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Re: Cisco's position on the WebRTC API

From: Peter Thatcher <pthatcher@google.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2013 18:52:59 -0700
Message-ID: <CAJrXDUHN=M1imb==JjeBqoZkTdu=-0sydo6Ow7sexNzOZTJu4g@mail.gmail.com>
To: Eric Rescorla <ekr@rtfm.com>
Cc: cowwoc <cowwoc@bbs.darktech.org>, "public-webrtc@w3.org" <public-webrtc@w3.org>
On Tue, Jul 23, 2013 at 6:14 PM, Eric Rescorla <ekr@rtfm.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Jul 23, 2013 at 5:03 PM, cowwoc <cowwoc@bbs.darktech.org> wrote:
>>  On 23/07/2013 7:45 PM, Cullen Jennings (fluffy) wrote:
>> Cisco strongly believes that the top priority of this WG should be to finish a usable specification as soon as possible.  At the recent WebRTC Expo plenary session, we asked developers what they needed changed in current specs and almost no comments were received in a room of several hundreds people - representing close to a hundred companies - that are primarily focused on developing and deploying services using WebRTC. When I asked companies privately between sessions, the number one requirement I heard was to get the spec stabilized and shipping.
>> Right now we have an API that meets many needs and is getting close to completion. Cisco's position is that the scope of the WG should not be expanded until the current 1.0 work is complete. After that is complete, we think it's fine to consider a low-level API - in fact we will probably submit a proposal - but we strongly object to doing something in parallel. Trying to work on two specifications at once will only slow down the current work which is already late.
>> Cullen, AC Rep for Cisco
>>     Ehm. Having attended said conference and the "IETF and W3C Standards
>> Reports" session in particular, allow me to share a differing point of view
>> :)
>>    1. The vast majority of attendees were Telecoms, not Web Developers.
>>    2. There were approximately 50-100 attendees in the session.
>>    3. We only had enough time for 4-5 comments. Those who got to speak
>>    brought up SDP, H264 and other colorful issues.
>>    4. I brought up the topic of SDP. I was assured (by yourself, no
>>    less) that users would never have to interact with SDP and encouraged to
>>    bring up the topic on the mailing list. When I did exactly that, the
>>    reception was less than welcoming (from the Telecoms, that is) and I was
>>    disappointed to discover that you did not provide any support (at the very
>>    least confirming what you told me in private).
> I wasn't at the conference, but I think it would really be helpful if your
> complaint here
> was more precise. As I understand it, Cullen's position is something like
> the following:
> - In general, people won't have to deal with SDP because the API will let
> you do
>   what you want to do without interacting with SDP.
> - To the extent to which there are meaningful use cases that the API
> doesn't
>   deal with, we want to eventually add features to the SDP to deal with
> that.
> - In the period before we have added features to the API, people may have
> to
>   deal with SDP a bit.
> FWIW, I think this reflects a broad feeling (though obviously not complete
> consensus)
> in the WG.

>From what I can tell, Cullen isn't claiming this is the consensus of the
WG.  He's claiming it's opinion of a room of developers he talked to.  And
the logic seems to be of the form "I asked X, developers answered Y, and
the consensus is Z".  Except we don't what was asked, who answered, how
long they had to answer, or what their answers were.  It's not always
necessary to give such information, but if it's one of the major points
being made in an important official position, I think the data backing the
assertion could be more precise.

I'm all for getting feedback from developers to guide our API, but I think
we need to do it in a way that allows developers to speak for themselves.
 Otherwise, it's too easy for an intermediary's perspective to bias the
interpretation.  Personally, since I wasn't at the conference, I'm glad
that Gili spoke and gave some more information about what was going on (how
many people, how much time, and so info about side conversations, etc).

I hope that more developers speak for themselves.  Frankly, I think the WG
doesn't have a good idea of what developers think, which is why I made a
spreadsheet a while ago, and until we get more data, I don't think we can
strong assertions one way or the other.  Even my spreadsheet, though it's
the best data I think we have, is very limited.

> Is your complaint:
> 1. You don't like this answer?
> 2. You wanted Cullen to affirm on the list that this was his answer?
> Or something else?
> -Ekr
Received on Wednesday, 24 July 2013 01:54:07 UTC

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