[theora] W3C Video on the Web Workshop

Michael Dale dale at ucsc.edu
Mon Nov 19 21:28:51 PST 2007

here is my position paper its pretty general and short... I don't plan 
on focusing on technology specifics more focusing on the need for freely 
implementable container formats and codecs. I am interested in 
doing/demoing closed captioning in annodex/cmml. But nothing fancy just 
using what Silvia recently added to the CMML spec: ... Silvia is also 
planning on attending the W3 video on the web workshop.
(Just search for "caption" - there is an example at the end of the file
that explains how it should all work.)

Position paper for Video on the Web Workshop

by Michael Dale,
Metavid.org & member of Annodex.net

*Strategic thinking*
Critical to making video a first class citizen on the web is extending 
the properties of other first class citizens like text and images as 
they apply to video. These properties should include:
* Standardization around a freely implementable format. So both 
proprietary and free browsers can support playback and (eventually) 
encoding without licensing costs.
* A standard open format for search engines and web services to access 
video metadata such as close captions, tags, chapter info etc.
* Standard ways of transclusion/reference/embedding of video 
* Use of existing http protocols for access and retrieval of video content.

*User Experience*
Critical to strong user experience is powerful standards based api for 
web services to build on.  The whatwg group has made good progress on 
defining this api. http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#video

The metavid project has modeled an online user experience with online 
web video using all Free and Open source software(FOSS) technologies.  
The experience is distinct from the more common proprietary flash video 
services. Metavid has been archiving public domain house and senate 
footage and making it available in a free and open web platform. All the 
video is encoded with ogg theora video codec. All the metadata is 
encoded to CMML an open standard for continues video markup. Arbitrary 
segments of the video streams are available for download or in-browser 
playback via mod_annodex a server side script for dynamically splitting 
ogg theora clips. Client side playback is handled via oggplay, java 
crotado, mplayer plugin, totem, vlc plugin or natively supported by the 
soon to be released Firefox3 and Opera web browser. Scripts such as 
mv_embed transparently handle the selection of whatever client side 
playback method is available.

*Video Production*
Metavid is close to releasing a mediaWiki extension that will allow 
groups of participants to collaborate in creating close captions and 
metadata annotations for video streams. These captions will be made 
available via CMML feeds and or be muxed into the ogg container via 
annodex. They will serve both as a search index into the video and text 
for the hearing impaired. Web interfaces can make this CMML text content 
Additionally the metavid Wiki extension includes basic video 
sequencing/editing. Critical to decentralized online video editors will 
be wide support for a common transclusion video request system.  This 
allows online services to reference video segments across distinct web 
services and hosting environments while preserving the associative 

The metavid project creates one possible interface for collaborative 
video usage online enabled by and implemented as an entirely FOSS system.

*Web Architecture*
The existing http protocol is functional for video distribution and fits 
into the exiting web infrastructure. Most video content should be 
downloadable and unencumbered by proprietary container or formats. This 
will helps facilitate mashups, reuse and fully realize the potential of 
online video. Critical to wide adoption of any proposed standards is 
inclusion of free software implementations. Specifically the audio/video 
codec and container must be freely implementable.  The should W3C seek 
to standardize around the best open formats available at the time of 
standardization. The xiph ogg container and set of audio/video codecs 
are ideal.


Aaron Whitehouse wrote:
> That is excellent news.
> I would be very keen to read the position paper, if you do not mind. I
> imagine others on this list would also appreciate a copy.
> Thanks for your work on this,
> Aaron
> On 18/11/2007, Michael Dale <dale at ucsc.edu> wrote:
>> I will be summiting a position paper today. I will be pushing the
>> technology set of xiph, and annodex as viable open standard for video on
>> the web. I will push for standardization around free formats &
>> containers. I will highlight the working example of metavid and
>> wikipedia using firefox3. .
>> Hopefully I will also have time to throw together some in-browser close
>> caption demo using annodex/cmml embed in the ogg stream and or parallel
>> xml file access.
>> If anyone else from xiph community is going please msg me so we can
>> coordinate a bit.
>> peace,
>> michael
>> metavid.org
>> Ivo Emanuel Gonçalves wrote:
>>> List,
>>> The W3C will host a workshop to discuss video on the Web in 12-13
>>> December 2007, San Jose, California.  I think it's important that
>>> someone from Xiph, or an enthusiastic fan of Theora would participate.
>>> There is no participation fee and you do not need to be a W3C member
>>> to participate, so if you are in the area why not consider going?  You
>>> only have to register to participate.
>>> All kind of details may be found at http://www.w3.org/2007/08/video/
>>> Theora, Theora RTP, the HTML 5 video and audio elements, SMIL 3.0...
>>> those should be brought into discussion to make everyone aware that
>>> Theora should be the standard for video in the Web (and the Internet).
>>>  You never know, maybe as a result Microsoft may consider supporting
>>> it in their browser.
>>> -Ivo
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> theora mailing list
>>> theora at xiph.org
>>> http://lists.xiph.org/mailman/listinfo/theora
>> _______________________________________________
>> theora mailing list
>> theora at xiph.org
>> http://lists.xiph.org/mailman/listinfo/theora

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