A few months ago I switched our TimedMediaHandler's config to support the
newer, more bandwidth-efficient VP9/Opus variant of WebM and to use these
preferably over the older VP8/Vorbis version when creating scaled,
(This does not affect upload support -- you may continue to upload video
files in WebM VP9, WebM VP8, or Ogg Theora formats, with either Vorbis or
Conversions of existing files on Commons ran in the background for some
weeks, finishing in November. I'm now running a final pass for
high-resolution files and any files on other wikis that didn't get a
conversion yet, in preparation for removing the VP8 derivatives in the next
couple of weeks to free storage space.
This should have relatively little visible effect for users, unless someone
is relying on the particular derivative files with extensions like
".360p.webm"; the new versions are named like ".360p.vp9.webm".
Note that IE 11 users using the "WebM Media Foundation Components for IE
<https://www.webmproject.org/ie/>" will not be able to play back the new
VP9/Opus files natively, as this driver has never been updated for VP9 or
playback instead. If you find this is troublesome, the recommended solution
is to switch to any other browser.
Third-party MediaWiki + TimedMediaHandler users should be aware that the
defaults are changing, and in future the VP8-specific support and code
paths may be removed. TimedMediaHandler will probably change a lot in the
coming months with upcoming WebVTT subtitle format, a streamlined
videojs-based player, and hopefully more!
There's been some comments on some old tasks such as T27707
<https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T27707> about problems with uploading
files that include text metadata that looks like HTML elements.
Years ago, we added security checks for IE 5/6/7 to work around IE's mime
type sniffing: if you went to view a .png file directly in IE (as opposed
to in an <img>) the browser would check the first few bytes of the file to
detect its type, overriding the HTTP Content-Type header. HTML would be
detected with a higher priority than the actual image formats, making it
possible to create an actual .png image which when viewed as an image
looked like an image, but when viewed as a web page was interpreted as
(This was defense in depth in addition to hosting files on a separate
domain; among other things, we sometimes serve files out from the main
domain when dealing with archived (deleted) versions, and third-party
installs are not guaranteed to have a second domain.)
Browsers have moved on, but the code remains and it trips up legitimate
files containing links in metadata, or sometimes just random compressed
data that looks like an element!
I've done a quick research check on feasibility:
* IE 6 and earlier can no longer access Wikimedia sites due to lack of SNI
and TLS 1.0 or later
* IE 7 on Windows XP can no longer access Wikimedia sites due to lack of SNI
* IE 7 on Windows Vista **can** access Wikimedia sites.
* IE 8 and higher support X-Content-Options: nosniff to disable sniffing,
which we already use on all MediaWiki requests.
At some point Microsoft dropped the sniffing, but I'm not sure if it was a
later IE version or an Edge version. No other browsers in reasonably
current versions seem to have this problem.
So the only remaining browser version that might be affected is IE 7 on
Windows Vista, which supports SNI and TLS 1.0. It might or might not still
work once we drop TLS 1.0 some time in the future. (Per our TLS dashboard
1.2% of our connections still use TLS 1.0, but this isn't broken down
between logged-in-user views and anon views.)
* Should we drop the anti-sniff checks on upload?
* If we do, should we forbid logins with IE 7, or something else to protect
the occasional IE 7 logged-in user from a hypothetical targeted drive-by
attack? (Is it actually worth doing work and testing it for this?)
* Should we add X-Content-Options: nosniff on files served from