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

Jeff McAdams jeffm at iglou.com
Tue Dec 11 17:01:32 PST 2007

Oliver Hunt wrote:
>> 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.

> That's not unreasonable, but you have yet to give a solid technical
> reason for reverting to the old text,
> so far your only argument is that ogg should be kept because it is FOSS,
> which on its own is insufficient.

Wait...Apple and Nokia posit an potential patent threat as justification
to remove the text, but patent and other "Intellectual Property" reasons
aren't justification for putting it back?

Great double standard there.

> My understanding based on the numerous comments from Ian is that a goal
> of the video and audio
> specs is that they can be implemented in FOSS, and knowing Ian there is
> basically no chance of anyone
> slipping anything that couldn't be passed him.

> As far as wording goes using the word "SHOULD support" is far too weak
> for HTML5, as SHOULD is relatively
> meaningless, a much better requirement is that the wording be "MUST
> support ..."; this is a sensible as
> having a spec that says "SHOULD support ogg/vorbis and ogg/theora" is
> fairly useless -- all that will happen
> is that browser vendors (Apple, Mozilla, Opera, etc) will once again be
> in a position where the spec's wording
> means nothing and we end up with yet another standard which is not tied
> to whatever becomes the actual
> de facto standard, as implemented by the majority browser.  This is much
> worse for site compatibility for every
> other browser as it then becomes necessary to determine what the de
> facto standard actually *is*.

I agree...it should be a MUST rather than a SHOULD.  But that is an
independent question of what codecs are involved.

> For this reason the old text was insufficient and Ian changed the text
> to indicate that the final wording had
> not yet been decided.  This is not an indication that ogg transport or
> that the vorbis or theora codecs are
> being ignored, it is merely an indication that a decision has not yet
> been made as to the final wording.

Then why change the text at all?  Just leave what was there why the
discussion happens.  Again, doesn't pass the smell test.

Yeah, I'm probably just assuming the worst from the big companies here,
but assuming the worst from big companies in past standards setting
efforts has *NEVER* resulted in me being surprised, so you'll just have
to deal with me taking a bit of an extreme position, here.

So if the discussion is really still up in the air, let me suggest this.

As a show of good faith, revert the text, then have the discussion.  If
a better solution is found that meets everyone's criteria, hey great.
But reverting the text to what it was can be considered a show of good
faith since, clearly, the text that was put in its place can't stand for
the spec to go to fruition.
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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