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From Becky Gibson <>
Subject Media APIs - some research and discussion
Date Fri, 18 Jan 2013 21:20:04 GMT
I was looking at the open issues for iOS and found some related to
capture/camera and media so I decided to see what the state of the latest
W3C APIs are for these things.  It wasn't a pleasant journey!

There seem to be three apis that cover our camera/capture and media.  Note
that the referenced URLs are to the latest published draft although many
have updated editor's drafts.

   - Pick Media Intent (  Pick stored Media
   (images, audio, video) from various sources.
   - HTML Media Capture ( - HTML
   form extension to allow user access to capture media from the device's via
   still camera, video, microphone via the File upload control.  Appears to
   have replaced the Media Capture API ( since all links on
   that page to Latest Published Draft and Latest Editor's Draft refer the the
   HTML Media Capture spec and there is no longer any reference to the Media
   Capture API on the Device API working group page (
   - Media Capture and Streams ( Access to
   multi media streams (video camera, microphone, stored media) from a device.

Thus, it seems that the Pick Media Intent would replace the Camera apis for
selecting existing images and video.  It would add the ability to pick from
existing audio.  Perhaps it is time to dive into the Web Intents spec and
consider implementation ....

HTML Media Capture allows capturing media but it is tied to the input
element.  It also provides for uploading the captured data.   This seems to
have replaced the Media Capture API that we implemented.   I'm not sure how
we can incorporate this into Cordova as there are no real apis, just
attributes on the input element for the browser to implement and provide
the UI.   Although this seems to be the only W3C mechanism for accessing
the still camera to capture an image!

The Media Capture and Streams could replace our Media and Capture Video
apis, but this is much more complicated.  It also, in my opinion, doesn't
seem all that well baked at the moment with a fair amount of open issues
for defining some of the constants.

Thus, I was a bit overwhelmed at how to address some of the Media and
camera issues!   I did discuss this briefly with Simon and was relieved
that he was considering the HTML apis for media as our solution for Media (
  Perhaps the best way to tackle our media is to normalize our media apis
around the HTML Media apis.

The point of this email?   To capture my foray into the W3C Capture Apis
and perhaps start a discussion on the next steps for Camera, Capture and
Media apis.

My next foray is into the changes to Contacts - this is now a Web Intent as

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