Editorial: Adobe's Flash Updater is Bloated and Shady

By Julio Franco · 58 replies
Dec 7, 2012
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  1. Ever try uninstalling software from Adobe? It spews .dlls and other files a
    ll over your machine like it had exploded. Just extremely sloppy, careless programming.

    The ubiquity of Photoshop gives Adobe a a monopoly and they just don't care about the end user because they don't have to. I will not have them on my machine if I can help it.

    I replaced Photoshop with Paint.net (it is, of course, free) and I'm much happier.

    As for the people whining about this article and defending Adobe ("You don't have to install the bloatware if you don't want to."--great argument.) I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

    There are always people willing to defend anything.
    psycros likes this.
  2. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,975   +2,527

    The trouble with this is, all of the other image editing editing I've played with, do not have adjustment layers. These are, non-destructive, and use very little memory. I'll jump ship when you can show me another program that has them.

    Part of the reason for all the .dlls you're complaining about, is because Adobe imaging programs usurp color management from Windows. I think a similar issue occurs with GIMP, wherein you used to have to install a library package along with the editor. (The details are a bit vague to me though).

    Other than that, yeah you're quite right, Adobe just piles module on top of module, to create new features, without ever repairing any underlying issues or overall bloat.

    With all of that said, when you install Nero 6, it summarily creates120 registry entries with seemingly no purpose whatsoever. So, Adobe isn't the only garbage generator on the software front.
  3. "I replaced Photoshop with Paint.net (it is, of course, free) and I'm much happier"

    unbelivable! man if paint.net is enough for you good to know! Photoshop is for professionals no to kids trying to resize a photo!

    "installing Chrome needs admin privileges"
    yep... of course, on such envs admins will take care of updating machines too by giving updater processes enough privileges or by running massive update software. this article lacks of foundations.
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,715   +3,696

    UNBELIEVABLE! You actually think the only thing that can be done with Paint.NET, is resize photos. At least I agree with you that PhotoShop is for professionals. And your lack of using a good example, flags you as being a grand candidate to be a Paint.NET user.
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,975   +2,527

    I think "Guest" is having difficulty articulating his rage. Well, let's be frank and honest, Guest is having a hard time articulating most everything..

    But seriously, you can resize photos with Photoshop? Wow that's heavy!

    The next thing you'll be telling me is you can combine bracketed exposures and create HDR photographs.. I'm floored... Separate color channels even? Do contour mapping?
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  6. avoidz

    avoidz TS Guru Posts: 460   +56

    I totally agree with combining the two Flash plugins for different browsers. It's a pain to do both when one installer could do the job. And I wish Adobe would drop the pre-selected crap from the install options too.
  7. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,957   +214

    To use your own quote "This line tells me everything"
    I'm glad you have never had any issues with Flash nor SUN JRE now Oracle, but when looking over the CVE reports for said software I think you are quite alone, indeed one of the largest reasons for systems getting infected with malware is due to end-users using outdated versions of these two softwares! (And Adobe sure does not help end-users with their dysfunctional software updaters)
    Let me answer this by simply using a longer quote from my own editorial, but with some added sources of information, the most prolific being Sinofsky himself.
    "Microsoft surprised many of us by bundling the software with its operating system for the first time with Windows 8. This is after previously announcing that they wouldn't allow Flash in the Metro version of Internet Explorer 10 -- a decision the company later reversed. I have to wonder if qualms such as these played a role in Steven Sinofsky's departure, but that's another discussion."
    Because I am not a software developer, would you ask a fireman why he does not perform brain surgery too?
    If you think that amazing web technologies could not have been made without Flash through the years that tells me that you, just as I am not a software developer.
    Thanks for comparing me with Charlie Demerjian, he wrote for example this article which in the end resulted in Apple, Dell et all suing nVidia over their improper underfill used for several series of GPU's, causing endless problems with dying GPU's, especially in laptops for end-users.

    Very nice recommendation, thank you! It really shows when one guy out of Adobe can write a software updater in his spare time that works better than their own!

    You actually believe that is the case for most large corporate networks? Boy do I have some bad news for you, one of the main reasons I wrote this article is from the point of the view of a big corporation. Because I work in one and there the Adobe updater surely does not work well unless you make the end-users local administrators of their own systems. And let me just refrain from explaining what a nightmare that would be! (And yes, I'm aware there are ways around this, but I'm not the IT guy at the company I work for).
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,975   +2,527

    Well, I suppose you could say in Adobe's Flash Updater's defense, at least it updates the flash player. Which is a lot more than can be said of of Adobe's "adobeupdate.exe" in general.

    I don't know if I saw it here, or in another thread, but someone asked the question, "why doesn't Adobe use one updater for all its programs.

    Silly goose, that's because "adobeupdate.exe", should really be called, "adobeadware.exe". What it does, more than patch programs, (which it does all too rarely), is bring Adobe's advertising messages directly to your desktop.

    Since each program has a different purpose, it stands to reason, that each program requires slightly different adware.

    As far as the Flash updater goes, it seems to me if you check "automatically update Adobe Flash Player", then it seems you'll automatically get Google Chrome and a Google toolbar rammed up your kister. And sorry, that's a possibility, or perhaps an eventuality, I absolutely plan on avoiding.
  9. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,957   +214

    captaincranky enabling the silent auto updates wont bring you Chrome or the Google toolbar silently.
    But it wont update to new point releases silently either, instead it will bring you that download prompt which takes you to a page where they are preselected for download.
    And yea, I wrote this "Would it really be so hard to release one updater that handles all your software? I guess it boils down to whether or not your company likes to release bloated crap."
  10. Just use PSI from "secunia.com". It has the ability to silent update all adobe flash versions installed
  11. avoidz

    avoidz TS Guru Posts: 460   +56

  12. The BIG problem is, many companies are scared s****less about stuff that does not work / apply to MS standard... :( :( this means they only trust the 'big software' even thougn it is &%$£!!!

    yes, all the techs use the good alternatives, but it is the clueless men in suits, that are defining this policy, because MS says it is recognised!!! so we HAVE to use IE, adobe, etc.... and reader is the biggest poop I have to make sure of updates... :(
  13. Do you blame the big suits for hanging on to 'what works' (or did work at one time) or 'good enough'? If you're talking about thousands of workstations being updated, then trying a new app becomes a very frightening proposition if you don't know what it's faults are. While it may run fine in a limited environment or on a few systems, that may be very different when it's deployed to thousands. I can see their willingness to keep with what they know well and not wanting to rock the boat. Change is good...in moderation... ;)
  14. havok585

    havok585 TS Booster Posts: 155   +27

    Agree, while HTML5 may be a better solution for laptops, in terms of performance and quality, Flash wins, just try using youtube with html5 on one browser and another with flash plugin, u will see html5 has jerky playback vs flash smooth as silk (full HD ) playback !!
  15. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    HTML5 will be huge when youtube switches its player from flash over to HTML5. The new look and flat player doesnt work on IE8 but on Chrome and firefox and ie 10 it does. They just need IE8 to lose ground and then they push HTML5 then this will be the basis for others to switch over.
  16. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,715   +3,696

    Not well enough to counter-act the disruption of their commercials.
  17. It would be nice to have the adobe grouping, ungrouped and shown vulnerabilities by product.
    I think it would be less vulnerable than itunes however I haven't seen news bashing Apple here...

    "Vendors of products with the Top 10 vulnerabilities, Q3 2012"

    Which one are the "others" ? They took care in showing Android 2% and Flash 3% but not displaying which are the rest 11%? Statisticts manipulation?

  18. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    ugh u cant embed commercials in html5?
  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,975   +2,527

    So both update buttons do exactly the same thing? That's a big load off my mind, and yet all at once, monumentally stupid...:confused:
    Oh, I use the biggest piece of Adobe bloatware in existence, Photoshop Elements. Adobe has a captive audience for this offering, and an audience without much computer savvy. It's now programmed "offshore", it's never patched, just replaced on an almost yearly basis. People can't wait to throw a hundred bucks each year at Adobe, for only the most minute of feature additions.

    The "experts" in their forum recommend storing all your images in "C/:", "My Documents", "My Pictures". I can't process the logic in that, you know, like in case you have to reformat, but I was assured that's the way to go. I haven't posted there in a while, and I quit buying the program after PSE-7. As Roberto Duran so famously said, "no mas".

    Adobe changed from M$ data base, to the free SQLite. (@ PSE-6, I believe) Couple that with sloppy programming, and you have a photo organizer section that takes, (literally), 5 times as long to import photos and put up their thumbnails, as did earlier versions.
  20. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,715   +3,696

    To be honest I couldn't tell you what they can or can not embed. Youtube is currently showing commercials with their videos. I don't see this changing with the use of HTML5. As far as I'm concerned all the pros are thrown off the table as soon as the first commercial is shown regardless of whether it is Flash or HTML5.
  21. Polaco

    Polaco TS Rookie Posts: 46   +8

    So.. what would be your approach to avoid youtube showing commercials? how would you make it a profitable product/service? making people pay a subscription fee?
    or are we just going to complain about everything that is there for free?

    people love to complaint, love to criticize, however in the majority of cases no one makes a constructive contribution just detracts others efforts to make them self feel better than what they are...
  22. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,715   +3,696

    My approach is rarely watching videos on Youtube. The day Youtube started showing ads was the day I started avoiding Youtube. To be honest, I don't have a problem with advertising. It's the fuc--king sh--it they advertise that drives me crazy. Especially when they show the same stup-id commercial over and over.

    But the topic of Youtube is drifting from the OP topic. Lets get back to Adobe and their updater.
  23. Macromedia rules!
  24. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,922   +630

    Made me chuckle. :)

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