W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > July 2009

Re: Codecs for <video> and <audio>

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 2009 22:37:14 +0000 (UTC)
To: Robert O'Callahan <robert@ocallahan.org>, David Singer <singer@apple.com>, Joe D Williams <joedwil@earthlink.net>, Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0907022228510.1060@hixie.dreamhostps.com>
On Tue, 30 Jun 2009, Robert O'Callahan wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 6:14 PM, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch> wrote:
> > I didn't really see much value in having the section purely to require 
> > a small subset of WAVE functionality. WAVE in this context is only 
> > really useful during development, and since codecs are going to be a 
> > mess anyway, the author can just use whatever debugging-specific codec 
> > his main UA supports instead.
> Wave PCM is perfectly adequate for short sounds. It's fine for auditory 
> cues in user interfaces. It's fine for most sound effects in games.

I agree.

> > (I've also received requests from browser vendors to not require WAVE 
> > support in the first place, though I have up to this point managed to 
> > convince them to keep WAVE support regardless.)
> That baffles me. I can't think of any reason someone would have a 
> problem supporting Wave PCM.

As I mentioned, as far as I'm aware the vendor in question will be 
supporting WAVE regardless, so this is a non-issue.

On Tue, 30 Jun 2009, David Singer wrote:
> Yes, I am kinda puzzled.  The fact that some formats are not suitable 
> for all kinds of content doesn't make them unsuitable for use. Wave/PCM, 
> and AVI/MotionJpeg+PCM are easily supported and OK for some uses (short 
> content).
> The downside to requiring them would be the implication that requirement 
> implies recommendation, that's all.

I really don't see much value in mentioning Wave PCM when we don't require 
any other codecs, image formats, etc.

On Thu, 2 Jul 2009, Doug Schepers wrote:
> >
> > (I've also received requests from browser vendors to not require WAVE 
> > support in the first place, though I have up to this point managed to 
> > convince them to keep WAVE support regardless.)
> Can you please cite the public source for these codec-removal requests?  

I don't believe the requests were public.

In any case, they were not a relevant factor in my removing the 
requirement; apparently mentioning it merely confused matters, for which I 

> Who exactly has asked for this, and are you sure they speak for that 
> browser vendor?

Since they did not speak publicly, I don't wish to breach their 
confidence, and yes, I am sure the people in question speak for 

> I'm not at all convinced that you are reflecting the will of the browser 
> vendors on this, nor representing the interests of authors or users.


> > It hasn't really been necessary, browser vendors have historically
> > implemented similar formats without the HTML spec having to get involved.
> ...
> > I don't think that mandating formats actually affects what browsers
> > implement, in practice. We can only mandate what they're already willing
> > to implement anyway.
> I hold HTML5 to a higher standard of precision than previous HTML specs, 
> and I know you have as well.  I think it is very ill-advised for you to 
> change your position now, especially on so crucial an issue as this.

Wave PCM support is hardly a crucial issue, especially given that every 
browser vendor I'm aware of is intendeding to ship support for it.

I do think it would be useful to document the formats, codecs, and 
standards supported by all browsers, including things like PNG or Wave 
PCM, and including being specific about what versions or profiles of 
various specs are supported (e.g. the specific sampling frequencies of 
PCM). I don't think HTML5 is a particularly suitable place for such 
documentation, though.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Thursday, 2 July 2009 22:37:51 UTC

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