Idealism vs. Pragmatism: Mozilla Debates Supporting H.264 Video Playback

Ryan Paul, at Ars Technica:

Google’s major investment in advancing its unencumbered VP8 codec gave open Web advocates hope that H.264 could still be displaced, but it hasn’t happened. The lack of follow-through from Google on its promise to remove H.264 from Chrome has eroded faith in the search giant’s ability to popularize VP8. Gal says that it’s no longer feasible to wait for the open codec to gain additional traction. “Google pledged many things they didn’t follow through with and our users and our project are paying the price,” he wrote. “H.264 wont go away. Holding out just a little longer buys us exactly nothing.” John Gruber commented on this article in a post today: “Idealism vs. Pragmatism” is exactly what’s going on here. Because as time goes on, the practical arguments in favor of supporting WebM exclusively over H.264 are looking worse and worse. No one is serving WebM. Everyone is serving H.264. And while Mozilla is both talking the talk and walking the walk with regard to their ideals regarding open video, their supposed partner Google is merely talking the talk, shipping a wildly popular browser (Chrome) and mobile platform (Android) that fully support H.264.

Adobe: Your Questions About Flex

Adobe Q&A posted over the weekend (late Friday night, I think):

Is Adobe still committed to Flex? Yes. We know Flex provides a unique set of benefits for enterprise application developers. We also know that the technology landscape for application development is rapidly changing and our customers want more direct control over the underlying technologies they use. Given this, we are planning to contribute the Flex SDK to an open source foundation in the same way we contributed PhoneGap to the Apache Foundation when we acquired Nitobi. Daring Fireball's John Gruber sums this up aptly: Translation: “No.”

On Google's Announcement That Chrome Will Drop Native h.264 Playback Support

I haven't written about what I think is the 2nd biggest news story of the week yet, but I've tweeted about it quite a bit. On Tuesday, Google announced that in a future version of Chrome, to come out later this year, they would drop h.264 playback support. And then, on Twitter, I announced that I would cease using Chrome & move back to Safari.

In short, I think this is an incredibly idiotic move on Google's part. I think this is a purely evil and corporate political move in order to try to do harm to iOS devices. I think that Google is outright lying when they try to claim the reason for this decision is a commitment to open standards and I do not think its a coincidence that they made this announcement on the day of the Verizon iPhone announcement.

Why do I feel all of these things? Rather than do a poor job of articulating my thoughts, as I am a horrible writer, I will instead link you to John Gruber's piece he wrote today. He called it, "The Practical vs. Idealistic Scenarios for the Near-Term Future of Online Video (OR: HOW GOOGLE’S DECISION TO DROP NATIVE H.264 PLAYBACK FROM CHROME SERVES TO PROP UP FLASH PLAYER)".

I see this as coming back to bite Google in the ass. I also see this as the final move, in a steadily crescendoing series of moves that Google has made in recent years that has made me completely lose trust in them as a company. Also on Tuesday I began searching for a way to migrate off of gMail (which I probably will do soon to MobileMe) along with other Google services I use. I no longer want to have anything to do with them as a customer. Google is the new Microsoft. Microsoft is now the new IBM. And IBM is now an irrelevant behemoth of a bureaucratic consulting company that no longer makes anything of value. And I guess Apple is the new...Apple? See, horrible writer.

Brilliant! "An Open Letter from the President of the United States of Google"

Tim Sneath nails it. "An Open Letter from the President of the United States of Google".

Last night at home, and this morning as work, I've switched Safari back as my default web browser after using Chrome primarily for the past year. Sorry Google, it was good while it lasted. Your move is clearly a political decision and you're characterizing the decision as being one to foster "openness". Bullshit. You're anti-Apple hostility is obvious.

Web Analytics For The Past Year

I've decided to publish my past year's statistics for public consumption. Note that my site doesn't get a ton of traffic. A few things I took note of:

  1. February was my biggest month of traffic until the end of September/October. We had two Blizzards in February which I blogged and photographed extensively. Capital Weather Gang here in DC linked to me several times which brought in a ton (for me) of traffic . September/October was when I launched &
  2. I get a metric shitton of robots hits whether from search engine crawlers or spambot scrapers. Google is #1. Spammers are #2. Yahoo is #3. Baidu is #4. Bing is #5.
  3. Chrome has almost caught up to Firefox.
  4. If you are one of the 19% who browse my website using IE6, please stop. Get off the Internet. You do not deserve to own a computer.
  5. Safari beats both IE7 and 8.
  6. More people use iPhones than Linux (haha).
  7. Nintendo Wii? Who was that? Someone I know, no doubt.
  8. OSX is almost up to 30%.

DON’T FORGET BLUE BEANIE DAY! - Tuesday, November 30


Jeffrey Zeldman would like to remind everyone that tomorrow is Blue Beanie Day:

The Fourth Annual International Blue Beanie Day in support of web standards will be celebrated this Tuesday, November 30. That gives you just over 24 hours to …

  • Take a self-portrait wearing a blue beanie (toque, tuque, cap) and upload it to the Blue Beanie Day 2010 pool on Flickr.
  • Add a blue beanie to your social network avatar on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, etc.
  • Write a web standards haiku and post it on Twitter with the hashtag #bbd4 for your chance to win web design books from Peachpit and A Book Apart in the Blue Beanie Day Haiku Contest.

See you on the internets!

Just How Bad Is Flash On Android? This Bad.

Ian Betteridge:

What does this demonstrate? Simply that the idea that Apple could simply magically put Flash on the iPad (which runs a processor in the same class as the Nexus One) is fantasy. Ignoring the broader reasons for Apple wanting to keep Flash off its platform, it’s clear that Flash is simply too processor-intensive to work properly on mobile-class processors as currently specified.

Go watch for yourself.