[whatwg] Xiph.Org Statement Regarding the HTML5 Draft and the Ogg Codec Set

Maciej Stachowiak mjs at apple.com
Thu Dec 13 03:18:53 PST 2007

On Dec 13, 2007, at 2:51 AM, Christopher Monty Montgomery wrote:

> On Dec 13, 2007 5:32 AM, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs at apple.com> wrote:
>> It's unfortunate that this press release conflates Ogg, Vorbis and
>> Theora.
> Although it is a point of nerd pride to correct 'Ogg is just the
> container, the codecs are....', that truth depends on context.  Ogg is
> and always was the name of the whole project.  There is nothing wrong
> with referring to the total code (and functionality) set as Ogg.  The
> fact that the codecs' internal names became well known was originally
> an accident.

It matters in this case because the press release cites large company  
(i.e. potential patent troll magnet) deployment of Vorbis, but then  
the press release mostly talks about video.

It also matters because, as I've said, this is already a point of  
material confusion. For example, I've seen comment threads (not  
involving myself!) on news sites that go something like this:

Poster A: "Theora is not very high quality compared to H.264."
Poster B: "I disagree! My Vorbis audio player gives great sound  
(At this point I assume Poster A facepalms and quits the Internet  

I've also seen people claim that before the design of Theora, an  
exhaustive patent search was done and it was deliberately coded to  
avoid existing patents, or that it is completely free of known  
patents. I think both of these things are true of Vorbis, but I do not  
believe they are true of Theora.

I think the press release may increase confusion on these sorts of  

(The press release also talks about MPEG as if it were a monolithic  
thing and not several families of codecs and container formats, but I  
didn't complain about that because it's less likely to confuse the  
discussion in a material way.)

> (Not meant as smackdown, just clairification)

Darn, I was all ready to pull on my wrestling singlet. :-)


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