YouTube Software Engineer Weighs in on Flash and HTML5
Balancing the need for an open web and user needs.
John Harding, Software Engineer for YouTube, threw has hat into the Flash/HTML5 debate giving a point-by-point breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of the free and open <video> tag provided within HTML5. His conclusion: HTML5 is the way of the future, but the format has a ways to go before it can be fully adopted by YouTube.
Harding's first issue with HTML5 video is the lack of a standard format. YouTube uses h.264, but the licensing issues have limited browser support. This led Google to create the WebM project, which uses the recently opened VP8 codec as a new open standard, but the codec is in its infancy, in need of more support and additional improvements and optimizations before it can become viable.
Harding's second issue with HTML5 is the lack of fine control over buffering and self-adjusting video quality based on connection speed. HTML5 doesn't address streaming protocols, yet.
"Flash Player addresses these needs by letting applications manage the downloading and playback of video via Actionscript in conjunction with either HTTP or the RTMP video streaming protocol," Harding said.
Furthermore, HTML5 doesn't offer content protection, something that Flash offers through the RTMPE protocol. And Flash packages and embeds content securely, something HTML5 has yet to fully accomplish and therefore limits it from being embedded on other sites.
Harding's final two issues are relatively small. HTML5 doesn't support fullscreen mode and is just beginning to offer camera and microphone access. He ends his post by championing HTML5's cross-platform compatibility and championed Flash as the best platform for YouTube's video distribution requirements.
Should you trust an online service to store your online passwords?
New B+ board lets you build cool things without the complication of a powered USB hub.
Redmond rushes in to root out alleged malware haven.
New initiative will bring futuristic virtual reality effects to the web surfing experience.
Dyreza malware launches a man-in-the-middle attack that compromises SSL.
New cloud combines worldwide access with local attention to data security.
A first cousin of the recent Heartbleed attack affects EAP-based wireless and peer-to-peer authentication.
FOSS community acts to protect freedom of choice for laptop devices.
Quintessential open source browser shores up its market share with a step toward the proprietary dark side.
Authorities in 16 countries take action against users of the imfamous BlackShades malware tool.