[whatwg] on codecs in a 'video' tag.

Bjoern Hoehrmann derhoermi at gmx.net
Tue Mar 27 06:56:52 PDT 2007

* James Graham wrote:
>Partly it's for documentation: a statement of what you need to produce a 
>functional web browser. Partly to give vendors a well-defined target; it is only 
>very recently that IE has grown full support for PNG files, for example.

I have a hard time following you. Could you rephrase what pain it would
solve, and why this is the best solution, if the HTML specification in-
cludes documentation what you need in terms of explicit interaction with
the document layer to produce a functional graphical web browser, except
those things that cannot be included for some reason; and giving vendors
of said applications a well-defined target? I can honestly think of no
pain that would be solved by having the "HTML specification" recommend
that certain types of web browsers implement the GIF image format.

Targeting a certain set of web browsers, some of which support 8 bit
alpha channels in PNG images and some of which failing to do that is a
pain, agreed, but that pain is, as you point out, already solved to a
certain extent. Similarily, if such web browsers support disjunct sets
of audio formats that would be a pain that's worth solving. Certainly
it pains me greatly that certain browser vendors harmfully fail to im-
plement core HTTP features like 'gzip' Transfer-Encoding while others
properly implement it. It's also painful to have no good documentation
on what various relevant versions of relevant browsers implement, from
their support of DOM features over HTTP features to CSS features, that
is also a pain worth fixing. However, I do not see how, for most of
these things, the "HTML specification" is a good place to solve them.

If you broaden the scope from "HTML specification" as David was writing
about, to "Everything you need and always wanted to know about HTML-
based content- and application-authoring and implementation of such, but
were afraid to ask (except the bits about Flash and such we don't tell
you, of course!)" specification, that might be a better place, but
making such a specification is not a good idea. You can certainly make
a good argument to have the "HTML specification" recommend or even re-
quire support for a certain audio or video or whatever format, but do
not fall for the inductive fallacies we are approaching here. If you
want documentation, make documentation, not specifications. And if you
want to solve problems, stop solving them once they are solved.
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/ 

More information about the whatwg mailing list