Yep, it seems to have built up a fair bit of traction, mostly thanks to the Reddit crowd. There’s an API of sorts too. If Discourse did its automatic grab-the-file-and-self-host-it I suppose this might work in the short term.
I really think this kind of workaround ought to be open source though. A lot of articles I’ve read describe Gfy as a new format, which is very misleading. There’s only one way to make a “Gfy”, and that’s through Gfycat.com. Gfy is a service.
Some communities would benefit from such functionality.
Especially ones with download remote images to local setting enabled , but faster page loads alone is a good reason to think about it.
Quick hack would be to just use gfycat.com API.
It downloads&converts remote image (if not already present) and returns JSON with video details. At this point you replace .gif with video in post (see section “How can I embed these or link to them?”)
Custom plugin which bakes .webm into posts via background job would be of course more elegant.
If we plan to self-host .webm it would be just an extension to already existing download remote images to local feature. We would have an additional setting replace .gifs with optimized .webm versions (we could add another setting: convert only .gifs bigger than…).
Such native functionality requires ffmpeg as a dependency and comes with additional security risks.
It does not sound like a good default for Discourse: maybe it is possible to create it as a plugin?
The cornerstone of Project GIFV is a platform-wide upgrade to automatically convert uploaded GIF files on the fly into the MP4 video format. […]
The .GIFV Extension: With all these improvements, Imgur will now denote converted MP4s with a “.gifv” extension. The intention is to signal to users throughout the Internet that these links will feature a GIF experience that incorporates all the current and future enhancements made through Project GIFV. Imgur plans to submit an accompanying specification to relevant standards organizations before the end of the year.
Discourse already has onebox for MP4 files.
So the only missing piece is some kind of a sidekick job that does the conversion and slight modification to the onebox to loop by default (if mp4 was created from gif).
That sounds like something that could easily be done using the onebox, adding a white list either in the image or video engine. I am happy to build that, if such a PR is wanted (could also be behind a configuration setting, if needed).
One thing to consider is how Slack deals with this:
http://img0.joyreactor.cc/pics/post/%D0%B3%D0%B8%D1%84%D0%BA%D0%B8-superjail-%D0%BC%D1%83%D0%BB%D1%8C%D1%82%D1%81%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%B8%D0%B0%D0%BB-%D0%A1%D0%B2%D0%BE%D1%8F-%D0%B0%D1%82%D0%BC%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%84%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%B0-1886210.gif (Not automatically expanded because 30MB is too large. You can expand it anyway or open it in a new window. You can also change your preferences to allow images of any file size to auto expand.)