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RE: formal objection to one vendor/one vote

From: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Date: Wed, 8 Jul 2009 15:27:07 -0700 (PDT)
To: "'Julian Reschke'" <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, "'David Singer'" <singer@apple.com>
Cc: "'Shelley Powers'" <shelley.just@gmail.com>, "'HTMLWG WG'" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <08bd01ca001b$385964a0$a90c2de0$@edu>
Julian Reschke wrote
> 
> David Singer wrote:
> > ...
> > We don't *need* to decide on mandatory, recommended, optional, or
> > to-avoid codecs until quite late in the process.  It doesn't affect
> our
> > understanding of the spec. or development of it, or building on it.
> The
> > question can remain quite easily open, if it needs to.
> > ...
> 
> So if we don't *need* to decide on it right now, why exactly was it ok
> to go from the original "Ogg required", to the later "Codec open, but
> discussed" to today's "Not discussed at all"?
> 
> I think we are all in agreement that a final decision will not be made
> right now; my understanding is that Shelley objects to the rules Ian
> cited to support the previous changes (and I happen to agree with
> that).

At the risk of inciting yet another inbox stuffing round of emails, I too
must agree with Julian and Shelley.  Shelley's objection quotes a line
from Ian:

	"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."

(That *he* set out to make? Excuse me, it's *our* HTML too Mr. Hickson)

The *reality* is that users, authors and others who do not have a horse in
this particular race need a standard that we can implement easily and
predictably across multiple browsers and platforms.  In this regard, the
W3C (a non-partisan entity) should be stating a minimum expectation,
whilst leaving open the ability to support other codecs.  If any browser
company chooses to ignore this 'mandate' they do so at the risk of market
alienation, negative publicity and possible loss of market share - be it
the IE gorilla or the Opera underdog (or any other).  No we cannot 'force'
anyone to do anything, but there is such a thing as market forces, and a
unified voice from a standards body and author community has as much force
as any other in nature - if all other browsers save one offer support for,
say, Theora, then the one hold-out does so at the risk of alienating
themselves from the mainstream.  Using the one vendor one veto criteria
hands the development of HTML5 to too small a group of deciders, and is
IMHO completely contrary to how the W3C works and is envisioned to work.

To that end, the objection (IMHO) has merit, if perhaps a tad early in the
process.  But timing should not be confused with legitimacy.

JF
Received on Wednesday, 8 July 2009 22:27:50 UTC

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