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Recap from WebRTC World

From: Gili <cowwoc@bbs.darktech.org>
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2013 10:19:52 -0400
Message-ID: <51CC4A08.1040903@bbs.darktech.org>
To: public-webrtc@w3.org

     (If you'd like to respond to individual points, please start a 
separate topic)

     I'd like to start a discussion of issues that came up during the 
WebRTC World conference (in sessions and while speaking with Dan Burnett 
and Cullen Jennings):

 1. Ending the VP8/H264 war: A proposal was made to mandate a
    patent-unencumbered codec (whose patents have expired or are not
    enforced) as mandatory and optionally upgrade to other codecs such
    as VP8 or H264 depending on peer capabilities and personal
    preferences. VP8 guys can use VP8. H264 guys can use H264. And if
    the two camps need to chat with each other they can fall back on
    H263. This gives you the flexibility of arbitrary codecs without the
    need to do transcoding.
 2. The WebRTC API needs to focus on normal web developers, not not
    telecom experts: The conversation on this mailing list is unduly
    skewed in favor of telecom experts which make up a tiny minority of
    WebRTC end-users. We need to find a way to collect feedback from the
    Javascript community at large in order to ensure that the API
    facilitates their use-cases. The proliferation of WebRTC SDKs for
    end-users (the conference was full of them) is a strong indication
    that there is a gap to be filled.
 3. Implementers vs End-users: The specification document has two target
    audiences, implementers and end-users. We need to provide
    implementers with a lot of low-level detail but make as little
    guarantees as possible to end-users to leave the door open to future
    change (without breaking backwards compatibility). We discussed
    explicitly marking-up sections of the specification "for
    implementers" or "for end-users" or separating the specification
    into separate documents. We need to make it clear, for example, that
    the specification does not make any guarantees regarding the
    contents of the SDP token. Implementers need a detailed breakdown in
    order to implement WebRTC 1.0 but end-users may not rely on these
    details because the token might not even be SDP in future versions.
 4. SDP: Users should interact with the Constraints API instead of SDP.
    It is true that there are some use-cases that are not yet covered by
    this API (forcing you to manipulate the SDP directly) but the plan
    is to address all these use-cases by 1.0 so users never have to
    interact with SDP directly. "If your use-case is not covered by the
    Constraints API, please tell us right away!"
 5. Offer/Accept: There are plans to enable peers to query each other's
    capabilities and change constraints (and as a result the
    offer/answer) in mid-call.
 6. Troubleshooting WebRTC: We need to do a better job diagnosing WebRTC
    problems. We need a user-friendly application (run by
    non-developers!) for quickly debugging network and microphone
    problems (Skype does this), and allow users to drill down into more
    detail if necessary. We also need programmatic access to this API so
    WebRTC applications can detect problems at runtime and decide (for
    example) to refund users who paid for a call that was subsequently
    aborted due to network problems.
 7. Use-cases, use-cases, use-cases: "Tell us what is wrong, not how to
    fix it". You are a lot more likely to get traction for your problems
    if you help us understand your use-cases then trying to argue for
    change for its own sake. On the flip side for specification editors,
    I encourage you to actively engage posters (ask for these use-cases)
    instead of ignoring discussion threads ;)

     I encourage other people who attended the conference to contribute 
their own discussion points.

     (If you'd like to respond to individual points, please start a 
separate topic)

Thank you,
Received on Thursday, 27 June 2013 14:20:29 UTC

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