The HTML5 Myth

Normally I approach “webtech” topic from the webdesigners and developers side.

But today I write about an apporach from a users perspective. The task was simple: Watch video online without using Adobe or Macromedia Flash. To make this task even simpler: Use the latest browser. To make it not too simple: OS is Fedora 13, so this is starting on a free software stack.

The video I wanted to look inside the browser (to not need to manually download it) is Tech Talk: Linus Torvalds on git.

  1. Starting Firefox
  2. Visiting the Youtube HTML5 site.
  3. #Fail 1: Needs the beta version of FireFox. No way on this system.
  4. It’s said Opera 6.5x is supported. Great! I have it installed.
  5. Starting Opera.
  6. Activating HTML5 on Youtube.
  7. #Fail 2: Youtube keeps Opera displaying me a page that says I should upgrade flash. No video.
  8. Now I thought I’m pretty clever and I’ll install Chromium. I mean Google = Youtube = Chromium.
  9. Reading about why there is no official Chromium package with Fedora (Link)
  10. Installing Chromium on Fedora.
  11. Starting Chromium
  12. Activating HTML5 on Youtube.
  13. #Fail 3: Youtube does not offer the video in a codec my browser has.

That was the moment where I decided to be done with this. The most frustrating stuff btw. was not to test out multiple browsers, the most frustrating point was that Youtube still offers flash when you signaled the page that you don’t want it.

I’m looking now for a mp4 download Add-On for Firefox an will hopefully soon be able to watch the second half of the movie.

I give videos in webbrowsers another three to nine month until this is working flawlessly. Until then I can only suggest todays webdevs to start browsing with an uninstalled (not only deactivated) flash plugin while reviewing their sites.

Update: HTML 5 Proposed Recommendation in 2022. Looks like this is expected not to work as HTML 5 is currently in some Alpha Stage. Be warned to use it for your sites. Test your Browser today.

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3 Responses to The HTML5 Myth

  1. Kevin Newman says:

    I’ve had a lot of problems with youtube’s HTML5 setting – it seems to get ignored far more often than it works. I would guess it’s more a youtube problem than an HTML5 video problem. Not that there aren’t issues with HTML5 video and decent compatibility in today’s browsers, but I wouldn’t use youtube as my yard stick.

  2. Denis says:

    Works quite fine on the iPad, though. I seldom run into sites whose videos I cannot see.

    • hakre says:

      Well for that device Youtube offers a special version for worry free using. Unfortunately, it looks like that that version is somewhat hard-locked to iPads.

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