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YouTube launches a beta of a Flash-less HTML5 version of their site which uses the new HTML5 <video> tag and h.264 encoded videos. They bill it as working in "Chrome, Safari, and ChromeFrame on Internet Explorer" where "ChromeFrame" is Google's Internet Explorer plugin that basically swaps out the IE rendering engine for Apple's open source WebKit (which also powers Google's desktop - Chrome - and mobile - Android - browsers). From the Chromium blog:

Recent JavaScript performance improvements and the emergence of HTML5 have enabled web applications to do things that could previously only be done by desktop software. One challenge developers face in using these new technologies is that they are not yet supported by Internet Explorer. Developers can't afford to ignore IE most people use some version of IE so they end up spending lots of time implementing work-arounds or limiting the functionality of their apps.

With Google Chrome Frame, developers can now take advantage of the latest open web technologies, even in Internet Explorer. From a faster Javascript engine, to support for current web technologies like HTML5's offline capabilities and <canvas>, to modern CSS/Layout handling, Google Chrome Frame enables these features within IE with no additional coding or testing for different browser versions.

To start using Google Chrome Frame, all developers need to do is to add a single tag:

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="chrome=1">

When Google Chrome Frame detects this tag it switches automatically to using Google Chrome's speedy WebKit-based rendering engine. It's that easy. For users, installing Google Chrome Frame will allow them to seamlessly enjoy modern web apps at blazing speeds, through the familiar interface of the version of IE that they are currently using.

It's still going to take a while (several years at least) but the end is drawing inexorably closer for both Flash and Internet Explorer. IE just doesn't work correctly and Microsoft seems unable to fix it, and Flash is too resource hungry for low powered mobile devices (plus it gives Adobe way too much leverage in a future where they just are not needed by Google and Apple.)
- jim 1-21-2010 3:00 pm [link] [2 refs] [8 comments]

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