Sunday, October 3, 2010

....well..... I should have listened to the Open Source guys... WTF ADOBE

    So, my biggest rant today comes from the Adobe camp. Ever since the switch to Flash Player 9, they always prompt you to install the "Adobe DLM" or Download Manager to magically "help" you install the Flash plugin for IE or Firefox (Because its a complicated process) However, Adobe has always had their software available as an actual program you could download and install manually .... Until recently.
    Now Adobe has totally removed this feature, and the only way to install the Flash plugin is to install the Adobe DLM software, and use THAT application to install Flash. There are SEVERAL issues with this
  1. The DLM software is 2.8mb (no big deal) but the actual Flash Player installer? Its only 1.4mb Not like I care about 1.4mb, but it just SEEMS inefficient and sloppy
  2. If you use Firefox, it means you've got to do at least 2, possibly 3 browser restarts before you're looking at that youtube video. By comparison, Microsoft Silverlight requires refreshing the webpage you're on.
  3. They install crap you DONT ask for, and oftentimes DONT want. I somehow ended up with a link to the Times Online on my desktop. I thought maybe I hadn't unchecked a box, or skipped the step in the install. So being the geek that I am, I reinstalled Windows XP on a spare PC. Then I watched very carefully, and there was no option to change a Times Online webpage link.
     So what does all this really mean? At any time, Adobe can push down whatever they want to your PC. If they bring on Norton Internet Security as a partner, they can push the Demo of this software without your consent. Also, they can update other things, like Adobe Reader, or Adobe CS4/5 Suite. And really, I don't WANT the updates. There was an update 2 months ago that broke Adobe 9 Reader functions, and it took a week to get it fixed.
      But one of the REAL issues for this is the following: At any time, Adobe can do whatever they want with their software. They could make you pay for it. They could decide that they want to pull ALL your data to determine what porn you watch online.
     Normally in times like this, I switch to an Open Source program. When Adobe Reader 8 came out, I switched to Foxit PDF Viewer, and loved it, because it was tiny and lightweight. When Internet Explorer 5 started to suck, I switched to Mozilla (later FireFox) and when my MSN Messenger client started to suck, I moved to GAIM and Pidgn. But the problem is, there are NO good Flash alternatives, because Flash is very closed source. No one can reverse engineer it apparently, and no one makes a program that can hook in to flash only websites to do the same thing..... So what happens if Flash starts charging? Or starts installing Malware like Norton Internet Security? Or what if they magically go out of business.....

.... That was a rhetorical question. I guess we'd all be screwed...

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