Flash Use Declines at Top Sites

LOS ANGELES — Web-page speed guru Steve Souders has found that the top 17,000 Web sites have eased off use of Adobe Systems' Flash Player in the last half year, according to a published report.

Souders, who has personally developed several tracking tools, has started showing data collected by his HTTP Archive project, which logs a wide range of statistics about a collection of 17,000 top Web sites, CNET reported.

He began logging data last year but only announced the HTTP Archive at the end of March. The site lets people compare statistics about how Web sites are built from two points in time.

Souders found a 2 percent drop in Flash usage from 49 percent on Nov. 15, 2010, to 47 percent on March 29.

That's not a huge fraction, but it is probably notable given that it took place over only four and a half months.  Souders hopes the archive will be useful for improving Web page performance.

Souders is a Google employee with the unusual title of performance evangelist. He calls the archive a tool in cultural development as well as performance improvement.  

The 17,000 Web sites are a combination of several collections including the top 10,000 lists of Alexa and Quantcast and the Fortune 500.