Over the past decade, Flash has gradually lost market share in browser-based interactive applications, being replaced by open web standards such as HTML5, WebGL, and WebAssembly. This is due to their wider compatibility with a wide range of browsers, devices and environments to meet user demand and improve security.

This decline has led to Adobe officially stops supporting and distributing Flash Player and Flash has also been disabled in most modern web browsers.

However, Flash retains a significant audience in a variety of long-term enterprise applications, video games and creative content.

In these circumstances, when further use of Flash through modern browsers is no longer possible, many people and organizations are looking for ways to extend the life of their content, for example, by convert Flash to HTML5.

How to continue accessing Flash content

Complete rewriting of Flash in HTML5 is often too costly, impossible (if the application is third-party) or impractical. However, there are several alternatives:

CheerpX for flash

CheerpX for Flash is essentially a library of JavaScript / WebAssembly middleware that converts any Flash page into pure HTML5.

CheerpX for Flash is compatible with any Flash application, is completely static and is serviced via HTTP and is a completely standalone host. By adding CheerpX for Flash to any existing Flash application, it makes it available to any standard modern browser without a local Flash installation.

Ruffles

Ruffles is an open source Flash Player emulator written in Rust and supported by the community. Ruffle works in all modern browsers using WebAssembly and is primarily focused on supporting video games and creative content. It is only partially compatible with AS3 (the vast majority of “sophisticated” Flash applications) and does not support Flex / Spark applications.

Remote / Proxy Browsers and Citrix

Another option is to run a proxy browser on a remote virtual machine using a Citrix-like approach. This relies on the use of a remote old browser with Flash support, remote control of it and “broadcast” its output. This option is not available for internal applications (unless an internal Citrix or Citrix architecture is present) and has a high infrastructure cost for each user.

Packed browser

“Packed browsers” are essentially applications that wrap around (usually obsolete) the browser engine along with Flash Player, which is blocked for a specific Flash web application. They are deployed as standalone applications, so must be installed by the end user and available as a desktop application. They are usually only used for internal applications.

Conclusion

Modern web standards have surpassed Flash in their capabilities and offer a much more continuous experience, without security and performance issues. Despite the long-awaited demise of Adobe Flash in 2021, some content owners may still not have made the much-needed transition from Flash to HTML5 due to cost and practicality.

We hope this guide and list of alternatives will be helpful in moving to new web standards.

Alternatives to Rewriting Flash Applications in HTML5

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