A few clarifications inline.

On Tue, Jul 16, 2013 at 10:09 PM, Victor Grigas <vgri...@wikimedia.org>wrote:

> On the fundraising team we had used banners to host still images (.jpgs) in
> the past. We wanted to make a video we could put into banners but in July
> 2012 there was no open source HTML5 video player built into mediawiki.
> .Webm was not deployed on commons and I was told that Wikimedia did not
> have the technical capabilities to host video on that scale.
TimedMediaHandler had been deployed around this time, a while before the
blog post was written. I had looked through the threads related to the
banners to confirm this.

> Nevertheless I insisted and wanted to use open source video. I thought it
> was crazy that every other site on the internet could do this and we
> couldn't. Basically I asked everyone I could find at WMF who had anything
> to do with open source video (a little bit abruptly) 'Pretty please with
> sugar on top can we make open-source video work for Wikimedia?'
> Rob Lanphier told me that (the technical elements of this were over my
> head) we were painfully close to having .webm done, and it was going to be
> a bunch of details for his team to fix.
> I got in touch with Michael Dale and told him that if Kaltura could make
> .webm a reality, the fundraiser would be his first 'customer' - when I say
> that all I meant was that the fundraiser would be the first to use the
> video format on a mass scale.
Replace webm with h264. The threads all mentioned that the video formats we
support wouldn't work for mobile, and we'd need to look at adding h264
support to TimedMediaHandler. h264 is a proprietary format and it would
have been necessary for that to go through legal and some other hoops.

The end-result is the same, though. It was impossible to provide an open
format to all users. It was likely easier to send people to youtube than to
deal with the issues around h264.

> In November 2012, the new player was deployed:
> http://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/11/08/introducing-wikipedias-new-html5-video-player/
> My thanks to everyone who made it happen - we actually had a player that
> would work on many (but not all) devices and it had the added benefit of
> open source closed captions, which I had never seen anywhere else. It was
> awesome, but the reality of it was that WMF just didn't have enough servers
> or bandwidth to support video on that scale - even if it was open source.
> Everyone in the engineering department who I spoke to agreed that it was
> impossible. I had to speak to the legal department about embedding a video
> from a third party (if that was even possible). I was told that if we were
> to have a link from a third party, on each and every video we would have to
> provide this disclaimer:
Threads indicate that we had enough bandwidth and ops was interested in
seeing the load associated with this. I thought we had some issues with
varnish or squid, but searching my email indicates that we had video issues
when moving upload.wm.o to varnish (which was much later). At the time in
question we likely would have been able to handle the load.

> This video is hosted by YouTube.com subject to its Terms of
> Use<http://www.youtube.com/t/terms>
>  and Privacy Policy <http://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/privacy/>. If
> you prefer,view on Wikimedia
> Commons<http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Thank_You/Dumisani_Ndubane>
> .
> I disliked this workaround because it was inelegant and counter to the open
> source philosophy of Wikimedia, *but it would function*. It would play the
> video on a large scale to millions of potential viewers and if users didn't
> want to use Youtube.com a link to the video on Commons would be under each
> and every video.
> When the banner went live in late December
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page?banner=B12_1227_ThankYou_5pillars&forceBannerDisplay=true
> , it was great that it worked. I thought maybe this might spark
> conversations about open source video within the Wikimedia community and
> (to be really honest Tomasz) I was expecting to see this thread start the
> moment that the banners went live, because I think it is something that the
> community should concern itself with. Video production is something that
> every smartphone owner now has in their pocket. Think about where that will
> be in ten years.
> Even if it's a site that could mine data, I disagree that just providing
> links is a bad thing. How many links at the bottom of Wikipedia articles
> provide links to all kinds of sites that mine data? Those pages don't link
> to the policies of those sites, they just show an external link. To be
> fair, Yes it's a prominent, big button that we linked to Youtube.com and
> the disclaimer link to commons is small text. I'm a visual person and I
> like to avoid text if I have a big flashy button to click instead.
> In my view, this whole argument would provide reason to:
> 1.) Only use a third party video option sparingly, as-needed until there
> are better open-source video options to use.
> 2.) Put more resources into open source video.
I'm very much a fan of #2 and have a dislike of #1. Have we really put many
resources into video? I believe development till this point has been
sponsored by Kaltura.

- Ryan
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