[whatwg] Video (Was: How not to fix HTML)

Charles Iliya Krempeaux supercanadian at gmail.com
Mon Oct 30 20:06:48 PST 2006


On 10/30/06, Charles Iliya Krempeaux <supercanadian at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello,
> On 10/30/06, Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch > wrote:
> >
> > On Mon, 30 Oct 2006, Charles Iliya Krempeaux wrote:
> > >
> > > Would you be open to hearing suggestions about how to add native video
> > > and video player support?
> >
> > Sure. FWIW, there's a lot of interest in browser vendors about
> > introducing
> > a <video> element or some such (or maybe making browsers natively
> > support
> > video in <object>, or both).
> >
> > (What's most needed right now in this area is probably implementation
> > experience.)
> >
> I think there's a set of issues to look at with video and video players on
> the web.  For the most part, these can be looked at and decided upon
> separately.
> #1: A natively supported video format.  (Like the way GIF's, JPEG's, and
> PNG's are natively supported.)
> #2: Video players.  (This would be embedding some kind of video screen in
> a webpage... possibly with a play/pause button, stop button, etc.)
> #3: Playlists.  (A single video file just won't cut it.)
> #4:(Static or animated) thumbnails to videos.
> #5: When to pre-fetch and when NOT to pre-fetch videos (and "download" it
> at the last possible minute).
> #6: JavaScript API for "playing", etc video.
> #7: Scrubbing though video
> #8: Alternate versions.
> (There's some other things that I'd describe ads more advanced... but I'll
> save those for now and see how people react to these first.)
> To make it easier to manage the conversation, I'll post about each of
> these in a separate e-mail.

#1 on my list is... a natively supported video format common to all

Thus... like the way all (GUI) browsers support GIFs, JPEGs, and PNGs.
There should be at least one video format supported on all browsers.

I made this #1 because I think this is the most important thing on this
list.  If I could only have one of these things on my list get implemented
it would be this one.

One of the biggest problems with video on the web (and probably video on the
Internet in general) right now is that there is no universally supported
video format.

(Note, this doesn't mean there can't be other video formats too.  This only
suggests that there should be a baseline video format supported everywhere.)

On the Videoblogging Mailing List <
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/videoblogging/>, the question about what
video format to support comes up over and over again.

And the answer that has to be given to them is that there isn't a single
video format... but essentially they have to encode to many many different
video formats, or else there will be people who can NOT view their show.

Often, people will only encode in one format.  Not really by choice.  Not
because they want to make it so certain people can't watch their show.  But
because they lack the skills or tools to encode in the other formats.

Most of these publishers want everyone to be able to see their show though.
(A natively supported video format common to all browsers would solve this

Having said all that, I believe that whatever video format is choosen can
NOT be encumbered.  By patents or anything else.

Such a thing is totally unacceptable.

Given this, I would suggest Ogg Theora be the natively supported video
format common to all browsers.  It's designed from the beginning to be
unencumbed.  And implementations for it already exist under licenses that
should make everyone happy.

There's also existing tool sets that support it.  And existing developer
experience and knowledge about it.

If you don't mind hearing me get onto a soapbox and rant about this
particular topic, read this:

(Note... Dirac, Matroska, and NUT also exist.  But neither of these are as
mature as Ogg Theora.)

See ya

    Charles Iliya Krempeaux, B.Sc.

    charles @ reptile.ca
    supercanadian @ gmail.com

    developer weblog: http://ChangeLog.ca/
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