[whatwg] Video Tag Proposal

Sir Gallantmon (ニール・ゴンパ) ngompa13 at gmail.com
Sun Mar 28 00:08:06 PDT 2010

On Sat, Mar 27, 2010 at 9:06 PM, Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sat, Mar 27, 2010 at 9:45 PM, Aaron Franco <aaron at ngrinder.com> wrote:
> > I can see how it is counter productive in the creation of the
> specification,
> > but the fact that such licensing is being considered for what is supposed
> to
> > be "open & free" is counter productive to the advancement of web
> > technologies. I feel we cannot allow companies like Microsoft and Apple
> to
> > take advantage of such patents. Allowing the H.264 to be a part of the
> spec
> > without it being royalty free only gives those corporations more control
> [snip]
> Ah!
> Now I understand.   H.264 is not under consideration as part of spec,
> and I don't believe that anyone has ever even tendered a serious
> proposal that it be considered as part of the specification for
> exactly the reasons that you've enumerated.
> It wasn't clear to me that you were unaware of this, I thought you
> were attempting to propose a way— though, sadly, an unworkable one— in
> which it could be considered.
> Cheers!

That's certainly news to me. I see a lot of people talking up having H.264
as the standard for HTML 5 video. The codec problem is a serious one though.
There needs to be a good solution to this... other than NOT specifying a
codec (which I think is a bad idea, anyway). The problem with not specifying
a codec is that it is already sort of a codec hell dealing with downloadable
videos, with WMV, Dirac, Theora, XviD, DivX, H.264, 3GPP, etc.

When the img tag was made, all browsers initially supported BMPs, didn't
they? Nobody complained about implementing support for an image format. The
GIF format made things hairy later, but with JPEG and PNG, the issues
eventually resolved themselves. But the img tag was made at a time when
there was no format soup for images... Or at least, not one nearly as
serious a problem as the video tag.

Without a baseline codec, there is no guaranteed usefulness to the audio or
video tags. As for audio, I suggest supporting at least WAV (or FLAC) and
Vorbis at least. For video, our best shot is either Dirac or Theora. Unless
somebody else has any other decent reasonably available open source,
royalty-free codec that can be used for the video and audio tags?
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