I look forward to the day when we can say HTML5 is so much better (than Flash) for interactive/media content on the web, but sadly we still aren't there. I have hope that we will get there eventually. Until then, we will continue providing slightly dumbed-down games and content with the benefit of it working on mobile, tablet and desktop browsers.
That depends on the kind of media we're talking about about: HTML5 video was noticeably faster and higher quality on day 1 and Flash never caught up on performance, which is a big deal for laptop users. Even if you're plugged in, having the fans running constantly and still seeing dropped frames is a terrible experience.
I suspect the story is still different for WebGL but the only benchmarks I've seen are fairly old by now.
Flash video was never perceptibly slower than html per se. The only thing that really affects video performance is whether or not it's hardware accelerated, and in cases where flash used HW it performed the same as html. The reason it seemed slower is that AFAIK there's never been an HTML video implementation that falls back to software, whereas flash would do so if HW wasn't supported.
Every time I've done that comparison, Flash has used significantly more CPU for the same file. It's possible that they've finally managed to get close on the right combination of hardware, OS, and driver versions but given how regularly I still see people talking about huge improvements after uninstalling Flash, I'm skeptical that this is the most common experience.
Similarly, hardware acceleration was not a given in the past and since there's still plenty of buggy hardware and drivers out there, both Flash and all major browsers have software playback paths and there's even more room for variation there. It's not as bad as when people were comparing Flash's scalar code to Apple's well-optimized SIMD but if you disable hardware acceleration you can still see major deltas because Adobe was never willing to invest the same amount of effort in optimization. This hit Flash more because there were design constraints which caused it to silently disable HW acceleration and developers using fast desktops often didn't notice that happening.
Flash was never better than the native AV frameworks on Windows or OS X. What it offered was convenience during the period when you couldn't rely on everyone having support for a modern video codec and, of course, being able to do things other than simply play back a video file.
But I'd have to quibble with saying flash was never better than native playback - presumably so for raw performance, but that wasn't the goal. Flash video was never great for being technically superior, it was great for cutting the Gordian knot that was the codec problem (and indeed one presumes technical tradeoffs had to be made to that end).
It's interesting to speculate about what might have happened had they chosen to cultivate a culture of software quality rather than putting everything on customer-milking mode. If Flash had performed well and been well-supported with a non-joke update strategy, Steve Jobs wouldn't have had so many enthusiastic supporters in the war on Flash and the second round of browser wars might never have heated up.
I count myself in that camp in part because I've always preferred the web's openness but also because I used Flash for a few projects and saw how horrible the experience was – technical debt at record levels, clumsy development tools and lousy documentation, and the $800 price didn't even buy reading comprehension on support requests. Fortunately, WebKit was getting serious traction by then so it became increasingly easy to avoid it. If I had any doubts about that call, it was confirmed when the next Flash release came out a year or so later and all of my bug reports were closed with a generic “please pay $900 to see if this was fixed” message after I'd gone to the trouble of including reproducible test cases for each one.
They beat Real/QT thanks to marketshare from the bundling deal they'd signed with Microsoft and I really think they thought that would last forever because nobody else would catch up. When the iPhone came out, the public statements made it clear that they didn't seriously expect the no-plugin policy to last or that it'd drive users away – and it certainly never looked like anyone took the ton of problems experienced by Android users seriously enough to take the product out of maintenance mode.
It took years of them being derided as the leading source of browser crashes and exploits before they even started to offer automatic updates in 2012! – and naturally they rolled their own so it didn't work reliably for years.
Similarly, performance was obviously not a priority until it started being heavily mentioned as a reason to prefer the HTML5 stack, at which point they were hopelessly behind and unwilling to invest enough to catch up.
I mentioned my poor support experience because that also fits with the general pattern. The bugs I reported were mostly in the runtime, although the IDE definitely had problems (stability, unreliable debugger, etc.), and all of this was well-known in the community along with the belief that the only way to get attention was if you worked somewhere large enough to buy millions of dollars worth of licenses.
All of that is consistent with my theory that the product management was focused on the short-term and loathe to spend money on anything which wasn't critical, which left them in the unenviable cycle of reacting late to threats from a year or two ago rather than leading anything. If they'd invested in quality during the early 2000s the last decade might have gone very differently.
Big AS3 fan here, it is less true today. I accept the fact that, while AS3 and Flash IDEs were exciting technologies to work with ( I worked with cool artists, musicians, video producers on crazy futuristic projects...), The underlying tech was bad, for 2 reasons
- security. this one is obvious.
- closed source tech. Flash is now almost dead since Adobe basically pulled the plug on the IDE and there is nothing AS3 devs can do about it. Yes the compiler is open source, but the player is not.
I made me appreciate the how important open technologies are. They do not solve everything. But they are important.
Frankly, as someone said somewhere else in the thread, Adobe killed Flash, by not opening the plugin's source code, by not trying to make it unnecessary. A lot can be done now with WebGL, C++ compilation can be done with Emscripten , Web APIs now cover a lot of what Flash used to do, and where was Adobe on that ? Edge Animate ? what a joke.
With the fall of Flash there are opportunities though, so that's a good thing. I'm thinking hard about it.
Adobe did not "pull the plug on the IDE". It has been renamed to Adobe Animate to reflect its ability to output to multiple platforms (such at HTML5, video AND Flash).
You can still use it to create Flash content, and will continue to be able to do so in the future.
More info here:
And we will have a lot of information this week on our twitch channel:
mike (I work for Adobe).
Flash Builder hasn't had an update in ages.
Flash failed not just because it was a browser plug-in, but also because it was terrible - Adobe no longer knew how to tame the beast they'd created and the result was terrible performance and bad user-experience. I'm sad a more sane platform for game/video content didn't win. The browser doesn't need to do everything.
We'll get there, but only by the most roundabout fashion possible.
Then at least you've got an account on Joe frameloop ad.
What's an example of this? The HTML5 and WebGL games I've seen match anything I've seen in Flash. It's true that you need an up to date and capable browser, but that's true of any platform.
Where is the modern day Newgrounds? There isn't one. It doesn't exist. And that's a damn shame.
As for other HTML5\WebGL focused sites, here's an example of a site making HTML5 games: https://ga.me/
And here are a couple of sites indexing WebGL games:
So don't worry. There's lots of HTML5 game development going on.
It's not even remotely what it used to be.
I remember trying Flashes Unreal demo and though it ran it was barely playable.
Most of the games I've played in Flash could definitely be done in HTML5 using the 2D Canvas.
I happen to hang out around these parts so I understand the reasons for it, but if I didn't it would probably make me mad. It would feel like websites were just trying to get around my flash blocker and shove their autoplaying media in my face. Just goes to show how different things can look from the developer side of things.
I would be interested to know of any extensions that do similar and work better.
*I'm not a tech guy so I may be using the wrong terminology here.
I believe the Firefox devs settled on anything during/after a user interaction is allowed to autoplay. More at this bug (which I've been following for years, if you couldn't tell :)
I find a general difficulty with processing the meaning of "modal" buttons. If it's showing the "Pause" symbol, does it mean it's paused now, or that it will pause when I click it? I had the same problem with the stupid slider buttons that have become fashionable to use in place of checkboxes.
Others may tell you I'm wrong - it's about standards and open technologies and whatnot. But personally (and for people I work with that I can speak for) Flash failed because Abode failed Flash.
The internal team became obsessed with changing it to something more focused towards developers with AS3, Flex, Flash Builder, and Flash Catalyst. Instead of improving something successful, they tried to twist it into something it wasn't.
The final straw was Jobs, not because Flash was bad but because iOS was extremely locked down. There was no way he was going to share his new platform:
"We know from painful experience that letting a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform."
Without iOS, there was no future for Flash (Android was still in it's infancy) so Adobe pulled the plug. Just a few years later Apple will go on to hire Kevin Lynch, former CTO of Adobe, to be VP of Technology at Apple focusing on the Apple Watch.
But from the user perspective... how was I ever supposed to guess that?
Of course some websites like youtube override the context menu event to prevent that from showing.
At first I'd yell profanities out loud. Now I stop going to those sites.
It does indeed work. However, you might find that some videos don't load as they should. And, for example, gifs on facebook stop after one loop for one reason (since they are not really gifs, but videos).
But I remember similar issues with various flash-blocking extensions too.
I love HTML5 video, but there are still huge areas for improvement that show up frequently.
which browsers? Which platforms?
I don't have some big official report because, well, that's not my job and I have better things to do. You're welcome to investigate yourself if you're concerned about it.
This sounds user-friendly.
> insight into video events
If "insight" means "tracking", this sounds very user-friendly.
What about a slideshow which has a video of the speaker, and changes the slides for particular timestamps.
While that works most of the time, it isn't what I'd describe as reliable.
Alternatives exist, like making the slides part of the video too, but now text cannot be copied out, links cannot be clicked, and so on...
Edit: Added links for quick reference.
- Does the pause event fire?
- Does the seeking event fire? Or does it only fire when you move the mouse to drag the thumb to a new time?
- Does the seekend event fire? Does it fire every time you move the thumb to a new position without releasing the mouse button? Or does it only fire when you release the mouse button?
- Does the timeupdate event fire? Does it fire once? Or repeatedly for the same position where the thumb is?
Every browser has different answers.
As for the timeupdate event, it only fires once every 250ms, which is painfully slow for applications that need to synchronize something with the video (slides, subtitles, etc.)
And even if you decided to ignore all the events and write a requestAnimationFrame-powered loop to query only the changes in the currentTime property, there's a bug in Chrome on Android where the video.currentTime property becomes out-of-sync with the video if any long-running JS or complicated animation blocks the event loop for a few seconds - https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=509010
I personally would like advertisers and content producers to know at which point it is that users tend to bail on watching their video, or will click through to the content. That might allow business users to receive useful feedback and actually optimize their funnel, instead of wasting my time with a shotgun, best guess approach.
Sure, if you just want to play your free videos from a site where each page is basically just a wrapper around the video element, and you don’t need any configuration for quality settings and the like, then custom control and events might not be particularly interesting. However, HTML5 media elements should let us do much more than that.
Are you going to tell me view counters are evil too?
In case of hls.js used by the NYT, you actually need to transmux the mpeg-ts content used in HLS into fMP4 to make it playable by the Media Source Extensions API used by the browsers.
Maybe this way?
There are surely many examples of closed technology that isn't phoning home.
The problem is that you don't get many garanties.
 http://www.iab.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/VPAID_2_0_Fina... - VPAID 2.0 spec, section 8.1.3: "The VPAID ad unit is rendered within a friendly IFRAME (FIF) and can access the DOM of the page in which the player is rendered."
I thought you just put a video tag and point it at the URL of a video file. What else is missing? ;-)
I can't quite figure out why.. but I would vote for incompetence. Can't see any business motivation for doing that.
The irony is that I'm pretty sure the reasoning has security in there somewhere.
I'll never understand why HN is so desperate to believe something that clearly isn't true.
YouTube recently relegated Flash to the bottom of its list of preferred video formats. Firefox users on XP who used to get hardware-accelerated 1080p video using Flash now get VP9. Many older XP machines can't keep up decoding VP9 in software. I recommend Firefox users on XP install the "YouTube Flash Video Player" add-on, which will force YouTube to use Flash again:
Some kind of botnet must have hit it, because one day I got a bandwidth-consumption notice from my ISP and found that an SSH server and a torrent system had been installed.
Are NYT videos DRM enabled or use a codec that FF doesn't support on Android? FF should be just using the platform provided codecs and if it works in Chrome it should work in FF - but I just get a Video/Mime Type unsupported error on FF when browsing NYT.
Firefox Android doesn't have Media source Extensions, that allow HLS support in HTML5 : http://www.jwplayer.com/html5/mediasource/
It says unsupported here, I guess this one is up to date:
WiFi: There are constantly WiFI problems with OSX and iOS. From plain-ol' reliability to straight up bugs. This isn't including boring DNS stupidity from OSX.
Xcode: Absurdly slugish and crashing constantly.
This situation breaks everything from basic cookie mechanics to possibilities for caching short videos for offline use, which should have been letting us do all kinds of interesting and useful things now that the videos are supposed to be part of the normal content on a page.
Flash on mobile was terrible, Steve Jobs may have been the messenger for that but he wasn't the decision maker.
- 2.63.0 Coming to America
- 2.60.0 The Terminator
- 2.59.0 Full Metal Jacket
Secure the damn web.
Does anyone know, who at this point still continues to use Flash?
For Spotify, there's a years old request on the forums  their support keeps linking people to, but it doesn't seem like they're doing anything about it.
Deezer uses Flash for "security reasons"  and they don't plan to use HTML5.
Someone mentioned Google Play might work, but I haven't tried that yet.
The most infuriating one is NDR, because they allow you to switch between Flash and HTML5 video. However, if you don't have Flash installed, it doesn't give you that option or falls back to HTML5 (which would be reasonable) but instead throws an error telling you to get Flash. Yup, you need to install Flash so you can disable Flash.
Edit: The player is Projekktor , the FF setting was plugins.enumerable_names . There's a new option coming that hides plugins when set to click-to-play 
Edit: Yeah, you can opt-in with a button on the right column here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/html5
I hope this is going to be a thing.
Other than that, I think they're A/B testing some experimental features. Perhaps try a few different streams and see if those work?
Two steps forward, then three steps backwards. Great.
Fuck auto-play websites, made possible by HTML5. Even LOADING content unless the user explicity consented is horrible behavior.
Not everyone has an unlimited tethering plan or WiFi, fuck you very much.