[whatwg] Some <video> questions

Geoffrey Sneddon foolistbar at googlemail.com
Tue Jan 29 09:49:58 PST 2008

On 28 Jan 2008, at 23:32, Charles wrote:

>> The <video> element offers an interface to the native media
>> playback capabilities of the platform.
> The browser platform (e.g. WebKit), the multimedia platform (e.g.  
> QuickTime)
> or the OS platform (e.g. Mac OS X)?

Whatever the browser chooses to use. In WebKit's case, this is the OS  
(so QT on OS X, DirectShow on Windows, and GStreamer on GTK). Presto  
(in Opera) provides its own decoder (for Ogg/Vorbis/Theora, likewise  
does Gecko.

>> It is not a plug-in mechanism and it is not suitable for embedding
>> things like Flash or Silverlight.
> So for Safari on both Macintosh and Windows, is Apple's intent that  
> <video>
> will only work for formats supported by QuickTime?

Apple's intent, as far as I'm aware, is to use the natively supported  
multimedia support of a given environment (as WebKit isn't for  
multimedia). Also, as Henri has already said, QuickTime supports  
plugins itself.

> And given that little internet content targets QuickTime, who  
> exactly will
> be using the <video> tag?

There is a _huge_ amount of content on the web that uses MPEG-4, which  
QuickTime supports (note that on Windows DirectShow doesn't support  
MPEG-4 out of the box, and AFAIK only supports MPEG-1 and WMV (for  
video)). There's also still a large amount of content that relies on  
the QuickTime container format (.mov), even if the content is MPEG-4  
(whose own container is based on the QT one).

Geoffrey Sneddon

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