Helping video understanding

Apple-oriented pundit John Gruber writes of his understanding of showing video in browsers. Here are some tidbits which may help:

  • HTML 4.0 did deprecate the realworld EMBED tag, but the Apple/Google/WhatWG “HTML5″ proposals bless it again.

  • VIDEO tag is not a Standard, nor a W3C Recommendation… this shouldn’t stop your experimentation, but neither should the label “standard” stop you.
  • Congratulations on moving past the very proprietary “QuickTime”… the stewardship of that proposal has been disappointing.
  • If thinking of VIDEO tag, you must think of codecs too… Ogg Theora decoders and VIDEO tag parsing do not completely overlap.
  • It’s fortunate that this experimentation was performed on a site where two-thirds of the visitors use Apple-branded browsers. Most sites don’t enjoy the luxury of such near-monoculture.
  • Yes, buffering and startup behavior, like codecs, are issues which were not adequately addressed in the spec. Specifying a VIDEO tag was an easy first step, but does not suffice… captioning, for instance, has been a particularly divisive omission. The WHATWG proposals make more sense as a “blessing” of what Apple was going to do anyway.
  • “I think the HTML5 spec should be changed such that the value of the autobuffer attribute may not be ignored.” May be difficult, due to last call.
  • “Why would I publish content using a technology that I personally block by default?” Because it works.

Two incidental followups: I’m still seeking the factual basis of that surprising claim “We know for a fact that Adobe has no interest in the Mac implementation’s quality,” and if you could correct that prior “arrogance” claim to reflect what I actually said then that would be great, thanks.

[Comments: Ideas are good, but trolls won't be fed.]