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YouTube flushes Flash for future flicks

HTML5 <video> tag will henceforth shift video whenever possible

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, encryption, new codecs and WebRTC that make the <video> usable work in the real world.

Those additions mean HTML5 is at least as functional – or more so – than Flash, and if YouTube detects you are running Chrome, IE 11, Safari 8 and beta versions of Firefox, it'll now deliver video using <video> and flush Flash.

YouTube's also decided to can what it calls the “'old style' of Flash <object> embeds and our Flash API. We encourage all embedders to use the iframe API, which can intelligently use whichever technology the client supports.”

Adobe would need to have buried its head under many metres of sand, and strapped many layers of black tape about its head, not to see this coming. So there can't be too much gnashing of teeth and wailing down San Jose way, not least because the masses who use YouTube probably don't care how their video is delivered*.

YouTube seems not to care a jot that its actions are inimical to Adobe, saying it's just doing what all the cool kids – Netflix, Apple, Microsoft and its competitor Vimeo – have already done.

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 best in their environment. And that will often – perhaps too often* – be Flash. ®

Bootnote * Until they get p0wned, that is: Flash is so horridly buggy that Apple has just updated its plugin-blockers to foil versions of the product prior to 16.0.0.296 and 13.0.0.264.

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