[whatwg] HTML 5, OGG, competition, civil rights, and persons with disabilities

Jeff McAdams jeffm at iglou.com
Tue Dec 11 16:26:57 PST 2007

Dave Singer wrote:
> At 19:04  -0500 11/12/07, Jeff McAdams wrote:
>> Dave Singer wrote:
>>>  At 13:45  -0500 11/12/07, Fernando wrote:
>>>>  Please reconsider the decision to exclude the recommendation of the
>>>  Theora/OGG Vorbis codec in HTML 5 guidelines.
>>>  This entire discussion is founded on a major misapprehension:  that
>>>  there has been a decision, and that decision was to exclude.  This is
>>>  simply not true;  there is no decision either to include or exclude.
>>>  There is a recognition that work is needed.
>>>  I and others have spent a great deal of time on this problem already,
>>>  working with a number of people, including the W3C staff.  Many of
>>> us --
>>>  maybe all of us -- agree we need to find a solution that enables broad
>>>  interoperability and is in accord with w3c and web practices. We have
>>>  not yet reached consensus on having found it.  That's all.
>> A decision was made to move away from using the ogg family of
>> technologies.

> No.


> A decision was made to have the text reflect the facts that (a) no-one
> is happy with a 'should' and (b) that work is ongoing to find a solution
> (which might be Ogg, or something else).  That's all.

The text was changed from a SHOULD implement Ogg et all to a completely
non-descriptive text.

If things are up in the air, then why change it?  Just leave the text
and have the discussion.  If a better solution is arrived at, *then*
change the text of the spec.  What need is there to change the current
draft of the spec away from ogg et all?  That indicates a move away from
ogg et al by this body, and you're surprised why people get up in arms?

Sorry, again, doesn't pass the smell test.

>> While not a final decision, it is a threatening decision
>> to those of us that value freedom and openness and don't appreciate
>> being screwed by big companies.

>> Listen to what the people are saying.

> Oh, I am listening.  It's by no means clear that the Ogg crowd is at
> all.  I'm also spending efforts working on finding a solution.  I don't
> count lamenting "I want my ogg" on this list as spending efforts at all.

Maybe you should listen to the meta-argument, then.

I'm sick and tired of getting screwed by big companies (including
Apple), and I will *not* quietly accept it.

If the text is changed to move away from a free and open solution to
something that is going to be encumbered, you better believe I'm going
to be up in arms about it, and I will not apologize for it.  This change
is exactly that sort of change.

I would much rather Apple not implement HTML5 at all, so I can call
Apple out on it in the marketplace, than to let an encumbered technology
be ensconced in a standard like HTML5.  And, in the past, these exact
sorts of maneuvering is exactly the sort of behavior that has led to big
companies getting end-user-screwing technologies ensconced into specs
and standards.
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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