[whatwg] Removal of Ogg is *preposterous*

Jeff McAdams jeffm at iglou.com
Tue Dec 11 16:16:09 PST 2007

David Hyatt wrote:
> 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.  

And absolutely noone has said that you can't use H.264.  You are
perfectly free to do so.  What is offensive to the people is using
encumbered technologies as a baseline as you are basically suggesting.

This is untenable.  Theora is the least unencumbered option, and likely
is totally unencumbered.

> 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.

Perhaps the only argument is IP (again, what a crappy, loaded term that
is), but don't underestimate the importance of that argument.

> 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.

Bullshit.  How long will it take for HTML5 to have a reasonable
penetration?  You don't think there will be hardware implementations by
then if its part of the spec?  That's a completely disingenious argument.

> 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.

Cop out.  Its completely reasonable.  If you have to use hardware to
implement it, then that's the price you pay (and then the customers pay,
because you're going to pass the cost along), or perhaps you choose not
to be HTML5 compliant on that device.

To threaten the design of a supposedly open and free spec because of the
potential hardware needs to implement is what is unreasonable.  That
amounts to Apple, et al, holding the community hostage to your
commercial desires.

I'm sorry, I'm not going to help Apple screw me over.  I will not
quietly accept the w3c ensconcing a non-free codec into HTML5 and
subjecting me and everyone else to another decade or so of being screwed
over by avaricious big companies.

> 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?

Once again you twist the argument to the point of breaking.  Noone is
saying anything about restricting the formats that are allowed.  We're
only talking about a baseline requirement.

In other words, yeah, I would be fine with requiring GIF as a baseline
in that sort of spec (which is de facto what we have anyway), but PNG et
al can still be implemented, just as you can still implement H.264 if
you like.
Jeff McAdams
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a
little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
                                       -- Benjamin Franklin

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