[whatwg] The political and legal status of WHATWG

Shannon shannon at arc.net.au
Fri Dec 14 23:10:44 PST 2007

>> It's clear the opinions of all parties cannot be reconciled.
> Of course, but they don't have to be because the requirements for the
> solution are clear, and I believe Ian and others have stated them several
> times now.

Yes, requirements that CANNOT be met. Ever. Period.

The current placeholder text proposes two main conditions that are 
expected to be met before vendors will 'move forward' and 'progress' 
will happen. It isn't a rule but there is certainly an implication that 
leaves a lot to be desired:

a.) We need a codec that is known to not require per-unit or 
per-distributor licensing, that is compatible with the open source 
development model, that is of sufficient quality as to be usable.
b.) That is not an additional submarine patent risk for large companies.

The first statement is reasonable, however I personally know of only 1 
video codec (Theora) , and 2 audio codecs (Vorbis and FLAC) that meet it.
The second statement, combined with the first is a logical trap (a 
paradox). All vendors who do not *currently* support the chosen format 
will incur 'an additional submarine patent risk'.

Can you see the trap? The ONLY way to meet the second requirement is to 
*currently* meet the first. If all the whatwg members already did that 
then this wouldn't be a issue. Those claiming to want a better codec 
cannot possibly implement it and meet the second requirement. If it 
doesn't exist then how can it NOT be an additional patent risk?

You can't state an IMPOSSIBLE condition as a method for 'moving forward' 
and then expect people to take your claims seriously.


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