This manifesto for video on the web was first published on February 28, 2007. That day, Opera proposed the video element, and Opera showing Ogg Theora natively was demonstrated at the Browser War: Episode II event. (Blogged here: 1 2 3 4 5 6) A few weeks later, I gave a Google Tech Talk on the same subject.

A call for video on the web

It's time to make video a first-class citizen of the web. We, the users, have video cameras in our pockets and the bandwidth to tranfer more clips and streams than we can watch. What's missing is a an easy way to integrate video into web pages, and native support for video in browsers. We, the web community, should address this by adding a video element to HTML:

  <video src="demo.ogg">

In addition to giving video an HTML element, we must also agree on a baseline video format that will be universally supported, just like the GIF, JPEG and PNG image format are universally supported. It's important that the video format we choose can be supported by a wide range of devices an that it's royalty-free (RF). RF is a well-establish principle for W3C standards.

The Ogg Theora format is a promising candidate which has been chosen by Wikipedia.

At Opera, we have built an experimental version that has native support for Ogg Theora. For now, it is only available on Windows. NOTE! Do not choose to start Opera in the installation process. After installing, exit the installation process and start the the experimental build manually.

Here are some pages using the video element: opacity simple three

Also, the video files on Wikipedia can be seen through the <video> element. Select any video file, and click on "Play in browser". If you are using the experimental Opera build, you should now see video played natively.

Screen shots

howcome 2007-03-29