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Open source advocates claim Adobe is showing open source animosity

When it comes to rich media on the Internet today, much of the media is powered by Adobe Flash. Flash has some competition like Microsoft Silverlight, but Flash continues to be one of the most supported rich media applications.

The future of Flash is not as clear as it once was with Google touting the ability to support rich media applications online with HTML 5. For its part Adobe insists that Flash will survive HTML 5 and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen went so far as to dismiss HTML 5, reports InformationWeek.

Narayen said, "[T]he fragmentation of browsers makes Flash even more important rather than less important."

Perhaps the most interesting demonstration that could put fear into the hearts of Adobe and its shareholder is the demonstration by Google at its developer conference of a YouTube prototype using HTML 5 instead of Flash.

Adobe's John Dowdell posted a blog comment in response to numerous headlines and Tweets that called HTML 5 a "Flash-killer." Dowdell called Apple, Google, and Mozilla "a consortium of minority browser vendors" and considered the absence of Flash on the iPhone and Silverlight technology as an endorsement of the technology.

Dowdell wrote, "Silverlight's launch helped boost the popularity of Flash. ... iPhone helped to radically increase the number of phones with Flash support."

Adobe has taken a defensive tact with regards to HTML 5 leading to speculation that the company may be more afraid of the technology that it wants to let on. InformationWeek reports that some readers posted comments to Dowdell's blog calling the advocacy of Flash another sign of Adobe's "open standards animosity."

Adobe is trucking along in the poor global economy, but reported a 41% drop in profits for its last quarter. Despite the decline in profit the stock price remains steady, which InformationWeek believes is a sign that investors see the drop in profits as due to the economy and not issues with the company or its offerings. Strategy Analytics reported in February that MySpace and YouTube were driving the adoption of some forms of Flash. If YouTube movies to another platform it would be a significant blow to Adobe.

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By Etsp on 6/19/2009 4:20:26 PM , Rating: 2
It's not likely... unfortunately the video codec that the HTML5 standards looks like it will implement is OGG Theora...

Which from my basic understanding of video encoding is an older standard, that has been practically abandoned in recent years as far as enhancements are concerned... This may change after the HTML 5 implementation, revitalizing the codec. However, as it stands right now, there aren't many modern tools available for working with it, and it isn't nearly as efficient as many other standards...

I think that in terms of efficiency, OGG Theora is about on equal ground to Flash...

By sprockkets on 6/19/2009 7:17:00 PM , Rating: 4
While this is true, it isn't because Theora is just fooling around, but every method, save for Dirac's wavelet encoding, is patented.

Can't have a open domain standard depend on patented tech.

By Etsp on 6/19/2009 7:25:15 PM , Rating: 2
I wasn't bashing their choice, they simply chose what was best to adopt in terms of an open standard... when compared to other open standards, Ogg Theora is by far the best, but it sucks in comparison to H.264, which probably won't become open any time soon...

They are stuck between a rock and a hard place on this...

By neothe0ne on 6/20/2009 7:59:47 AM , Rating: 2
x264 is pretty open, too bad that using it would make that open standard pretty closed since lots of people actually DO still run on Pentium 3's... or worse (pentium 4 lol).

By sc3252 on 6/19/2009 8:05:26 PM , Rating: 2
I would like to know what look so amazing with the current crap they use. I mean at such low bit rates does it really matter? The only thing I could imagine that looks worse is pron websites, since at least they have much higher quality than youtube has.

Also Theora isn't dead, in fact it is getting quite a few upgrades to put it up to quality with everything else.

By smitty3268 on 6/19/2009 11:11:06 PM , Rating: 3
The actual standard doesn't define any codec, because the vendors wouldn't agree on anything. Firefox is going with Theora because it's free, Safari is just using it's QuickTime libraries, and if IE ever gets around to adding support you can be sure it will use their windows media codecs.

Browsers can actually add support for as many codecs as they want, so hopefully the future will become more compatible.

And theora isn't as bad as some people think. It's using the same kind of technology that's in DivX/Xvid, which is still pretty popular even if it's not the same as h.264. There was a recent comparison that showed it does pretty well at low bitrates compared to the newer codecs, so for standard YouTube type web videos it may be a pretty good choice.

By B3an on 6/20/2009 11:23:43 AM , Rating: 1
I think that in terms of efficiency, OGG Theora is about on equal ground to Flash...

Thats not true, the newer versions of Flash can play many different file types and codecs. The Flash player just loads them into it.
Flash is the best option for video playback as almost everyone has it and when used with a good codec, it is pretty much untouchable by anything else.

I dont understand why people on this site moan about Flash so much, if you want to moan about a web based video player/format, then do it for one that really deserves it, like Quicktime for instance.

By mindless1 on 6/20/2009 1:15:16 PM , Rating: 3
Flash is the worst option, when used with a good codec it is just additional overhead. Nobody (at least not me) suggested we use another bad playback mechanism, it's just ridiculous to use flash, they do so only in an attempt at more content control.

Note that web browsers were capable of video playback for years, and did so on slower systems than we have today without causing the high CPU resources flash does. You don't understand why people moan because you ignore this glaring contradiction to your supposition.

By omnicronx on 6/22/2009 11:08:19 AM , Rating: 2
Flash is the worst option, when used with a good codec it is just additional overhead. Nobody (at least not me) suggested we use another bad playback mechanism, it's just ridiculous to use flash, they do so only in an attempt at more content control.
Except for the fact you don't have to depend on the client system having certain codecs. Totally agree with the extra overhead though, and I really do hate flash for any video use.

By BikeDude on 6/22/2009 1:19:36 PM , Rating: 2
Can you point to a good youtube-like site that demonstrates how to use flash videos properly?

With youtube, my system used to crawl to a stop if I watched low-quality youtube-clips in full screen mode. I had 1.8 GHz Opterons and a GeForce 7800GTX. I've upgraded since, but still annoying that flash wasted one of my CPUs, whereas full quality DVD only consumed 5% at most... (with that setup I could almost watch blu-ray titles -- the "almost" is why I later upgraded)

Flash ads that spike users' CPU usage should be considered a DOS attack. IMO such attacks should be prosecuted.

By xRyanCat on 6/20/2009 4:04:27 PM , Rating: 2
Theora is completely based on an earlier version of the "Flash codec", VP3.

The problem isn't that they don't know where to improve the codec, the problem is H.264 already took the cake and patented it. H.264 is by far and large the best video codec out there today.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer
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