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

Re: Codecs for <video> and <audio>

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Fri, 3 Jul 2009 09:38:11 +0000 (UTC)
To: Robert O'Callahan <robert@ocallahan.org>
Cc: public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0907030923260.1053@hixie.dreamhostps.com>
On Fri, 3 Jul 2009, Robert O'Callahan wrote:
> Why is private feedback so important that it's worth the loss of 
> transparency, the loss of accountability, and the loss of public 
> analysis?

It's not, and there hasn't been any such loss, at least for HTML5.

However, that doesn't mean private feedback doesn't have its place. You 
and I have had lunch together privately in the past, had private IRC 
conversations, and had hallway conversations, all of which have included 
feedback about HTML5 issues that you might have phrased differently, or 
not at all, in a public setting.

Does that mean that I've made decisions based exclusively on your input 
off-list? No, of course not. Have those conversations influenced the 
decision-making process or even the framing of certain discussions? Of 

For example, if I talk with you about some possible design, and you point 
out a massive security flaw in that design, then I won't even bother 
suggesting that design to the list. Is that taking into account private 
feedback? Yes. Is it a problem? No.

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

I do not believe that what I am saying is any different than I have ever 
said. I've always said that we should accept all input, including private 
feedback, and I've always said that working in public is important.

> > 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.

That's why I didn't take this particular private feedback into account, 
and convinced the relevant parties to change their mind.

To reiterate: people are always whining to me privately about what HTML5 
says. I happened to mention that some people whined to me about the Wave 
PCM requirement. This didn't affect the development of the spec, and the 
relevant implementors were convinced to implement Wave PCM regardless. I 
really do not believe there was any problem here.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Friday, 3 July 2009 09:38:49 UTC

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