[whatwg] video element not ready for prime time

Philip Jägenstedt philipj at opera.com
Mon Jun 11 02:47:33 PDT 2012

On Thu, 07 Jun 2012 04:06:10 +0200, Kit Grose <kit at iqmultimedia.com.au>  

> On 06/06/2012, at 7:44 AM, Ian Hickson wrote:
>> On Fri, 13 Jan 2012, Kit Grose wrote:
>>> 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...
> Is there any reason why it wouldn't be prudent to render the content of  
> the <video> element as HTML if the video cannot be played, given that  
> fallback content in the video element is already supported for legacy  
> browsers in the spec:
>> Content may be provided inside the video element. User agents should  
>> not show this content to the user; it is intended for older Web  
>> browsers which do not support video, so that legacy video plugins can  
>> be tried, or to show text to the users of these older browsers  
>> informing them of how to access the video contents.
> How are legacy UAs without <video> support appreciably different from a  
> UA with restrictive or limited <video> support? Surely the author's  
> intent in either case is delivering the content in a different way or  
> delivering appropriate alternate content.
> Even if we eventually get a common codec (which I—perhaps overly  
> pessimistically—feel is unlikely), authors are already using the <video>  
> element without supplying whatever that eventual codec will be, and  
> users are suffering without reasonable fallbacks.
> As it stands, it's almost better (and certainly easier) for authors to  
> default to Flash video and use the existing, declarative fallback  
> behaviour of the <object> element to use a <video> element instead. That  
> can't be in the best interest of the open web.

This was discussed in the thread "HTML 5 video tag questions" in 2009:


The resource selection algorithm never fails - it simply waits for another  
source to be inserted - so the the hard part is when to show the fallback  
content. At the time I was very skeptical of switching back and forth  
between fallback and trying to load a video as more source elements are  
added, and I still am.

Philip Jägenstedt
Core Developer
Opera Software

More information about the whatwg mailing list