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

Re: Codecs for <video> and <audio>

From: Nikunj R. Mehta <nikunj.mehta@oracle.com>
Date: Wed, 8 Jul 2009 11:53:34 -0700
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-Id: <CEF5D892-CE7F-4BCE-BF98-8E7CFF07F3EA@oracle.com>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
On Jul 7, 2009, at 1:52 PM, Ian Hickson wrote:

> On Tue, 7 Jul 2009, Robin Berjon wrote:
>> On Jul 7, 2009, at 01:30 , Ian Hickson wrote:
>>> The downside is that it would not match reality.
>>>
>>> I think it would be harmful to spec something that is actively
>>> different than what a browser vendor will implement. This is why  
>>> HTML5
>>> started -- because the W3C wrote specs that were idealistic and did
>>> not match the actual deployed landscape.
>>
>> At this point I'm only aware of one browser vendor having said they
>> wouldn't do this. Am I wrong? Since when does a single vendor get a
>> veto?
>
> Unless the W3C gains some kind of enforcement power, the  
> implementors will
> _always_ have the ultimate veto, swayed only by their desire to gain
> market share. Implementors have the ultimate veto on any  
> implementation
> requirements we put in our specs not because we allow them to, but  
> because
> in every literal sense if they don't want to do what we tell them to  
> do,
> then they don't have to.
>
> Specification authors -- the W3C, the IETF, the WHATWG, you, me --  
> have
> _zero power_ to enforce implementors to do what we put in our specs.  
> We
> only get what we write to be implemented if what we write is what
> implementors are willing to implement. (This is why I work so  
> closely with
> browser vendors and other implementors to find out what they want.)
>
> We could put Theora into the spec, but then the spec would not be the
> description of reality that I set out to make it when we started  
> HTML5.

Last time I checked, W3C was supported by public funding. If all it is  
doing is the vendor's beckoning, then it does not do any good to the  
general public. Of course, vendors can weaken the impact of standards  
by not fully implementing it, but the goal of W3C should not be to  
obtain least-common-denominator kind of standards. As others have said  
it, that is the moral hazard of public standards setting.

Even though image formats and font formats were not specified in  
previous HTML drafts, that is not good enough reason for HTML5, which  
aims to be a much better spec when it comes to specifying interop. If  
as the Web browser vendors claim that past HTML specs were too wishy- 
washy, then it is only appropriate to plug the hole now, not make it  
bigger.

Specify a codec that satisfies inter-op requirements as a mandatory  
part of the standard.

Nikunj
http://o-micron.blogspot.com
Received on Wednesday, 8 July 2009 18:55:53 UTC

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