Should you use the Flash or HTML5 quiz player?

There are two apps that run Yacapaca quizzes; the original that uses Adobe Flash and the mobile version using HTML5.

Modern browsers typically give you the choice of which to use, but require specific authorisation to use Flash. So which should you use? Here are our current (Feb 2018) recommendations:

  • Desktop or laptop PC: Flash
  • Phone or tablet: HTML5

The HTML5 version was written to work well on mobile devices specifically. It works excellently on small screens and copes well with spotty internet connections. On normal PC screens it’s pug-ugly, if I’m honest, and it also does not support all question types. In particular, it currently stalls if it hits one of the short-text questions used in our GCSE Exam Practice module.

If you need to check which version your students are using, here are example screenshots.

Flash: note the rounded corners and the avatar on the same page as the question.


HTML5: squared corners, and the full width of the screen used.


We are in the process of writing a new quiz app that will replace both of these with something that is both modern and stylish on all device types. Look out for announcements.


Microsoft Edge compatibility report


Microsoft’s new operating system Windows 10 comes with Edge, a new browser to replace the antediluvian Internet Explorer. Hooray! Technical folk the world over loathe MSIE with a deep and abiding passion, and we are delighted to see it slip into history. What’s more, Edge has had largely good reviews. It’s fast, stable and generally standards-compatible.

Will your school switch over forthwith? Probably not. In the first place, about 50% of our users have standardised on Chrome. A few will move back, but Google is very good at giving them reasons to stay. Secondly, right now at the start of term is not the time your IT technician wants to switch over to a new and untested program. If you are on MSIE, you are most likely doomed to stay with it for the next 12 months.

That has not stopped us from setting up a copy and running the complete suite of Yacapaca functional tests across it. You will be pleased to know that it performed quickly and stably, with two exceptions:

  • The Javascript Quiz player does not start. The JS version is a fall-back only, so this is only important if Flash suddenly stops working.
  • Javascripted charts do not work, though their PDF counterparts do. This is not a killer, but it definitely is an inconvenience.

Edge has a new Javascript engine which may have been launched without some features. We are now investigating to see whether we should just wait for Microsoft to fix the problem, or whether we should change our code. Whichever way it goes, for 99% of users, this will be fixed long before you would otherwise trip over it.

Meanwhile with the launch of Edge, we have dropped compatibility testing on MSIE 7 and 8, though we still test all changes against MSIE 9, 10 and 11 as well as Chrome, Safari and Firefox.

Of course if you do hit a problem with Yacapaca on any browser, report it and we will do our best to help.