess however is that it
won't pan out.  In the US the law allows for alternative access for
disabled.  For example, if you build a building with a big impressive
staircase leading up to the front entrance for architectural asthetic
reasons, you don't have to make it wheelchair accessible if you have
a ramp to a door around the side that leads to the same interior entrance.

The fact is in building construction, most of what disabled people
want (lack of stairs, wide doors, etc.) actually reduce your liability
with normal people from tripping and such, which is why with new
construction it's usually stupid to not design it ADA-compliant,
aside from the building code requirements which require it anyway.

With websites, if an organization's only portal to the public is
the web, I think they probably are going to have to make their
site readable by blind people.  Which means flash isn't going to
be compatible.  But an organization could sidestep this by publishing
an 800 number going to some call center in India, and most banks have
pretty extensive telephone banking whereby you call the bank's 800
number and use a touch-tone phone to key in your account number and
such to do your banking.  As a matter of fact I routinely use the
800 number voice response unit of my bank to check bank balances
rather than logging into the website - it's faster.


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