A new release of Gnash, version 0.8.9, is due in the near future.
Plenty of bugs have been fixed, but some users are still going to have
problems playing YouTube videos. Here's a short explanation.
At some point last year, YouTube started setting HTTP cookies in
your web browser, to keep track of which of their video servers is
nearest to your machine. This lets them provide a better experience
for you (I guess). Here's a diagram of what goes on in your browser:
As of Gnash 0.8.8, a workaround was added, calling an NPAPI
function NPN_GetValueForURL to ask the web browser for the
relevant cookies. New diagram:
The downside is that this function was only added in NPAPI version
1.9. This means:
- Only the NPAPI plugin has this workaround, not any of the other
gnash plugins (e.g. the native kparts one for Konqueror).
- While most browsers do implement NPAPI, not all of them have been
updated to include this newer function yet. So the versions of
Epiphany and Chromium shipped in Debian at the time of writing do not
work with gnash/YouTube as far as I am aware (but Webkit has fixed
What does Adobe's plugin do? I imagine it's something like the following:
So, the good news is, this problem should almost certainly get
fixed over the coming Debian release cycle, if only because all the
browsers will get updated. In the meantime, disabling cookies (and
removing stale ones from YouTube) is a workaround.