Adobe Flash Player replacement "Shumway" lands in Firefox 27

Death knell for Adobe Flash Player?

Shumway has landed in the nightlies, but has yet to debut in Aurora.

Mozilla has taken one giant step closer to making Adobe's Flash Player a thing of the past with the inclusion of their own HTML5 Flash Player called "Shumway".

Shumway landed in Firefox 27 nightly, which has yet to make the Aurora branch, and according to our own tests, even though Shumway can be loaded (it's disabled by default) it's in a "pretty much unusable state" right now.

Adobe Flash Player has a long history of being plagued with bugs, and many users opt not to install it at all; so being able to play Flash without the normal player is a big step forward for security, as well as on mobile devices which don't support Flash natively.

Shumway is a HTML5 technology experiment that explores building a faithful and efficient renderer for the SWF file format without native code assistance. Shumway is community-driven and supported by Mozilla. Their goal is to create a general-purpose, web standards-based platform for parsing and rendering SWFs. Full integration with Firefox is a possibility if the experiment proves successful.

If you want to test it out for yourself, download the latest nightly from http://nightly.mozilla.org and then navigate to about:config > find  “shumway.disabled” and set to false, then disable Flash in Tools > Add-ons. As pointed out, Shumway still has a ways to go before it can fully replace Adobe Flash Player.

Via: Gemal.dk

Alex (The_Decryptor) contributed to this article, why not post your findings in the Meet Firefox Next forum thread?

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43 Comments

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_Alexander said,
Everyone at Adobe is laughing their asses off.

Is that before or after they've cancelled all of their credit cards, removed & replaced their login credentials & enrolled in both credit monitoring & identity theft protection services?

NOTE: If uncertain as to the nature of this question, I've prepared a "guaranteed safe & ever-so-convenient" Q&A PDF with absolutely positively cross-my-heart & hope-to-die bonafide security validation right here => LINK ... (really, I promise, it's OK to click on this!)

"Shunway lands in firefox 27"

...face plant. I have to say it isn't very usable right now. I hope it improves in leaps and bounds though.

“shumway.disabled”
= false/true

The way some programmers think really frustrates me.

I think if you're adding a feature, an 'enabled' property would sound more appropriate.
It's these semantics that we really need to agree upon.

First pdf, next flash... browser are becoming the "One application" via javascript integrated apps (what's next? music players? office documents? video editors? firefox even already have an OS...)

Browsers are slowly becoming a "jack of all trades", is the future really everything in javascript and html 5? or is this just hype that will fade in time?

Since a few Flash updates ago, my headphones (G930) started having issues with Flash; stereo sound only played on the left ear. If Shumway fixes that issue for me and offers a better performance, I'm all in favor for their effort. Now I'm too lazy to try the nightly build to see if it actually fixes the issue, but I'll be all over it upon the final build release.

Pupik said,
Since a few Flash updates ago, my headphones (G930) started having issues with Flash; stereo sound only played on the left ear. If Shumway fixes that issue for me and offers a better performance, I'm all in favor for their effort. Now I'm too lazy to try the nightly build to see if it actually fixes the issue, but I'll be all over it upon the final build release.

Try using the Adobe Flash uninstaller and then after installing flash again go in the flash settings in the windows control panel and clear all the cache. That's how I fixed the same issue.

francescob said,

Try using the Adobe Flash uninstaller and then after installing flash again go in the flash settings in the windows control panel and clear all the cache. That's how I fixed the same issue.

Tried and it didn't help. The only thing that solved the problem for me was downgrading Flash to 11.3.300.257, but then Firefox kept complaining that it isn't secure and I need to upgrade it so I upgraded it to shut it up; which brought the issue back.

By the way: fixed the same issue on the same headphones, or on different ones?

Pupik said,

Tried and it didn't help. The only thing that solved the problem for me was downgrading Flash to 11.3.300.257, but then Firefox kept complaining that it isn't secure and I need to upgrade it so I upgraded it to shut it up; which brought the issue back.

By the way: fixed the same issue on the same headphones, or on different ones?


On the G35s but it seems to happen on every headphones or speakers if you keep changing your default audio device. Try repeating again the same procedure, rebooting after each step, and deleting every flash settings folder that is left on disk, that's usually just some issue with flash cached settings.

XerXis said,

that actually works kind of better in internet explorer though


Nobody can beat IE under windows as it has access to the GPU vs. every other browser using the CPU.

Riva said,

Nobody can beat IE under windows as it has access to the GPU vs. every other browser using the CPU.

I'm pretty sure both Firefox and Chrome added support for GPU acceleration long, long time ago. Firefox had prototypes already working before it was even an announced IE feature.

Uh, apps don't "use" the DWM, the DWM is responsible for compositing the desktop, that's it (And it does so by taking the window contents and drawing them, in that sense every app uses the DWM)

francescob said,

I'm pretty sure both Firefox and Chrome added support for GPU acceleration long, long time ago. Firefox had prototypes already working before it was even an announced IE feature.

actually IE9 was announced to support GPU acceleration well before any other browser, and was also the first to be released as RTM.
even today other browsers don't support accelerating as much of the rendering process as IE does.

try to use flash player on IE rather than Firefox, it uses much less CPU and battery life than on Firefox. Even on surface RT video playback of flash videos is perfectly fluid despite the slow tegra3 cpu.

and most important, Flash crashes much less other on win8/IE than on any other browser.

Ehh, we're talking a matter of days for GPU acceleration (The bug for Firefox was opened on the 11th, and the first code was publicly posted on the 19th, while IE9 was announced at PDC 2009 which ran between November 17th and 20th)

Binary wise, Direct2D support landed in Firefox on February 25th 2010, while the first public IE9 release was March 16th, 2010. The final release of Firefox 4 was March 22nd 2011, while IE9 was released on the 14th of March 2011.

Firefox also supports accelerated plugins, whether it's used is up to plugin developers though. Rendering wise it accelerates everything it can (on Windows), the only thing not done on the GPU currently is SVG filters, which is being worked on for CSS Filters (in a cross platform way so it'll work on OS X/Linux with OpenGL, etc.)

francescob said,

I'm pretty sure both Firefox and Chrome added support for GPU acceleration long, long time ago. Firefox had prototypes already working before it was even an announced IE feature.

There is a very large difference between adding hardware acceleration and knowing what you are doing.

Firefox is SLOWER with hardware acceleration enabled, whereas IE11 is significantly FASTER.

Microsoft needs to do the same. My windows PC often crashes because of flash and I even noticed it on my friends Linux machine. Either sandbox it and cut it off from hardware acceleration or kill it. Judging flash performance in Firefox vs. IE11 I have to admit that it performs badly under Firefox.

Riva said,
Microsoft needs to do the same. My windows PC often crashes because of flash and I even noticed it on my friends Linux machine. Either sandbox it and cut it off from hardware acceleration or kill it. Judging flash performance in Firefox vs. IE11 I have to admit that it performs badly under Firefox.

What version of Windows? Because as far as Windows 8/8.1 goes with IE10/11 , MS has been running a custom isolated version of flash inside the browser. You can't even update it from adobe, you have to wait for MS to get the new version, check-it/tweak it and then update it in IE. It makes it much more secure and stable though it still does crash. This time though, at least for me, I've noticed that flash will crash but IE keeps going, this ends up having the effect that flash videos don't play at all, give me a green screen with audio or in many cases on youtube I just get the html5 version. I've never had my whole PC crash though.

Riva said,
Microsoft needs to do the same. My windows PC often crashes because of flash and I even noticed it on my friends Linux machine. Either sandbox it and cut it off from hardware acceleration or kill it. Judging flash performance in Firefox vs. IE11 I have to admit that it performs badly under Firefox.

Time to upgrade the drivers and antivirus? I've never seen a machine where flash was causing the whole OS to crash.

francescob said,

Time to upgrade the drivers and antivirus? I've never seen a machine where flash was causing the whole OS to crash.

My only incompatible drivers at the moment are the ASUS ROG Xonar Phoebus. Apart from that everything else is fine. Antivirus is Windows Defender (I don't browse dodgy sites so I don't need an expensive antivirus that brings an LGA2011 i7 with 32GB RAM to its knees)

Riva said,
Microsoft needs to do the same. My windows PC often crashes because of flash and I even noticed it on my friends Linux machine. Either sandbox it and cut it off from hardware acceleration or kill it. Judging flash performance in Firefox vs. IE11 I have to admit that it performs badly under Firefox.

Le sigh, does the whole computer crash or just the browser?

Riva said,

My only incompatible drivers at the moment are the ASUS ROG Xonar Phoebus. Apart from that everything else is fine. Antivirus is Windows Defender (I don't browse dodgy sites so I don't need an expensive antivirus that brings an LGA2011 i7 with 32GB RAM to its knees)

Have you tried using Windbg on the minidump file to see what driver actually causes the BSOD? You can find a tutorial here http://improve.dk/analyzing-bs...inidump-files-using-windbg/

Flash cannot crash the system on Windows 8. It only takes down the one browser tab. Adblockplus is probably the biggest cause of that as the IE version is still working out the bugs. A far as systems crashing, the wrong graphics driver seems to be a common one. I've been having NVidia driver issues with a new Windows 8 upgrade.

Digitalfox said,
If the goal besides security is to also have better performance, I'm all for it.

That'll never happen. The current state of the PDF reader already says more than enough.

francescob said,

That'll never happen. The current state of the PDF reader already says more than enough.

What's lacking in Firefox's PDF reader?

pratnala said,

What's lacking in Firefox's PDF reader?

Signing, form compiling, adding comments, several printing options and zooming options, etc?
Anyway the post was about the performance and the built-in PDF viewer is nowhere remotely close other PDF readers.

Digitalfox said,
If the goal besides security is to also have better performance, I'm all for it.

Otherwise it's DOA.

Well. It doesn't work on Hulu. So to me this is useless as HTML5 was already working in regular Firefox 24.0.

pratnala said,

What's lacking in Firefox's PDF reader?
The ability to save a PDF without mangling the contents, for one.

francescob said,

Signing, form compiling, adding comments, several printing options and zooming options, etc?

PDF reader in the Firefox focused on web viewing. Just read a PDF document without external plug-in. If you need comprehensive features, you may use Adobe Reader or other full featured reader.

epician said,

PDF reader in the Firefox focused on web viewing. Just read a PDF document without external plug-in. If you need comprehensive features, you may use Adobe Reader or other full featured reader.


It wasn't me asking what it was lacking...

testman said,
The ability to save a PDF without mangling the contents, for one.

Umm... it just initiates a file download so it shouldn't be mangling anything. Anyways I do admit there are issues. I find myself using Adobe Reader from time to time.

testman said,
The ability to save a PDF without mangling the contents, for one.

Not running our of 32-bit memory space after opening a few PDFs?