How does YouTube work?

Sahil May 23, 2011
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Does YouTube work on HTML5 ?
If yes, then why does sometimes ask for Flash player ?
And if it does work on Flash, why is it working with this ancient technology ?

  1. Mike
    May 24, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    YouTube does offer an HTML5 opt-in which gets rid of Flash reason why it's not HTML5 only is [as Bruce said] because it is still under heavy development and because of compatibility.For example there is no definite video standard for HTML5 streaming yet. Internet Explorer 9 supports H.264 only which is not supported by Opera or Chromium, Firefox only supports it if you installed the WMP Firefox plugin and Google Chrome is about to drop it in favor of WebM.Another reason is that it takes time to encode videos in streaming formats supported by HTML5.

    • Mike
      May 24, 2011 at 4:46 pm

      link is broken - the link explains everything, including why you are sometimes asked for Flash although you are using the HTML5 version

  2. Bruce Epper
    May 24, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    YouTube (and most other streaming sites) work with Flash.  It is an old technology, but it is stable and works pretty well for streaming video even though it has frequently had severe security issues.

    HTML5 is not used on it since it is still only a working draft.  Many sites will probably wait for the specification to be finalized before shifting over to it.  Also, many users are not using browsers that work with HTML5 and I'm sure the site does not want to alienate their visitors.  And if you compare the browsers that do support some of the HTML5 specification, they still do not end up generating the same displayed results as one another.  This makes it difficult for the site developers to create something that will work for the largest number of users.  Flash does not currently have that problem.  It will work equally well in all browers that support one of the Flash plugins.