[whatwg] The issue of interoperability of the <video> element

Ivo Emanuel Gonçalves justivo at gmail.com
Sun Jun 24 05:32:46 PDT 2007

On 6/24/07, Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1 at gmail.com> wrote:
> A <video> element that is natively part of html and has a standard set
> of API functions will enable applications that are impossible today,
> even with embedded elements such as flash.
> Imagine e.g. a mash-up of video extracts from several video hosting
> sites where you take an offset from each and put them together in a
> new video without having to manually edit that content. Only if all
> videos are in the same format and all hosting sites provide the same
> API will such a mashup be possible.
> I for one see the <video> and <audio> elements as one of the main
> novelties that make html5 important.
> If we put a requirement into the spec for a common baseline codec and
> the value of that can be demonstrated through several hosting sites -
> e.g. wikipedia, archive.org - and new applications will be
> demonstrated with the new <video> element - then I think there is a
> reason to go forward.
> In any case: plugins can be written for IE and for Safari that make
> them support Ogg Theora and the <video> tag, even if neither Microsoft
> nor Apple will be distributing them. And as a work-around at the
> beginning, java applets such as cortado enable Ogg Theora support even
> without a need for native support.
> Where there's a will, there's a way. We have to do what is right, not
> what is politically acceptable.

I could not possibly put it in better words than this.  Thank you, Silvia.

The video and audio elements are one of the best things to have come
out of HTML 5.  If veiled interests from Microsoft and Apple may turn
those elements useless, then something is clearly wrong.  Are one or
two corporations the ones who decide what will work and what will not
work on the web?  If so, then, there's no point to joint-ventures from
the public and browser developers to create something like HTML 5,
because it will never work unless Microsoft and Apple say so.  If you
people believe that, you may as well just forget about it.  HTML 5
will never work.

However, if we do try to get HTML 5 working on every browser, either
by demand, or through programming those features ourselves (in the
case of free software browsers) it's a step in the right direction.
The more browsers supporting HTML 5, the more web
designers/programmers will try to implement its new features on their
work.  We have to go against the tide.  The faster we see some support
of the HTML 5 features on browsers, the faster this process will work.
 And you have to keep in mind that video and audio are one of the most
desired features for the general public.  The same way they can show
images, they can also show video and audio files?  That's just a
feature too awesome to let it go to waste!  And the only way to make
it work is for as many browsers as possible to choose a de facto
standard for video and audio over the web.

A consensus was reached in this list during the discussion of the
video and audio elements.  The majority ruled in favor of Theora and
Vorbis.  So should you.  One or two corporations, in spite of their
size, are not the ones running the web: we are.  We can have video and
audio working outside of Flash.  We can have anyone host video or
audio on their web site and make it work without the middle man, being
it YouTube or any other video hosting web site.  And you can only get
this in the real world by having as many vendors supporting the Theora
and Vorbis standards.

Best regards,
Ivo Emanuel Gonçalves

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