[whatwg] Full screen for the <video> element

Michael A. Puls II shadow2531 at gmail.com
Mon Oct 29 21:49:52 PDT 2007

On 10/29/07, Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch> wrote:
> On Mon, 29 Oct 2007, Michael A. Puls II wrote:
> >
> > I could imagine it this way:
> >
> > Global javascript option: allow scripts to enable full screen for video
> > element = (default unchecked)
> Well the global default would always have to be false, since you never
> know when the next site is going to abuse you.

Well, a user might turn on the global and use a blacklist for any
problem sites they encounter. Many already do that for cookies, java,
plugins and pics. (There's probably more that do the opposite though
and use a whitelist. Just saying that "always" may not be true. The
default when you install would have to be unchecked of course except
for some specific kiosk deal where the UA can only connect to trusted

I could even see there being a way to enable full screen for a site
via userJS/Greasemonkey scripts.

(Meaning, there might be a way to do it even if the spec doesn't say
there is. If so, it'd be a good thing to study to see if it's worthy
of adding to the spec later.)

> > user-created site preference for cool.site.com: allow scripts to enable
> > full screen for video element = checked
> Requiring site-specific preferences seems a bit excessive for a new HTML5
> feature.

Yeh, the spec requiring something that specific seems excessive, but
it seems that's what UAs would do (in some simple or advanced form)
anyway if they allowed scripts to control fullscreen.

> Also, if the setting exists, it's far easier to trick users into
> setting it than if it doesn't.

Out of curiousity, is an automatic switch to full screen without the
user's consent considered an annoyance/usability problem or a
security/fishing attack/vulnerability problem or both?

FWIW, it's only the former IMO.

Not that it matters, much, but with WMP, a script can use
SetDisplaySize(3) to automatically switch to fullscreen without the
user's consent. You can do the same with the videolan plugin using
player.video.fullscreen = true. No warnings or anything.

> > Now, for me personally, I just want to be able to double-left-click on
> > the video area to enter full screen and then do the same in full screen
> > (or esc) to get back. I probably wouldn't want to automatically enter
> > full screen. However, sites and others might want that and it might be
> > cool.
> >
> > Either way it seems like there's an acceptable way to allow scripts to
> > switch to full screen, if there's a need for it.
> I think having the UA provide it is enough, at least for now.


If someone does ask why scripts can't switch to full screen, what
would the reason(s) be?

1. There doesn't seem to be much demand for it.

2. It's not clear what would be the best way for UAs to provide the
functionality while preventing sites from taking advantage of the
feature and annoying users.



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