Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 16th Jan 2010 11:12 UTC
Google A few days ago, Google opened up a YouTube area on its product ideas website, so that people could submit their ideas about how to improve the ubiquitous video website. It turned out it was a bit of a can of worms Google opened there: everything focussed on HTML5 video support.
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The virtues of flash
by manjabes on Sat 16th Jan 2010 12:23 UTC
manjabes
Member since:
2005-08-27

While everyone might be jumping up and down with joy, I am not that thrilled.

You see, even though it has a lot of downsides, flash has some merits that are easily dismissed. Remember the time before Youtube and flash video? The videos distributed in the 'net were encoded with various encoders and you never knew, even if you had the latest greatest codec packs or wmp plug-ins, if the video would play or if it needed a special codec (that may have even cost money). With flash video, everyone could watch videos without worrying about codecs or stuff like that because they were built into the platform. This unification receives a lot less credit than it deserves (kinda like Microsoft but let us not go there).

Now, step in html5 video. While it does relieve us from the curse of the Flash plugin, it also resurrects the nuisance of a gazillion codecs for actually displaying the videos. And here we go again with the video (and audio too, of course) spectacle:
* There is no de facto standard
* Numerous OSS\GNU/Free(tm) people climb out from under their rocks and start preaching about how their Free stuff should be used instead of technically superiour stuff that smart people created for profit or instead of stuff that some other guys put together on their free time in their basement but it's not the right kind of Free(tm)
* Numerous commercial entities start aggressively pushing their products in attempt to create an aforementioned de facto standard and then cash in on it BIGTIME. This includes "spreading the facts" and other types of badmouthing.
* We restart dealing with malware-laden codec packs in attempt to view our favourite rick astley videos, and while doing so, greatly contribute to creating great and cool botnets for other people to capitalize on.
* Various tech columnists and other people blow a lot of hot air around discussing TEH BEST(tm) codec and also trying to make themselves look smart (kinda like I'm doing right now, but that's beside the point) while others that follow news sources, that these "declarations of smarts" appear in, get headaches and need to get drunk to remedy it.

Long story short, I am not sure this is what we want. It's like going back to the good old Win9x age - if YOU want to restart your pc after changing the desktop wallpaper then please, do so, but do not enforce this kind of behavior on me.

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