[whatwg] <video> element proposal

Magnus Gasslander mg at opera.com
Fri Mar 2 12:40:27 PST 2007

Gervase Markham wrote:
> Elliotte Harold wrote:
>> I'm just not sure that I see a strong enough use case here to justify 
>> the introduction of another element most browsers will not support 
>> for years if ever.
> I think there's a strong driver for uptake. As I understand it, all 
> these video-sharing sites are paying mountains of cash to 
> Adobe/Macromedia for the backend software licences to support Flash 
> video streaming. If they could have 15 or 20% fewer servers doing 
> that, and stream to Firefox using Theora instead, the cost saving 
> would be an incentive for them to change their site.
I believe the fact that the format is open and patent free is also a 
good driver.

I am thinking about sites like wikipedia here. They are already good 
ambassadors for SVG and Theora ( 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Image_Use_Policy#Format )

And there is actually Theora content out there in the wild! ( 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_15 )

And it seems like the wikipedians are looking for technical solutions to 
play sounds and movie clips in their articles ( 
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Multimedia#Software_features )

We need to be 100% sure that the format is patent free (no more GIF). I 
could have one concern about the Theora licensing. I am not sure what 
this 'promise' not to enforce patents is worth legally ( 
http://www.theora.org/svn.html ). The statement is for example very 
focused on the on2 company. What happens if they go bankrupt or decide 
sell their patents? Open source licensed patents like BBC/Dirac would 
let me sleep a bit better i think. Especially since on2 is also behind 
the decoder for flash movies ( http://www.on2.com/ ) - this could 
possibly lead to conflicts of interests and nastiness.

Like some previous posters I also think that only a few  formats (or 
even just one) should be supported by the <video> tag. I specifically 
think that we should let the proprietary formats live on in the <object> 
world. But it may be difficult to prevent proprietary formats to slip 
over to <video>.


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