John Nack (from Adobe) on the future of Flash

The most frequent complaint I’ve heard leveled against the incoming iPad is that it – like the iPhone and iPod Touch before it – will not support Flash. Most lament the lack of various games (most of which have probably been converted to Apps) or cancel-your-cable video sites like Hulu. A select few have, as John Gruber put it, “played the porno card,” to a mixture of cheers and jeers.

I feel like the people that are most strongly calling for the death of Flash should find something worth pondering in this essay from John Nack (of Adobe).

Let’s be clear: It’s fine to say that Flash is flawed; it is. (You know who’d agree? The Flash team.) It’s fine to hope for alternatives to take root. (Competition makes everyone better.) But let’s also be honest and say that Flash is the reason we all have fast, reliable, ubiquitous online video today. It’s the reason that YouTube took off & video consumption exploded four years ago. It’s the reason we have Hulu, Vimeo, and all the rest—and the reason that people now watch billions of videos per day (and nearly 10 hours apiece per month) online. Without it, we’d all still be bumbling along.

The man has a point. Today, if you have a video that you want people to see, you're using Flash. And you're comfortable knowing that everyone has it.

There is no single combination of containers and codecs that works in all HTML5 browsers.

Yikes. An accessible standard that is available in all browsers is still years away, but today we can watch YouTube all day as long as you’re not on an iPhone. I think that’s something to be thankful enough for.


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