[html5] VIDEO rendering (from: OGG--Why vs)

Robert O'Rourke rob at sanchothefat.com
Fri Dec 14 04:34:39 PST 2007

Jon Barnett wrote:
> On Dec 13, 2007 1:17 PM, Nathan Ziarek <nziarek at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I would agree with the idea of a pipe dream, unfortunately. Who creates the
>> browser media player? Who creates the various codecs for the media player?
>> Media has become a pretty political issue -- and I don't see an easy route
>> to the centralized video player.
>> I like the idea of a video and audio standard on the web, but with no clear
>> winner in the marketplace, I sure wouldn't want to be the person making that
>> decision.
> At the risk of drifting off-topic.
> Flash.  It's the elephant in the room.  There is a reason that YouTube
> and all its clones and almost all social networking sites that host
> videos use Flash wrappers, not to mention that most amateur web sites
> that want to put a video on a page just upload the video to a
> YouTube-like site and copy/paste the HTML code.  It's the clear winner
> in the marketplace, but you said otherwise because no one wants to
> mention the elephant in the room.
> Flash is already cross-platform and supported in nearly every browser.
>  Even mobile platforms are beginning to use it.  It came preinstalled
> on the Wii browser, but not on the DS browser.  Even iPhone may soon
> support it.  (I don't know how iPhone is supporting YouTube without
> Flash - I assume it's playing the FLV files directly since YouTube is
> using MPEG-4 for video.)
> One major problem with Flash (ignoring that it's proprietary, blah
> blah blah), is that even today, you can't just point the Flash Player
> to an FLV file.  You have to create an SWF file that embed the FLV
> file and the video controls.  Of course, many sites use this to their
> advantage - after the video is finished playing they can show
> thumbnails and link to other videos from within the SWF file.
> If you want to break Flash's dominance on the web (for videos), you'll
> have to outdo its features.  Since YouTube can embed those thumbnails
> and links at the end of a movie, your new open-source-standard-happy
> player will need to be that flexible as well.
> We could hope/ask for Adobe to open up SWF as a standard.  There are
> third-party, open-source libs for making SWF files - I assume they
> don't break any patents.  I just don't know how far you'll get that
> route, though.
> We could make FLV+MPEG-4+AAC the recommended format, but since Flash
> won't play that file directly (at least today), we still have one
> <object> tag for flash and another <video> tag for the browser.
> It would be easy with Javascript to support the <video> tag by
> converting it to a <object> that loads an SWF with a set of
> parameters.  With a little more work, you might be able to support the
> DOM API for the video element on top of that.  Also, the browser could
> do this purely transparently.
> But if you want a single standard media player supported by all
> browsers ... that's not Flash, market forces are going to make that a
> pipe dream.
> I don't guess I have a single point here, but I we can't discuss the
> pipe dream of standard video players, video formats, and video codecs
> without discussing the elephant in the room.
> I do think we should recommend a codec that Flash supports since that
> will be the easiest to implement and won't fight against the existing
> behemoth.

You're right, I had flash in mind all the time I was just trying to 
explain myself. I don't think Flash can ever be replaced because of it's 
flexibility. Maybe in time combinations of canvas + video + audio + 
scripting will be a contender.

Anyway, I missed it off before when I was scanning the spec but I like 
what it has to say about the DOM interface for <video> it and how it 
could work, makes perfect sense. Just curious now from a design 
perspective what could be done without scripting. Is discussion of how 
CSS would apply beyond the scope of this mailing list or is 
whatwg at whatwg.org more appropriate?


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