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

Re: Codecs for <video> and <audio>

From: Robert O'Callahan <robert@ocallahan.org>
Date: Fri, 3 Jul 2009 21:05:00 +1200
Message-ID: <11e306600907030205i6ab8b177s42fb819ad1ad384b@mail.gmail.com>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: public-html@w3.org
On Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 6:50 PM, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch> wrote:

> On Fri, 3 Jul 2009, Robert O'Callahan wrote:
> > But as a general rule, I don't believe you alone can always provide the
> > best possible response to feedback.
> I absolutely agree, that's why I always push for feedback to be sent
> publicly. People aren't always willing to do so, though.

Thanks. But it still seems irresponsible to take feedback into account that
hasn't been subjected to public scrutiny. And if you just didn't take
private feedback into account, more people would be compelled to go public.
Or they might choose to post publicly but anonymously.

I don't think I have ever taken controversial private feedback into
> account without asking for further advice from multiple other people
> publicly.

I see you could request parallel feedback on the same issue. Maybe you can
even anonymize and repeat some of the private-feedback arguments. But there
are limits to what you can do without revealing too much of the private
feedback, and it doesn't seem possible to have a real discussion between the
public and secret parties with you as the middleman.

Perhaps, in practice, you can always get fair and reasonable results. The
problem is that no-one other than you can tell if the system is working or
not, and that itself is a big problem.

What other standards groups write standards using feedback sent to a single
editor or chair and not shared with the rest of the group?

Why is private feedback so important that it's worth the loss of
transparency, the loss of accountability, and the loss of public analysis?

I'm puzzled that after fighting battles to open up W3C groups to the public,
you're now defending this model.

> If you're not sure where the line should be drawn
> I thought I was sure where the line could be drawn, but then you told me
> that where I'd drawn it was irresponsible, so I wasn't sure any more. :-)

It was obvious that this codec issue is controversial.

On Fri, 3 Jul 2009, Robert O'Callahan wrote:
> > Has Apple actually declined to support it? Is your knowledge of Apple's
> > position based on public or private feedback? Maciej's not aware of a
> > stated position: http://krijnhoetmer.nl/irc-logs/whatwg/20090703#l-371
> Apple doesn't implement Vorbis, but I don't think I've ever actually had
> anyone from Apple explicitly say that they won't do it. I've requested a
> clarification of their position.

Excellent, thank you. I hope you advised them to make their clarification

> > On a related note, can you identify whether Apple is one of the vendors
> > who you deem is refusing to support Theora? Maciej, at least, thinks
> > it's OK to say so. http://krijnhoetmer.nl/irc-logs/whatwg/20090703#l-354
> I have said so already:
> http://lists.whatwg.org/htdig.cgi/whatwg-whatwg.org/2009-June/020620.html

Indeed you did, somehow I forgot it. I apologize to you and Maciej for
harping on that point.

"He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are
healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his
own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all." [Isaiah
Received on Friday, 3 July 2009 09:05:43 UTC

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