W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > December 2009

Re: Public feedback on HTML5 video

From: Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+w3c@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Dec 2009 06:05:26 -0500
Message-ID: <7c2a12e20912280305n5d4377aena6be46c02b2f6055@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Scheppe, Kai-Dietrich" <k.scheppe@telekom.de>
Cc: HTMLwg <public-html@w3.org>
On Mon, Dec 28, 2009 at 5:15 AM, Scheppe, Kai-Dietrich
<k.scheppe@telekom.de> wrote:
> If it is left up to the browser to make an implicit decision, the
> outcome is not predictable across browsers, based on implementation.

This is true, but there are downsides to specifying every detail.
Browser vendors are much fewer, and more professional and
knowledgeable, than content authors.  Five major browser vendors can
assess usability and user feedback (not to mention overall health of
the web) much better than millions of scattered content authors.
There are many cases where authors unknowingly do something that
considerably degrades user experience, and browsers should be allowed
to compete to provide a better user experience overall in these cases.
 The spec deliberately avoids exposing features to authors that are
likely to get misused.

Note that user interests might not always align with author interests
-- for instance, browsers allow easy downloading of <video> contents,
which many authors won't want.  Likewise, even if downloading lots of
content in the background might make *your* site seem snappier, it
also might take away bandwidth from other things the user is doing,
resulting in an overall poorer user experience that the user won't
think to blame on your site.  Probably he'll blame it on the browser,
in fact.

> - buffering is a usability issue.  If something is displayed, buffering
> ought to be used because it aids in smooth display

Not if the user probably won't actually click it.  Not all sites that
include videos are like YouTube, where the video is the whole point of
the page.  A page might contain a bunch of videos, and they shouldn't
all be buffered when the user will probably view only one or two of
them at most.  That's wasteful.  Should every single video on this
page be buffered automatically by the client?

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Videos

Or how about a forum thread where people are exchanging embedded
YouTube videos?  I'm pretty sure YouTube doesn't buffer in this case.

> - bandwidth issues are not so big of an issue anymore.  While it is
> important not to waste bandwidth, in the world of flatrates and
> broadband, usability is more of an issue.

1) This is true only to a point.  Buffering all 200 of the videos on
the page I linked to above would be crazy even on broadband.

2) This is not true in the whole world.  Just because your website
serves primarily broadband users does not mean that all websites do.
Remember that a lot of people browse using cell phones, for instance,
never mind people living in poor countries.

> - whether a poster frame is loaded or not is a design issue and should
> be up to author, including the choice which frame to show

Authors can control this by using the poster attribute.
Received on Monday, 28 December 2009 11:05:55 UTC

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