On YouTube, HTML5, and Flash

Many stories are running about this over the past few days and they all give the impression that Flash Player is no longer used when delivering video with YouTube. We have to be clear on a few different points here:

  1. HTML5 video playback has already been the default with Chrome for a long, long time now.
  2. It has taken YouTube around 4-5 years to get the HTML5 playback to a state where they feel it matches Flash Player well enough to make it the default.
  3. YouTube had not “ditched” Flash for playback. their HTML5 playback is simply the default in most cases. So long as it plays video well – what is the problem?
  4. The absolute hatred expressed in the comments to these articles is not an expression of enlightenment but rather all that is wrong with the web today.
  5. As I stated on Twitter – we would not have YouTube if it were not for Flash Player. It cannot be stressed enough how important Flash has been for the web and just about everyone seems to not even comprehend this fact at all.
  6. A lot of the features of HTML5 regarding media playback and rich expression are there because Flash paved the way. Again – some would do well to learn from history and respect the work of others that came before them.


  1. Ignorance is frustrating. Just don’t let it drag you down.

    I followed your hacker news link, and scrolled through the comments. Lots of hatred, and bold statements of misinformation. But I know what will happen if I get involved. No one is interested in the facts anyway. They’ll just get hostile and personally abusive.

  2. There are critics against Flash for years. In 2008 they said that flash would die. But Flash is still there and will be there for a while despite the existence of HTML.

    Everyone should thank Flash for for all the features it has allowed.

    And with Adobe Air technology Flash Is stronger than ever.


    1. AIR truly is sort of the “secret identity” of Flash these days… it’s truly remarkable technology and Adobe just keeps innovating. 64-bit AIR on OSX and Windows is something I’m personally looking forward to.

  3. Over time, i’ve been learned something that sounds really true: Don’t accept arguments only by authority that is saying, but by the true that itself saying.

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