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   The Big Deal With Flash   luizmonteiro.com is your source for:
Online Aviation Instrument Simulators
Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

What is flash?
Flash is a type of programming language mostly geared towards animation in websites. It is extremely easy to implement and it allows programmers to quickly build applications that look and function great in minimal time.

Why are we having to unblock Flash in browsers?
Adobe (which owns Flash) has announced it will stop supporting and updating flash in 2020 and the makers of web browsers are "encouraging" websites (like luizmonteiro.com) to "migrate" (in effect recreate from scratch) their Flash programs in other languages such as HTML 5. To accomplish the "encouraging" part, Flash is being slowed down, limited or even crippled. In addition to this, the user has to go through multiple cumbersome steps to enable Flash, in many cases, every time they visit the website.

What are the reasons Flash is being retired?
The official reason that is being given is that Flash slows down computers and poses a security risk. While both are partly true, this is a bit misleading and only part of the story.

In regards to slowing down computers -- Flash was really designed for desktop computers at a time tablets, as we know them, didn't even exist. In order to make Flash such an easy and powerful language for programmers, energy efficiency and processor optimization were not as relevant in the design. As tablets, smart phones and laptops became more common, long battery life depended on extremely optimized and processor efficient programming, which is great, but comes at the cost of time and resources. The makers of tablets and smart phones hate a world with Flash because that means a shorter battery life for their products. For desktops, however, this increase in power consumption is negligeable and mostly irrelevant. So why not let desktops use Flash? Perhaps because desktops are assumed to be replaced by tablets, when they are still important -- particulary in the technical and engineering fields.

In regards to security -- Flash is a powerful language and like anything that is powerful, it can be misused by bad actors. But why should reputable sites suffer because of this? Users should be able to make the choice of enabling Flash on sites they trust. Browsers could do a better job at detecting malicious behavior. It is very frustrating and unfair when users that visit our website, get notifications that the site is unsafe and risky content has been blocked.

For developers, what is the advantage of Flash as compared to HTML 5?
Programming with Flash is sort of like being able to build a city with prefabricated buildings and infrastructure. In contrast, programming with HTML 5 is like having to design and make each brick, screw, light switch etc, and then assemble these into every building that would make up the city. While the second method allows each building to be constructed perfectly with every attention to detail, the city may never be built unless vast resources of time and money are devoted. Case and point are the simulators at luizmonteiro.com, which will not be rebuilt in HTML 5 with the limited resources we have. Small developers such as ourselves may not exist in the HTML 5 world. Small developers are important because many niche products such as the Navigation Simulators don't have enough demand for the larger developers to take interest in.

If Flash is no longer supported, is this the end of luizmonteiro.com?
It will probably be devastating to the website functionality because none of our simulators would work on modern web browsers. Fortunately, most of the Javascript calculators and the Navigation Simulator (which is a standalone application that runs on Windows) may still work. Everything is very uncertain. We can only hope browsers allow users to have the choice to use Flash if they wish to do so on their desktops and laptops for websites they trust.




  Navigation Simulator
Practice in our simulator specifically designed for learning the basics of instrument navigation. Try the Navigation Simulator, available for Windows. Free to try fully functional version for 10 days, $39.95 to buy.

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