Young entrepreneurs like this narrative because it gives them a sense of possible success over actually experienced individuals.
"Old" entrepreneurs (apparently, older than 25 years old), will find this stance unsettling, for a few reasons. One reason that stands out for me: What if I was under 25 when I started, but now "old" and still successfully running the same company?
The problem with this narrative is that it never bothers to ask what happens if you don't dump your company at valuation and leave rich, enjoying the high life.
Young entrepreneurs may see this outcome as more probable, "older" ones have passed this fantasy and are happy to go further than a "cut and run" approach.
Possibly two different conversations, but I don't really understand the mentality of building something great, getting a valuation and hoping to bail out to supposed utopia. How can you call yourself a passionate entrepreneur if your game plan is to run your startup like a lottery winning?
This is a curious blanket statement. While I have run up against the odd crappy jQuery plugin, the tried-and-true plugins work flawlessly - often throughout jQuery's versions.
I think you're doing a disservice to those who take the time to make great jQuery plugins. The web - as a whole - is better because of the power that these plugins offer designers and developers alike. More people can abandon Flash for simplistic bells & whistles because of the jQuery Plugin.
> ...the Swiss government has been conducting a study into the impact downloading has on society, and this week their findings were presented.
This is where I stopped and took a moment. The government did research. Proactively. For the good of its people.
To the Swiss government, the people of the country (or, the impact to the people of the country) are/is considered before an external interest. That isn't to say the external interest isn't important, just not as important as the people.
That's the difference. In North America, we concern ourselves with jobs so much that it actually makes them go away. If you sympathize with the industry, the industry takes advantage and cements itself to a position of necessity.
Artists will continue making movies and music because that's what artists do – with or without the entertainment industry.
The entertainment industry needs us, we don't need them.
"To the Swiss government, the people of the country (or, the impact to the people of the country) are/is considered before an external interest."
How would you consider the American music industry an "external interest" in the USA? While the RIAA and the labels aren't citizens, they're generally comprised of citizens. That is, when a music label gets special treatment, that means those citizens who work for that label get special treatment.
I'm not advocating the craziness that is current copyright law in the USA by any means, and while the above statement might sound like justification for all the evil the RIAA and the like have done over the years, the issue is hardly black-and-white.
"Artists will continue making movies and music because that's what artists do – with or without the entertainment industry."
I think this is a very broad, gross generalization. Sure, musically-inclined folks will probably still continue to play instruments or write songs as a hobby, even if there weren't a financial incentive -- but I hardly think the thousands (hundreds of thousands? millions?) of people currently involved in the entertainment industry would all be starving artists/producers/technicians/special effects artists/movie theater operators/etc. purely out of some all-overriding drive to create/produce/engineer/operate.
Let's say we flipped the law and made it illegal to sell music & movies. On the plus side, we'd probably have relatively little low-quality "pop" music & remakes of remakes in the theaters. On the negatives, we'd almost certainly never have, say, the Beatles White album, 2001: A Space Odyssey, WALL-E, etc.. It's not because without a financial incentive the Beatles wouldn't have made music, they just wouldn't have been able to devote the time and resources that they did. Kubrick might have still made a film like 2001, but how possible is it he would have been able to make it of the same quality?
Again, I'm not saying I agree with our current system of basically entertainment industry-by-fiat, but it's not nearly as simple as "we'll always have art regardless of if there's an industry to support it!"
> How would you consider the American music industry an "external interest" in the USA?
The American music industry isn't American. It's international. When a corporation gets to be the size of, say, Universal, their interests are not bound to a specific country. To me, that makes their interests external to America's interests.
> I think this is a very broad, gross generalization. Sure, musically-inclined folks will probably still continue to play instruments or write songs as a hobby, even if there weren't a financial incentive.
It is a broad generalization to say that artists are fuelled by financial gain. I love designing and developing digital products and if I didn't work 9-5, I'd be doing it more often and probably with less restrictions, less overhead and less BS. We can't fathom this because it doesn't exist. The method provided is thought to be the only true way to "make it". And that's wrong.
> Let's say we flipped the law and made it illegal to sell music & movies.
You don't need to flip it. All you have to do is align with your peers and create communities that encourage artistic expression. Nothing wrong with people being the distribution network. There are thousands of years of cultural evidence that distribution of art & ideas is abundant when necessary.
> but it's not nearly as simple as "we'll always have art regardless of if there's an industry to support it!"
And yet art existed before the entertainment industry. Really, if Switzerland/Sweden's laws are such a threat to their profits, why haven't they pulled out?
American/british music is an "external interest" for most of european countries (music is net import).
Still they combat piracy as if they are gaining money on IP, not bleeding.
While USA is known for pirating like crazy and defending it at law level until they became net exporter in the first half of XX century. Then they started evolving towards IP protection, while ensuring they would not have to pay for older works but they would be paid for newer works.
At this point, can I count on a user having Flash over Chrome or Firefox? Today, I'd say that a user having Flash is a more reliable bet than them having Chrome/Firefox. And if they have Chrome, they have Flash.
I get where you're going, but this conversation always gets dicey. People want Flash to die, so they sit around the campfire dreaming about why it is bad, but fail to see why it has succeeded thus far.
If we really want Flash to die, we should be concentrating on advancing the standard (or abandon the slow-moving committees involved).
Instead, this rhetoric of how Flash performs, or its inherit proprietary format gets brought up. Over and over. Ad nauseum.
And yet Flash – today – outperforms the alternatives in almost every realm of multimedia. Audio API, Camera support, 3D/vector drawing, video decoding, licensing, streaming.
Drama and vilification won't change the fact that I still can't allow a user to upload a video with a webcam using standard web technologies – probably not until 2020 (or whatever other gratuitously pushed off date it may be). I still can't reliably build a highly interactive, full-width experience without the browser having a fit.
Just a quick reply to your "I still can't allow a user to upload a video with a webcam using standard web technologies" point. I believe you can or soon will be able to upload video captured on a mobile device in Firefox for Android and the Android stock browser, using
The debate isn't about whether Flash is more capable than HTML5 - more whether HTML5 is a better 'model' than Flash and when I say better I mean that 1. It is not owned by any one company and 2. You can view the source.
Viewing the source has been fundamental to the evolution of the web and it will be fundamental going forward - with Flash you can't do it. Not to mention that Flash's sand-boxed implementation doesn't play nicely with other HTML elements. (Try manipulating Flash video with Canvas).
But what the author is really talking about is changing the process of establishing standards - bottom up rather than top down. Give us, the developers the basic building blocks and we will build the rest. It should become obvious then what to implement as a standard, if anything.
I recently read Paul Graham's Hackers and Painters and although I certainly don't agree with all he says, one paragraph stood out:
"Let yourself be second-guessed. When you make any tool, people use it in ways you didn't intend, and this is especially true of a highly articulated tool like a programming language. Many a hacker will want to tweak your semantic model in a way that you never imagined. I say let them. Give the programmer access to as much internal stuff as you can."
Adobe sits and thinks about what the next steps are for Flash and web standards organizations sit and think about how to replicate what Flash does – understand the demand cycle.
My point isn't that HTML5 sucks, it's that people see it as better than Flash – but it isn't, sadly. That isn't an evangelistic statement, it is a factual one. To push forward, we can't be ignorant. We (as a community) have to look at what Flash does and take it for HTML5 and then come back to the table at least as often as Adobe. Otherwise, Flash will always be better.
The point is both Adobe and the W3C are guessing. Think how much faster we could advance if it was put in the hands of the community. A community that constantly implements, gets feedback, re-implements, collaborates. You only have to look at three.js (https://github.com/mrdoob/three.js/) and similar to get an idea of what can be built on a low-level API.
Having participated in web browser standards for 15 years, in good (competitive) markets and bad, I agree completely, without reservation even though perfection is not an option.
The developer community, especially with open source as practiced on github.com, is much better able to path-find better high-level models and APIs. Committees and individual browser vendors are less likely to find the right designs and get them codified as well or as quickly.
This is not inevitable. You could have a righteous hacker/designer at a browser company, whose API and implementation are so winning they sweep all before them. Great if this happens, but it's rare in my experience.
Thus the apparent paradox of low-level APIs and increasingly very fast JS engines enabling faster and better hacker-community-based de-facto standardization than even the modern browser vendors can achieve on average. Then the standards bodies ideally roll up de-jure standards based on uncontested winning designs.
We're in the midst of this, so it's hard to see it in full. It's also slower than some people want, but Flash was not built in a day, or a year, either.
Browser vendor "defection" (failure to cooperate in standards bodies on consensus standardization) is an ongoing threat. Competition as browsers merge with mobile and desktop/tablet OS front-sides (home screens) and app platforms is of course still required to keep standards bodies functional.
Flash does not outperform every aspect of the alternatives. The standard flash browser plugin can't even provide frame accurate playback, something that can be done with the video tag in chrome, IE9, Safari and Firefox.
It does not out perform chrome's webgl, audio API, video decoding support, except in the cross platform support it offers.
The only benefit it has is that it Is common, but there can be version differences on feature support.
So true. I've been working on an idea with several visual concepts for a while. There are 2 devils on my shoulders. The one devil is saying to me, "Be the Steve Jobs. Don't allow garbage out the door." while the other devil tells me, "Ship, ship, ship, ship. Something is better than nothing."
Both of these little devils have a few great points, and I pine over them both daily as I find myself frustrated halfway through a concept, realizing something is missing or something needs to be removed.
Start over and make it right? Or get something out the door?
People should try to understand that the need for the capabilities of Flash and Flash itself are being lopped together in a single, partisan viewpoint. Regretfully.
There is a need for crazy, highly interactive studio/movie sites, webcam support on the web, cross-browser reliability, fast drawing for animation and games, cross-browser 3D, audio API. Saying that these features will come one day is not an answer. "You don't need those features because..." is also not an answer. The OP's points are no more constructive that those who have answers like these against Flash.
Criticizing HTML5 means you are pro-Flash. Which means you are wrong and all of your points are invalid. Even if you're not pro-Flash.
> I would have thought that criticising HTML5 and providing valid reasoning means you think negatively about HTML5
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism. Not offering criticism isn't supportive, it's religious. Being willfully blind to huge holes in necessary support won't make HTML5 better.
> The problem is, the author hasn't backed up anything.
It's not a research paper for a scientific discovery. It's an opinion on the state of HTML5. The OP doesn't need to back it up since proof of his points are rampantly apparent and readily available, cognitive dissonance excluded.
If you want HTML5 to get better, you should ask that it is better. Turning a blind eye is just foolish.
> it seems likely the BSA was engaging in knee jerk support and didn't consult its membership.
So, you're saying these companies aren't responsible for their actions because they stand behind an organization that they pay into? Must be nice. I wish I could haphazardly align myself with interest groups and just hope everything works out for me, but if it doesn't, have deniability.