back to article YouTube flushes Flash for future flicks

YouTube has decided it's had enough of Adobe's perenially-p0wned Flash and will therefore now default to delivering video with the HTML5 <video> tag. A post by the video vault's engineering and development team says the move is now possible, and sensible, because the industry has invented useful things like adaptive bitrates, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flash Bash

    Java, ActiveX, Flash, SilverLight,... the pattern goes on.

    But let us not forget why they became so popular in the first place - because of the horrifically broken, limited and outdated HTML specifications, that hamper any attempt to put pixels on the screen at a specific location.

    The ancient 'HTML' way of doing things (by positioning graphics at the text cursor) has driven developers, plugin manufacturers, and users, for years, to do whatever they can to circumvent it. Yet it still persists.

    * And don't give me that 'different screen sizes' crap - game developers have catered for different shaped screens since games were invented.

    1. ratfox

      Re: Flash Bash

      game developers have catered for different shaped screens since games were invented.

      I don't think the comparison is fair. There's like four aspect ratios PC games have to handle. 3:4 was the standard for many years, until we started having 12:10 and the like. Even now on cell phones, it's not all games that can handle both landscape and portrait.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Tom 7

      Re: Flash Bash

      Java, Active X, Flash, SilverLight,... the pattern goes on.

      But let us not forget why they became so popular in the first place - because of the horrifically broken, limited and outdated HTML specifications, that hamper any attempt to put pixels on the screen at a specific location, due to the people who wrote Java, ActiveX, Flash, SilverLight,... joining in the standardisation of HTML and javascript and trying to stop their development in their tracks so their products could be sold.

      1. PeterM42

        Re: Flash Bash

        It's not so much Flash Bash as Flash - CRASH!!!!!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    nice one

    Youtube has been the only reason to install flash for the last few years.

    Adobe, you've been producing cack for years, soon you'll be gone..

    1. Robert Helpmann??

      Re: nice one

      Adobe, you've been producing cack for years, soon you'll be gone.

      Photoshop users might agree with your premise, but I doubt many will follow along to your conclusion!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: nice one

      You may be surprised to learn Reader and Flash are not their only products.

      Of course moving everything to the Cloud and subscription models may be a deadly move for them.

      1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

        Re: nice one

        "You may be surprised to learn Reader and Flash are not their only products."

        Perhaps the original poster knows this already.

        For example, we use Lightroom, and still now in 2015 it does not support the idea that you store your photo library on a network and allow you to have your photos and the catalogue for them on that network. Allowing concurrent users to access that same catalogue would be even better!

        Wake up Adobe. The network has existed for more than 50 years, and I don't see many laptops that support 8TB of photos without them being stored externally. (I'm not even going to mention CC - oops!)

    3. eulampios

      Re: nice one

      Youtube has been the only reason to install flash for the last few years.

      VLC, Totem, SMplayer can play youtube links directly (with no ads). There is also youtube-dl, (c)clive etc to play or download videos.

  3. king of foo

    Ming the Merciless

    Every thousand years, I test each life system in the Universe. I visit it with mysteries, earthquakes, unpredicted eclipses, strange craters in the wilderness... If these are taken as natural, I judge that system ignorant and harmless - I spare it. But if the Hand of Ming is recognized in these events, I judge that system dangerous to us. I call upon the great god Dyzan, and for his greater glory...

    [leans forward, smiling]

    ... and for our mutual pleasure...

    [leans back again]

    ... I destroy it utterly.

    1. jbburks

      Re: Ming the Merciless

      Personally, I have always agreed with Ming: Flash is evil and should die. It's a kludgy way for content-mad developers (usually advertising agency-driven) to deliver buggy, yet compelling, applications to the desktop.

      Die, Flash, die.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's new?

    I fail to see what's new. I got rid of flash long (well, a few months) ago and have been using firefox to watch youtube videos. Any other web site (TV channels' VOD) uses flash tho.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's new?

      Well whoop-de-shit for you. What’s new is that now, the overwhelming majority of YouTube users will get HTML5 video as default.

      Sadly, we now need ALL websites to adopt this stance as there will still be millions unaware that flash is a bug ridden travesty and it exposes their computers to more risks than Windows ever did.

      You fucking watch Adobe tighten its security now when suddenly all technically competent users start uninstalling it from their own and friends/family computers and its monopoly, sorry, *shares, plummet like flying sheep....

      *i assume, either rightly or wrongly, that adobe has finicial reasons to patch the cack.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: What's new?

        Call me cynical, but I can't help feeling that Youtube is only half the battle. As long as the porn sites keep pumping out flash videos, Adobe will remain fat and happy.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What's new?

          'As long as the porn sites keep pumping out flash videos'

          That's one of the main types of video that they do isn't it?

        2. Tim Jenkins

          Re: What's new?

          And many of those sites helpfully offer you new versions of Flash to download and install before you can watch, just to be sure it works. Or so I'm told. By a friend. Obviously.

          (Mind you, it's getting quite hard to see anything past all of these extra browser toolbars and full-screen pop-ups, so I could be mistaken)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's new?

      Just because you don't mind having your YouTube videos limited to 720p maximum resolution, that doesn't mean everybody else feels the same.

      Firefox STILL can't play back HTML5 YouTube videos at bog standard 1080p, never mind 1440p or 2160p.

      * see the numerous bugs filed on Bugzilla about this over the last couple of years.

      Even bloody Internet Explorer is way better than Firefox for HTML5 video.

  5. mccp


    Is it just me? I keep seeing the word p0wned in El Reg and I don't know if I like it.

    I thought that pwned was an online gamer's misspelling of owned, due to the proximity of O and P on the keyboard. The misspelling is used widely in an ironic manner.

    Is p0wned a post-modern ironic mis-misspelling? Or is it just wrong?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: p0wned

      It is da people trying to get down with da kids, innit?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: p0wned

        That's the phonetic spelling. It's pwned, as in "you were pwned by a grue".

        1. ratfox

          Re: p0wned

          Yes, that's why people write things like YEAH!!1!ONE!

          it's because 'O', 'N' and 'E' are right next to '!'.

        2. Doctor_Wibble

          Re: p0wned

          > That's the phonetic spelling.

          Which I've never been able to comprehend, I always pronounced 'pwned' more like 'pooned' i.e. with an almost-Welsh pronunciation for 'w'. Unless I got that wrong too but at least I can pretend I tried to have a clever excuse.

          edit: 'p0wned' definitely wrong IMHO, and the 'power 0wned' explanation sounds like utter 60110ck5

          1. Florida1920

            Re: p0wned

            I get it now. This thread and the one below it about a typo, are thinly disguised attempts to derange NSA-GCHQ monitoring. Let me lend a hand.

            Note to NSA-GCHQ: Are you closely watching pr0n sites? All that moaning and groaning isn't really an act, you know. It's secret code. You have to watch/listen several times at high volume to catch it.

            Wonder how often our minders get p0wned by pr0n in the course of their duties?

    2. Marcelo Rodrigues

      Re: p0wned

      "I thought that pwned was an online gamer's misspelling of owned, due to the proximity of O and P on the keyboard. The misspelling is used widely in an ironic manner."

      I've read, somwehere I don't remmember, that "p0wned" would stand for "power 0wned". Meaning someone 0wned with great force. Truly f*cked.

      Now, I don't know if it was serious about - or if I had four or five too many when I read it...

      Take it with two buckloads of salt. :D

      1. wdmot

        Re: p0wned

        And what about wtfpwnbbq?

  6. Aslan

    Spelling Error in Article

    In the last paragraph above the boot note,

    "Which is not to say that Flash is dead: those who don't run the browsers above will still get YouTube delivered by whatever technology works bes tin their environment. "

    "bes tin" should be best in.

    1. Crisp

      Re: Spelling Error in Article

      In fact, it's an alternate spelling of bostin, which is a Birmingham term for brilliant, fantastic, or excellent.

  7. Crisp

    It's about damn time!


  8. Alan Denman

    Flash = DRM

    Proprietary limitation is part of the experience.

    How else can they team up to control what you do and what you buy into?

    HTML - it is for wishy washy open internet dreamers.

    1. geeboh

      Re: Flash = DRM

      DRM is like using a cracker for a screwdriver. It's not even a case of using the wrong tool for the job, it's not even relevant to the job it's been tasked with. Seriously, DRM is one of the worst knee-jerk inappropriate responses to a problem in the entire history of problems.

    2. Greg J Preece

      Re: Flash = DRM

      You haven't heard of the DRM extensions for HTML video? Chrome's the only browser I'm aware of to have actually implemented them, which is why I can use it for natively watching Netflix on Linux without any Silverlight WINE hackery.

  9. Ulaavi

    Tomorrow and the future

    I know it came from the Apple site, but isn't version prior to

    1. Dan Watson

      Re: Tomorrow and the future

      v13 is still supported by Adobe for Enterprise use.

  10. nichomach

    Bloody good thing too.

    Flash is the most appallingly crashy piece of crap. Kill it with fire.

  11. Captain Hogwash

    Why beta version of Firefox?

    35.01 supports html5 video with no problem but, due to this weird Youtube decision, you have to say explicitly on another page that you want html5.

    1. Greg J Preece

      Re: Why beta version of Firefox?

      Because Google like to keep implying that Firefox is defective/behind in some fashion, when it isn't. I've seen them casually state similar things before. I, too, have been watching HTML5 video on YT through Firefox for a long time now, but hey.

  12. EddieD

    BBC? 4OD?

    I think that both the above use flash for streaming still, alas, and double alas...

    Get_iplayer is great, but has its limitations.

    1. phil dude
      Black Helicopters

      Re: BBC? 4OD?

      Maybe, but let's not forget the trojan DRM that was airlifted into HTML5. At least FLASH with get_iplayer is "dead" and not executable....

      The DRM in HTML5 will bite us all eventually...


  13. Al fazed

    Even Firefox

    can get pwned by a dodgy Flash update. Honest, happened to me last week and it is the one and only time I have been pwned, ever. Thanks Adobe, you are revered in the halls of flame along with Microsoft and some other software baddies, more interested in what they can get from you than the quality of what they are selling you.

    About time and good riddance, 25 years in the Hacking.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's good that HTML can handle the video. But it doesn't AFAIK do DRM, so some content owners won't use it. So Flash will stay for those cases.

    Flash isn't used for ads any more, which is a shame as it was so easy to block.

    Flash (or Air) is still used for mobile and web games, along with support from Apache Flex. It's vector based 2D and 3D work well if you don't need the complexity of Unity3D or JS in Cordova.

    Flash is now a niche product rather than being used for everything. That's a good thing but it's not gone yet. HTML is catching up in the interaction areas of course, but still has a way to go.

    Video may be all most people use Flash for, but it's far from all it can do.

    1. Jasper Nielsen


      HTML5 does DRM -- with Encrypted Media Extensions. See

      And yes, Flash is used for ads on plenty of websites.

  15. zen1

    It's about fucking time somebody does something because obviously Adobe is having problems getting a handle on their code.

  16. geeboh

    This is good news, but Flash won't really disappear completely until porn sites stop using it.

  17. scrubber


    " at least as functional – or more so –"

    That's what 'at least' means...

  18. I Like Heckling Silver badge

    I am torn about which browser to use... I like chrome (I never login with an account though) but it has some serious issues when dealing with popunder tabs and redirects... that adblockers and so forth can't stop... But it runs 90% of the websites I use daily with out issue.

    But I switched back to Firefox simply because those sites that chrome is unable to handle properly, Firefox does... But the dreaded flash in firefox is just abysmal. I cannot go for more than a few stories on the BBC website without it crashing..., but before it crashes... it freezes, then gives me a dialogue box asking if I want to continue or stop the plugin... I stop the plugin... it freezes again for another 15 seconds... and I go through this process about 5 or 6 times before I get the stop script dialogue... and even then it sometimes carries on forcing me to quit the browser.

    So now I have to use 2 browsers... chrome for some sites that still insist on heavy flash use... BBC, get with modern times please. and then firefox for the rest... especially private browsing. the adblock plugins work better in firefox than anything else I've tried.

    I am uptodate with browsers and flash plugin... it's just so bad that I wish it a swift a fiery death, never to grace my screen again.

    1. DryBones

      ScriptSafe is what you're looking for, in Chrome.

  19. W. Anderson

    Adobe greed and stupidity to blame

    If Adobe had not been so arrogant and stupid about trying to "lock" all Web users into incessantly buggy and broken (proprietary) Flash software, and made Flash "genuinely" Free/Open Source Software (FOSS), it is quite possible and probable that the very innovative FOSS "Community" would have updated and revised Flash of today as a truly incredible software application.

    The one baffling aspect of any discussion on Flash technology is why the Linux Foundation has welcomed Adobe into it's folds while at the very same time, Adobe had taken a poisonous view ant attutude toward FOSS and Linux in particular, in regard almost refusing to support the platform.

  20. John Sanders

    What about VMWare...

    Who decided to rebuild its vSphere management application using Flash.

    1. Alistair

      Re: What about VMWare...

      John, since Adobe is still making flash software, there is clearly no accounting for corporate stupidity. Unless they thought putting vSphere interface in flash would make it portable to linux. Which. Sadly. I think they were aiming for.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like