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

Peter Kasting pkasting at google.com
Wed Jul 1 09:29:17 PDT 2009

On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 2:41 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.

I am merely echoing Hixie; from his original email in this thread:

> > At the end of the day, the browser vendors have a very effective
> > absolute veto on anything in the browser specs,
> You mean they have the power to derail a spec?

They have the power to not implement the spec, turning the spec from a
useful description of implementations into a work of fiction.

> That's something I would have considered before the advent of Mozilla
> Firefox.

Mozilla also has the power of veto here. For example, if we required that
the browsers implement H.264, and Mozilla did not, then the spec would be
just as equally fictional as it would be if today we required Theora.

My sole goal was to try and point out that the situation with codecs is not
equivalent to past cases where vendors merely _hadn't implemented_ part of
the spec; in this case vendors have _actively refused_ to implement support
for various codecs (Apple with Theora and Mozilla(/Opera?) with H.264).

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