[whatwg] Removal of Ogg is *preposterous*

David Hyatt hyatt at apple.com
Wed Dec 12 11:14:42 PST 2007

Also as Maciej said earlier, we at Apple did not ask that the SHOULD  
wording be removed and had stated we could live with it.


On Dec 12, 2007, at 1:12 PM, David Hyatt wrote:

> On Dec 12, 2007, at 6:38 AM, Elliotte Rusty Harold wrote:
>> 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.  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.
>> Openness is a prerequisite. Technical adequacy is a prerequisite.  
>> The technically best solution is not a prerequisite. In case it  
>> isn't obvious yet, an open, adequate format is preferred over a  
>> better proprietary one.
> I don't think that is obvious at all, especially when the <video>  
> tag's chief competition, Flash, is using the technically superior  
> solution.  Why would authors switch away from Flash if <video>  
> doesn't offer any technically compelling reason to switch?
>>> 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.
>> Thanks. I wasn't previously convinced we needed to mandate *any*  
>> particular format, but you just convinced me. If hardware is  
>> support is required for some devices, then it does indeed sound  
>> like a good idea to mandate some minimum level of conformance. It  
>> is far better that this minimum level of conformance be an open,  
>> freely implementable standard such as Ogg/Theora than a known  
>> patent encumbered format such as H.264.
> Good.  I also believe there should be a mandated baseline.  That's  
> why I think SHOULD is too weak, and that we should be working  
> towards a MUST.
>>> 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?
>> Please stop attacking straw men. No one has suggested that. Under  
>> those circumstances, I absolutely would support requiring all  
>> browsers to display GIFs. This would not prohibit them from also  
>> displaying PNGs if they chose to license the relevant patents.
> Right, but, continuing the analogy, the issue you run into is if the  
> Web at large considers PNG to be superior and just ends up using it  
> anyway, then specifying "SHOULD use GIF" is rather irrelevant.  I do  
> not think people will switch to <video> using Theora when a  
> technically superior alternative exists that will also work in  
> Internet Explorer (Flash).  We have to make sure that <video> is on  
> par technically with what Flash can do.
>>> Technical arguments are relevant here, so take some time to  
>>> consider them before accusing people of having shady ulterior  
>>> motives.
>> Technical arguments are relevant, but do not control. They are  
>> neither the only nor the most important consideration.
> Similarly an inadequate open standard should not be proposed as the  
> only way forward simply by virtue of its openness.  Wanting an open  
> standard does not mean that Theora should just be automatically  
> chosen to be that open standard.  It is also a logical error to  
> assume that openness is not desired by a vendor merely because one  
> potential open format is not approved by that vendor.
> dave
> (hyatt at apple.com)

More information about the whatwg mailing list