Adobe Flash. The evil, unsafe, insecure, unreliable, resource hog platform has scored a big win from Youtube. According to John Harding, Software Engineer at Google,
"While HTML5’s video support enables us to bring most of the content and features of YouTube to computers and other devices that don’t support Flash Player [a la iDevices] , it does not yet meet all of our needs. Today, Adobe Flash provides the best platform for YouTube’s video distribution requirements, which is why our primary video player is built with it."
I'd asked not so long ago if HTML5 is ready as a Flash replacement (not alone though). Now the verdict from the world's biggest user of the platform is a resounding no. I love open standards, protocols and platforms (hey, I'm a Linux user OK :-)), and I also love not having one company control the most widely used platform for rich media on the internet. But that does not negate the fact that Flash is still an integral part of our online lives.
We have Steve Jobs bashing Flash for all its ills and extolling the virtues of HTML5 for being the best thing since sliced bread while at the same time restricting the demo he was using to showoff the capabilities of HTML5 to his browser and to some extent, his OS. Where is the openness in that?
I know you probably disagree with me on Flash, being that it is not open and is owned by one company, but the fact remains that it is an integral part of the web and has contributed in creating a lively and interactive virtual world for us all. Sure it is as unsafe as the other OS out there, but rather than bashing it, finding a solution to its insecurity would be more appropriate.
Google realized the importance of Flash and how vital it is to the web, so now they are shipping their Chrome browser with Flash preinstalled, to be updated together with the browser. This is a better way to go about the Flash-HTML5 debacle rather than bash it while being a closed company or platform yourself.
Chances are 9 out of 10 people have the Flash player running on their computers, why don't we find a way of making it safe for them while HTML5 gets readied instead of suddenly trying to shove the latter down their throats?
Steve Jobs may not like Flash for reasons he believes in, but I can safely say that with all its weaknesses, Flash has a role to play today and in the foreseeable future in our online lives. You don't agree with me, ask Youtube.
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