[whatwg] video element not ready for prime time

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Tue Jun 5 14:44:49 PDT 2012

On Fri, 13 Jan 2012, Kit Grose wrote:
> On 13/01/2012, at 4:46 AM, Francis Boumphrey wrote:
> > 
> > Firstly if I use a video with the src attribute
> > 
> > e.g. <video src='myvideo.mp4' controls>
> > 
> > and my user agent does not support the format, all I get (in my 
> > versions of Opera and Firefox) is a blank screen. No message (as I 
> > would get with <embed>) and as far as I can see there is no way for me 
> > as an author to know that the video is not being played so I cannot 
> > code a 'write around'.
> I brought up this same concern in Dec 2009 and Hixie seemed to concur:
> On 9/02/2010, Ian Hickson wrote:
> > 
> > Indeed, if we can't get a common codec, the spec as written today is 
> > not a particularly good design. If we really can't solve this problem, 
> > then we'll have to introduce a declarative way of saying "if you can't 
> > play any of the videos, here's what I want you to do instead" -- but 
> > hopefully we won't have to go there.
> (see 
> http://lists.whatwg.org/pipermail/whatwg-whatwg.org/2010-February/025028.html)
> I'd argue that while we did receive in WebM "a common codec" it does not 
> enjoy the sort of universal adoption required to be able to mandate its 
> support in the spec, so on that logic, I think establishing a 
> declarative fallback mechanism is probably required to prevent a 
> situation where you cannot write a robust HTML5 page with video and 
> without resorting to JS.

I don't think it's time to give up yet, but maybe I'm overly optimistic...

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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