W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > whatwg@whatwg.org > March 2007

[whatwg] <video> element proposal

From: Nicholas Shanks <contact@nickshanks.com>
Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2007 10:37:06 +0000
Message-ID: <8D586E98-4A81-488F-8A55-534B5A8925FA@nickshanks.com>
On 2 Mar 2007, at 10:01, Gervase Markham wrote:

> I think a base format is vital. With <img> we had de-facto standard  
> formats because of what the first browsers supported. It took ages  
> to get another one added (PNG) and it wasn't widely used until  
> browser support firmed up.
>
> If a base format can't be guaranteed, people will just keep using  
> Flash, which works almost everywhere (currently, with proprietary  
> software only, but keep an eye on Gnash).

It may be a good idea to specify an either-or-both policy and include  
a second video format, allowing vendors a little freedom as to which  
to implement.


Dirac (dirac.sf.net) seems like a good alternative format, but I  
don't know what licenses are acceptable to closed-source browser  
vendors. They say:

"As a defensive measure the BBC has applied for patent protection for  
some techniques that are, or may be, used within Dirac. Our purpose  
in doing so is to provide protection for Dirac from spurious patent  
suits by other parties. Under the terms of the MPL we have licensed  
these patents irrevocably and royalty free for use within the Dirac  
software."

"Our intention is that Dirac code be used as widely and as freely as  
possible. This is why we have allowed re-licensing under the terms of  
the GPL and LGPL licences."


And on Theora:

"Theora is coming on very nicely, and has an impressive, well-defined  
spec. We think we have much better compression performance, but you  
can't have too many free codecs."

"We intend to pack the Dirac elementary stream into MXF, which has  
lots of useful features. That doesn't preclude it packing into Ogg  
(or Matroska, or anything else) as well, and it's probably a good  
idea to have a variety of packing formats."

indeed!

- Nicholas.
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