[whatwg] suggestion for HTML5 spec

Simon Fraser smfr at me.com
Sun May 2 20:36:43 PDT 2010

On May 2, 2010, at 2:20 am, Eduard Pascual wrote:

> On Sun, May 2, 2010 at 5:55 AM, Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Sat, May 1, 2010 at 8:25 PM,  <ryan14 at mail.com> wrote:
>>> My suggestion for the HTML5 spec is that the video tag should have a feature
>>> that can enable GPU acceleration on a user's graphics card, so it will take
>>> some stress off the CPU.
>>> Do you like my suggestion?
>> Nothing is stopping browsers from using the GPU to help speed up
>> <video> playback right now, and in fact I think that some browsers are
>> either already doing so, or are planning to do so in the relatively
>> near future.
> As a matter of fact, Microsoft already announced that IE9's rendering
> engine would use GPU acceleration as much as possible (leveraging MS
> Windows' DirectX technolgies) [1]. Some benchmarking of the platform
> preview vs. IE8 show a more than welcome improve on performance [2].
> Thus, it's not a matter of accelerating just <video>. UA vendors are
> allowed to use any available technology, such as GPU processing, to
> improve the user experience on all aspects; and IE9's approach will
> benefit not only <video>, but everything that the browser renders (for
> example, heavy JS-based animations may take huge profit from this).
> I'm not a big fan of Microsoft's IE software, but I must concede that
> the Redmond guys have taken a step on the right direction with this.
> Especially having seen how IE8 was painfully slower than its older
> siblings (IE6 and 7). I wouldn't be surprised if other browsers follow
> suit.

WebKit already has a "fast path" for video on Mac, and it's being worked
on for Windows.

The only reason I can think of why this should be exposed to web authors
is if a browser is unable to use GPU accelerated for video without side
effects (like always rendering on top of the rest of the content). Such an option would
be similar to the "wmode" param on plugins, which is a huge mess, and should
be avoided at all costs. One of the benefits of video being a real HTML element
is that it respects CSS properties like any other element.


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