[whatwg] Serving up Theora <video> in the real world

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at gmail.com
Thu Jul 9 19:46:23 PDT 2009

On Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 10:35 PM, Robert O'Callahan<robert at ocallahan.org> wrote:
> 2009/7/10 Ian Fette (イアンフェッティ) <ifette at google.com>
>> To me, this seems like a great test if "canPlayType" actually works in
>> practice. In the perfect world, it would be great to do
>> getElementById('video'), createElement, and
>> then canPlayType('video/whatever','theora').
>> If this simple use case doesn't work, I would ask if it's even worth
>> keeping canPlayType in the spec.
> var v = document.getElementById("video");
> if (v.canPlayType && v.canPlayType("video/ogg; codecs=vorbis,theora")) {
>   ...
> } else {
>   ...
> }
> should work great. Certainly does in Firefox.

It works. Except where it doesn't. It's the "where it doesn't" that
counts. At the moment Safari has issues. Out of two widely used
production browsers with HTML5 support, one is broken. Not good odds,
but I'm hopeful for the future.

There is also the potential problem of "It technically supports format
X; but the browser developer never bothered testing X and its too
buggy to be usable".

My preference, however, is to start with the basic canPlayType test
and then only eliminate known problems and to make the problem
filtering as specific as possible with the assumption that future
versions will get it right.

More information about the whatwg mailing list