[whatwg] Timed tracks for <video>

Henri Sivonen hsivonen at iki.fi
Mon Jul 26 01:13:49 PDT 2010

On Jul 24, 2010, at 23:57, Paul Ellis wrote:

> On Fri, Jul 23, 2010 at 6:54 AM, Henri Sivonen <hsivonen at iki.fi> wrote:
>> On Jul 23, 2010, at 08:40, Ian Hickson wrote:
>> > - Keep implementation costs for standalone players low.
>> I think this should be a non-goal. It seems to me that trying to cater for non-browser user agents or non-Web uses in Web specs leads to bad Web specs. I think by optimizing for standalone players WebSRT falls into one of the common traps for Web specs. I think we should design for the Web (where the rendering is done by browser engines).
> I disagree that this should be a non-goal. Making it harder for content to be portable between the web and the non-web (standalone players, hardware devices, etc) will definitely stifle the adopting of WebSRT. There is already a significant ecosystem (players, creation tools, and content) around SRT that could easily be leveraged to make WebSRT successful.

SVG tried not to depend on the features of the existing Web platform to make the language self-contained and implementable as stand-alone. SVG ended up reinventing a lot of stuff that existed already.

Creating Web specs with the assumption that you can't depend on HTML and its associated APIs for functionality that's already in HTML and its associated APIs is an anti-pattern. You end up reinventing stuff that's already in HTML or its associated APIs.

With WebSRT, the starting position is even more blatantly reinventing HTML than in the case of SVG. WebSRT specifies a non-HTML parser for stuff like <b>, <i> and <ruby>!

If WebSRT used the HTML fragment parsing algorithm, non-browser players could use a compliant off-the-shelf HTML parser and then deliberately fail to implement the rendering for HTML features that aren't common in subtitles and captions for stand-alone videos. This would permit stand-alone players to render the kind of timed text that WebSRT is currently limited to but this solution wouldn't limit browsers to only the cases that WebSRT enables now.

Henri Sivonen
hsivonen at iki.fi

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