Position Paper for the W3C Video On The Web Workshop

Chris Double, Mozilla Foundation

This document represents the position of the Mozilla Foundation in the context of a standard for Video on the Web.

HTML Integration

We believe that video should be a first-class media type for the Web, with dedicated HTML markup and DOM interfaces so it can be manipulated directly by standards-based Web applications using technologies already familiar to Web authors.

The technology should support 'video on demand' web applications and also end users who want to embed video easily into their personal web pages. This should be as easy as embedding images via the HTML IMG element.

Scripting should not be required to control playback of video. Support should exist for in built controls to handle the common video playback operations. There should be sufficient scripting support for Web applications to provide a custom video playback interface.

HTML video should integrate into the CSS rendering pipeline and in all respects behave like regular HTML content.


We believe that an open Web requires open formats, including codecs that anyone can implement and freely distribute. Therefore we favour codecs with an open source reference implementation and royalty-free patent licensing so any implementor, whether their product is closed or open source, can freely distribute their product. We believe the open source Ogg Theora and Ogg Vorbis codecs meet these requirements and we intend to distribute these codecs in Firefox.

With regards to video/audio codecs we believe it is important to have a 'baseline' codec that all implementors support. Without this it becomes difficult for content providers to provide video in a format suitable for playback across all platforms.

We therefore encourage support for Theora and Vorbis as baseline codecs. We do not object to supporting other codecs that may be available to the user, and intend to do so in Firefox at some point in the future.

The WHATWG <video> Proposal

The WHATWG, through public discussion on their mailing list, has specified an HTML

We recommend the adoption of the WHATWG <video> spec as the open standard for integrating video into Web applications.


Ogg Theora
Ogg Vorbis
Browser <video> Implementation
Firefox: http://www.bluishcoder.co.nz/2007/11/opera-has-new-video-enabled-build.html
Opera: http://dev.opera.com/articles/view/a-call-for-video-on-the-web-opera-vid/
WebKit: http://webkit.org/blog/140/html5-media-support/