Adobe threatened to sunset Flash for years but each year, the death sentence was commuted.
Just when we thought that Flash would go on, along came December 2020. Adobe followed through and ended support for Flash on December 31, 2020. Many eLearning developers didn't panic because the end of Flash simply meant that, while the Flash output would continue to work, it would likely be blocked on more and more systems.
Like the lyrics from that song by the Rolling Stones, "Well, time is on my side, yes it is... time is on my side, yes it is..."
Ummm, no it wasn't.
In early 2021, Adobe started blocking Flash content from playing through most browsers, computers, and devices. Given that development, Captivate developers began scrambling to ensure their legacy projects continued to work.
One way to know if your Captivate project has Flash content is to run the HTML5 Tracker (Project > HTML5 Tracker). If anything shows up in the HTML5 Tracker, it needs to be remediated (deleted or replaced with something non-Flash). That sounds easy but, in reality, remediation might be impossible or take a bunch of time.
Adobe's Allen Partridge wrote an awesome article back in April 2020 titled "Migrating Legacy Flash eLearning Content to HTML5." Partridge's article is as relevant today as the day he wrote it.
Some of the big takeaways from Allen's article:
Factors to consider when updating:
- Is the content still relevant?
- Is the content appearance dated? Does it look old?
- Does the content contain a lot of audio, video, animation, or custom complex interactions?
- How important is updating this content to your overall learning strategy?
- How much budget (in time and resources) do you have to handle the update?
- Would conversion of older content to video suffice?
- Should you leverage the conversion as an opportunity to unify the content with your newest brand standards and learning design strategy?
- Should you take advantage of the update to add support for mobile devices?
Should you remove some of the content?
According to Partridge. "If your content is more than 24 months old, it is highly likely that you should consider seriously either replacing the content with more recently created content, or should revise the content to ensure that it is timely and addresses the actual needs of learners in your organization today. Content grows stale very rapidly. Laws and regulations change frequently, and more than ever before, technologies related to the workplace are substantially altered at an alarming rate."
Steps to Conversion Success
The article includes step-by-step instructions for migrating legacy SWF content to HTML5 including using a stepped approach to upgrading legacy projects, using SVG icons available in the Assets area instead of dated images, and a clever suggestion to make a video out of the project and make it an interactive video in Captivate 2019.
Here's a link to the full article,
And if you've got a project loaded with Flash content that needs to be replaced, send me an email ([email protected]). I've got experienced developers who can help!