WordPress on the Verge of Valid YouTube Embeds?

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Posted on February 16, 2008 3:33 PM in Web Development
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

Because it links back to one of my blog's most popular entries, I came across YouTube Embed Not In Bed With Web Standards, written by Lloyd Budd, an employee of Automattic. As you know, Automattic is the startup that currently develops WordPress and several other platforms.

As I was reading through the entry, I noticed toward the bottom that a guy named Matt had left a comment:

We could turn this on for all our Youtube [sic] (and possibly other embeds) with a deploy, I think it'd be a worthwhile project.

As it turns out, that Matt is the one and only Matt Mullenweg (aka Photo Matt), the founding developer of WordPress.

What I take away from his comment is that there may be plans in the near future to convert YouTube embeds to their equivalent, valid XHTML 1.0 markup so that they adhere to web standards.

Though I don't personally use WordPress here at bernzilla.com, I still see this as great news because such a move would likely force feed readers like Google Reader to support the playing of embedded YouTube videos that were embedded according to standards, and not just how they are suggested to be embedded by YouTube itself. The fact that they don't currently is the reason many of the videos I embed here at my blog never show up in such feed readers.

I'll keep my eye on this and see if any further progress is made. If so, you'll likely be hearing from me on this topic again.


Lloyd Budd on February 16, 2008 at 10:29 PM:

Bernie, this is very useful information. Other than Google Reader are there other tools that won't include the video if you use valid markup? Is there any good reason for this behavior?

My plan is to survey some of the other video sites, and see what code they provide for people to include the video on their own site. If they also provide invalid markup, I hope to have more luck striking up conversation to understand why. That Google Reader is a bit of a wrench in the works though, because that seems like an obvious reason for them to follow Google.

Other wrenches you are aware of?

On WordPress.com, we use a macro (short code) to allow our customers to have YouTube's embeds. That is what makes it so easy to change the markup there.

Thank you!


Bernie Zimmermann on February 17, 2008 at 1:21 AM:

Thanks for dropping by, Lloyd. I've noticed that pretty much any video I embed using the valid approach gets ignored by Google Reader. That goes for videos I've embedded from Dailymotion, Viddler, etc. However, now that I look back at the original announcement of the feature, it appears that offering the source video as an enclosure in your web feed may be a way around the embed issue. I've yet to try this approach, though.


Bernie Zimmermann on February 17, 2008 at 9:26 PM:

It's amazing what one forgets. Apparently the length attribute of the enclosure tag is optional (if the Google Reader team's post is any indication), so maybe I will have to experiment a little and see what happens.


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