Adobe Flash creates an extra layer of content on top of the open web. No wonder it is loathed by all open web enthusiasts. It is full of security vulnerabilities, requiring patches after every few days. However, there are some things it does really well (think flash video). With the advent of HTML 5, all the reasons to use Adobe Flash are dying fast, and Adobe can sense it too.
In its roadmap for Flash runtimes, Adobe made it clear that it is not going to develop Flash for Linux anymore. Flash Player will not be available for a direct download from Adobe. Instead, Adobe is relying on Google Chrome to release Adobe Flash bundled with their browser product.
Adobe has been working closely with Google to develop a single, modern API for hosting plug-ins within the browser. The PPAPI, code-named “Pepper”, aims to provide a layer between the plug-in and browser that abstracts away differences between browser and operating system implementations. You can find more information on the Pepper API at http://code.google.com/p/ppapi/.
Google Chrome already runs Adobe Flash in a sandbox, and the Pepper API will allow it to go cross-platform with its plugin support. Moreover, the Pepper API will provide Flash for both x86 and x64 installations, although Adobe killed Flash for x64 Linux desktops back in June 2010.
Google Chrome will start including the peppered Flash Player later this year. The canonical version of the code for Pepper API has already been moved to the Chromium subversion repository. However, with the size of the Google Chrome bundle already being an issue, I wonder how bloating it further will help anyone.