[whatwg] Codecs for <audio> and <video>

King InuYasha ngompa13 at gmail.com
Wed Jul 1 03:58:32 PDT 2009

On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 4:41 AM, Anne van Kesteren <annevk at opera.com> wrote:

> On Tue, 30 Jun 2009 21:39:05 +0200, Peter Kasting <pkasting at google.com>
> wrote:
>> There is no other reason to put a codec in the spec -- the primary reason
>> to spec a behavior (to document vendor consensus) does not apply.  "Some
>> vendors agreed, and some objected violently" is not "consensus".
> The "vendor consensus" line of argument seems like a very dangerous
> slippery slope. It would mean that whenever a vendor refuses to implement
> something it has to be taken out of the specification. I.e. giving a single
> vendor veto power over the documentation of the Web Platform. Not good at
> all in my opinion.
> --
> Anne van Kesteren
> http://annevankesteren.nl/

We had a vendor majority, right? Of the four major vendors of browsers
participating (Mozilla, Google, Opera, Apple), three have committed to
including the codecs in one form or another for usage with the <video> and
<audio> tags (Mozilla, Opera, Google). I agree it would have been better
would a full consensus, but the fact is that all of these companies look
towards their goals.

Mozilla wants to move towards its vision of the Open Web (which I personally
agree with), Opera has said some time back they plan to support it, Google
is fence-sitting by including ffmpeg due to their ideal of being universal
(and doing a good job of it too), and Apple's vision of an Apple-centric
world means they use the MPEG4 stuff, because it fits more with their
current offerings of iPod, iPhone, Macs, and the Apple TV without exerting
more effort to comply.

We would never get everyone to agree. However, Apple didn't shut the Theora
stuff out entirely. They left it open through QuickTime, which is fine. If
we went through and put the Theora and Vorbis recommendation through, and
the browsers implement it, then pressure would eventually make Apple somehow
concede and do something about the situation. At the very least, add the
XiphQT codec pack to the listing of codecs when QuickTime errors out and
opens Safari to a list of codecs.

If we push through it with the codecs, I don't think there will be too much
of a problem at all.
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