Eject to Flash - Safari Extension mini review

A few months ago I decided to uninstall Flash from my MacBook Pro. I did this for 3 reasons:

  1. I work at a digital marketing agency and I need to test how our client’s websites look to people without Flash.
  2. All Mac’s now ship without Flash pre-installed, so more people are getting the sans-Flash experience.
  3. iPad. Lot’s of people using them.
  4. I personally find Flash annoying in most situations. There’s a place for it, but it’s abused too much online.

The way I went about it was following the advice of John Gruber at Daring Fireball. He recommends getting rid of Flash on your Mac, which means Safari (and any other app) won’t have the plug in, and then installing Google Chrome to see Flash based websites when required. Chrome comes with its own version of Flash independent of the system.

This setup works very well. The only downside is that whenever I landed on a page that required Flash that I wanted to see I had to open the page in Chrome. Doing this from Safari is relatively easy by going to Develop -> Open Page With -> Google Chrome.1

However, having to click on a menu item, move down, wait for the submenu to open, move right, then click, gets annoying after a few times.

I tried setting up a keyboard shortcut for this, but it didn’t work reliably as the name of the browsers in the Develop menu include version numbers. Each time they change the shortcut breaks. Which was also annoying.

Luckily I came cross a Safari extension called Eject to Flash that sets up a button on the toolbar that does exactly as expected. You click on it and it opens the page in Chrome. I installed it a few weeks ago and it’s worked as advertised. Simple and I think easier than other solutions.

  1. To activate the Develop menu, open Safari Preferences and in the Advanced tab there’s a checkbox to show it. ?


Blurb books without Flash... only on iOS?

Blurb is a company that prints books on demand allowing consumers to self-publish. It's a great idea. Also really cool is that you can see previews of the books online. However, these previews require you to have Adobe's Flash player installed.

This wasn't that much of an issue in pre-iOS days, but since the iPhone and iPad cannot view Flash content, it's a good idea for sites to at least have a non-Flash version. Those annoying "missing plug-in" messages are bad and give consumers a terrible experience.

Well, Blurb did the right thing and you can actually see previews on an iPad, and they look beautiful.

However, it seems the non-Flash version works only if you view from an iOS browser. I don't have Flash installed in my MacBook Pro as that's the way they now ship from Apple. I need to test sites as a normal person (ie. my mom) would see them, so I decided to live without Flash and downloaded Chrome for when I need it (got the tip on Daring Fireball).

Well, visiting a Blurb book preview from Safari on my MacBook Pro gives me a dreaded "Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player". I just don't understand why they would do this. If they've already built a non-Flash version why not just display that if no Flash plugin is detected? Seems like a no brainer to me.