[whatwg] on codecs in a 'video' tag.

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Thu Mar 29 16:45:09 PDT 2007

On Thu, 29 Mar 2007, Gervase Markham wrote:
> Dave Singer wrote:
> > 
> > No, writing it into the HTML specification is not a commercial reason.
> Assuming you have commercial reasons for supporting HTML 5 (which I 
> suspect you do, otherwise you wouldn't be here) then having Ogg 
> specified gives you a commercial reason to support it.
> If that's not a commercial reason, then what would be a commercial 
> reason? If everyone else implemented it?

A _commercial_ reason would be "our customers demand it". Customers in 
this case would be users, and users would demand it if a big video site 
started using Ogg Theora.

> Why don't we all just go away and implement what we think is best for 
> HTML 5, and then put a spec together after the fact? Then we wouldn't be 
> forcing any issues, and there would be no "fiat". But we all know how 
> well this approach to standards works.

Actually that's pretty much exactly what we're doing with HTML5.

> > No matter what the spec. says, if broad support became a reality, then 
> > yes, it may be in our commercial interests.
> So Apple's strategy is to wait and see what codec everyone else 
> implements, and then implement that one?

Everyone's strategy should be to implement what they need to implement. 
Implementing random stuff without good reason ends up simply bloating your 

> > anyone *can* implement the codecs we implement;  they may choose not 
> > to, for commercial reasons (e.g. they don't like the license)
> Oh c'mon, that's a ridiculous definition of the word "can". How exactly 
> "can" the KDE project implement a codec in Konqueror which requires 
> royalties? How "can" the Mozilla project implement such a codec without 
> removing the redistributability of Firefox?

In both cases, by negotiating appropriate licenses with the IP owners.

> As another example of specifications requiring support for other 
> specifications, SVG viewers are required to support both JPEG and PNG: 
> http://www.w3.org/TR/SVG11/conform.html#ConformingSVGViewers

SVG is not a spec I would recommend using as an example of a good spec.

> And I haven't seen anyone writing standards like "Yes, we support SVG, 
> but not the bit which says we need to support JPEG and PNG".

3GPP has said exactly that with the video codec part of SVG.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
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