[whatwg] Treat <video> like an image

João Eiras joao.eiras at gmail.com
Tue Aug 12 06:49:45 PDT 2008

On , Jonas Sicking <jonas at sicking.cc> wrote:

> João Eiras wrote:
>> Hi !
>>  Not a long time ago, we saw an Opera build which had <video> support.  
>> What
>> was really really cool about it was that <video> was pretty much  
>> supported
>> like any other image format so we could apply filtering and other  
>> complex
>> stuff from svg like in this example.
>> http://people.opera.com/howcome/2007/video/svg/video-filter.svg
>>  This gives us an entire range of possibilities with <video>, just like
>> with <svg>, or <img>
>>  I think that video should be supported like any other image:
>>   - supporting transparencies (if the video codec allows)
>>   - embedding video files with <video> or <object> element
>>   - embedding video files with url() in css where images can be used,  
>> like
>> background-image
>>   - embedding video files with url() in css content rules
>>  If course, this could raise some issues like:
>>   - performance - the UA should provide a way for the use to toggle  
>> video
>> on and off, or could make decisions based on the platform's overall
>> performance. Also, with rendering engines progressively migrating to
>> architectures that support hardware acceleration, blending a background
>> video with foreground content could be a trivial lightweight operation,
>> although the same cannot be said for software renderers.
>>   - fallback in css not possible - if a UA does not support video, then  
>> it
>> would ignore the content embedded in the stylesheet. Such behavior is  
>> also
>> fully supported for other content types, like unrecognized image formats
>> and the likes. However, the problem of adding fallback content with CSS
>> not being trivial, is a problem with css itself, and out of scope of the
>> <video> specification
>>   - accessibility, usability - by providing new means for authors to add
>> more video and possibly other annoying animations in webpages, users  
>> could
>> easily be annoyed with excess of animated content. This is more or less
>> the same problem of performance, so the UA should give the user the  
>> option
>> to disable video, preferably in site specific preferences, if supported.
> I think I agree. But I don't see anything in any current specs that  
> contradicts what you are saying. In other words, are you requesting any  
> changes to any specific specs, or are you just asking UA developers to  
> implement the feature set to full extent that specs allow?
> Note that the CSS spec says nothing about what format a url() can point  
> to, thus there is no spec-wise reason pointing to a video file wouldn't  
> work.
> And there is no documented limitation on which elements css transparency  
> applies, thus applying it to a <video> element should work just fine,  
> and already does in the implementation in recent firefox nightlies.
> / Jonas

Hi !
I asked this just to probe some opinions, to make sure the spec does not  
forbid this (and so you've clarified me), and to raise a bit more  
awareness about these new possibilities.
I think that there could be a comment in a non-normative section of the  
specification, for implementors, encouraging them to implement these  

Thank you. Goodbye.

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