[whatwg] <video> element error handling

Simon Pieters simonp at opera.com
Wed Mar 18 09:15:34 PDT 2009

On Wed, 18 Mar 2009 17:08:27 +0100, Nathanael Ritz <nathanritz at gmail.com> wrote:

> For the same sort of reason we would want "to show text to the [users of
> older browsers] informing them of how to access the video contents." I  
> don't
> think the problem of being unable to access the video contents is going  
> to
> be purely for those with older browsers.
> Instructions on how to find the appropriate codec is an example of the  
> kind
> of information a user with a newer browser might like to know when a  
> video
> can't be rendered. And that would be much nicer than showing nothing at  
> all.

I agree but the browser is probably in a better situation than the author in helping the user to install the codec needed, and the browser can do this without the element falling back to its contents.

I suspect many authors would write something along the lines of "your browser doesn't support the video tag" as fallback, which is not helpful for a user with a browser that supports the video tag but doesn't have the right codec installed.

If you want to, though, you can use scripting to detect that the video couldn't be played and replace the element with its contents.

Simon Pieters
Opera Software

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