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The importance of an open platform

The shifts in the ability to communicate information with greater effectiveness, reach and quality almost always break down the barriers to access. There are countless examples of them, spanning from printing books in vernacular languages to the creation of the internet by Tim Berners-Lee.

One recent advancement has been the ability to access the internet from mobile devices. More than being able to check the traffic reports while in the car, it has made accessing the internet cheaper. As a result mobile internet has proved to be hugely popular in developing nations.

Yet much of the internet is not available for mobile devices, with websites opting for higher quality websites that relatively primitive browsers and processing abilities of a mobile device cannot handle.

Adobe’s Flash products had been a big part of this problem, a company that frequently claimed that devices that did not take on their mobile flash would not have access to ‘the full web’. With much online media requiring a flash plugin, from interactive reports from the BBC to online games, Adobe were not far from wrong.

The plugins would often consume a large amount of processing power and battery life, additionally they were often unreliable with security issues that would take time to solve. New platforms would also be dependent on Adobe to develop to adopt new enhancements.

After pressure from Apple, Adobe announced that it would abandon Flash, giving preference for codes such as HTML5, CSS and Java. These are platforms that are more friendly for mobile devices but are also open to developers. This means that visual, interactive and dynamic websites are not just more accessible but also cheaper and easier to create. In short, providing communication with greater quality, reach and effectiveness.

Our online editor Chris Hutchinson has been pivotal to ensuring that our website avoids the use of Flash were ever possible. This is something we will continue to do to ensure that our products are available on the widest array of platforms possible.

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