IT'S TIME to dig out your favourite browser-based games for one last time because Adobe has announced that it will end support for Shockwave on 9 April.
The long-expected shutdown was announced by Adobe, which cites newer tech such as HTML5 Canvas and WebGL as the main reason for pushing the button on Shockwave's sunset.
"As technologies evolve and the use of mobile devices has grown, interactive content has moved to platforms such as HTML5 Canvas and Web GL and usage of Shockwave has declined," it said in an email to users.
Back in the day, in the late nineties and early noughties, Shockwave revolutionised the web, offering games, videos and other interactive content at a time when HTML wasn't capable of more than static text and jpegs.
It was also hugely popular for offering additional content in a CD-ROM format, such as adding the video to a song as part of the release of a single.
Adobe picked up Shockwave in 2005, as part of its takeover of Macromedia Software, but even at that stage, developers had started to switch to newer technology. By 2008, Adobe was advising users to switch to Flash or Adobe Air instead.
The move will see any content rendered in Shockwave cease to be supported after this date, as part of a wider move to kill off its web plugins, ending with the tire yard blaze that is Flash next year. It's likely that browsers will withdraw support for rendering Shockwave content quickly after its end of life, rendering such content dead.
Shockwave's death has been long expected. Adobe points out that this is the final stage of a previously announced wind-down for Shockwave. Abode Director, which provided a way for users to design content was killed off in February 2017, followed a month later by the Shockwave Player for MacOS.
The company adds: "Adobe continues to offer a rich set of content creation tools through Creative Cloud, including Adobe Animate for authoring interactive content for multiple platforms, such HTML5 Canvas, WebGL, Flash/Adobe AIR, and others."
The reference to Flash is a little odd, given that it, too, is on the chopping block very soon and is already disabled by default on all major browsers. μ
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