Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 23rd Feb 2010 14:14 UTC, submitted by edogawaconan
Multimedia, AV Fantastic expose about Flash and HTML5 video by lead x264 developer Jason Garrett-Glaser. "The internet has been filled for quite some time with an enormous number of blog posts complaining about how Flash sucks - so much that it's sounding as if the entire internet is crying wolf. But, of course, despite the incessant complaining, they're right: Flash has terrible performance on anything other than Windows x86 and Adobe doesn't seem to care at all. But rather than repeat this ad nauseum, let’s be a bit more intellectual and try to figure out what happened."
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deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

Really hits it on the head with this paragraph:

Many free software advocates promote HTML5 while declaring that these missing features are not a big issue and that we can do without them. This is not excusable! If you want to outcompete Adobe, you need to provide a superset of all commonly used features.


Sums up my experience with 99% of open source software for "the desktop"; MOST of it is like a trip in the wayback machine to windows 3.1 in terms of functionality. (see most every *nix WM)

... and it's also a common problem with 'alternatives' to the big successful software packages people constantly rag on just because it seems everyone loves a loser and will not tolerate a winner. I'm sure G.S. Patton Jr. is rolling over in his grave over that one...

See 'Realplayer' bitching about WMP, or Opera's incessant whining about IE. Quite frankly, even just meeting the same functionality isn't enough since it provides no incentive to switch.

Hell, look at what Microsoft did that put Netscape 4.x in the ground back during the "browser wars" - they not only made the most standards compliant browser to date with IE 5.x (fact, it WAS the most standards compliant of it's time apart from Amaya, and who the **** uses Amaya?) They added compatibility with most all of Netscapes made up proprietary stuff which wasn't even part of any specification at the time in a "hey, all those 'best viewed in netscape' pages? They work in IE5 too" approach. (part of why these jackasses doing the 'best viewed in firefox' nonsense because they are too inept to write cross-browser code torques my nuts. What is this 1997?)

Were that one of todays alternative browser makers took the same approach - they HAVE better specification support and quite often better/cleaner functionality - now if you were to support all those pages that only work in IE (without "switching renderers" or the vulnerabilities of IE) there would be a legitimate reason to switch.

But instead they'd rather piss and moan to the government that their crap products can't compete - can't compete on product, litigate. Great approach there.

Of course that we're talking HTML5 and video brings us to the bullshit that is HTML5 - a great idea of 'simplifying' that was hijacked by people who wanted a billion new tags - THE EXACT OPPOSITE of what STRICT was supposed to bring us.

HTML 4 STRICT - Let's get rid of IMG, APPLET, and the non-specification vendor specific "EMBED" and just use OBJECT for all of them. Something we could do if Microsoft hadn't dragged it's heels on implementing OBJECT properly.

HTML 5 - Less tags? NO, we need to make EMBED officially part of the specification, and then make it completely pointless by adding two new tags - Audio and video. Great, welcome to HTML 3.2... How about instead of adding all sorts of new tags you instead ride Microsoft's case about OBJECT (Oh wait, it finally works properly in 8) and put all those nice new javascript hooks on it instead?

After all, there's a reason I hate what HTML 5 has become.

http://my.opera.com/deathshadow/blog/2010/01/09/why-i-hate-html5

Edited 2010-02-23 18:35 UTC

Reply Score: 2

sukru Member since:
2006-11-19

Your points are right, but unfortunately your language and long rant will make them inaccessible to people.

It seems like there was a battle for HTML's direction, between cleanliness of XHTML, and practical use of HTML5's lots of features.

I'd have preferred a simpler, more strict XHTML/CSS/JavaScript world, but we're minority.

Reply Score: 3

deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

Your points are right, but unfortunately your language

"As for the types of comments I make - Sometimes I just, By God, get carried away with my own eloquence." -- General George S. Patton Jr.

and long rant will make them inaccessible to people.


Whenever I get a complain about length, I always want to kneejerk into saying "Literacy, TRY IT"... But then I'm generally pissed at the overall state of literacy (or lack therin)... See the pamphlets your average publisher has the brass cojones to call a novel nowadays.... Much less these dipshit 'articles' you'll see on many sites that are barely a paragraph or two per page broken up over ten pages; Each one using 50k or more markup to deliver 2k or less content.

Needless to say, one line "me too" posts usually just piss me off.

Edited 2010-02-23 23:25 UTC

Reply Score: 1

jaklumen Member since:
2010-02-09

There is something to be said for the art of diplomacy and what has been referred to as "E.Q.", or "emotional quotient".

I get comments on the length of my posts, too, throughout the Internet. But I think it's still worthwhile to adjust the tone and content of my writing in the hope that more will understand my intent.

Something that comes across like "you should just learn better how to understand the robustness of my writing, you moron" isn't exactly the stuff of a Dale Carnegie seminar, i.e. "How to Win Friends and Influence People."

Reply Score: 2

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

It’s progress. Which is better than anything that happened after IE5.5 was released.

The Internet, and the technology landscape is a mess, always has been a mess and will continue to be a mess. Live with it.

Reply Score: 1

lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

Ptalarbvorm? What on earth is Ptalarbvorm, you may well ask.

First, you need to know about "Theora", and then you need to know about "Thusnelda".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theora

The first stable release of libtheora as version 1.0 was made in November 2008. Work then focused on improving the codec performance in the "Thusnelda" branch, which was released as version 1.1 in September 2009 as the second stable libtheora release. This release brought some technical improvements and new features, e.g. the new rate control module and the new two-pass rate control. The codename for the next version is Ptalarbvorm.


So Ptalarbvorm is the new Thusnelda.

http://xiphmont.livejournal.com/48207.html

the beginning of the next experimental Theora encoder which Tim has named Ptalarbvorm. Ptalarbvorm is already showing further large improvements over Thusnelda (honestly, I think he's already doubled again on Thusnelda).


Ptalarbvorm is a new kid on the block, perhaps looking to really upset the apple cart.

PS: Theora is based on VP3, which has an inherent advantage over VP8 in that VP3 is much older. Patents on VP3 pre-date those on h264, which in turn pre-date those on VP8.

In a legal context, older patents trump newer ones.

Edited 2010-02-24 01:36 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Good find, thanks. If I understand it correctly, Ptalarbvorm—like Thusnelda—is an update to the encoder, not the decoder, and is not a new codec entirely. It merely improves the quality of the encoder. In my basic tests I’ve found Thusnelda—when I can get it to work—to be almost equal to, and in rare circumstances, better than H.264. It’s at least good enough for video on the web.

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Good find, thanks. If I understand it correctly, Ptalarbvorm—like Thusnelda—is an update to the encoder, not the decoder, and is not a new codec entirely. It merely improves the quality of the encoder. In my basic tests I’ve found Thusnelda—when I can get it to work—to be almost equal to, and in rare circumstances, better than H.264. It’s at least good enough for video on the web.


Here are some results from an experimental build of Ptalarbvorm. Open the following two images in a separate new tab, then flick between the tabs to compare the images.

http://people.xiph.org/~greg/video/ytcompare/bbb_theora-ptalarbvorm...
http://people.xiph.org/~greg/video/ytcompare/bbb_youtube_h264_499kb...

These are screen grabs (stills) of the same frame of a video (the ogv file is encoded with no audio). The first picture is theora-ptalarbvorm at 376 kbit/s and the second picture is the same frame encoded by YouTube h264 at 499 kbit/s.

I don't know about you, but I have a lot of trouble seeing any real difference.

The two video files (ogv with no audio) are here:
http://people.xiph.org/~greg/video/ytcompare/bbb_theora-ptalarbvorm...
http://myrandomnode.dyndns.org:8080/~gmaxwell/ytcompare/bbb_youtube...

You are correct about Ptalarbvorm being an update to the encoder, because current versions of Firefox, VLC and SMPlayer can all play the .ogv video file.

Interesting, isn't it?

Edited 2010-02-24 09:04 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

That’s really impressive for that low bit-rate. Now if only they’d update the QuickTime component.

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

That’s really impressive for that low bit-rate. Now if only they’d update the QuickTime component.


It is a while off yet, this is still very much experimental code. Maybe in a few months or so ...

You do realise that it is only going to be Xiph that ever make a Quicktime component for you. Don't expect one from Apple.

Reply Score: 2

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Yes, I _do_ realise that Xiph release the QuickTime component, and it's a year out of date already making it very difficult to use Thusnelda on my Mac. They are not doing themselves any favours by making it so awkward for people to produce OGG files.

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Yes, I _do_ realise that Xiph release the QuickTime component, and it's a year out of date already making it very difficult to use Thusnelda on my Mac. They are not doing themselves any favours by making it so awkward for people to produce OGG files.


Quicktime is not a Xiph.org product. It is an Apple product.

Xiph.org produce reference code so that any software vendor may make Xiph codecs. They have in the past produced some versions for specific platforms, but that is not their actual "thing". Xiph.org does design and research.

http://xiph.org/
The Xiph.Org Foundation is a non-profit corporation dedicated to protecting the foundations of Internet multimedia from control by private interests. Our purpose is to support and develop free, open protocols and software to serve the public, developer and business markets.


It is Apple who are limiting your experience using Quicktime, not Xiph.

In case you doubt this, have a look a this product:

http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
http://www.videolan.org/vlc/features.php?cat=video
http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-macosx.html

Theora is supported by VLC on all platforms, even on OSX. Xiph.org do not supply a codec to VLC, but rather, VLC implements Xiph.org's Theora codec design.

VLC will easily produce an Ogg file on a Mac OSX machine for you, BTW. So will handbrake.

http://handbrake.fr/
http://handbrake.fr/downloads.php

Edited 2010-02-24 12:13 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Xiph write a QuickTime plugin so that developers can use OGG in any app that uses QuickTime. http://www.xiph.org/quicktime/ That plugin is out of date and making it needlessly difficult for Mac users to produce OGG videos.

Video producers do _not_ want to use VLC or Handbrake to produce OGG files, they want to export OGG directly from iMovie / FCP and AfterEffects.

Edited 2010-02-24 12:26 UTC

Reply Score: 1

gmaxwell Member since:
2009-04-16

In the case of the BBB, the Ptalarbvorm improvements are subtle but significant. If I were to rewrite my Youtube vs Theora analysis ( http://people.xiph.org/~greg/video/ytcompare/comparison.html ) with that file, I'm pretty confident that I'd conclude that the Theora output were superior.

On other clips the efficiency difference is more obvious. Theora has historically had a hard time on the parkrun clip: http://people.xiph.org/~greg/video/ptalarbvorm/parkrun_a_thusnelda.... Ptalarbvorm" rel="nofollow">http://people.xiph.org/~greg/video/ptalarbvorm/parkrun_a_ptalarbvor... . (http://people.xiph.org/~greg/video/ptalarbvorm/">full )

Reply Score: 1

What missing features?
by lemur2 on Wed 24th Feb 2010 02:06 UTC
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

It would appear to me that HTML5/Canvas/SVG/ECMAScript are quite capable of the same feats as Flash.

Here are just a few examples:

http://html5demos.com/

http://htmlfive.appspot.com/

Reply Score: 1