Flash embraces Google's open video codec
Adobe extends Dreamweaver to HTML5
Google I/O Adobe has rolled out an HTML5 development kit and announced that Flash will use Google's freshly open sourced VP8 video codec. The company wants you to know that despite its tussle with Steve Jobs, it very much believes in web standards.
Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch unveiled the new HTML5 Pack - an extension to Adobe's existing HTML editing kit, Dreamweaver CS5 - at Google's annual developer conference this morning in San Francisco. The extension arrives just three weeks after release of Dreamweaver CS5.
Lynch arrived on stage just after Google announced that it had open sourced On2 Technologies' VP8 video codec, and that it was already using it to encode videos on YouTube. YouTube was built on Adobe Flash, and as Google moves the video site to HTML5 video, Adobe is keen to show it's OK with that.
Adobe is engaged in a long-running spat with Steve Jobs and Apple over the Cupertino cult's decision to ban Flash from the iPhone and the iPad – even if it's translated into Apple-friendly code. In an open letter on Flash, Jobs said he was banning the technology in part because he prefers HTML5 and other open standards, but Adobe says that it's much more open than Jobs will ever be - and that it fully supported HTML5 development.
"HTML5 is great," Lynch said. "It's great move forward for HTML and for the web ... At Adobe, for over 25 years now, we've been allowing people to express themselves with a variety of technologies and it's great to see new technologies like this arrive."
Adobe says its HTML5 Pack extension includes new code hinting for HTML5 and CSS3 that allows Dreamweaver users to "easily" make use of new HTML5 tags. It also includes WebKit engine updates and improvements that support video and audio in Dreamweaver CS5's Live View, HTML5 starter layouts for Dreamweaver's New Document dialog box, and a multi-screen preview for scrutinizing how your HTML5 app will look across multiple devices.
This morning, Google open sourced the VP8 video codec it acquired with the $124.6 million purchase of video compression outfit On2 Technologies, and Lynch responded by saying that it plans to use VP8 with Flash. Currently, Flash uses the patented H.264 codec. VP8 has been open sourced under a royalty-free license.
Adobe's move means that web developers could encode video once for VP8, and then it could be viewed via Flash or HTML5. ®
Adobe is more open than Apple ever was.
Remember that Flash was originally Macromedia Flash. Adobe has made it progressively more open and standards-based with every post-Macromedia version. The SWF file is well documented. ActionScript 2 and 3 are well-documented and standardized. AS3 is even ECMAScript compliant. Now the save format for Flash CS5 is an XML file rather than a memory dump.
Adobe is the same company that took pretty standard PostScript and embedded fonts and images into the file to make PDF, for which they have always published the file specs. OS X's main graphics output is based on PDF. How's that for open?
Adobe maintains that their authoring applications are where the money is. After all, their Flash Player is free and has clones (which are made that much better by them opening the file format). You can make Flash with the HaXe programming language. You can make Flash with Namo FreeMotion. You can make Flash with any number of open-source tools and any number of specialized single-purpose $10 commercial titles (just for banners, just for photo galleries, just for animation, etc.).
You can use other tools even more easily for what their other products do. PhotoShop is an image editor. After Effects is a film postproduction package. InDesign is for desktop publishing. Illustrator is for graphic design and layout. Hell, how many HTML editors are there to compete with DreamWeaver? Almost any office suite can output to PDF. Yet their applications sell for hundreds of dollars and the suites of them for a couple thousand.
Yeah, they really need a closed format, like JPEG for PhotoShop or XHTML for DreamWeaver. Give me a break.
Oh, and the next time I read that Flash is nothing but video, please let it be a joke and not some misinformed "We only just now Evolved to use the internet 2.0 years ago" Web2.0 drivel. Try getting a plain vanilla video container to present Bow Man, Portal: The Flash Version, anything from the Protector series (or anything from Kongregate at all), any of the interactive Flash software tutorials, interactive Flash sales brochures, the media players on sites like MySpace, or flashcard systems for kids in school. Make Matroska or H.264 by themselves do anything else that requires user interaction, conditional branches, handling of multiple input files, and real-time animation.
Flash Player (or Gnash, or SWFDec) is a VM with libraries and a graphics system built in. It is not just a codec, and in fact it already supported multiple video codecs, containers, and compression schemes before all of this publicity -- including VP6 from On2! Support for VP8 probably would have happened even if Google hadn't bought On2.
I really wish you people who know nothing of how programming, web design, media production, and graphic design are done would just go back to playing with your cool toys and leave the bitching and moaning about formats, containers, codecs, languages, authoring tools, and playback VMs
Ceci n'est pas un titre
If you must use the phrase "per se" so often, you might as well spell it right. Thanks.
So the point of Flash is...?
Adobe seems to be clutching at straws now, positioning Flash as a wrapper for standards-based content - and what is the point of a wrapper that only risks making everything slower and crash-prone? Why not just stream and play h264 or VP8 or whatever?
Adobe, please stop flogging this dead horse.