[whatwg] Quality Values for Media Source Elements

Aryeh Gregor Simetrical+w3c at gmail.com
Sun Dec 13 04:26:13 PST 2009

On Sat, Dec 12, 2009 at 11:40 PM, Hugh Guiney <hugh.guiney at gmail.com> wrote:
> With the exception that Flash does not need separate components to be
> active to sustain that functionality. You can toggle quality in Flash
> without any server- or client-side scripts at all. You may need
> ActionScript in some cases, but that's an integral part of Flash,
> whereas JavaScript, PHP, etc. are not integral parts of HTML.

JavaScript is an integral part of HTML to all intents and purposes.
HTML itself does not and should not try to cover use-cases that are
already adequately covered by HTML+JavaScript -- there will always be
things that are better handled by a general-purpose scripting
language.  Of course, moving something into HTML might be valuable
because it makes the feature easier for authors to use, but that needs
to be weighed against the cost of browsers having to implement it
rather than some other feature.

> But that is exactly how content negotiation in HTTP already works.

Well, yes.  On the other hand, almost nobody actually uses content
negotiation, so I don't think that supports your case.

> I for one would rather not go to such trouble. Can you imagine going
> to every site you visit and specifying that you want XHTML instead of
> HTML, rather than just specifying
> "application/xhtml+xml;q=1.0,text/html;q=0.0," in your request
> headers?

Well, no, because there's almost no functional difference between
XHTML and HTML except that the former is more likely to break due to
typos or minor bugs.  Plus, virtually no site actually provides both
XHTML and HTML.  Actually, virtually no site provides real XHTML at
all.  So I don't bother specifying a preference for either.  If you
do, I rather suspect that makes you one of a few hundred people at
most, out of billions of web users.  So maybe you could pick an
analogy that's more realistic?

On the other hand, every single video site already does allow you to
specify quality, and I've never had a problem with this.  It's a
simple control that's only there when you want it, and you can easily
figure out if you actually want higher or lower quality in any given

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