[whatwg] Ogg content on the Web

David Gerard dgerard at gmail.com
Wed Dec 12 13:06:16 PST 2007

On 12/12/2007, Smylers <Smylers at stripey.com> wrote:

> Not quite.  That's one top-10 source of video that will greatly be
> enabled by browsers supporting Theora.
> Your claim (that it would benefit from the spec saying browsers SHOULD
> support Theora) is only true if there are browsers which would only
> support Theora because of the spec saying that.

Technically this is true :-) But in practice, I can't tell you how
happy we were when we heard Ogg Theora would be in HTML5 (even as a

Video is important as educational material, and video support in the
MediaWiki software has been a major pain in the backside. Current
support is a kludgy pile of stuff that degrades somewhat gracefully
through a sequence of free-software and not-quite-free-software (VLC
plugin, QuickTime plugin, there's JavaScript, there's a bit of Java,
there's Flash that sorta works in Gnash, etc - I'm not absolutely
clear on the details and I'm sure someone will be along to correct me
shortly, but they're pretty murky details ;-).

A <VIDEO> tag that can be reasonably assumed to support Ogg Theora and
Ogg Vorbis would make our lives and our readers' browsing
significantly happier.

> Some browser creators have made it clear they woudln't support Theora,
> even with a SHOULD.  Other browsers will Theora anyway, because they
> want to, regardless of whether the spec even mentions it -- and the more
> that Wikipedia uses it, the more that browsers are going to want to
> support it simply in order to be Wikipedia-compatible (regardless of
> whether the spec says browsers should be Wikipedia-compatible).

Including, I suspect, Safari - which has a Wikipedia link in the
default bookmark bar - and Nokia - what use is a phone that can't show
you the video on Wikipedia that explains your point precisely when
you're arguing over something in the pub? What sorta rubbishy phone is
that? Tch! Shoulda got an iPhone! *cough*

We're only one site that would significantly benefit from a <VIDEO>
tag that can reasonably be assumed to do Ogg Theora, but we're a
reasonably significant one I think.

- d.

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