64-Bit Flash Player Problems

Not So Flash

I posted on the problems with 64-bit Flash Player Plug-in in Chrome and Firefox. I landed at YouTube a few weeks back and got a message informing of the need to upgrade FlashPlayer plug-in. I complied and upgraded, soon to discover that Flash no longer worked in Chrome or Firefox.

I lived without Flash till I got around to digging a little deeper.

I discovered Adobe, released a 64-bit version of their FlashPlayer plug-in, which was an alpha release, back in June this year. The release was promptly withdrawn with statements from Adobe about an imminent release upgrade of the 64-bit plug-in.

I spent best part of this evening trying to figure out why Flash will not work. I downloaded several Flash plug-ins for Firefox and Chrome. Still could not get them working.  I downloaded and installed Opera. Still a no go. Nada.

After much Googling, reading, testing, downloading, installing, uninstalling, I finally discovered the problem. I visited Adobe's website many times during the course of the evening. Each time to download a version of their 64-bit FlashPlayer plug-in. As Chrome, Firefox and Opera wanted. Each visit to YouTube drew a blank. No Flash video.

I read several posts on Adobe's website, and only after much hair pulling I noticed a note suggesting the 64-bit plug-in would not work. More Googling and digging.

Finally I have it. Around June 15 this year, Adobe pulled 64-bit version, release of their FlashPlayer plug-in, due to a sever security vulnerability. The vulnerability was so bad, Adobe closed the Linux 64-bit labs and posted a notice on the door that reads:
"We have temporarily closed the Labs program of Flash Player 10 for 64-bit Linux, as we are making significant architectural changes to the 64-bit Linux Flash Player and additional security enhancements. We are fully committed to bringing native 64-bit Flash Player for the desktop by providing native support for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux 64-bit platforms in an upcoming major release of Flash Player."
That was over two months ago. Still no Flash Video if you run a Linux 64-bit browser. I discovered the security notice on Debian's website. After much digging, I finally found the security notice on Adobe's site which details the security alert. This confirmed the info on posted on Debian's forum.

I have now been without Flash Video for close to a month. Check out the post I wrote at the end of July about Flash problems. At that time, I suggested that running proprietary software was not a good idea, as you're at the mercy of the IP rights holder and their whims.  Closed source software is locked. You cannot see the source code. You cannot make changes or fixes. Its under lock and key. A trade secret. If there is a bug in the software. Tough luck. Nothing you can do about it.

Anyone running a Linux 64-bit browser, effectively has no Flash Video. Adobe doesn't seem to care. It dies not appear to be an important enough issue. They just put a closed sign on the Lab door, and if you don't like it, take a hike. To re-iterate what was in my Java post, recently about proprietary software:

"When the puppet master tugs the string, you dance". 

Roll on HTML 5 with its inbuilt video support. Though it will take many years for widespread adoption, HTML 5 video support will free us from the Adobe flash prison.

You can read a little more on the problem at:

1. CNET Tech News

2. Oreilly Community Blog

3. Linux Journal News

4. Slashdot News 'n' Views

5. Adobe 64-bit Support

6. Adobe Security Bulletin