[whatwg] several messages regarding Ogg in HTML5

Krzysztof Żelechowski giecrilj at stegny.2a.pl
Wed Dec 12 16:04:20 PST 2007

Dnia 11-12-2007, Wt o godzinie 17:30 -0500, Jeff McAdams pisze:
> Is H.264 a better codec technically, yeah, ok, and Nokia and Apple are
> free to support it if they wish in addition to Theora, or even to
> implement all of the HTML5 spec except for Theora support and risk being
> called out as non-conformant.

I do not think the upper management would even consider avoiding this
risk.  It is all trifles to them.  I can also imagine their claiming
conformance while they actually are not, and there is nothing the
wizards can do to stop the upper management of the customers from buying

> >> The old wording was a SHOULD requirement. No MUST. If the big players 
> >> don't want to take the perceived risk (their decision) they'd still be 
> >> 100% within the spec. Thus I fail to see why there was need for action.
> > The problem is that if the big players don't follow the spec, even the 
> > SHOULD requirements, then the spec is basically pointless. What we want 
> > isn't that some people support Ogg, what we fundamentally want is that 
> > _everyone_ support the same codec, whatever that may be.
> Then revert the text and make it a MUST.  As far as I know, there are no
> other codecs out there that are not encumbered.  This is the whole
> reason for existence of Theora, at least at the time, and I don't know
> that this has changed in the few years since it was designed.

That would make the whole HTML5 thing drift off to the ocean of

> If you want a baseline that everyone can implement without being
> encumbered, then the answer is Theora.
> > Small companies aren't targetted by patent trolls. Only big (really big) 
> > companies are. It's a big-company concern, just like "no per-user 
> > licensing" is a small-company concern. That's just the reality of the 
> > situation, it's not intended to be a bias.
> Except that it very clearly is biasing the decision making process so
> far.  The language was changed because the big companies weren't
> comfortable with it, moving in the direction of screwing the little guy.
>  That is bias.

And the standard really has no means to stop them, whatever it says.  Do
you want a standard that says Microsoft is nonconformant?  It already
is, has always been, and no standard is going to change that because
they do not give a damn.

> > On Tue, 11 Dec 2007, Manuel Amador (Rudd-O) wrote:
> >>> It is intended to be exactly truthful, actually. I apologise if you 
> >>> believe this to be fear mongering.
> >> Well, the intentions certainly didn't match the actions.
> > I am sorry you perceive them this way.
> As witnessed by the large influx of people on the list that you
> referenced (admittedly including myself) that are expressing very strong
> similar opinions, perhaps you should reconsider whether this is merely a
> perception.  I think its very clear that its not just perception.  I
> think you're being played, Ian.  Revert the text and be done with this.

As Ian already pointed out, truth values do not add up.

> If you really want this to be a baseline codec that everyone can
> implement, revert the text and then change it to MUST.

Are you a Wiccan or something?

> >> Fact: Vorbis is the *only* codec whose patent status has been widely 
> >> researched, nearly to exhaustion.
> > Sadly there's really no such thing as an exhaustive patent search.
> No, but that there was an extensive attempt made make Vorbis and Theora
> much safer than the alternatives.
> >> Let me rephrase your statement to be worded in a more *honest* way.  
> >> Vorbis provides the perfect escape for proprietary audio prisons.  
> >> Apple and Nokia are having problems with consumers and authors actually 
> >> waking up and using free, non-patent-encumbered, widely available, 
> >> unrestricted, non-proprietary technology.  Since Vorbis directly 
> >> threatens their ability to sell traps, they are extorting your 
> >> compliance with threats of not supporting the HTML5 spec.
> > I don't know what you base your conclusions on, but I assure you that to 
> > the best of my knowledge, that's not the current situation. I have been in 
> > this business a long time, and I've been played for a fool many times 
> > before. This particular issue does not have the tell-tale signs of players 
> > acting in bad faith. Indeed, Apple employees have probably done more to 
> > resolve this issue than anyone else so far.
> Really?  And Nokia calling Ogg "proprietary" doesn't raise any red
> flags?  (merely an example)  Perhaps you should take a vacation from
> this, Ian, clearly your bovine excrement meter is broken.

It does not matter whether Nokia is wrong or right, the only relevant
question is what they are going to do.  Perceive that as Gromyko talk.

> > and that is not an additional submarine patent risk for large 
> > companies.
> You've created the bias in the premise.  By including the word
> "additional", there, you have artificially limited the field to codecs
> which are already implemented by the large companies.  That is not
> progress, that is one great big, huge, gigantic step backward.
> That is untenable, and is a large part of the basis for the outrage from
> the public that you're currently on the receiving end of.
> > The whole point of the change was to make the point that we need something 
> > that will not screw you. Ogg isn't a solution, as it won't be implemented 
> > by Apple and Microsoft. If we require Ogg, then what will happen is the 
> > big players will support something else, then that will become the 
> > de-facto standard, and you will get screwed. What we _want_ is for 
> > everyone to support the same codec. We don't get that by having a 
> > SHOULD-level requirement for Ogg.
> Then make it a MUST-level requirement.  There is no other solution.  If
> we give in to the big companies trying to screw us during the spec
> design, then we're surely screwed, by design.  At least, if we make the
> spec MUST-level for Theora, we can bring pressure to bear on Microsoft,
> Apple, Nokia, and whoever else by shining a spotlight on their
> non-conformance to the spec.

The only arguments they respect is law and money, and the standard is
not a law.

> If we change the spec to acceed to their need to screw the end users,
> then the end users will, shockingly, be screwed for sure.

Well, certainly, and the only thing you can do about that is to join the
Salvation Army.

> >> I am not saying that ogg should be enforced onto anyone, if nokia wishes 
> >> to keep using a different format, no problem, but by making it a 
> >> standard, we at least know that ogg will be supported by all 
> >> (standards-compatible) browsers, and as such it can be deployed by those 
> >> who are opposed to vendor lock-in or monopoly positions.
> > We know that all standards-compatible browsers will support the standards, 
> > but what about all the other browsers? Surely what we want isn't just for 
> > a small set of browsers to support a codec but for _all_ the browsers to 
> > suppor the same codec.
> But since we're in a standards setting venue, non-standards-compliant
> browsers (now or future) and, by definition out of scope.  

"A good king gives wise orders" --- King.

> There will
> always be non-conformant implementations, we can't avoid that.  The spec
> should hold true to the goals that the spec sets out to bring about.
> One of those goals, from the w3c, is freedom and openness.  Theora is
> the only realistic choice for that.

And another one is universal acceptance.  Theora happens to be an
obstacle to that goal.

> Theora *is* the baseline for free and open video, full stop.  Everything
> else reasonable is encumbered (at least to my knowledge).  Assuming I'm
> right, discussion over.

Happy to hear that, given that my inbox has 150 messages today.

> >> OGG is the choice of freedom, enabling that freedom for all 
> >> webdevelopers is a must in my opinion, although in the same spirit, it 
> >> can not be enforced upon anyone, therefor the original text stating it 
> >> "should" instead of it "must" is probably the best way to go.
> >>
> >> Freedom for those who choose, the alternative for the rest.
> > Ogg is _a_ choice, which provides freedom for some but not everyone. We 
> > need a codec that works for everyone.
> Then you might as well give up on HTML5 right now.

Please, there are other interesting aspects of HTML than embedding video

> >> Maybe Nokia would be as good as to point out which codec is better? wmv? 
> >> divx? mov?
> > Sadly today there are no codecs that address all the needs of everyone 
> > involved; if there was, we wouldn't be having this discussion.
> If this is true, and I don't believe it is, then the HTML5 spec can
> never have what you're looking for, a codec that everyone can and will
> support.  Theora is as close as you're gonna get.  Make it part of the
> spec, and I would say make it a MUST and yell loud and long at Apple,
> MS, Nokia and others when they claim conformance to HTML5 and don't
> implement it.

And make a fool of yourself.

> >> My argument in favour of a "free" codec is that all browsers could ship 
> >> with it, without fear of being sued, this would allow users to 
> >> watch/listen to clips/movies/music out of the box without scouring the 
> >> Internet for codec XYZ for a once off use.
> > I think that's what everyone wants. The problem is that Ogg is not such a 
> > codec -- Apple, for instance, can't implement Ogg without fear of being 
> > sued.
> Pardon me, but the sanitized version just isn't strong enough, here.
> Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.

Shoot the bull, shoot the bull, shoot the bull.

> Like I said, let's hear what the real reason Apple doesn't want to
> support this, because this reason doesn't pass the smell test.
> > I assure you that the change was made in good faith; I (sadly) received no 
> > money for the change. I really wish I had.
> Then you got played.  Congratulations.

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