[whatwg] <video> element error handling

Nathanael Ritz nathanritz at gmail.com
Wed Mar 18 07:50:30 PDT 2009

Sorry, I should be more clear. I am not looking for trouble shooting
regarding the <video> element. I know there is another mailing list for
something like that. And I have indeed sent in a report to apple regarding
the behavior I noticed.

The point is that I think it should be made more clear in the spec about how
to handle video it can't render or when it is unable to locate the resource
(404 for example). I found this in the draft that says:

"User agents that cannot render the video may instead make the element
represent <http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#represents> a
link to an external video playback utility or to the video data itself."

But that seems fairly weak. Why not  "should" or "must"?

"Content may be provided inside the video element. User agents should not
show this content to the user; it is intended for older Web browsers which
do not support video, so that legacy video plugins can be tried, or to show
text to the users of these older browser informing them of how to access the
video contents."

Could the language not be updated here to include showing fallback content
(along side an alert) when video cannot be found or rendered?


On Wed, Mar 18, 2009 at 3:44 AM, Kristof Zelechovski
<giecrilj at stegny.2a.pl>wrote:

>  What does the specification say about video fallback?
> Have you bugged Apple about this?
> (this mailing list is not a general helpdesk)
> Cheers,
> Chris
>  ------------------------------
> *From:* whatwg-bounces at lists.whatwg.org [mailto:
> whatwg-bounces at lists.whatwg.org] *On Behalf Of *Nathanael Ritz
> *Sent:* Wednesday, March 18, 2009 6:59 AM
> *To:* whatwg at whatwg.org
> *Subject:* [whatwg] <video> element error handling
> Hi there,
> When I was playing around with the <video> element today I noticed my
> browser didn't seem to handle errors in a way that was very useful.
> Specifically, I am using the Safari 4 beta on Windows Vista. When I tried
> putting the page together, my markup was coded in this way:
> <video src="firefox.ogv" autoplay><embed id="VideoPlayback"
> src="
> http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=8665396898313695852&hl=en&fs=true<http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=8665396898313695852&hl=en&fs=true>"
> style="width:344px;height:285px;" allowFullScreen="true"
> allowScriptAccess="always"
> type="application/x-shockwave-flash" /></video>
> I was trying to grab the video from the WHATWG demo page but I forgot that
> I copied a relative link. So without knowing that the video would not work
> in the first place, I tried opening up a valid HTML 5 page with this
> particular set of markup. It didn't play. But not only did it not play,
> Safari refused to do anything to tell me something was wrong. Instead I just
> saw a blank page.
> When I tried a random mp4 file, I got a green box, but no playback. When I
> finally learned I was using a relative link and put in the full URI for the
> firefox.ogv video, it still didn't work.
> My observation is that if it is not already recommended in the spec,
> browsers should offer some sort of indication it could not use whatever file
> format it was supplied or received something like a 404 from the server.
> Whether it's a broken video box icon, or automatically reverting to the
> fallback content within the <video> element (if it exists), I think there
> should be some sort of warning or indication of a failure.
> What kind of error handling does the <video> element have?
> Cheers,
> Nathanael
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