#11963 NORM 12.1.0: totem browser plugin no longer usable

Zarro Boogs per Child bugtracker at laptop.org
Thu Jun 21 11:30:54 EDT 2012

#11963: totem browser plugin no longer usable
 Reporter:  dsd     |                 Owner:  dsd          
     Type:  defect  |                Status:  new          
 Priority:  normal  |             Milestone:  12.1.0       
Component:  distro  |               Version:  not specified
 Keywords:          |           Next_action:  never set    
 Verified:  0       |   Deployment_affected:               
Blockedby:          |              Blocking:               
 In past releases, we've relied on the totem browser plugin to provide ogg
 theora video playback in the browser. Specifically we have supported:

 * <a type="application/ogg" href="foo.ogg"> links which open a page with
 the plugin filling the browser window
 * <object>
 * <embed>

 We did this by disabling mozilla's internal ogg playing, so that the
 plugins got used in the above cases. This inadvertently disabled <video>
 (and <audio>) support but that was nothing we have shipped before anyway.

 I know that (good) video playback in the browser is of interest to
 deployments (and possibly deployed) as I've trained teams in various
 places how to use windows to convert avi to ogg, how to create a content
 bundle, etc.

 We now have to evaluate what we can do in WebKit.
 The current behaviour is:

 * <a> links act as a download for video, and open a page with webkit's
 internal ogg support for audio.
 * <video> and <audio> works using WebKit's internal ogg support, which
 doesn't close the sound device after playing, and doesn't use Xv (which
 means that video playback sucks). I don't think we can improve on this,
 since <video> is powerful its hard to imagine it being implemented by a
 plugin - it needs to be something in the browser for tight integration.
 * <object> and <embed> defer to plugins - we ship totem, which doesn't
 work (it uses clutter) and needs to be removed

 The <a> situation needs to be fixed in WebKit to use a plugin (if
 available), perhaps as a configuration option. Lets assume thats a
 relatively simple task that can be completed later.

 The real question is how to replace the totem plugin, so that we have
 smooth video playback using Xv via <embed> <object> (and then hopefully
 <a> soon after).

 I thought about writing a simple browser plugin to play back the media
 with gstreamer. Someone has already done it:

 I've been experimenting with that code. It needs:
  1. Some tweaks for webkit support
  2. To support loading files with regular ogg mimetypes via <embed
 src=foo.ogg>, rather than the weird loading sequence shown in the readme
  3. Some UI controls: play, pause, stop, and a slider showing how far we
 are in the media

 but it works. Attaching a patch with changes so far.

 Another option, possibly more attractive for this release given the late
 stage, would be to ship an old version of totem that doesn't use clutter.
 That would seem to be v3.0 from F15. Will investigate that now.

Ticket URL: <http://dev.laptop.org/ticket/11963>
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