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[whatwg] <INCLUDE> and links with @rel=embed

From: Ashley Sheridan <ash@ashleysheridan.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 06 Aug 2010 21:12:13 +0100
Message-ID: <1281125533.2235.25.camel@localhost>
On Fri, 2010-08-06 at 12:43 -0700, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:

> On Thu, Aug 5, 2010 at 7:43 PM, Bjartur Thorlacius <svartman95 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > On 8/5/10, Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage at gmail.com> wrote:
> >> I'll note, though, that that isn't a very useful pattern for users in
> >> the first place.  Most users won't have any idea what to do with a
> >> video file, especially if it doesn't come with an identifying
> >> extension.
> >>
> > I don't understand the comment about identifying extension. What's wrong with
> > IANA/MIME media types? Format metadata is often represented as a name/icon
> > combo anyway.
> 
> Servers often don't serve their videos with the correct mimetype.

IIS I believe is notorious for not sending out the right mime type, and
it's default list of recognised types is quite limited compared to
Apache. Thankfully it's not the most popular of web servers out there.

> 
> Do browsers supply a file extension for un-extensioned files based on
> the mimetype?  I didn't think they did.  A file without an extension
> confuses most people.

It would confused Windows users mostly, who have no way to detect a file
type that has no extension. Linux and Mac users will generally be in a
better position.

> 
> 
> > And having the video prevents them from opening it in their media player how?
> > Video playback consist mostly of a mouse click and some watching.
> > Codecs are completely irrelevant.
> 
> Huh?  Codecs are certainly relevant *if you don't have the correct
> codec installed to decode the video*.  For example, I don't think
> Windows Media Player by default includes the necessary codec to decode
> Ogg Theora, and I know it doesn't to decode WebM.
> 
> 
> >> Doing a Flash or similar fallback that still plays the video is
> >> virtually always the best choice for the user.
> >>
> > "Virtually always" seems like an overstatement based on how often I
> > see people extract sound tracks from Youtube videos (and how I often I
> > see people don't in part due to them only having a dumb one-off
> > Flash-based video player). Or try to sequence playing of arbitrary
> > songs from Youtube with multiple browser windows + manual play/pausing
> > hackery. Or other things that would be trivial with their usual media
> > player.
> 
> You're running with a very non-representative crowd if those are the
> sorts of things your friends do.

I'm not sure you can say that's non-representative without supplying
some sort of backup evidence. The very fact that people do this sort of
thing should be enough for a use-case. As it is though, despite having
issues with Flash video on Linux (my platform of choice) I would prefer
it as a backup in-case I didn't have the right codecs installed. This
will likely apply more to Windows users though, as a default Windows
install (I'm basing this on XP, which is still extremely popular and is
the latest version of Windows with which I'm very familiar) doesn't come
with a huge range of codecs.

> 
> Ordinary people watch videos.  That's that.

Ordinary people do all sorts of things. I'm seeing a lot of non-techy
friends mashing existing clips from services like YouTube. If they're
doing this, they at least know enough about codecs, but the option to be
able to actually do something more than watch the video is important.

> 
> 
> > What's wrong with solving the problem once for all?
> 
> Every solution costs something.  If solving it "once and for all" is
> more expensive than the benefit it'll bring, it's not worth doing.
> That also presumes that you have a good, correct solution in the first
> place.
> 
> 
> > And as SVG is not universally supported, what if I want to offer some
> > logos/icons/images as both (gzipped) SVG and PNG?
> 
> SVG is in the process of being universally supported right now.  Once
> IE9 is out, every modern browser will support it.

There's still a huge amount of XP users about (going by various
statistics sites) which won't ever support IE9. Also, XP SP3 is
supported until at least 2014, so there's likely a whole slew of Windows
machines that will never see IE9. I think it's fairly safe to say that
the majority of these will be business machines, and many corporate
environments won't allow extraneous software, such as an alternative
browser, to be installed. As such, it's back to Flash again as a default
fallback, as that is the only thing that can be almost guaranteed in
that sort of environment.

> 
> It's quite certain that you'll be able to use SVG before you'll be
> able to use a generic media container holding both SVG and PNG for
> fallback.  It's not usually worthwhile to try and solve things that
> will solve themselves, given a little more time.
> 
> ~TJ


Thanks,
Ash
http://www.ashleysheridan.co.uk


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