[whatwg] <video> element proposal

Karl Dubost karl at w3.org
Sun Mar 4 16:23:57 PST 2007

Le 3 mars 2007 à 20:29, Håkon Wium Lie a écrit :
> Finally, I think open formats are better than closed formats. The
> standards we write should not be neutral on this. Perhaps we should
> not name specific formats, however, only require that codecs are
> freely available for use across all platforms?

Open formats by their nature give more freedom to developers and  
minimize economical constraints of implementation. As you said  
mandating a format gives the risk to make a specification completely  
irrelevant. Though even if we can update specifications, it doesn't  
mean that is that easy.

It's what I usually call "the consequences of the first times".

When we define something which is largely deployed, it becomes very  
hard to fix depending on the ecosystem. It's exactly like biology.
For the Web, if the number of *new* documents produced each year is…  
10 times bigger than the *whole* legacy content of the previous  
years, then we can mandate things somehow. But if the number of *new*  
documents is only 10% of the legacy content, the renewal rate is not  
quick enough to make changes.

Requiring a free codec could be seen as reasonable but could have  
consequences on the whole food chain too. Imagine that the specs  
require only Open source browsers, that would have the same effect.  
So what can we do?

Maybe, something in between. It could be required that the  
implementations support at least a format which has one free codec.  
As it will encourage but not forbid.

Karl Dubost - http://www.w3.org/People/karl/
W3C Conformance Manager, QA Activity Lead
   QA Weblog - http://www.w3.org/QA/
      *** Be Strict To Be Cool ***

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