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

Mike Shaver mike.shaver at gmail.com
Tue Jul 14 05:54:22 PDT 2009

On Tue, Jul 7, 2009 at 5:09 PM, Ian Hickson<ian at hixie.ch> wrote:
>> We've narrowed codecs down to two. The spec could say that UA which
>> supports <video> MUST implement at least one of Theora or H.264. All
>> vendors can comply with that, and that's better than not specifying any
>> codecs at all (e.g. doesn't allow browsers to support WMV only).
> That may be where we end up if we really can't resolve this, yes. That
> would be unfortunate, thouh.

I don't see how that helps, if the spec is descriptive rather then
prescriptive.  Surely if a major browser were to pop up and say "we
will only support VC1" you'd be forced to change the spec to permit
that?  If you can't forbid people from supporting H.264 only, via spec
text, I don't understand how you could forbid people from supporting
WMV only via spec text.

I also still don't understand how YouTube's objection is relevant to
the codec decision for the standard, since the >1% browser from that
company _will_ support Theora.  But that would be less important to me
if there were something more crisp than "quality-per-bit isn't good
enough", so that people could reasonably work to reach that target.
Some sort of statement about what would be good enough would certainly
make the objection more constructive, and to my eyes at least would
make it a more principled basis for influencing the spec.


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