Video on the Web: Browser Support

While researching the plug-ins piece of this series a problem with browser support became very obvious. My original intention was to test the websites with multiple browsers and report any differences, but quickly determined that my plan wasn't going to work. The sad fact was that Firefox (and presumeably Mozilla as well) was the only one to use the plug-ins properly.

Even though Opera and Konqueror can detect and use Mozilla compatible plug-ins, the end results were dramatically different. As an Opera user I was forced to admit that it does horribly with multimedia. Konqueror wasn't as good as Firefox, but it did much better than Opera.

Flash is a disaster with sites only occasionally working. I frequently had to close and then restart the browser for content to appear. Useability with Flash in Opera is also worse than in Firefox. In Firefox if you see a control all you have to do is move your mouse to it and click. With Opera you have to first click the Flash area to activate it and then click the appropriate control. While it sounds like a simple issue, the additional click quickly becomes maddening.

I remember reading that the Opera team is working on their own Flash plug-in to include by default and to that I can only say: Hurry up!. In most other areas I love Opera, but this one is becoming very frustrating.

And while Flash is the most impactful plug-in, it's not the only one with issues. VLC flat out doesn't work and MPlayer performed about the same as Flash.

With plug-in based content becoming intertwined with many sites, it's no longer enough to have great HTML compatibility. Getting plug-ins to function properly is critical to a browser's success.

Is there REALLY??? need for this stuff?

I personally HATE flash and co.!
Lets face it 95% of flash are ads or bad taste and 4% are trailers and MAXIMAL 1% is really useful stuff.
And a useful video i will save on my hard drive.
If i want to view a video i want a download link and then watch it the way i want!
Even streaming is no problem with the right apps.
And always remember Flash not really a free solution. So why poison Linux with it??

Are I'm the only one who finds videos embedded in a tiny flash browser video with less control over skipping etc. a huge step backwards?


Why it's needed

I think it's needed. While I'd prefer to not use Flash, and will never use it on any site I create, there is content that can only be accessed by using it. Some of it is videos, some games, and others menus that make navigating a site impossible. And just because Flash menus are completely useless doesn't mean there are sites with content that sometimes need to be accessed that depend on them.

I fully agree that tiny videos embedded in a window are less useful, but it's what's available and there doesn't appear to be any sign of that changing.

this would be the 1%

It's good to hear that this site won't use flash.
While it is true that some content needs flash my experience is that good sites don't use it.
1)Videos: Download link and a picture for quick content view are better than flash.
2)Why would i play games in a browser??? -> For 13 year old kids maybe.
3)Menus in flash are §$%&.

So now there are sometimes sites you need to see that need flash?!
My experience is that most content can be found on more than one place.
I simply always say that my computer does not have flash installed(true) and that i can not install any software on my computer because of the it department (a big fat lie :-) ). So far i live happily ever after without flash.

You are right that flash is there and won't go away but it is BAD ^^.

In my case Flash games are

In my case Flash games are for a 2 year old kid. :-)


LOL ;-)

Opera is my browser, but flash sucks

I completely agree that Oper devs need to Hurry Up !! Opera browser absolutely rocks, it steams past Firefox any day of the week, but FF certainly wins on multimedia support and plugins.

I'm happy to get rid of flash

I'm using opera as my main browser, and I have to say that flash is often broken.

But flash is mostly animated ads, mini-games or video players, and occasionally navigation menus.

I don't want to see ads while surfing, especially those animated or blinking or talking or making sound.
Playing flash games and watching streaming videos has made me spend time I could have used to do something useful.
When I run into a website with a flash only nav menu, well I just hit the back button, if they had interesting content to share it's too bad they chose to share it with only flash user.

So I'd say I'm quite happy that Opera / Linux isn't fully compatible with flash yet, it has actually improved my usage of the web and what I do with my time.

BTW the "click to activate" problem is related to how people invoke flash objects in their code. When used gracefully (as with ufo for example ) this doesn't happen.