[whatwg] on codecs in a 'video' tag.

Maik Merten maikmerten at gmx.net
Wed Apr 4 07:42:31 PDT 2007

timeless schrieb:
> On 4/2/07, Maik Merten <maikmerten at gmx.net> wrote:
>> Usually consumer hardware doesn't receive feature upgrades after it
>> shipped,
> since you're using (buying?) the n800, I wonder if you're counting it
> as a consumer product.

I do count it as a consumer device, but it's way more general purpose
than e.g. DVD players or digital audio players, which I thought of when
using the term "consumer hardware". Of course that was bad wording, I'm
sorry for that.

>> so most of the already installed hardware base won't get an
>> upgrade to whatever the WHATWG specifies anyway.
> Does this include the sony walkman w950i or modern nokia phones, or
> any phone for which opera mini or gmail (downloadable standalone
> application) are available?

That's just another reason why we can't rely on dedicated video decoding
hardware - there are devices out there that can implement WHATWG specs
but don't have special support for any video codec.

>> New products shipping WHATWG enabled products would be
>> engineered for whatever codecs would have to be supported.
> Thank you for dictating what my product ships.

Err... if a spec says "the screen has to blink if desired by the user"
(just as stupid example) that funky new product implementing that
(weird) spec would most likely be engineered to include a screen that
can blink.

If Nokia implements GSM in a product their are most likely engineering
their product so that it supports whatever that spec demands.

If Nokia decides they want a mobile video player that decodes H.264
they'll most likely engineer their device so a media DSP or a fittingly
powerful CPU is present.

If they want Theora instead that device would be engineered to either
have a DSP or a fittingly powerful CPU.

If Nokia wants to ship a WHATWG-enabled product they'll implement
whatever the spec demands and engineer the device so the spec can be met.

If Nokia decides they want to support a SHOULD feature they'll most
likely engineer the device in a fitting way.

But thanks for telling me I'm dictating what your product ships. This
really elevates my position. I was more under the impression that
*specifications* dictate the engineering process of devices that try to
implement them.

> I just spent my morning talking to lawyers and Nokia's view on ogg
> seems fairly simple. Unless I misinterpretted them, we won't be
> shipping ogg.

Of course I have no clue what your lawyers told you, but I'd guess if
you asked them "is Ogg safe?" they'd say "we don't know - we may get
into trouble or not" - and if they're lawyers with humour they may have
even said "We can't know because the patent system is so f*cked up that
no mere mortal can make a definite statement without having been in
court - so why do you ask us?".

The funny thing is that if you ask "is H.264 safe" you *may* get the
very same answer.

The text above is just wild speculation. You can just ignore it.

If your lawyers have some more specific information on the "interlectual
property" status of the Ogg codecs it may be a polite move to discuss
things with the free software world (which is primarily using Ogg) by
offering that information to e.g. Xiph.org. Well, you could rightfully
say that the free software people should just their own lawyers, of course.

> Note that my statement shouldn't be seen as official, but there may be
> official statements available online.


>> Ogg Theora decodes on ARM processor cores even
>> without touching the special multimedia features of that platform (as
>> shown on the Nokia N800 - which wasn't designed with a special codec in
>> mind). This may be the case, but it is not immediately obvious to me.
> I hope this means you're buying our product instead of forcing us to
> do the impossible.

Again I wasn't aware I was in a position to force things. I'd be
interested to know what impossible thing you were thinking of, but I
guess you're thinking of the Ogg codecs. Be assured that I'm far from
proposing those should become a MUST-have requirement.

> I will try to give more constructive feedback at a later date. this
> week is over.

Have a nice weekend!


Maik Merten

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