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3D CSS Effects in Snow Leopard Safari, And More on Future of Video and Flash?

In the past, we've speculated that Apple's resistance to supporting Adobe's Flash on the iPhone and their efforts to add new features to HTML/CSS is, in part, to reduce their long term dependence on Flash.

Ajaxian points to an impressive demo by Charles Ying which shows off hardware accelerated 3D CSS Visual Effects that are now supported in Snow Leopard's Safari builds as well as the latest Webkit nightly builds. If you have either of these versions installed, you can view a live version yourself here. Otherwise, you can watch this video of the demo:


These new 3D effects have been proposed for standards inclusion. If successful, future browsers will also adopt these effects.

While these will help provide standards-based tools for accomplishing visual effects that have been the realm of Flash in the past, there has recently been a setback on efforts to standardize on a specific video playback format for HTML5. Video remains the most popular use for Flash on the web. Due to ongoing disagreements between Apple, Google and other web browser developers, the acceptance of a single video codec standard for HTML5 has been indefinitely delayed.

"After an inordinate amount of discussions, both in public and privately, on the situation regarding codecs for video and audio in HTML5, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that there is no suitable codec that all vendors are willing to implement and ship," Hickson wrote. "I have therefore removed the two subsections in the HTML5 spec in which codecs would have been required, and have instead left the matter undefined."

Apple, of course, has been pushing H.264 and opposes the Ogg Theora alternative due to the potential patent claims in the future. Mozilla and Opera have their own issues with cost and licensing issues with H.264 and prefer Ogg Theora. The inability to come to an agreement means that there will be no accepted standard format for HTML5. As a result, Flash will likely remain the dominant format for online video for the time being.