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A Skeptical Comparison of HTML5 Video Playback To Flash

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the always-a-naysayer dept.

Graphics 391

gollum123 writes "Think we'd all be better off if HTML5 could somehow instantly replace Flash overnight? Not necessarily, according to a set of comparisons from Jan Ozer of the Streaming Learning Center website, which found that while HTML5 did come out ahead in many respects, it wasn't exactly a clear winner. They did find that HTML5 clearly performed better than Flash 10 or 10.1 in Safari on a Mac, although the differences were less clear cut in Google Chrome or Firefox. On the other hand, Flash more than held its own on Windows, and Flash Player 10.1 was actually 58% more efficient than HTML5 in Google Chrome on the Windows system tested. As you may have deduced, one of the big factors accounting for that discrepancy is that Flash is able to take advantage of GPU hardware acceleration in Windows, while Adobe is effectively cut out of the loop on Mac." gollum123 also links to additional tests indicating that Flash "does not perform consistently worse on Mac than on Windows."

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391 comments

GPU acceleration and Opera (4, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470766)

The second test seems to forget that Flash added GPU acceleration in Windows, which dramatically drops CPU usage [engadget.com]. It's not even small amount, it's 60%->12% with YouTube 720p video and most likely even more with 1080p. They've been working a lot with NVIDIA on it, which means more bad news for HTML5. I also installed those new NVIDIA drivers and newest Flash beta and full screen video is considerably smoother. [nvidia.com]

And where's Opera in this test? They added HTML5 support in 10.5 final too and their whole drawing engine will be hardware accelerated, with websites also. Their canvas implementation is also faster than with any other browser.

LeChuck's Revenge: Special Edition (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31470796)

I only hope I can play with the voice acting and remastered music, but the original graphics.

Re:GPU acceleration and Opera (0)

pacificleo (850029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470858)

When was the last time Performance and better quality became critical in deciding which tech will be widely deployed ? Unless a biggie like Google /MS /Apple back on HTML5 i don't see why it would replace incumbent standard :Flash . i have seen this movie before in Betamax Vs VHS and I am sure that lot of folks on slashdot are reading this discussion on IE 6 . comaprision like these are geeky amusment at best .

Re:GPU acceleration and Opera (3, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470914)

Unless a biggie like Google /MS /Apple back on HTML5 i don't see why it would replace incumbent standard

Both Google and Apple are heavy HTML5 backers. Not only they're on the W3C working group for it, but their respective browsers already implement large parts of it (including, specifically, HTML5 video).

Re:GPU acceleration and Opera (2, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470958)

Will that get rid of those annoying but obligatory Quicktime downloads?

Re:GPU acceleration and Opera (2, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470984)

Well, Apple has been pushing for standardizing on H.264 as a primary codec for HTML5 video, specifically... so I guess that would make it "yes".

Re:GPU acceleration and Opera (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471338)

You think they're just going to give up on QT?

That doesn't sound like today's Apple to me.

Re:GPU acceleration and Opera (1)

pacificleo (850029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470972)

They are not *Betting* on HTML5 they are just complying with standard or hedging for it. last month at Mobile Web Conference'2010 Eric Schimidt Touted Flash Support in android . I doubt they would do it for HTML5 . when it comes to mobile Google want it to be app/pluggin centric pardigm where they control things as they control Android . things like HTML5 which pushes WAP paradigm is something they won't like .

Re:GPU acceleration and Opera (4, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471016)

Well, I can't speak for Google, but Apple was one of three companies (two others being Mozilla and Opera) which founded WHATWG, thus putting a start to HTML5 development.

Also, it doesn't make sense for them to "comply with the standard" when there's no standard yet. As it is, both Google and Apple (and others) are writing the standard, and implementing the current drafts. Google also provides HTML5 beta of YouTube. If, as you say, there is no real business case for them to promote HTML5, they wouldn't do either thing.

The reason why Google touts Flash support in Android at the same time is because Flash is still relevant today, and because this is a major competitive advantage that Android has over iPhone. It would be foolish of them not to raise that point.

Re:GPU acceleration and Opera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471184)

Not true,

While Flash still exists, there's no reason to not support that (have you seen the market share, you idiot?)

Support HTML5 video and Flash at the same time. no big deal, if the browser supports HTML5 video, display it. Otherwise, use Flash u sucker!!

that is all.

Re:GPU acceleration and Opera (4, Informative)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471364)

I wasn't particularly impressed with the Youtube HTML5 beta (using Chrome) and ended up opting out. Playback wasn't very smooth, the video controls are slightly buggy, and HD videos seemed to take more time buffering. As of right now, the Flash player provides a far better experience.

(And Youtube's player controls are probably far better than anything the average developer could come up with.)

Internet nerds are predicting that HTML5 will be the death of Flash Video, but IMO it still looks like it has a long way to go.

Re:GPU acceleration and Opera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471384)

I wasn't particularly impressed with the current Chrome implementation of HTML5 and ended up opting out.

FTFY.

It has nothing to do with Youtube, and all to do with the browser.

Re:GPU acceleration and Opera (3, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471262)

From the submission: "On the other hand, Flash more than held its own on Windows,"

"When was the last time Performance and better quality became critical in deciding which tech will be widely deployed?"

Personally - I wish that SECURITY were the primary criteria in deciding which tech will be widely deployed. I'll sacrifice a bit of "performance", if HTML5 proves to be immune to all the exploits that Adobe products are open to. Yes, of course, HTML5 will have exploits, but Adobe seems to be wide open today.

Yes, HTML5 supports "super cookies" - that's a potential exploit IMO. What else is there?

Security, security, security. If a new technology opens an entire new class of exploits, then it's not worth having, even if it increases "efficiency" by orders of magnitude.

That said - I favor HTML5, because it is "open", and people can manage their own risk. With Adobe being closed, the open source crowd isn't free to search for the exploits that the black had people keep finding.

Re:GPU acceleration and Opera (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471350)

I favor HTML5, because it is "open", and people can manage their own risk.

Most people can't manage their own desktop, how they gonna manage their own risk?

Re:GPU acceleration and Opera (5, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471188)

So they're saying that when Flash isn't -doing- anything, it still sucks down 12% of the CPU. Yeah, that's awesome! Whoo!

They're also saying that With Flash using the GPU to the hilt, and HTML 5 not, they use about the same CPU.

Seriously, these are not impressive numbers.

How much of a perfomance hit for open standards? (4, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470778)

How much of a performance hit am I prepared to accept for open standards? 100%. The performance of the open platform will double every 18 months, but the DRM'd content will be forever limited.

Re:How much of a perfomance hit for open standards (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470794)

Open standards and DRM don't really have much to do together. Merely because the underlying system is open standard doesn't mean it cannot have DRM system implemented in it. Two different matters.

Re:How much of a perfomance hit for open standards (1)

drizek (1481461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470954)

It does if it is licensed under GPL v3.

Re:How much of a perfomance hit for open standards (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471056)

How does GPL v3 restrict implementing DRM?

It's always possible to use GPLed code to write software that implements DRM. However, if someone does that with code protected by GPLv3, section 3 says that the system will not count as an effective technological "protection" measure. This means that if you break the DRM, you'll be free to distribute your own software that does that, and you won't be threatened by the DMCA or similar laws.

Of course someone could try to fork the code in a way that can output non-DRM'd version of the file, but it's perfectly possible that GPL'd application can implement DRM. The earlier versions of Voddler [wikipedia.org] did this too (though now they've changed to website based system with Flash)

Re:How much of a perfomance hit for open standards (1)

drizek (1481461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471072)

Interesting. I had never seen that language before.

Still, it is a pretty big loophole.

Re:How much of a perfomance hit for open standards (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31470854)

The fact that there is a performance hit, is actually just a moot point. The reason that would make us all better of with html5 than with flash is a totally different. As long as flash, controls much of the content that regular users want, we are effectively held hostage to adobe.

Since flash is not fully supported in 64-bit. 64-bit OS:es will not be able to be widely spread. Try to sell a computer with a new hardware architecture until the day flash supports that new architecture.

So yes, open standards are very important.

Re:How much of a perfomance hit for open standards (2, Informative)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470960)

Since flash is not fully supported in 64-bit. 64-bit OS:es will not be able to be widely spread.

There are a couple different problems with this statement... I'll just say that I'm posting this from a 64-bit OS and a browser that runs Flash just fine. (Well, as fine as a Flash can be run anyway, which is "not very", but that's sort of beside the point.)

Re:How much of a perfomance hit for open standards (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471026)

I'll just say that I'm posting this from a 64-bit OS and a browser that runs Flash just fine.

It runs flash in 32-bit mode, dummy. 64-bit flash hasn't even come out yet publicly.

Re:How much of a perfomance hit for open standards (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471044)

It runs flash in 32-bit mode, dummy.

That's the point, dummy. The post I replied to stated that the unavailability of a 64-bit Flash build was a hindrance to the spread of 64-bit OSs. ("Since flash is not fully supported in 64-bit. 64-bit OS:es will not be able to be widely spread. Try to sell a computer with a new hardware architecture until the day flash supports that new architecture.")

This statement, of course, is complete BS for precisely the reason you and I are pointing out.

(That said, there is a 64-bit experimental build of Flash available for Linux, so saying it's not publicly out isn't 100% correct, just... like 99%.)

Re:How much of a perfomance hit for open standards (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471290)

That pre-release works - sometimes. I've installed it, and purged all the 32 bit libraries, and had it work well. I've also installed it, only to find that NOTHING works.

BTW - you do realize that the 64 bit pre-release is Linux only? If you're running anything else, you're still stuck with the 32 bit versions, along with the library dependencies, etc.

Re:How much of a perfomance hit for open standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471178)

Since flash is not fully supported in 64-bit. 64-bit OS:es will not be able to be widely spread.

There are a couple different problems with this statement... I'll just say that I'm posting this from a 64-bit OS and a browser that runs Flash just fine. (Well, as fine as a Flash can be run anyway, which is "not very", but that's sort of beside the point.)

That statement is totally oblivious of reallity, just like the statement wLAN is flawless on linux. Don't get me wrong, I am a linux user myself, and would never dream of the nightmare to install windows.

My point is that running flash on a 64-bit OS, is like running wLAN on linux. A lottery. Either it works, or it doesn't.

Just because you happen to be a success story, you assume that it is the same for everybody else. In reallity it is not the same for everyone else.

Re:How much of a perfomance hit for open standards (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471326)

That statement is totally oblivious of reallity, just like the statement wLAN is flawless on linux. Don't get me wrong, I am a linux user myself, and would never dream of the nightmare to install windows.

What makes you think I'm talking about Linux? Flash works fine on 64-bit Windows, and if you're interested in the practicality of what will prevent the adoption of 64-bit OSs, looking at what goes on with 64-bit Linux doesn't seem particularly relevant to be honest.

Also, are you trying to run the 64-bit Flash alpha, or are you running the 32-bit build with a 32-bit browser?

Re:How much of a perfomance hit for open standards (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471296)

Since flash is not fully supported in 64-bit. 64-bit OS:es will not be able to be widely spread.

Try using an 64-bit OS that supports 32-bit software you stupid retard. (Which is practically all of them except a few broken-by-design Linsux distros)

PS: you aren't advancing the state of computing by running a 64-bit browser, you are just wasting memory, idiot.

Re:How much of a perfomance hit for open standards (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471374)

The fact that there is a performance hit, is actually just a moot point. As long as flash, controls much of the content that regular users want, we are effectively held hostage to adobe.

Learn to use commas properly, fucktard.

Agreed (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471060)

I do use linux, since that doesn't have GPU accelerated flash, I am clearly not all that bothered by it. Oh and I do get performance bonus after all with this.

And will it be all that hard for browsers to pull the same trick as flash did?

Re:How much of a perfomance hit for open standards (1)

Jenming (37265) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471406)

I guess this is beside the point, but I feel required to point out that if you start by losing 100% performance it doesn't matter how many times you double your now 0 performance, it will always still be 0 performance.

This is early days for the video tag (5, Insightful)

javilon (99157) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470792)

As soon as the video tag becomes popular implementations using the GPU will appear, and will not only work in Windows. We will be farther better off.

And if Google open sources the VP8 codec the just purchased, it will be even better.

Re:This is early days for the video tag (4, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470860)

Actually, GPU acceleration is why Theora is losing to H.264 again. H.264 can be already hardware accelerated in almost every device from PC's to mobile phones. But Theora doesn't have such support.

Tailspin (2, Interesting)

gd2shoe (747932) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470962)

You've just described the tailspin that we're in. To get out of it, somebody must loose face because their device/system is incapable of supporting open and free standards. It's sad that the end users will be collateral damage to this, but the sooner it happens, the better off we'll be.

Re:This is early days for the video tag (2, Interesting)

FrostedWheat (172733) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470974)

Theora doesn't need anywhere near as many CPU cycles to decode as H.264. Hardware acceleration would be nice, but it's not as critical as you'd think.

Re:This is early days for the video tag (0)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470990)

But that's because of less-heavy compression. Theora also has a larger bitrate for the same quality as H.264. Especially with Internet video bitrate and compressibility count a lot.

Re:This is early days for the video tag (1)

karolbe (1661263) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471162)

Well, this is not exactly true...For my eyes Theora+OGG encoded in 327kbps is much better than H264 encoded with the same bitrate: http://people.xiph.org/~greg/video/ytcompare/comparison.html [xiph.org]

Re:This is early days for the video tag (3, Informative)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471206)

That's H.263, which is a horrible piece of crap. It's what youtube used before H.264 and they still do for the low-quality version of videos. There's no question that Theora beats the old flv H.263.

Re:This is early days for the video tag (5, Insightful)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471214)

Maybe not on a PC, but in a handheld device you really can't let the CPU do the decoding. You simply can't get the 10 hours (or so) of video playback on a phone that way with today's chips and batteries. A dedicated video decoding chip is the only option for such devices and right now, a chip for decoding MP4/H264 is already present in most systems.

Re:This is early days for the video tag (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471148)

The hardware acceleration that Flash is benefitting from on Windows isn't h264 decoding from what I understand. It's actually colorspace conversion. Flash allows authors to overlay arbitrary graphics on top of video, which means mixing data from RGB and video colorspace. That in turn meant hitting non-accelerated codepaths. Adobe, Microsoft and the driver devs worked on fixing that and now Flash is super smooth on Windows. Apple meanwhile have either not created or not exposed the necessary APIs, so Flash sucks balls on a Mac and instead of Getting Shit Done, Jobs seems to prefer privately insulting the Flash developers (calling them lazy).

Re:This is early days for the video tag (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470872)

I agree, in the long run the open HTML5 video tag will still be a better choice whereas right now Flash 10.1 provides better performance on Windows.

However, there's a lot of work going on in Gallium3D in the Linux camp and Gallium3D will make it possible to accelerate video decoding in a standard way on multiple different graphics adapters, including even very low-end ones. So, that'll help the Linux camp, including any handheld devices based on Linux.

On Windows the browsers just need to be extended to use hardware decoding facilities already available.

On Mac.. well, that I can't really comment on as I don't know much about them.

Anyways, in the long run HTML5 video decoding should still perform faster than Flash, it just takes a moment for the browser makers to start using those decoding facilities that are available to them. I could predict that handhelds will be among the first devices to actually do HTML5 hardware decoding as they are the ones with least powerful hardware and usually don't use a multi-platform browser, instead opting for a specific one for that handheld.

I vote for HTML5 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31470820)

...I can't afford $650 for a CS4 license...

standardize a codec for html5 or die trying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31470834)

No standard codec between browsers and we go back to the ole hunting around for codecs/players to view streamig video aka 1990's

Re:standardize a codec for html5 or die trying (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470922)

It didn't happen for HTML image formats, even though that wasn't standardized either. In cases like these, de facto standards tend to arise. In this case, it is already pretty clear that the winner will be H.264.

Re:standardize a codec for html5 or die trying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471106)

Yeah but what do you do about the patent issues surrounding H.264? H.264 require's a licensed codec to play. This is an issue for browsers like Firefox.

Re:standardize a codec for html5 or die trying (2, Insightful)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471176)

This is an issue for browsers like Firefox.

"Only" because Firefox refuses to use something like DirectShow to use whatever codecs are available on the system.

See here [mozillazine.org] for why; they aren't necessarily bad reasons, but changing their opinion on this matter would largely solve the H.264 codec patent issue as far as Firefox is concerned.

Re:standardize a codec for html5 or die trying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471212)

just ship it will ALL CODECS

Ship it out of some country like china or north korea and ignore all lawsuits that come up regarding patents or other such bullshit.

ignore the faggots trying to get rich, just make it work and make it USEFUL!

If you fail at both making it work and making it useful, then kill yourself.

Crap article (1)

heffrey (229704) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470848)

The author implies that adobe can't use gpu for flash on mac. Why not? Is he getting confused with iphone which is different from the mac, at least the last time I checked.

Not a crap article (3, Informative)

Macka (9388) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471280)

The author implies that adobe can't use gpu for flash on mac. Why not?

It's not a crap article because it's true. If you look at the 10.1 public beta release notes [adobe.com] it says:

In Flash Player 10.1, H.264 hardware acceleration is not supported under Linux and Mac OS. Linux currently lacks a developed standard API that supports H.264 hardware video decoding, and Mac OS X does not expose access to the required APIs. We will continue to evaluate adding the feature to Linux and Mac OS in future releases.

How Apple react to this will be a good litmus test of how fair Steve J is prepared to be with Adobe. Will he make the APIs available to benefit his customers but risk making HTML5 less attractive, or will he just ignore them and play hard ball.

As for Linux, the historical lack of a unified approach to solving this (that includes all interested parties) is going to leave us out in the cold for some time yet. Let's hope that Gallium3D sticks, gains enough traction and doesn't get dropped for something else a few years down the road. That will make a nice change!

I've yet to see HTML5 video work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31470850)

I've yet to see HTML5 video work - whenever I try one of those (such as the one when Firefox starts up and tells you about it) I get such dreadful performance it isn't worth watching.
And yet on the same computer (Windows XP) with the same connection I can watch BBC iPlayer (which is based on Adobe Flash/Air) in 1920x1200 with a decent frame rate and decent quality.

Not saying HTML5 video won't happen, I'm sure it will, but I think its early days yet. Flash will be around for some time to come.

Flash DOES run slower on Mac (2, Interesting)

ottawanker (597020) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470856)

From what I can tell by reading the article that says that 'Flash "does not perform consistently worse on Mac', what they really mean is that not only does Flash run slower on Mac, but Safari is also coded really poorly for Windows.

Flash aint so bad (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470868)

Sure it gets bashed on Slashdot for not being open source but so what? Slashdotters would love to see Ogg audio take over the world and MP3 die a painful death too, and I don't see that happening either.

Re:Flash aint so bad (2, Insightful)

gaelfx (1111115) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470904)

Well, for those of us interested in the development of Linux as a viable alternative to other operating systems, closed source software that comes to be considered "necessary" for general computer use means more time and resources spent on developing software against the de facto closed standards. Imagine if all those people trying to make Flash work on Linux could do something else with code that they can actually see. I dunno about you, but when I code for something, I like to know what the heck I'm working on and how it will fit in, rather than flying blindly at some goal.

Re:Flash aint so bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471144)

The important thing here is that HTML5 is actually a viable & good alternative. It will eventually be as capable as Flash and it won't be a proprietary standard. This is a possibly win-win scenario.

We all need to put up with the minor inconvenience.

Re:Flash aint so bad (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471234)

HTML5 in itself won't be a proprietary standard, but the underlying codecs required to actually play the video tag will be the same mess it's always been, with kludges and fallbacks to flash and / or other plugins when the video format isn't supported.

If w3c had wanted to do something useful, they should have insisted on ONE video codec format and ONE audio codec, to work with the video and audio tag respectively. Now that WOULD have been a common standard.

Re:Flash aint so bad (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471346)

Agreed. I pretty much lost interest in it as a flash video replacement the second it became clear there wasn't going to be a set standard for codecs. I remember what it was like pre flash video on linux. A crappy situation of piggybacking on windows codecs and just hoping the site didn't have measures in place to prevent video from working at all in linux. I don't think it'll be that bad, but I can see a shadow of that in html5.

Re:Flash aint so bad (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471156)

Open source? Who cares? How about flash cookies, horrible ads, and stupid UIs for web-sites.

Re:Flash aint so bad (1)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471216)

Horrible ads? Adblock/Flashblock. Flash cookies? Delete them. What people care about is, erm, having a Linux version of Flash that isn't a horrible smoking pile of excrement, performance- and stability-wise.

Re:Flash aint so bad (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471310)

Open source? Who cares? How about flash cookies, horrible ads, and stupid UIs for web-sites.

Haven't you heard? Google and their Slashbot fanboys support replacing all that stuff with HTML5 in order to make it more difficult to disable or block.

Re:Flash aint so bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471284)

I'm sorry, I don't follow the logic of your post:

  • Slashdot (whose posters are not a single entity, but that is not the point) wants Ogg (Vorbis, really) to kill off MP3
  • You don't see that happening
  • Therefore who cares that Flash is not open source
  • Alternatively, therefore Flash is not that bad

Is this the chain of reasoning you're using? Is your point that because one open technology is not beating a proprietary technology, there's no point in talking about open technology at all? Or that because Vorbis hasn't killed off MP3, Flash is a good technology? Or something else?

I'm serious; I don't understand what you're trying to say.

Re:Flash aint so bad (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471328)

Non-OSSness is the least of flash's issues. Security issues and pathetic support on Linux (especially 64-bit systems) rank higher on my list of reasons why flash should die in a fire.

Re:Flash aint so bad (1)

jgrahn (181062) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471354)

Sure it gets bashed on Slashdot for not being open source but so what?

The practical results range from extra trouble (doesn't come prepackaged with my OS) to showstoppers (have a 64-bit CPU? Sorry, we don't support that.) The only application good enough to make up for that kind of trouble is Opera.

Re:Flash aint so bad (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471388)

I just think Flash is annoying. It messes with how my browser works. Right click working properly? Nope. ctrl+t (new tab), ctrl+tab (next tab), ctrl+f4 (close tab)? Nope. Mouse gestures? Nope. If Flash acted like it was part of a web page, it wouldn't annoy me. As it is, it reminds me of cutting a hole in my browser and seeing something else through it, and I don't think there's any way to fix that without customizing Flash for every browser.

Also, the video/audio tags make more sense from a programming perspective. If you want to add video to a web page, it makes more sense to have a single, fairly simple video tag than an embed + writing a flash program to display a video.

Re:Flash aint so bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471434)

I hate Flash because it is mostly used as a horribly slow video player. Just compare the performance of any other video player to Flash and tell me with a straight face that Flash isn't crap.

Why compare? (1)

gaelfx (1111115) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470886)

They are comparing an internet standard that is not yet finalized to what is supposedly a finished product. HTML5 hasn't even settled on a video codec, so how can there even be a real comparison here? Of course HTML5 can't take advantage of GPU acceleration yet, they don't even know what they'll be accelerating yet! The only thing this article does is point out that HTML5 hasn't had the chance to implement GPU acceleration and that maybe they should consider it as part of their criteria in their codec selection process.

Re:Why compare? (3, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470946)

HTML5 hasn't even settled on a video codec

They aren't goint to settle on it. It will be unspecified, just as image formats were in past HTML specs.

how can there even be a real comparison here?

You compare both platforms with the same codec, of course.

Of course HTML5 can't take advantage of GPU acceleration yet, they don't even know what they'll be accelerating yet!

If they don't know, how do they play it today?

In fact, they do know. A de facto standard is already in place (Flash played a part in that as well), and it's called H.264.

HTML5 hasn't had the chance to implement GPU acceleration and that maybe they should consider it as part of their criteria in their codec selection process.

HTML5 doesn't implement acceleration, browser vendors do. It's not any harder for them to do so than it is for Adobe, so presumably, if Flash can hardware-accelerate, so can the browser. It's just that they didn't get to that point yet.

Rome wasn't built in a day! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31470888)

HTML5 and all Web browsers still have a long way to go, but it is a superior standard based on its openness. A small initial performance hit is a small price to pay to help bring sanity to Internet multimedia!

(Signed: Alex Libman's sock-puppet.)

html5 is a clear winner (2, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470926)

HTML 5 is a clear winner by virtue of not being Adobe Flash or any other proprietary application but an open standard.

priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31470942)

who cares if it isn't faster it's open thats what matters surely we've learnt this by now?

Halp! I are teh stupidness! (1, Insightful)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470948)

Could someone please tell me what the point of Flash video(or html 5 video) is? I can watch mpeg2 films on clonky old hardware (remember multimedia PCs?) that won't play Flash, so is it just that flv is a smaller filesize? If so, how much smaller? Is it that flv renderers scale better than mpeg2?

Re:Halp! I are teh stupidness! (3, Informative)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471320)

MPEG2 compresses by a factor of about 5 to 10, while H.264 AVC compresses by a factor of about 20 to 30 and the subjective quality is better too, being not blocky.

Anecdotal evidence (3, Interesting)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470952)

Obviously this is anecdotal, but the fans on my Macbook pro often spin up playing full screen flash video, but never while playing video in Quicktime. But even if HTML5 performs no better than Flash currently, HTML5 still wins because it doesn't rely on Adobe to issue security and performance updates.

Re:Anecdotal evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471042)

That's because Flash on mac's isn't hardware (gpu) accelerated. But quicktime obviously is :)

Re:Anecdotal evidence (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471092)

Only if you have the latest generation of MacBook Pro's.

I have a 2007 MBP, there is no hardware acceleration for H.264 in Mac OS X. 720p Flash uses up almost all of my CPU power, H.264 when played in Quicktime or Mplayer for example, consumes around 10%.

My older iMac G5 cannot even play 320p flash video, but is almost fine with Mplayer playing 720p content.

Re:Anecdotal evidence (1)

EvilIdler (21087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471268)

My fans spin up playing *windowed* Flash video. Adobe aren't even trying on OS X.

Re:Anecdotal evidence (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471452)

well good for them, why should they give a shit about apple and their vocal but small crowd of cocksucking customers.

why should they spend their time optimizing their product for such a bunch of fake hipsters?

if i was adobe i would stop making photoshop for your shitty little os!!!!

if you don't like flash's performance on your os then come over to windows. its simple.

or wait for html5 - 2022 and it should be up to par with flash (as it is now.)

Check your sources... (3, Informative)

diamondsw (685967) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470994)

gollum123 also links to additional tests indicating that Flash "does not perform consistently worse on Mac than on Windows."

Yes, tests provided by... Mike Chambers of Adobe. I'm sure that they're completely impartial.

When I turn on HTML5 video support at YouTube, the exact same clip in the exact same browser on the exact same OS on the exact same session runs at a third of the CPU power. Sure, it's an anecdote - and one that's been observed by hundreds if not thousands of others, consistently over the years. But according to Adobe, nope, no problems at all. Emperor's clothes look really chic.

Fuck off, Adobe. You had years to improve your damn plugin, and we'll all be better off when it and its horrid performance and security record are no more.

This is not the right angle to look into it (1)

iampiti (1059688) | more than 4 years ago | (#31470996)

I believe this is not the most important reason why one or the other will be selected. The website makers are the ones who decide which technology will be used to play video any I believe many of them don't like many things that HTML5 offers:
  • The url of the video is right there facilitating the download of the video and hence potentially reducing the number of future visits to the site. With flash you can at least try to obscure the real url of the file (whether this works that's another debate)
  • The browser and not the website owner controls how the video displays, the interface shown to the user
  • DRM: I don't think you can do this with HTML5 video, you certainly can with Flash

Re:This is not the right angle to look into it (1)

moreati (119629) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471066)

I don't think the first two will be too much of a problem. To make download harder, and to show ads, sites will fiddle the source URL with javascript most likely. As I understand HTML5 a site can implement it's own controls, using the video tag's DOM. DRM is the unknown. Some creative coder may pull a smoke and mirrors trick that's convincing enough. Higher ups may even come to the opinion that it just doesn't matter. Or (lack of) DRM could mean HTML5 video isn't adopted by most.

Re:This is not the right angle to look into it (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471246)

The browser and not the website owner controls how the video displays, the interface shown to the user

I doubt that, a lot of Flash players out there have quite advanced features compared to a standard video player. Youtube will for example allow captions, links and comments being added on-top of the video stream, it also allows changing the soundtrack of a video, other players have allowed adding comments directly to a time stamp or split the video into sections instead of a single linear bar and there is of course all that showing of related videos going on. Not quite sure how flexible HTML5 is, but I'd guess all that can be replicated with a heap load of Javascript, SVG and all that stuff. So I don't really expect to see standard video player on the web anytime.

I have a great idea! (1)

Bazer (760541) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471008)

Let's compare an established de facto standard which is a monstrosity beaten into submission over several years, to an experimental implementations of an unfinished standard. Oh, and lets leave out the fact that the new one is perfectly cross-platform and open while the old one isn't.

Let's wait and see (4, Insightful)

oljanx (1318801) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471014)

It's not really fair to compare a technology that is still being developed to others that are very well established. The big benefit of HTML5 is it's non-proprietary nature. Once the standard is adopted and applications are built around it these comparisons will look very different.

Re:Let's wait and see (2, Insightful)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471150)

I don't think openness of the standard is a benefit in this specific instance. Flash has to be optimized once per platform (so, 3 times). HTML5 video has to be optimized once per browser per platform, which is considerably more work. If only one popular browser doesn't do a good job, HTML5 video will be an unsuitable solution (because that browser will still need to use flash, and at that point you might as well deploy flash for everyone).

Re:Let's wait and see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471400)

and at that point you might as well deploy flash for everyone

Unless of course, there was a popular browser/platform that didn't support flash. (hint: think mobile)

Retro machines (2, Insightful)

stimpleton (732392) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471038)

By saying "PC and MAC", TFA disregards handheld and small devices. These may be dominant players in the medium term(till they are as powerful as PC's and Macs). HTML5 may have an edge, especially with the iPad attitude of limited Flash support

Flash is not limited to video (1)

AwaxSlashdot (600672) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471050)

Even if the results are real, there are a few shortcoming.

Mainly, the performance issue, especially on MacOS, is
not limited to video. Even plain simple Flash with animated
clip art is a CPU hog. This is what REALLY needs to
be benchmarked and documented.

Then, all videos are not equal. For the same bandwith, when comparing H264 in HTML5 and Flash codec in Flash player, we need to compare the CPU usage AND the final
quality.

Finally, the test should be performed on the same hardware for both MacOS and Windows.

Spelling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471070)

Sceptical - another word the Americans can't spell :(

Misses the point (3, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471100)

Performance is rather secondary. This is about standards and cross-platform compatibility. Flash is an atrocity in this regard, and the earlier it gets tossed out on the trash heap of computing history, the better.

Re:Misses the point (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471370)

You are exactly right. Performance isn't the issue at all, it's rather a nice side effect.

Some perspective, people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471136)

People tend to forget what Flash is. It's a fucking browser plugin. A metaphor from the internet bronze age.

Other browser plugins:

ActiveX
Java Applets
Silverlight
Bonzi Buddy

If your idea of providing a web experience necessitates installation of 3rd party, buggy and half-baked plugins then you fail as a developer and as a human being.

I'll admit, HTML5 media experience [jilion.com] is kinda lacking at this point and there are reasons for that. a) the infighting between h.264 camp and Theora camp has resulted in a paralysis where non-ideologues don't know which way to lean. and b) the next generation tools aren't yet available for the web developers so they could start serving their content for the post-Flash era. Every html5 video implementation I've seen is very barebones and not as feature rich as Flash.

Of course, this could change very soon and above 2 points are very fixable. To quote JFK on this matter:

We choose to switch to HTML5... (interrupted by applause) in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too. [followed by stuff about Adobe being lazy]

My point is, if you defend Flash you might as well defend Bonzai Buddy. I don't care if the next version of Flash gives free handjobs - I want it out of my fucking browser.

The biggest tell (1)

weave (48069) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471202)

With Safari on the Mac, Flash did show a significantly higher CPU utilization, but Ozer attributes that to Apple's use of GPU hardware acceleration with HTML5. ... Adobe has added hardware acceleration with Flash Player 10.1, and Ozer argues that if Jobs were to embrace such a setup, CPU hogging would no longer be a problem. Of course, that still leaves the buggy bit. And the security bit.

So the answer is to let some bug-ridden security-mess proprietary plug-in have direct access to the hardware. Brilliant!

Flash sites are already broken ... for the blind. (1)

Cerebus (10185) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471244)

Try having text-to-speech read you a flash-based site some time. So much for ADA compliance on the web. HTML5 will encourage sites to fix this.

http://www.gozlempnomatik.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471298)

pnömatik

Honestly (5, Insightful)

trifish (826353) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471394)

I don't care if Flash is 50% faster than HTML5 video. I don't want the vulnerability-laden Flash on my primary OS just to watch a YouTube video. Period.

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