[whatwg] HTML 5 video tag questions

David Gerard dgerard at gmail.com
Mon Jul 13 05:09:02 PDT 2009

2009/7/13 Jeff Walden <jwalden+whatwg at mit.edu>:
> On 12.7.09 23:20, Ian Hickson wrote:

>> If people really want to push
>> Apple into supporting Theora, the best way to do it would be to just keep
>> using it as if it was the common codec, and _not_ provide another fallback
>> for<video>-supporting UAs -- then things would work fine it non-<video>-
>> supporting UAs like IE (through fallback flash support inside<video>),
>> and would work fine in Theora-supporting UAs, but Safari would be left in
>> the cold.

> I'm fine doing this for myself: partly because it's pressure on Apple;
> perhaps mostly because I choose to make embedding videos that I can watch
> in-browser easy for myself, and because I don't particularly care if some
> portions of my audience are unable to see such videos and also choose not to
> download a browser that will display them ("fallback" content provides a
> download link -- I haven't made the effort to handle Safari4-sans-XiphQT
> yet, see supra).  That said, my position will be uncommon, and I'm not
> particularly interested in making use of <video> right now harder for those
> who don't share it -- even if it comes at the expense of added pressure on
> Apple.

In Wikimedia's case, we do care about the user experience, *but* will
only be using Theora for the foreseeable future - H.264 is not an

So browsers with Theora in <video> should Just Work, browsers without
<video> will get the Java player or an in-browser plugin (and a note
suggesting a browser that does Theora in <video>) and Safari is a
nuisance because it's the exception and it *might* work but it *might*
not and we have to reliably detect whether it does.

(Presumably Apple would be happier with us suggesting XiphQT rather
than suggesting Firefox!)

iPhone Safari users (does iPhone Safari support <video> yet?) are,
unfortunately, out in the cold until someone writes a Wikimedia client
app that does Theora for them. That won't be us unless a volunteer
steps up. Other phone users are likely out in the cold too (I don't
know of any phones that support arbitrary Java applets in the

- d.

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