[whatwg] <video> element proposal

Lachlan Hunt lachlan.hunt at lachy.id.au
Wed Feb 28 22:26:42 PST 2007

Shadow2531 wrote:
> On 2/28/07, Anne van Kesteren <annevk at opera.com> wrote:
>> Opera has some internal expiremental builds with an implementation of a
>> <video> element. The element exposes a simple API (for the moment) much
>> like the Audio() object:
> I think it'd be cool if the video element *just* supported theora.

Mandating support for a single specific video format like Theora would 
be like requiring browsers to only support PNG for images.  Sure, Theora 
has the major advantage of being (supposedly) patent free (or 
royalty-free patents only), and thus more likely to be natively 
supported in browsers than, say, MPEG, but it's not the only format. 
Unfortunately, it's not even a widely used format in comparison with 
other proprietary/patented formats.

Besides, native support isn't necessarily required in the browser for 
this element.  It would just require that the plugin used had a suitable 
API for the browser to pass on calls from JavaScript.  There is 
precedent for this.  See LiveConnect in JavaScript for working with Java.


> If it supports whatever the browser wants to implement, we'd have to
> do like the following I think.
> <video src="test.wmv">
>    <video src="test.mpg">
>        <video src="test.ogg>
>            I give up
>        </video>
>    </video>
> </video>

Or simply use

<video src="test"><embed src="test"><!-- fallback --></video>

And use server-side content negotiation to determine the best one to send.

The browser could send along the list of supported MIME types in it's 
accept header for video formats, like:

Accept: application/ogg, video/mpeg, video/mp4, application/mp4, 
video/quicktime, */*;q=0.1

Lachlan Hunt

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