Is HTML5 about to take over as the standard for video on the web, as people like Steve Jobs suggest, or does it still have a ways to go? YouTube Software Engineer John Harding has weighed in on the subject in a post on the video sharing site’s official API Blog, and he thinks Flash is still the way to go—at least for the time being.
Harding lists a good number areas where HTML5 still isn’t on par with Flash. Among them: live video streaming, digital rights management, embedding, full-screen video support, and live video conferencing. Reportedly, all of those features are either completely lacking or not implemented in a standard way in HTML5.
Add the fact that Google’s open WebM video format still hasn’t solved the thorny issue of HTML5 codec standardization, which means that HTML5 video must be offered in different formats to work on different HTML5-compatible browsers, and all the hype starts to sound a little premature.
If one issue kills HTML5 for me, it’s gotta be the lack of full-screen support. YouTube’s HTML5 video player works well enough in Google Chrome, but there’s no simple way to make a high-def clip span your entire display. The best alternative I’ve found is to click the "full-screen" button, which makes the video take up the whole window, and then hit F11 to switch to full-screen browsing for that particular window. Not exactly very user-friendly—and the video controls will stay up no matter what.