Debating HTML 5 and Flash? Get educated first!

You’ve probably heard a lot of noise in the press, blogs, twitter, etc. about HTML 5.  You’ve probably also heard how this new video and animation capabilities combined with other cool HTML 5 features is going to be the death of Flash, right?  As a technical evangelist for Adobe, I obviously know a lot about [...]

YouTube: “Flash Platform will continue to play a critical role”

I’m sure you’ve heard that some people are saying that HTML5 is going to kill Flash and how that is already happening with the <video> tag. YouTube, the world’s largest video site, has just published a blog post where they weigh on the whole HTML5/Flash debate. In the post they highlight some of Flash’s strong [...]

YouTube Uses Flash – Google Explains Why

A great, detailed post on the YouTube API blog from Google’s YouTube team explains why they depend on the Flash Platform to deliver 2 billion videos a day to people worldwide.

The team explains how Flash provides a reliable way deliver video to the browser, securely; how Flash makes it easy for people to share videos and embed on other sites; how you can go fullscreen in HD with videos using Flash Player, and how the 1000’s of people who record and upload vids directly to YouTube need camera and microphone access “which would not be possible without Flash technology.”

Thanks to the YouTube team for shedding some light on why Flash is such a major part of the most-used video site on the web.

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Android week: Watch the Google I/O keynote online

The Google I/O keynote is only a little over 3 hours away. I am super excited about Google I/O this year. I wish I was there… But if you’re like me and you couldn’t make it out to San Francisco you can still be a part of it.
Both today’s and tomorrow’s keynote will be streamed [...]

Non-Accessible HTML

YouTube opens up captioning for all videos….sort of.

I know I work for Adobe, but this is the kind of thing that pisses me off. Flash gets such a bad rap from the open standards crowd who hold accessibility so highly but as of right now there isn’t any way to do captioning in HTML5 videos. So when YouTube makes a big announcement about improving and enhancing accessibility by adding captions to all of their videos, no one mentions that it’s just the Flash videos.

I realize that the HTML5 feature on YouTube is in beta, but it isn’t like this is something that anyone has figured out yet for HTML5 video. It’s listed as “unwritten documentation” on the Chromium site which basically means “we aren’t sure how this is going to work”. But no one does. The closest thing I’ve found is a jQuery plugin that’s in the early stages.

Not only is there no clear codec for HTML5 (something that in theory Google will remedy with the purchase of On2) but captioning support, something that Flash has made easy and ubiquitous, isn’t a feature that’s looking like it will be implemented soon.

But it’s going to kill Flash….riiiiiiiight….

Have you looked at Tour de Flex lately?

If you haven’t looked at Tour de Flex in the past few weeks, go check it out. We’ve added some cool new content in the last few weeks:

Flex 4 Preview samples by Holly Schinsky
AIR 2.0 / Flash Player 10.1 samples by Holly Schinsky
Data Visualization Samples by See4th Design
YouTube API samples by Holly Schinsky
Chris Callendar’s [...]

On Google, YouTube, HTML5, Adobe, and Flash

Last night Google blogged about how they were experimenting with offering some videos on YouTube that support the HTML5 video tag and the H.264 codec, and that work in Chrome and Safari. This is part of TestTube, where YouTube’s engineers test out different products without rolling them into the main YouTube experience. YouTube and Flash obviously have a deep relationship. It was Flash that helped YouTube become one of the most visited sites on the Internet, and YouTube has helped increase penetration of newer versions of Flash Player by rolling out features, like H.264 support, that required the newer Flash Player versions.

There is always an undercurrent questioning if Flash is “going away” when it comes to HTML5. But I think YouTube is actually the perfect example of Flash and HTML working together. The same day Google blogged about the TestTube project, YouTube also rolled out a new rental service for some of the Sundance Film Festival videos, which is powered by Flash. And I think that shows the relationship that Flash and services like YouTube have in helping drive the web forward.

Video on the web isn’t just about watching a clip any more. There are ways to monetize it, either with advertising or by adding ways to protect content that lets people watch something after they pay. There are accessibility issues that need to be addressed like closed-captioning support. What about being able to consume video on mobile devices that don’t support the HTML5 video tag? These are all areas that Flash has found solutions to, which has helped the growth of video on the web and provided a reference for the HTML5 groups to see what works. And while there may be some arguments over the use of the H.264 codec, having Flash add support for that codec meant that companies like Google could roll out a Flash version and an HTML5 version without having to re-encode video. Flash has made possible many of the features in HTML5 by showing how good the experience can be. And Flash will continue to innovate and provide solutions to challenges on the web before those solutions can be standardized. It will remain the best way to provide cutting-edge technology to 98% of people online.

Open standards are incredibly important to the future of the web. Adobe continues to work hard to contribute to that movement and balance that with the need for our customers and developers to be able to create next-generation content that runs the same way on every operating system and device. If Flash wasn’t providing value to people, it wouldn’t be on 98% of the world’s computers and we wouldn’t see penetration for new versions reach 80% within 6 months of release.

So congrats to YouTube on the HTML5 video work. This is good for HTML and I think there will be a lot of Adobe, Flash, and HTML5 collaboration moving forward. Flash has an important role to play by providing innovative ideas and solutions for an increasingly multi-screen and multi-platform world.