YouTube defaults to HTML5 for modern browsers
YouTube announced that its videos will now default to HTML5 for modern browsers instead of Flash.
Ron Amadeo reports for Ars Technica:
Everyone hates Flash, right? You have to install a plug-in, it's resource intensive, it doesn't work on mobile, and it causes all sorts of security problems. YouTube has been working on ridding itself of Adobe's ancient Web plug-in for several years now, and while the whole site has been slowly transitioning away from Flash, today YouTube announced that it finally serves HTML5 video by default. Users of Chrome, IE 11, Safari 8, and "beta versions of Firefox" will all have a Flash-less experience.
YouTube's transition seems to have been pretty straightforward. Four years ago, YouTube laid out a laundry list of problems it had with HTML5, and today it has a blog post explaining how it has worked with the Web community to solve each issue.
Silviu Stahie at Softpedia noted that switching to HTML 5 was not a simple thing to do for YouTube
People might think that YouTube just turned a switch and things happened overnight, but if that were the case, then they would have done it a long time ago. In fact, a lot of things need to come together for this massive undertaking.
First of all, they need to deal with buffering problems (MediaSource Extensions), they need a powerful codec ready (VP9 in this case), they need powerful encryption methods, WebRTC support (remotely connect to other people, with video and audio) has to be enabled, and of course, users need a reliable full-screen experience.
I barked about Flash years ago in a column called "Why Flash sucks" on my blog:
I decided recently to see what the modern Web was like without Flash, so I uninstalled it from one of my systems. The first thing I noticed was that the Flash ads were gone. I still saw ads on Web pages I visited, but without most of the irritating animation. (Some pages used animated GIFs, but there were a lot fewer of those.) This meant that I also missed out on some parts of Web sites that used Flash - things like interactive slide shows and games weren’t viewable in my browser.
And you know what? I enjoyed not having Flash all over the place while browsing. The Web became a less obnoxious place, somewhat easier to navigate and find the information and entertainment I wanted.
Redditors seemed happy to see Flash headed toward oblivion:
Aufleur: "Best news all day! Flash needs to die."
AgentBarcode: "I disabled flash on my main browser months ago and couldn't be happier. The only time I seem to need flash is when I want to stream something live."
Mahn: "This is IMHO what browsers should default to. Don't play any flash crap unless you specifically allow it first."
Bignateyk: "Flash is the worst thing to ever happen to the internet. I rejoiced the day a plugin to disable it was released for Mozilla. Web pages load 10x faster, no more memory leaks."
Jabjoe: "If Adobe wanted Flash to be a standard, they would have released source so Mozilla, Google, Apple, Microsoft could have fixed it when it crashed in their browsers. It could have evolved forwards as a standard with a standards body, maybe be absorbed into HTML5, etc etc. But no. And now Adobe has lost Flash's future and will go down as the web plugin villain used as an example of bad practice."