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YouTube goes HTML5, is leaving Adobe Flash behind

lpetrich

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YouTube Now Streams HTML5 Video By Default | TechCrunch
YouTube's video pick spells doom for Adobe Flash - CNET
Steve Jobs was right: YouTube is finally HTML5-first | Cult of Mac
YouTube Flash HTML5: Steve Jobs right about Flash all along | BGR

YouTube is now using HTML5 video on all web browsers that can support it, though it will continue to use Flash video for browsers without suitable HTML support. On my computer, Google Chrome and Safari now use HTML5, while Firefox and Opera use Flash. But Firefox should use HTML5 before long.

To see whether some video is in HTML5 or Flash, right-click or control-click on it. A popup menu should appear. If the video is in Flash, you should see some Flash options.

Being good for YouTube required the addition of variable bitrate and encryption. The latter is good for Digital Restrictions Management, er, Digital Rights Management (DRM).

Not only YouTube, but also Vimeo and Netflix and possibly other online video sites are moving to HTML5. Apple and Microsoft also now support it.


There was already some trouble for Flash a few years back.

Did Steve Jobs kill Adobe Flash? - CNN.com
Apple's Steve Jobs made no secret of his loathing for Adobe Flash Player, banning it from devices like the iPad.

Steve Jobs hated Flash. Hated it. And not just a little bit.

"Flash is a spaghetti-ball piece of technology that has lousy performance and really bad security problems," he said, according to biographer Walter Isaacson in his book published earlier this month.

On Wednesday, Adobe announced it will no longer be developing Flash, its media-player tool, for mobile devices. More than a few bloggers have noted the news would have been vindication for the late Apple co-founder, who felt betrayed by Adobe more than a decade ago.
Steve Would Be Proud: How Apple Won The War Against Flash | TechCrunch
Late Thursday, an extraordinary thing happened: Adobe announced in a blog post that it would not provide Flash Player support for devices running Android 4.1, and that it would pull the plugin from the Google Play store on August 15. The retreat comes five years after the introduction of the iPhone, the device which thwarted Flash’s mobile ambitions, almost even before they began.
Then Steve Jobs's famous 2010 Thoughts on Flash He listed what he considered 6 major problems.

1. Openness.

SJ pointed out that Flash is 100% proprietary, governed by Adobe. He conceded that Apple has a lot of proprietary stuff, but he stated that Apple prefers open standards for Internet duty like HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript.

2. The Full Web.

SJ noted Adobe stating that 75% of online video is delivered in Flash, but continued by noting that video can be delivered outside of Flash, something routinely done on iOS devices. Instead of going to YouTube's webpage, one gets a YouTube app, for instance.

Then there are online Flash games. SJ concedes their absence, but notes that there are oodles of others available for iOS devices.

3. Reliability, security, and performance.

Flash loses rather badly in them. It also can be a CPU hog and a memory hog. That's often tolerable in a desktop computer but not in a smartphone or a tablet. SJ wanted to see it running well on a mobile device but never did so. Then Adobe's Flash-for-smartphone ship dates kept slipping.

It eventually did, for Android, but Adobe pulled it not long afterward.

4. Battery life.

This is from Flash often being a CPU hog. One reason for that is using a software decoder of H.264 video instead of iOS devices' hardware decoders, something necessary from Flash's inadequate support of H.264, at least back in 2010.

5. User interface: "Touch".

SJ: "Flash was designed for PCs using mice, not for touch screens using fingers."

I don't think that that is a great objection, because much the same can be said of Cocoa, OSX's user-interface software framework and a rough counterpart of Flash. It also has user-interface widgets designed for keyboards and mice. However, Apple's software designers created a version of Cocoa adapted for smartphones: Cocoa Touch, complete with user-interface widgets designed for touchstreens and tilting the device.

So Adobe could do that with Flash, and it may have done so with the smartphone version of Flash that it had released.

6. Not taking full advantage of iOS.

This is a strange one, because it seems a bit like platform protectionism.

But a cross-platform application framework will typically have a lowest-common-denominator quality, implementing what is shared across several platforms, or else what can be imitated without a lot of trouble.

I think that objections 3 and 4 are very damning, suggesting that (1) Adobe's management has been *very* negligent about these issues, (2) Flash has difficult-to-fix architectural problems, or (3) both.


So what's next for Flash?

It could retreat into being a platform for online animations and games. But even there, it may be possible for the HTML5-CSS-JavaScript troika to challenge it. HTML5 includes the "canvas" (raster) and "svg" (vector) elements, and both of them are usable for online animations and games. Canvas is controlled by JavaScript, and SVG can be controlled by JavaScript and CSS.

However, there may be problems with bundling all an animation's or a game's files into one archive. I don't think that HTML supports that. So Flash is still ahead there.
 

Loren Pechtel

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Interesting--I was just dealing with a Vista machine, You-Tube only works in Chrome.
 

bigfield

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It could retreat into being a platform for online animations and games. But even there, it may be possible for the HTML5-CSS-JavaScript troika to challenge it. HTML5 includes the "canvas" (raster) and "svg" (vector) elements, and both of them are usable for online animations and games. Canvas is controlled by JavaScript, and SVG can be controlled by JavaScript and CSS.

However, there may be problems with bundling all an animation's or a game's files into one archive. I don't think that HTML supports that. So Flash is still ahead there.
Crafty looks like it has potential as a game engine. The exciting thing about HTML5 games and animations is the potential to operate outside of the bounds of an object element.
 

NobleSavage

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Flash, I won't miss you. Now, if only the web wasn't broken without JavaScript.
 

Tom Sawyer

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Flash, I won't miss you. Now, if only the web wasn't broken without JavaScript.

JavaScript has made some awesome upgrades over the last decade with things like angular and knockout. It's what's making the web become what it was always supposed to be.
 

NobleSavage

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Flash, I won't miss you. Now, if only the web wasn't broken without JavaScript.

JavaScript has made some awesome upgrades over the last decade with things like angular and knockout. It's what's making the web become what it was always supposed to be.

Yeah, what's that? I'm sick of Tim Berners-Lee and his ramblings about what the web was meant to be. I just had to dig up this quote: "The mission of the World Wide Web Foundation is to advance the Web to empower humanity. We aim to do this by launching transformative programs that build local capacity to leverage the Web as a medium for positive change."

The only thing that sentence needs is a few more buzz words.

---EDIT----

I just realized what that sentence is missing, the word "cloud".
 
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Tom Sawyer

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I mean that you can now make web applications which have the same power and functionality as desktop applications. It's becoming an actual programming medium and ...

Oh, never mind.

CLOUD!!!
DISTRIBUTED APPLICATION ARCHITECTURE!!!
UNICORNS!!!
MONEY!!!
 

Underseer

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The original Flash sacrificed everything at the altar of performance, presumably because computers at the time could barely handle all that multimedia stuff. Ever since then, Flash has been a steaming pile of security holes, and I'm not sorry to see it go the way of the dinosaur.
 
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