In November 2012 the Mozilla Foundation announced “Project Shumway”, an effort to create a “web-native runtime implementation of the SWF file format.”
Two-and-a-bit years, and a colossal number of Flash bugs later, Shumway has achieved an important milestone by appearing in a Firefox nightly, a step that suggests it's getting closer to inclusion in the browser.
Shumway's been available as a plugin for some time, and appears entirely capable of handling the SWF files.
Few average users know of Shumway's existence, never mind seek it out. So the inclusion of the software in Firefox's nightlies will give it greater exposure. For now the code can only play certain videos hosted on Amazon.com, but developers intend to expand the list of sites from which Shumway will play SWF files.
For now, Shumway-in-Firefox-nightlies works only on Windows Vista or later versions of Windows, and OSX. But expanded support is promised.
When it arrives in a full version of Firefox, it will mean that about 15.1 per cent of all web surfing won't need Flash (based on W3counter market share data).
Flash is a security nightmare that we recently suggested deserves to rot in an unmarked grave.
Mozilla looks to be giving it a welcome shove in just that direction. ®