Flash END OF LIFE and end of Flash browser support

 

FLASH IS OVER! What is Articulate's plan?

 

 

I have raised a significant amount of hell in the forums in the past as have dozens of others about giving us an "HTML5 Only" publishing option. Learning Management Systems (SCORM) use the manifest files to choose which HTML file to open. THERE IS NO WAY in many systems to "tell it to open the story_html5.html file"

 

We at ESET (a security solutions provider) are mandated to abandon Flash (and possibly Storyline if there is no change) by the time Chrome browser support ends for Flash in September 2016 (6 months and counting.) Firefox already has dumped Flash and neither Android or iOS devices have supported Flash for years. Many other medium and large companies have already deprecated Flash content. Adobe released Adobe "Animate" (formerly Flash) last week thereby formally burying the medium with little fanfare or objection.

 

MY QUESTION IS:

 

Will Articulate and Storyline simply tell us we still have to output Flash files, use Internet Explorer and/or change to an LMS that doesn't use SCORM or will they join the mid 2000s and help us create more secure, more accessible learning content that can still be published to an LMS and consumed by anyone wishing to learn?

 

P.S. IF anyone tells me to just delete the "story.html file" I will take that as a sign that we should license a different product. We currently have 6 Instructional Design staff that have Storyline licenses. FIX the manifest or make it possible to select a publish option in the UI that only creates the HTML5

25 Replies
Mark Cairns

I agree.  Articulate should focus their attention on getting the HTML5 output to work just as well as the Flash version. I'm sure this is no easy feat, but it has to be done. With the ever increasing use of mobile devices and the other reasons you mentioned above, Flash should be a fallback choice at most.  It would be nice to see this option added in the next update and not have to wait for a new version.

Phil Mayor

Flash is dying slowly, but many corporate clients still use outdated browsers that mean flash is the only reliable way of delivering courses.

I am not sure Adobe have killed Flash as Animate still outputs flash content and the will continue to develop the player in the shorter, do you have a reference for Chrome dropping flash in September 2016?  I can only see information that they now pause all flash content similar to the way Safari works.

In the last 12 months I have only had one client ask for no flash content at all and they also wanted responsive design so I use dTumult Hype instead to deliver their course.

I can see the benefits of a HTML only version but with the sporadic support for HTML5 in Browsers it may open a can of worms on the support side.

Mike B.

Dave,

I'm feeling your pain a little lately, as our courses are not performing well in Chrome with Flash, causing very high CPU usage. Flash in other browsers is fine, as is HTML5 in all of them.

It agree that would be great to have more control over how the course is presented to the user. I wouldn't be surprised if something was in the works, but you probably won't hear anything about it until it's released.

It seems that there are some rather simple work-arounds for now, although it does add a step before zipping up the project. I believe adding just one line of code to the story.html file will redirect users to the story_html5 file. "g_bRedirectHTML5 = true;"

Mike

 

Dave Howard

Anyone using outdated browsers is playing Russian Roulette with security. That is not a 2016 option and therefore is an invalid argument for using an unsecurable medium (Flash). It's akin to saying some people use liniments and leeches to counter infections. By the way, in which (current) browsers have you been unable to play HTML5 Storyline projects?

Dave Howard

Phil,

If you read my post (above. Don't worry, most people don't) you will know that this doesn't work. It DOESN'T work in any decent, commercial, SCORM-enabled, secure LMS. Articulate has made it this way.

"I have raised a significant amount of hell in the forums in the past as have dozens of others about giving us an "HTML5 Only" publishing option. Learning Management Systems (SCORM) use the manifest files to choose which HTML file to open. THERE IS NO WAY in many systems to "tell it to open the story_html5.html file" ~ from a post a few paragraphs up by Dave Howard, Instructional Design Supervisor for ESET, the global IT security firm with over 1,000 employees who don't use weak browsers and have a charming LMS from Cornerstone..

I have made this point in other threads and they too, have turned into "I like Flash because" type raves, completely burying in the sand the head of anybody regarding the true question. CAN WE HAVE an HTML5-ONLY OPTION?? AN OPTION! NOT A MANDATE!! NOT AN OLD LAME BROWSER!! ANYONE?

Phil Mayor

I suggested changing the index file which specifies the version loaded and should work, however if this doesn't work you can try deleting the story.html and duplicating the html5 file and renaming it as story.html?

That would work in any LMS

I have no preference for flash over html5, and the reason I like these forums is that we are allowed to express our views freely. Hope you find a solution to you problem.

I am sure at some point storyline

Sent from my iPhone

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Dave,

I've been following along with this thread, and didn't respond earlier today as it seemed you were aware of our current functionality and stance on the use of Flash and Articulate's current set up to always include the Flash output. If not, you may want to review the information here from Brian Gil who is a Product Manager here at Articulate.  

Flash currently underpins several areas in our authoring tools (such as Preview), so it is required to run Storyline and Studio even if you don't need Flash-based output. While recent rumblings suggest that the writing may very well be on the wall for Flash, changing our requirement will only become possible once we have a credible alternative in place. With that being said, I know that it can be frustrating when you're looking for a date or timeline as to when a new functionality would be available but I hope that you'll believe me when I state that our team is hard at work on next steps and what that new option would look like. We're really excited about the work that's been going on, and we hope that you'll be equally as excited once we're able to share. 

As for Phil's recommendation, he is (like all of our community members)  valued and appreciated for sharing his ideas and recommendations, especially when it comes to modifications of our output as that is not something staff can assist with (or have likely even tested). It may not be one you agree with or one that would work for your specific needs, but we work to ensure that the forums are a place for constructive discussion, sharing of ideas, and above all a safe space where other e-learning professionals can seek and offer assistance. Based on that set up and our community guidelines I have had your most recent comment removed. 

If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to let me know. 

Brian Allen

If you've been publishing your Storyline content with the HTML5 checkbox selected then you're ok with this.

Google Chrome will send a message to Storyline that Flash is not supported and Storyline will automatically serve up the HTML5 content.

You can actually turn on Flash blocking in Chrome now and test ahead of time - http://www.androidcentral.com/chrome-disable-flash

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Penny,

It looks like Brian got your covered here, and although certain browsers may be automatically disabling Flash content, I don't know that it'll ever truly go away especially when others are stuck using outdated browsers such as earlier version of Internet Explorer. 

Articulate published content as of now always includes Flash and you can choose to include HTML5 output as well. You can let folks know that viewing it in a browser such as Chrome is preferred (you can see the other supported browsers here) and it'll automatically provide the user with the HTML5 output if Flash is disabled as described here or you can always point directly to it using the story_html5.html link. 

Dave Howard

Of course this does not solve the problem of storing dozens or hundreds of unavoidably vulnerable Flash files on your web server, Sharepoint instance, LMS, (insert your repository here.)
We've moved on. We are hacking the HTML for now and moving to other authoring modalities.

Thank you,

Dave Howard
Instructional Design Supervisor
ESET North America
Office: +1 619-876-5584
Mobile: +1 619-204-6450
610 West Ash St, Suite 1700
San Diego, CA 92101

Mike Dobkin

I'd like to report my experience with Saba Cloud to all those interested.  We tested a course with the Chrome Flash plugin disable, HTML5 box unchecked at publishing, and the test failed.  Saba presented an error screen instructing us to enable the Flash plugin.  We then published the same course with HTML5 checked and the course launched and functioned properly with the Flash plugin enabled or disabled.  We did notice that when the Flash plugin was disabled with HTML5 checked, the course rendered slightly differently then with Flash enabled (the player edges and font were ever so slightly thinner, barely noticeable to us, unnoticeable to a learner).  This actually gave me piece of mind that it was in-fact the HTML5 version being automatically displayed.  Thank you Brian Allen!

Brian Allen
Mike Dobkin

We did notice that when the Flash plugin was disabled with HTML5 checked, the course rendered slightly differently then with Flash enabled

The one thing that I'll add here, and I've seen this echoed in other threads around the community, is that we should all be testing both the Flash and HTML5 content when we're rolling out courses.

The reason is that you'll find that sometimes the HTML5 content doesn't work exactly the same way you'd expect it to in Flash, so tweaks are sometimes needed.

Online Learning

This is an urgent issue as Flash will be discontinued in December and many browsers will not allow flash to be used absent a specific ok from the user. Our products are used extensively by federal government agencies and because of security restrictions they are not allowing flash products to be used now and certainly won't be allowing it after December. Just today I republished an Engage object using 360, which states that the format is Flash with HTML5 fallback, and when using it as a SCORM in our LMS of Brightspace D2L, it still opens as Flash. We really need some help from Articulate Support on this--we are running out of time and have probably a hundred Articulate objects that are affected.