Re: Should <video> buffer control be tri-state?

Maciej wrote:
> Personally, I think it's highly likely that many authors will omit  
> autobuffer out of carelessness, and not as a signal of intent.

Even if that were true (which I doubt  I don't think that pre- 
buffering by default is a "safe" state for web pages or user  
bandwidth), it still leaves authors high and dry when they explicitly  
don't want to pre-buffer media.

I am one such author. I would love to use <audio> on 
  but the inability to explicitly switch off pre-buffering stops me  
from using it. I initially interpreted the current Webkit behaviour as  
a bug, but from the discussion here (and on IRC), it seems that Webkit  
is doing nothing that technically contravenes the spec. If that's the  
case, the spec is at fault for not allowing authors a way to disable  

> In such circumstances, I don't see how we can possibly treat *lack*  
> of an attribute as a strong indicator of author intent. It's much  
> more likely to mean the author simply hasn't thought about the issue.

As it currently stands, the *only* way I can express my intent (which  
is "please don't pre-buffer") is to leave out the attribute.

There needs to be some means to allow authors to express this intent.  
There are two possible means to that end:

1. Codify the lack of an autobuffer attribute as an explicit request  
not to pre-buffer media (an extra sentence or two in the spec would  
accomplish this) or
2. Either change the autobuffer attribute from being Boolean to tri- 
state or add a new Boolean nobuffer attribute.

But simply assuming that because an author has left off the autobuffer  
attribute out of carelessness effectively makes the attribute useless:  
either the attribute is included (and the media is pre-buffered) or  
the attribute is omitted (and the media is pre-buffered because the  
browser assumes that the author meant to include the attribute).

Rather than browsers having to make guesses about author intent, it  
would be a lot simpler (for browsers and authors) if there were a way  
to explicitly express that media should not be pre-buffered.

Jeremy Keith

a d a c t i o

Received on Sunday, 3 January 2010 12:11:20 UTC