[whatwg] Removal of Ogg is *preposterous*

David Hyatt hyatt at apple.com
Tue Dec 11 15:31:31 PST 2007

On Dec 11, 2007, at 3:46 PM, Manuel Amador (Rudd-O) wrote:

> Apple and Nokia seem to think that there *are* hamburgers in the  
> moon, and
> that those hamburgers will cost them billions of dollars in submarine
> sandwich lawsuits.
> Of course, that's what they are *saying*.  It doesn't take a Feynman  
> or a
> Chomsky to understand the real reason why they want the Ogg  
> hamburger off
> HTML5.

Maybe you should take some time to read the previous discussions of  
this issue before making such inflammatory accusations.

Fear of submarine patents is only one reason Apple is not interested  
in Theora.  There are several other reasons.  H.264 is a technically  
superior solution to Theora.  Ignoring IP issues, there would be no  
reason to pick Theora over H.264.  Everyone wants an open freely  
implementable codec, but it doesn't follow that Theora should  
automatically be that codec.  About the only argument I've heard in  
favor of Theora is that "it's open", but that is an argument based  
purely on IP and not on technical merits.

If you consider mobile devices that want to browse the Web, then  
depending on the constraints of the device, a hardware solution may be  
required to view video with any kind of reasonable performance.  A  
mandate of Theora is effectively dictating to those mobile vendors  
that they have to create custom hardware that can play back Theora  
video.  Given that such devices may already need a hardware solution  
for existing video like H.264, it seems unreasonable for HTML5 to  
mandate what hardware a vendor has to develop just to browse Web video  
on a mobile device.

Or put another way, imagine that GIF was an open format but PNG was IP- 
encumbered.  Would you really want to limit the Web to displaying only  
GIFs just because it was the only open image format available?   
Technical arguments are relevant here, so take some time to consider  
them before accusing people of having shady ulterior motives.

(hyatt at apple.com)

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