HTML5 - The New Buzz Word

February 3, 2010

HTML5 is a great new buzz word in the tech world. Let's take a look at what everyone is talking about.
Most recently in the news vimeo and YouTube have both released a HTML5 alternative for their videos. (beta)
"This is an opt-in experiment for HTML5 support on YouTube. If you are using a supported browser, you can choose to use the HTML5 player instead of the Flash player for most videos."
"What's the HTML5 player, you ask? Simply put, it's an alternative to our current Flash player that looks and works almost exactly the same way."
Both sites use the h.264 codec to transcode their videos as it is the most flexible to play across devices (iPhone/Android/Flash/Zune/PSP/mp4 players).
This is where we hit a little snag. HTML5 was supposed to simplify video and make it easier for everyone with open standards. There is a link vimeo posted on their site regarding this issue with video standards and an article on web monkey where video and audio standards have been removed from HTML5.

Right now the only browsers that support h.264 with HTML5 are Safari and Chrome, IE if you install a Chrome Frame into the browser and according to W3C Chrome accounts for 10.8%, Safari 3.7% of all page views. Firefox supports Theora OGG video format and not h.264. All browsers support Flash which streams h.264 and 99% of all people have it installed.
So as things sit right now HTML5 is supported by 15%-25% of all users and Flash is supported by 99% when it comes to video and the "web video standard" set by YouTube and vimeo.
The main controversy right now is the rival between Apple and Adobe, mainly Apple refusing to install Flash on their devices. Apple is claiming that HTML5 will replace flash, and Adobe claiming that it will always be needed similar to HTML4.
Enabling innovation isn't magic. - By Adrian Ludwig
Steve Jobs: ‘No one will be using Flash’ - I couldn't find an official post by Apple (Steve Jobs) so I found one with their point of view. If you have one let me know.
What most people think it boils down to ... revenue.
Adobe: There’s No Flash on iPad Because Apple Is Protecting Content Revenue
A few things to keep in mind:
Flash accounts for 75% of all video.
Flash accounts for 70% of all games.
Flash does much more than just games and videos (navigators, animations, file uploads, graphs, maps, and full web sites with interaction to name a few things).
Flash player 10.1 will soon be released working on Palm Pre, Android, Windows Mobile, Toshiba, Nokia, Tablets, Netbooks ... almost everything but Apple.
HTML5 video can not be embedded or go full screen and additions to the video (hotspots/overlays/ads/interaction) will have to be done in JavaScript rather than Flash.
HTML5 is still in development. The team developing HTML5 doesn’t even expect it to receive the first level of recommendation from the World Wide Web Consortium (the group that governs international Web standards,) until 2012. According to them, the third and final maturity recommendation likely won’t occur until 2022.
HTML5 will only mature with a collaboration of Microsoft, Google, Apple and Firefox.
Posted by Beau Durrant

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