So… there is obviously a lot of hubbub on the net as of late regarding the usefulness of flash and seemingly growing support of HTML5. I, myself, agree with the HTML5 supporters. Flash is not an open standard, and while a huge percentage of the web is using Flash right now – it’s mostly for video or for annoying advertising. The percentage of people actually using Flash to create a rich web experience is minimal.
That being said – we have all seen Steve Jobs’ open letter about flash, Microsoft’s view of flash, and now one of Opera Software’s representatives have come out and spoken about flash. While Steve’s points are valid, he doesn’t seem to credit Flash for being good for any purpose – only to defend why it won’t be on his devices. Microsoft and Opera appear to realize that Flash is a big part of today’s web – but then also agree with Jobs that the future is in open web standards, not flash – especially where video is concerned.
I agree with all of the above. I dont mind using a plugin to play with a hugely interactive web experience, fun flash games, or other flash specific content – but using a plugin to play a simple video or get bombarded by Advertisements is simply rediculous.
So then I asked myself – if I want to be objective, where can I see what the experience with HTML5 is going to be like? The web is chock full of older HTML content – but 5 content is pretty sparse. In steps the YouTube HTML5 beta. Take a visit to http://www.youtube.com/html5 and then opt-in to the beta by clicking the link on the bottom of the page.
Opting in will store a cookie on your machine that states your preference of viewing HTML5 video (in BETA form). Then simply browse YouTube. For any non-ad supported video content, the HTML 5 player will be used in lieu of the standard flash player.
Oh, and YES, this does work on the iPad / iPhone / etc. On the desktop PC, you need to be using Safari or Chrome (preferably) – or IE if you have the Google Chrome extensions installed. Of course, there are some glitches – as this is a beta, but it will give you an idea of what the web will be like using HTML5 technology, and absent of flash. I can’t wait 😉
Check it out – not too bad for early testing.