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Re: Formal Objection to One vendor, One Veto

From: Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>
Date: Mon, 13 Jul 2009 18:22:27 -0500
Message-ID: <4A5BC1B3.3000405@burningbird.net>
To: Chris Wilson <cwilso@microsoft.com>
CC: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, "www-archive@w3.org" <www-archive@w3.org>, "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike@w3.org>, Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>
Chris Wilson wrote:
> The fun conversations always happen when I'm on vacation.
>
> Shelley Powers wrote:
>   
>> Right now, we have no commitment one way or another from Microsoft on
>> most aspects of HTML 5. According to Ian, Microsoft has the strongest
>> veto of all. If it were to come in and just make a statement -- no we're
>> not supporting Canvas, or MathML, or SVG, or any number of other
>> elements--, just a statement of fact, then supposedly, *poof*, they're
>> gone.
>>     
>
> I read this statement five minutes ago, and just stopped laughing.  Okay, not really; but seriously, I think we can categorically say that if Microsoft has the strongest veto of all according to Ian, then no vendor has much veto power.
>
>   
Always glad to know that I have given someone a laugh.

> Lachlan Hunt [mailto:lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au] wrote:
>   
>> When a vendor objects to implementing something, that doesn't result in
>> the instant removal of the feature.  Rather, we need to seek ways to
>> resolve the situation and find some alternative that they will
>> implement.  When the requirement for Vorbis and Theora was first added
>> to the spec, and Apple objected, we looked at the situation and searched
>> long and hard for an alternative that would address their concerns.
>>     
>
> Precisely.
>
>   

And the alternative is?

>> It's also worth nothing that the patent concerns expressed by Apple are
>> also shared by Microsoft [1].
>>     
>
> And I've reiterated that concern multiple times, including in my presentation at @media a week and a half ago.  And I believe at the time of Apple's objection, Nokia was also expressing that concern.
>
>   

So we take this as Microsoft's formal objection. Good, at least someone 
made a firm statement, one way or another.
>> So if we were to include a requirement
>> for Theora and Vorbis in the spec, when we attempt to move to Last Call,
>> the likely result would be that we would get formal objections from both
>> Apple and Microsoft, at which point would have to go through this whole
>> debate again and probably end up right back where we are now.
>>     
>
> And if we were to proceed with the requirement, as Ian correctly surmised, we'd simply have two of the leading implementation choose not to implement that part of the spec (at least until the patent clock were to run out, which is quite a while in the future) - which of course, does not further interoperability, which is the whole point.
>
>   

I've never seen Microsoft reluctant to ignore specifications in the 
past, so the situation you describe is not new. Oddly enough, the web 
still continues to progress. There is something to be said for using an 
HTML specification to describe a web of the future, rather than allow it 
to be used by vendors as some kind of current day validation [1].


>> Interestingly, this issue is also occurring in relation to Web Fonts.
>>     
> >From what I've been told, Microsoft have objected to supporting TTF/OTF
>
> True.
>
>   
>> in support of their own EOT format,
>>     
>
> Not quite true.  Though certainly I think EOT has a lot to recommend it (not least of which its deployment across 65% of the current browser market, and precisely that segment that updates least often), I've consistently said for a couple of years now that we'd accept another solution if it were acceptable for enabling commercial font vendors.
>
>   

I believe George Bush had a 65% approval rating at one time.

How is this relevant to this discussion? It isn't, except to demonstrate 
that nothing lasts forever.

>> and commercial font foundries are pushing for some form of DRM.
>>     
>
> I think "DRM" is a biased word, but I'm not going to fan that fire here.  :)
>
>   
>> I'm not particularly surprised that [Microsoft] haven't said they will support
>> it, as they, like many companies, tend to keep information about future
>> products confidential.
>>     
>
> Correct.
>
>   
No offense, but foolish, short sighted, counter-productive. Web 
developers and designers consider IE the tool of the devil. Even a hint 
that Microsoft will eventually support SVG, the Canvas element, or XHTML 
would go a long ways to generating a more favorable view of the company 
and the browser. One can't count on 65% forever.

>> Regading your concerns about XHTML, I've heard Chris Wilson on numerous
>> occasions say that they are in favour of eventually supporting XHTML
>> [3].  Although I have no information about when that will happen, I
>> don't think we should be too concerned about them turning around and
>> refusing to support it.
>>     
>
> That hasn't changed either, and I do not expect Microsoft to suddenly object to an XML syntax for HTML.
>   

So, Microsoft is committed to supporting XHTML? Cool, good to know.

> -Chris
>
>   
Evidently from recent discussions at HTML WG and Sam Ruby's weblog, my 
formal objection is misplaced. It is neither timely, no does it fit 
within the existing W3C process -- whatever that is. Fair enough [2].

I don't agree with Sam's alternative, which is people make their own 
versions of HTML5. modified to fit their own agenda, and we let the 
copies somehow duke it out at some point [3]. But the HTML WG seems to 
support the concept, and I don't want to continue being a road block.

I withdraw my formal objection.

Shelley

[1] 
http://blog.halindrome.com/2009/07/ive-still-got-greatest-enthusiasm-and_08.html
[2] http://intertwingly.net/blog/2009/07/11/Vendor-Veto
[3] http://blog.digitalbazaar.com/2009/07/13/html5rdfa/
Received on Monday, 13 July 2009 23:24:35 GMT

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