But how unstable is Flash really?

You probably read that  Steve Jobs officially declared Flash a stability nightmare and that Adobe’s CEO responded that OS X is to blame. Hard to take sides in this blame-game, especially without access to Apple’s crash reports data. We do, however, have access to Mozilla’s crash-stats.mozilla.com. Could those figures provide us with at least some relevant statistics about Flash’s reliability?

I imported this csv-file with the top 300 crashers for Firefox 3.6.3 for the last 50 days (3.6.3 was released on April 1th) into a Google Docs spreadsheet and counted the number of crashes for each line where “Flash” or “NPSWF32” is in the signature (SUMIF without wildcard characters, seriously Google!?). You can find the spreadsheet here, but these are the results:

total number crash reports for top 300 crashers:3583582
crash reports with “NPSWF32” or “Flash” in signature:1154488
flash-related crashes %:32.22%

That’s right; almost 1/3 of the Firefox 3.6.3 “top crashers” are clearly related to Flash! So yes, there is good reason to consider plugins in general and Flash in particular a stability risk for Firefox. And for the record, the numbers for Mac seem to indicate that the problem is even (much) worse there! So hurray for Firefox 3.6.4 with Out of Process Plugins! And hey Adobe, get your Flash together!

5 thoughts on “But how unstable is Flash really?

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention But how unstable is Flash really? | futtta's blog -- Topsy.com

  2. Best Flash Stock

    Maybe it is not flash player problem. Maybe FF has problem with plugin.

    What IE statistic tells about flash player?

    I think all stuff about Stiv, Apple and adobe is just money making battle, and they give lazy excuses to public.

    Reply
    1. frank Post author

      although -as far as i know- mozilla is the only organization to make stats like these public, there are indications that this indeed is a adobe flash problem and not a firefox one:

      apple indeed claims there are serious reliability problems with flash
      searching for “internet explorer crash flash” on google yields a ton of results
      google recently confirmed flash crashes are “a large issue” in chrome, despite the fact that google chrome now ships with flash
      there’s at least one known flash stability bug that was unresolved for over a year

      given this and the fact that adobe has never been able to provide evidence of the contrary, this really looks like a problem with flash (which hopefully is solved with 10.1).

      Reply
  3. James

    My browser often crashes and when I revisit the page and check the properties of the ad or gadget, it always seems to be flash. Over a year since I bought my computer and the same problems are still happening which leads me to believe that Adobe don’t spend much time fixing anything

    Reply

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