[whatwg] The truth about Nokias claims
stijn.p at hccnet.nl
Fri Dec 14 01:48:40 PST 2007
> What concerns me is that the removed OGG recommendation (specified as
> SHOULD rather than MUST) was a step forward to the adoption (however
> reluctantly) by corporations and governments of a set of formats that
> require no royalties to encode, decode, reverse-engineer or distribute.
> None of the status quo formats can make that claim.
> Several people on this list have claimed that recommending OGG would
> have legal implications for vendors. It does not. Those who feel
> threatened have the option to not implement it - without affecting
> compliance. In nearly all cases the end-user would have been subject to
> the minor inconvenience of finding an alternate source of OGG support.
> What concerns me most is that the people making contrary claims know
> this yet argue anyway. Their motives and affilations, to me, are suspect.
> Supporting OGG now in no way prevents a better option (such as Matroska
> and/or Dirac) being added in the future. Nor does it prevent SHOULD
> being changed to MUST.
As I said, a SHOULD requirement in the specification which will (given the
current status quo) not be followed by the major(ity of) browser vendors is
useless and should be improved so it is a recommendation which at least can
be implemented. Changing the SHOULD to MUST means that a lot of browser
vendors would not be able to develop a conforming implementation.
Governments do generally not build browsers or HTML parsers so an HTML
specification would likely not influence them much, and I believe they are
not who such a specification is aimed at.
> Some claim that recommending no baseline format is neutral ground. The
> amount of outrage this triggered proves that is false. The claim that we
> have not reached a decision is true (my opponents use this claim to
> support their 'neutrality'). Yet it is clear to me that NOT setting a
> standard is as influential in this case as setting one. Indecision with
> no reasonable grounds for ending it leads to the status quo as I have
> said. Is it not the purpose (and within the powers of) of a standards
> body to steer the status quo? Is it not in the public interest that this
Indeed it is, which is why this issue is being discussed on this list right
> HTML4 advocated GIF, JPG and PNG even if the wording made it seem
> optional. The result was full support for 2 of these formats and partial
> support of the third. There is no reason to believe that putting a
> SHOULD recommendation in the text wouldn't result in most browsers
> supporting OGG (except IE). This in turn would give public, non-profit
> and non-aligned (with MPEG-LA) organizations justification to release
> materials in this format rather than Flash, WMV or MOV (all of which
> require commercial plugins and restrictive licenses).
As stated before, it did not advocate them, merely stated them as *examples*
of image formats. Your claim that HTML4 played a substantial role in
adoption of GIF and JPEG is interesting. Do you have any sources for that?
HTML4 states "Examples of widely recognized image formats include GIF, JPEG,
and PNG.", implying those formats were already widely adopted before it
was published. This is different from what HTML5 is going to do, which is
recommending a specific format that implementations *should* support.
> Some claim pro-OGG supporters started this debate. It was Nokia who made
> this a headline issue.
> Objectors claim they are working towards a resolution that defines a
> MUST video format and is accepted by 'all parties'. I don't believe that
> because they know this is impossible and it WILL affect HTML5 adoption.
> There is no format that can satisfy their unreasonable expectations.
> There never will be. We live in a world where companies claim patents on
> 'double-clicking' and 'moving pictures on a screen'. How then can any
> format ever meet their demands?
> I hope I have made my position clear. I hope my position represents the
> public interest. I am not here just to nag (I have been on this list for
> over two years and have only intervened once before). I am writing in
> the hope that proper discussion takes place and that future decisions of
> this magnitude are not made without public consultation - in the
> interests of entrenched cabals. I would like to say I believe all those
> opposing OGG have our best interests at heart - but that would be a lie.
> I am too old to believe companies and their spokespeople are altruistic
> (sorry Dave).
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