[whatwg] <video> element proposal

Bjoern Hoehrmann derhoermi at gmx.net
Fri Mar 16 19:39:54 PDT 2007

* Håkon Wium Lie wrote:
>Do you really think using "beginElement" would be better?

Do you really think using two different methods to trigger playback of
svg:video and xhtml:video elements is better than using a single method?
Or what about different methods to trigger an animation or transition
effect versus multimedia content playback? Let's extend my example:

  <t:video id='video'

    <t:transitionFilter begin="video.begin"
                        dur="5" />

  <p><input type='button' value='Play!' id='play' />
     <input type='button' value='Stop!' id='stop' />

Here the playback of the video begins when the play control is clicked,
and the barnDoorWipe transition effect on the video will begin in turn
when playback of the video begins. The begin attribute is quite flex-
ible, I might change the example so playback of the video begins auto-
matically 2 seconds after the document began:

  <t:video id='video'
           begin='2s; play.click'

or I might just drop the controls and just let it begin at 2s:

  <t:video begin='2s' src='example.video' />

You said 'play' might be a better name, so let's just use that for a

  <t:video play='2s' src='example.video' />

That does not look so much better to me, I would think this plays for
two seconds, not to start playing after two seconds have elapsed. I
also would not consider a transition effect as I've used it above to
"play", and animation effects also don't really "play" for me. I do
think that common timing control attributes and APIs are a good thing,
and "play" turns out to be much less flexible than "begin". So, no, I
do not agree that "play" is a better name, even if it was 1997 and we
would have the opportunity to pick a different name.

>This is an issue. I don't know if will be possible to extend IEx to
>support <video>/OggTheora without Microsoft's consent. IEx has proven
>to be amazingly extensible in the past. We'll see.

It does not seem very likely that Microsoft will ship the codec out of
the box in the forseeable future, but sure, you can easily install more
codecs manually on the system and Internet Explorer will automatically
support them. I understand it is quite common to install a DivX codec,
for example.

>Compared to which formats? I believe Ogg Theora performs better than
>Flash. Given the video quality of some of the superhits on YouTube, I
>doubt this is the most important factor, though.

Flash supports two codecs, the more recent one is VP6, a successor of
VP3; VP3 in turn is what Ogg Theora is based on. I would be surprised
to learn that On2 gave the superior codec away for free while it sells
the inferior one. http://www.demoscene.tv/ uses VP6 (independently of
Flash, you need a separate plugin or application) and notes in its FAQ:

  Why don't you use another video codec than ON2's VP6,
  that would be more cross-platform ?

  We use that codec in order to provide the best quality
  to the Demoscene. It has the best quality/bandwidth
  especially for low bandwidth (ie a web TV) You'll find
  more [on http://www.on2.com/].

That's not so much the issue in my case though, I don't have high
quality input and just have to pick my favourite codec, I have input
that is already compressed using proprietary lossy codecs, recoding
almost necessarily decreases quality, and in my cases considerably
increases file size (formats include Xvid, rmvb, mp43, and others,
most of them are at least as widely deployed as Ogg Theora).

>It doesn't work in my browser. What does the code do?

It just plays the video back, where the video is positioned and scaled
as the typical media player would do (it's scaled to fit the browser
window while preserving the aspect ratio, and centered in the space
left to fill). I would have given the "HTML5" equivalent but I could
not think of a simple solution for this. It would probably be some-
thing like

  body, html { margin: 0; padding: 0 }
  body { height: 100%; width:100% }
  video {
    fit: meet;
    fit-position: center;


  html, body { margin: 0; padding: 0 }
  video {
    position: center; aspect-ratio: preserve;
    height: 1vh; width: 1vw;

along with doctype, title element, and so on. But when writing this
I started wondering why "video"? Isn't this really just a HTML frag-
ment with an alternate motion picture representation with optional
sound, much like "img"?
Björn Höhrmann · mailto:bjoern at hoehrmann.de · http://bjoern.hoehrmann.de
Weinh. Str. 22 · Telefon: +49(0)621/4309674 · http://www.bjoernsworld.de
68309 Mannheim · PGP Pub. KeyID: 0xA4357E78 · http://www.websitedev.de/ 

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