Replace Flash with HTML 5

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas


Adobe's have announced that they will no longer be pushing flash development instead recognising that HTML 5 replaces much of the functionality that was once provided by Flash.


Please can Canvas remove the need for Flash across its Web platform as part of core functionality and replace it with HTML 5?


Comments from Instructure

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Community Champion

I agree!

Flash is a hacker's best friend. HTML5 is much more secure, and considerably more versatile.

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

This idea has moved to the next stage and will be open for voting among the Canvas Community, from Wed. January 6, 2016 - Wed. April 6, 2016.

Check out this doc for additional details about how the voting process works!

Community Novice

I good idea - needs doing!

Community Champion

Standardization and security across all platforms used for accessing the web, why would we ever want or need that? All kidding aside, this is a great idea.


Hi Joe,

As the product manager for BigBlueButton (I work at Blindside Networks), I can share some thoughts on this as the BigBlueButton client is written in Flash.

Upon looking at the announcement it states they are increasing their support for HTML5. 

Our customers have clearly communicated that they would like our creative applications to evolve to support multiple standards and we are committed to doing that.

It's clear Adobe wants to have both parts of the market: Flash and non-Flash based web applications. 

In terms of browser support, it's interesting to note that Microsoft now includes Flash in Microsoft Edge (the default browser with Windows 10).  See

where it states

Is Adobe Flash supported in Microsoft Edge?

Yes, Adobe Flash is supported as a built-in feature of Microsoft Edge. We continue to work closely in partnership with Adobe to provide this version of Flash, which we support and service via Windows Update.

This means if your using Windows 10 and Edge,  you'll have the latest version of Flash automatically built-in (no need to download it).  This is similar to what Google does with Chrome.

I am personally all for web standards. 

Today, you can run the BigBlueButton Flash client on all four major browsers: IE, Safari, FireFox, and Chrome on the desktop, laptop, or ChromeBook.  We work very hard to make sure "it just works". 

We're working on a version of the BigBlueButton client for HTML5 (no Flash).  We're also working on a version of the BigBlueButton client for iOS and Android devices.  Yes, we are working on *three* different clients to make sure you have the widest possible choice.  We gave an update on our progress at InstructureCon 2015 -- here a link to my presentation: Road Map for BigBlueButton - YouTube).  ​Look for more updates at InstructureCon 2016.

There are challenges, however, with HTML5 when it comes to broadcasting audio.

In BigBlueButton, we use a combination of both web real-time communications (WebRTC) in the browser and Flash to enable the user to broadcast their audio.

Today, when a user uses FireFox or Chrome, BigBlueButton taps into the browser's support for WebRTC to broadcast the user's audio (it's pretty good audio).  For Safari and IE users, there is no WebRTC support available so BigBlueButton use Flash-based audio.  This all happens seamlessly to the user.

Looking ahead, Microsoft has stated they intend to support the newer version of WebRTC 1.1 (currently in development) in Edge (see blog post), and we'll build in support for it in BigBlueButton Flash client and HTML5 client when it's there.  

Apple, however, doesn't support WebRTC in Safari today, nor can I find any indication of their intent to do so.   No WebRTC in Safari means no ability for any HTML5 application to broadcast audio.

I am very hopeful that Apple will fully support the WebRTC standard in the future.  It would give us the ability to move to HTML5 even faster. 

Until then, we'll continue to improve the BigBlueButton Flash client *and* work on releasing a BigBlueButton HTML5 client to give users the widest possible choices.

Regards,... Fred

BigBlueButton Product Manager

Community Champion

Thanks for the detailed update, Fred!

Community Novice

Great response Fred,

Many thanks for such a detailed explanation. Very helpful and good to know this is on the agenda for BBB.


Community Contributor

Awesome Fred. Looking Forward Smiley Happy  @farbelaez ​

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

As Fred has noted, there are still some considerations that may keep Canvas in Flash-land for a while longer, but it IS something we have been actively advocating for and working toward. Most recently, we eliminated Flash from Files in Canvas and upgraded to HTML5 for the video player in Canvas. We don't yet have a good solution for replacing Flash for the Media upload workflow, but we are looking for alternatives and will definitely make the move when the time is right. We will archive this idea for now since it's already on our radar. Thanks, all!

Community Team
Community Team
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