Occupy HTML!

The movement to rid the world of HTML purism

The Manifesto

Flash is mature. It's supported by all major desktop browsers. It's stable when used properly. If not, it crashes a lot, just like every other technology. It requires constant security updates, just like every other web technology. It doesn't work well on most mobile devices, and for good reasons. It's a content plugin, developed during the era of closed standards and unilateral corporate control of web technology. Websites that rely on Flash can present a unique (and often unparalleled) experience for the massive percentage of users on a desktop browser. Flash powers some amazing experiences that work consistently across all of the major browsers in a way that cannot be replicated without Flash technology.

Championing simplistic statements regarding web technologies makes the web less educated.
At this point, it's holding back the web.

Our goal: To get the world to embrace the best web technologies available to create the best user experiences possible.

Why, you ask? Why does it matter, when Adobe has already refocused the platform by ceasing development on Flash on mobile devices? Why does it matter when HTML5 is actively being developed to be the core of future web browsing? Well, as we've seen with other web technologies (most notably the still-in-development HTML5), as long as browsers withhold support for features, there will be a contingent of users who desire richer, more interactive experiences, and there will be a requirement of additional features, not supported by the browsers, the plugin will live on, and folks will continue to develop for it. For these reasons, Adobe is still sticking with Flash as a desktop browsing technology.

The only way to provide the best user experiences on the web is to embrace the technologies and standards that are best suited to the task at hand.

Now let's be clear: Enabling Flash Player in your browser will likely mean that some of the sites you use regularly are totally usable (We're looking at you, Google Analytics. Why do you expect most people will be looking at your site on a flash-enabled browser? It's almost like your analytics tell you that!). Should you choose to continue using Flash, there will be little or no pain and sacrifice involved in your decision. But the more of us who run browsers that support emerging web technologies, including HTML5, the quicker our experiences will become even better.

Note: This is not a campaign against W3C, or even their emerging HTML5 standard. We know there are plenty of good uses for it, such as building great web applications, for example. In fact, Adobe has stated they believe HTML5 is the future of web browsing. We're simply trying to help them get there a little more proudly. (Sidenote: Adobe, if you're reading this, how about manning-up and communicating to the public your intentions more clearly, like Matt Gemmell did with a much better version of your recent announcement regarding Flash.)

Note: this site has no corporate backing, and is not a lobbying effort of any sort. Sad that we have to say that, but the accusations have arisen.

Another Note: This campaign is in no way meant to belittle the efforts of the more important Occupy movements currently going on. Except for the one obvious one (*wink*). We understand we are fairly shamelessly co-opting populist terminology. And for that matter, we're not really occupying anything. More like educating. Regardless, we love the idea of normal people taking on popular buzzwords in the interest of the population at large.

Credit Where Credit's Due: If you're coming here without having seen Occupy Flash, you should check it out. We're not on board with their message, but we liked their design, development, and copywriting so much we shamelessly co-opted it for ours. They've been good sports about it, too.

Stop the Fight!

Here are a few ways you can help rid the world of HTML purism

Understand the Flash Player plugin

First, look at the box below. Do you have Flash installed?

If yes, you're good; you get the best of both worlds. If not, there's plenty of sites that are optimized for modern browsers and don't require Flash.

Spread the Word

Let people know about this site:

Develop for web using the best technology available

If you're a web developer, and the choice is yours, choose to embrace the most appropriate technology on future projects. If you have lingering Flash dependency on existing sites that can be transitioned to a Flash-less site without losing too much of the experience, upgrade them to use more modern standards. If you're doing stuff that just isn't possible or economically viable without Flash, use Flash. It's that simple.

Help less technically-oriented people understand web technologies

Most of us have parents, grandparents and non-tech-savvy friends and relatives who are running setups that are way outdated. Many of these folks don't even know what Flash or HTML5 are. Explain the issue to them. Let them know why some websites are built to work on the desktop, while others are built to work on mobile; it's better this way. And if they are willing to make the leap, help them install a modern browser and upgrade their systems - they're probably not gonna do it on their own.

Upgrade your browser

This point is not strictly a part of supporting Flash throughout the world, but it's an equally important thing you can do to help the cause of modern web standards. If it is within your control, update to the latest version. Especially if you're using Internet Explorer version 8 or below.

Petition your IT department

If you believe in the cause of making the web a better place, let your IT department know you can do more with a modern browser. Have them update your browser to the latest version :-)