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HTML5 and Flash have just begun sparring and there is still no time frame on when the two will start trading some heavy blows. According to YouTube, there is still a fairly long way to go for the business end of this bout. Despite what Steve Jobs and many of the internet's self-styled experts might tend to think, YouTube is still not convinced that the the HTML5 <video> tag can replace Flash in the immediate future.
“It's important to understand what a site like YouTube needs from the browser in order to provide a good experience for viewers as well as content creators. We need to do more than just point the browser at a video file like the image tag does - there’s a lot more to it than just retrieving and displaying a video,” YouTube programmer John Harding wrote on the YouTube API blog.
Harding cited a number of reason for YouTube's current lack of confidence in HTML5 as far as online video distribution is concerned. He stressed the need for a standard video format, which is obviously not the case right now as the propriety H.264 codec and the open WebM format are locked in a battle to determine the most popular HTML5 video format – the HTML5 spec does not require support for a standard format.
“The <video> tag certainly addresses the basic requirements and is making good progress on meeting others, but the <video> tag does not currently meet all the needs of a site like YouTube:”