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So, Stop it with the "open standard" giberish. Neither webm or H.264 are web standards. H.264 is proprietary and requires royalties for implementation. That disqualifies it completely for the job of being a web standard. So we are in a standards war.
literally going to render hundreds of billions of dollars worth of tablets, smartphones, set-top boxes, etc. with H.264 hardware support obsolete.
Oh come on, that's an incredibly silly argument. Those tablets will still be able to play H.264, even in the web with a plugin, it just won't be usable with video, which means that you won't have to pay royalties to support HTML5, and that's great, isn't it?. The idea itself is also pretty bonkers. Why should those "millions" of tablets be immune to obsolescence? Technology marches on, and they are not entitled not to become obsolete.
The accusation that this "sucks for users " is ridiculous. It seems that they (all browser makers) are just taking a position in a war to see what format becomes the HTML5 standard. For some reason, google is being accused of being the devil for giving less choice where : a) Apple and Microsoft both support H.264 and NOT WebM in their browsers and b) Firefox and opera support WebM and not H.264.
You seem concerned that this will slow down transition from flash. Well, I got news , we do not want to transition from flash just for transition's sake. If we transition from flash, it better be to something better, and that includes concerns about royalties. It is clear that we all obediently adopting MS and Apple's defacto standard will benefit them, but making developers required to pay royalties to implement support for standard HTML5 is just lame. It is also incompatible with the GPL.
Your 'expert opinion' also misses the whole point. All software is probably patent-encumbered in one way or another. And that WebM may or may not be patent encumbered does not instantly turn it into an as undesirable candidate for web as H.264 already is. Case in point is, that WebM is royalty free and H.264 isn't.
Google may be manipulating the market for selfish reasons, but you are foolish to think that's not exactly what Apple and Microsoft are doing. And overall, Google's intentions with this are irrelevant in comparison to what this will accomplish. If Apple and Microsoft don't get away with H.264 it will make the web more open by default. WebM is an open source project and soon will be an open standard. And anyway, a triumvirate of the three best browsers is standing for it. Unlike the other two guys - known software patent bullies, with a story of liking closedness and ruining the web with defacto standards.
Both c++ and Java have their strengths and uses. Java is IMHO HORRIBLY ANNOYING TO CODE IN, but that's actually its strength, it just won't let cowboys get away with doing the things they love to do. Sure, it has been lacking in things, but they update it around, the following update will have some very nice syntax for some data structures (it will get more complex).
The C's also have the advantage of being closer to the hardware, sure you don't need that most of the times, but when you do, they become a great tool in your box, really. It has improved a lot over the years (also known as getting more complex).
Interpreted languages cover for their downfalls when you don't need performance or want to do fancy things with paralel programming. Which is good. Python goes around also improving and getting more complex.
And there lies Go. Its main advantage over other langauges is exactly that. As it is basically undeveloped, it is much closer to what its creators originally wanted it to be. The thing is, that once it starts getting used, and users notice that for example it is pretty necessary for a compiled language to have say generics or exception handling... it will forcefully have to end getting modified and improved and thus it WILL become complex. I do not think that advertising it as "simpler" will work out as since it is a langauge that is intended to be used it is basically doomed to become more complex and thus this selling point will necessarily die. They should advertize it for its superior parallel computing and fast compiler speed, but simplicity... is just a bad idea.
I don't wish to be pedantic
I don't buy it.
Really? What's next, someone claiming copyright infringement based on using the letter i as a temporary variable?
I am afraid that chances are there is already a software patent for that.
This is the sort of things you can learn at "Google U" : http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/05/jenny_mccarthy_shows_off_her_knowledge_o.php
This is not "empowerment" it is the opposite, it moves people back to the dark ages in a way.
Wake me up when I don't need a windows license to use MS' google docs alternative.