You may have noticed that I don’t like Adobe, and when thinking about it I really should put down the reasons why.

1. Support: Horrible support on linux.

My first blog post here was on the topic that Adobe flash was horrific, constantly crashing all the time, extremely laggy, it didn’t seem like an application that had a multi-billion dollar company behind it, and while it might be a little better now there’s still various software applications that Adobe makes that don’t run well on systems other than Windows.

To quote Steve Jobs, > Flash is a cross platform development tool. It is not Adobe’s goal to help developers write the best iPhone, iPod and iPad apps. It is their goal to help developers write cross platform apps. And Adobe has been painfully slow to adopt enhancements to Apple’s platforms. For example, although Mac OS X has been shipping for almost 10 years now, Adobe just adopted it fully (Cocoa) two weeks ago when they shipped CS5. Adobe was the last major third party developer to fully adopt Mac OS X.

http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughts-on-flash/

They really don’t care about making great software or making it integrate well with the environment around it, don’t expect support unless you’re windows.

HTML5 on the other hand is platform independent and an open standard so it plays on windows as well as it plays on ubuntu.

2. Sup I’m Adobe Reader, where’s the food?

Adobe Reader X is nearly 43MBs.

Firefox 4 is 13MB, and I can tell you Firefox 4 does a hell of a lot more than Adobe Reader X, which is only meant to do one thing: Read PDFs.

There are many other PDF readers which are less bloated, and from that more responsive and faster to load than Adobe Reader.

In particular:

Windows: Foxit Reader: http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/reader/
Linux: Evince: http://projects.gnome.org/evince/

3. 3rd party plugin

What happens if the browser you’re using doesn’t have that 3rd party plugin available for it…? Trying to build a web for everyone, not everyone who has adobe on their systems.

4. Security? never heard of it.

Adobes track record when it comes to security is quite laughable.

“PDF exploits are usually the first ones attempted by attackers,” said Mary Landesman, a ScanSafe senior security researcher, referring to the multi-exploit hammering that hackers typically give visitors to malicious Web sites. “Attackers are choosing PDFs for a reason. It’s not random. They’re establishing a preference for Reader exploits.”

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9157438/Rogue_PDFs_account_for_80_of_all_exploits_says_researcher

There really is nothing else to say, Adobe Flash and Adobe Reader increase your attack surface massively.

5. Adobe Flexnet

Adobe in your boot loader? It’s more likely than you think.

“Colin Watson, one of the Ubuntu developers, published in his blog information about Windows applications making GRUB 2 unbootable. Users of dual-boot Windows/Linux installations may face the problem, which boils down to particular Windows applications (Colin does not name them, but users point at least to HP ProtectTools, PC Angel, Adobe Flexnet) blindly overwriting hard disk content between the MBR and the first partition destroying information already stored there, in this particular case — the ‘core image’ of GRUB 2 (GRand Unified Bootloader) making the system unbootable.”

http://linux.slashdot.org/story/10/08/28/2112208/Some-Windows-Apps-Make-GRUB-2-Unbootable

6. Security: Adobe Reader + Adobe Flash

http://www.google.com/search?q=adobe+flash+security+vulnerability

Need I say more?

7. Security: “Flash cookies/Super cookies”

Cookies are fine, they have plenty of uses, but sometimes people take things a little to far:

  • Stay on your computer for an unlimited amount of time
  • Store 100 kb of data by default, with an unlimited max
  • Couldn’t be deleted by your browser
  • Send previous visit information and history, by default, without your permission

http://www.imasuper.com/66/technology/flash-cookies-the-silent-privacy-killer/

Thanks adobe! :/

There’s more but I can’t really be bothered, the above is more than enough incentive for me to avoid Adobe like the plague.