Mozilla's Flash Player replacement 'Shumway' arrives in Firefox Nightly

By on October 4, 2013, 2:30 PM
mozilla, adobe, flash player, nightly, firefox nightly, shumway, firefox 27

Flash was instrumental in delivering audio, video and animations to the Internet in the late 90s but it has since evolved into one of the most frowned upon pieces of software in the modern era. Most mobile browsers no longer support Flash due to a number of issues including security, battery life and performance but it’s still in heavy use on the desktop.

If the format isn’t going to die anytime soon, it would seem that the next best step is to replace Flash Player. That’s exactly what Mozilla has been doing since early 2012 with a project called Shumway. It uses HTML5 and JavaScript to offer a run-time processor for SWF and other rich-media formats. The good news is that it will work on platforms for which runtime implementation aren’t available.

There’s still a lot of work left but you can now try out the Flash Player alternative in the latest Firefox Nightly build (version 27). It isn’t activated by default so you’ll need to navigate to about:config and turn it on. Interestingly enough, you still need to have the Flash Player installed (for now).

Shumway isn’t yet capable of running all commercial Flash apps but some early demos on Mozilla’s online Shumway Inspector look promising. Whether or not the project will ultimately be able to replicate all of Flash Player’s capabilities remains to be seen.

The final build is expected to trickle down into a public Firefox release early next year.




User Comments: 11

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1 person liked this | NuguPabo NuguPabo said:

Another piece of alien technology being integrated into our daily lives, I.e. drones and stealth aircraft. I've heard rumors that Gordon Shumway will be the next head of Microsoft so there may be a few surprises in Windows 9; even possibly a shortwave radio app which will help to locate lost Melmacians.

Guest said:

I just recently watch all seasons of ALF. Your comment made my day, lol.

JC713 JC713 said:

I wonder when Flash will actually die. I think once YouTube drops it, it will be the end of Flash.

avoidz avoidz said:

I immediately thought of ALF too

Flash will be around for another few years yet.

DKRON said:

Wouldn't once they implement HTML5 flash will be useless, its so slow and takes up too much cpu usage (well for my core2 not my i7) and HTML5 is instant and hardly takes any strain to pc's

avoidz avoidz said:

Wouldn't once they implement HTML5 flash will be useless, its so slow and takes up too much cpu usage (well for my core2 not my i7) and HTML5 is instant and hardly takes any strain to pc's

What about older single core computers; how does HTML5 perform on those compared to Flash?

DKRON said:

I would think flash would be even worse with a single core chip, if its using 70%+ on a core2 compared to 5% with HTML5, haven't for say tried it on a single core ship yet but I do have a P4 at home if it still will turn on

PC EliTiST PC EliTiST said:

Make everything run natively in DXVA H264 format. There's no better option currently. On IE10/11 you can enable Active-X filtering ( in order to block flash ) and play almost all videos on YouTube in native mp4 format. Try it and enjoy the best and smoothest video experience.

Firefox is so inneficient in rendering, animations, CPU/GPU usage etc that I don't expect much improvement.

ypsylon said:

"Flash was instrumental in delivering audio, video and animations to the Internet in the late 90s..."

Let me fix that for ya. "Flash was instrumental in screwing performance and security in millions(billions?) of PCs/Workstations/servers around the world since introduction in 1996 and continues screwing everything 17 years later..."

Guest said:

Works like flash or a bit worse on every brower

sunilcagrawal sunilcagrawal said:

Can it play YouTube videos?

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