Adobe announced on July 25, 2017 that it will “end-of-life” Flash Player in 2020 and named WebGL— a widely-deployed, royalty-free web API standard for 2D and 3D graphics—as a successor to enable the next phase of rich interactive applications in your browser.
“… as open standards like HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly have matured over the past several years, most now provide many of the capabilities and functionalities that plugins pioneered and have become a viable alternative for content on the web. Over time, we’ve seen helper apps evolve to become plugins, and more recently, have seen many of these plugin capabilities get incorporated into open web standards. Today, most browser vendors are integrating capabilities once provided by plugins directly into browsers and deprecating plugins …
… we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats.”
As indicated by Adobe, WebGL is a very capable successor to Flash’s 2D interactive graphics capability, that additionally offers high-performance 3D and GPU acceleration - enabling a new era of rich visualization, gaming and Virtual Reality on the Web.
Where Flash is a plug-in, WebGL is implemented directly in the browser, providing greater security and convenience through eliminating the need to download a plug-in and keep it updated with security patches.
Concisely, Khronos’ WebGL offers fast, pervasive 2D and 3D graphics on the Web today - directly in the browser on your phone and desktop. The Khronos Group created WebGL by enabling the GPU and browser vendors to work closely together, and we are excited to be a recognized leader in the evolution of interactive graphics.
Want to get started with WebGL? The WebGL Insights Book, the most comprehensive, advanced WebGL book out there, is free and now available for download. Find it at http://webglinsights.com/.