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Browser Vendors Force W3C To Scrap HTML 5 Codecs

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the that's-a-disappointment dept.

Media 640

snydeq writes "Major browser vendors have been unable to agree on an encoding format they will support in their products, forcing the W3C to drop audio and video codecs from HTML 5, the forthcoming W3C spec that has been viewed as a threat to Flash, Silverlight, and similar technologies. 'After an inordinate amount of discussions on the situation, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that there is no suitable codec that all vendors are willing to implement and ship,' HTML 5 editor Ian Hickson wrote to the whatwg mailing list. Apple, for its part, won't support Ogg Theora in QuickTime, expressing concerns over patents despite the fact that the codec can be used royalty-free. Opera and Mozilla oppose using H.264 due to licensing and distribution issues. Google has similar reservations, despite already using H.264 and Ogg Theora in Chrome. Microsoft has made no commitment to support <video>."

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Things to learn from the Open Source model (2, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562145)

See, this is something that open source accomplishes that stupid fucking arrogant businesses will never get. When something is obsolete or no longer needed, it gets ditched or replaced by something better. Don't keep it around because someone thinks that they have the right to continue being in business even though their shit is a decade out of date. Its a hard and cold life for the developer whose project gets ditched (And sometimes I feel bad for them), but in the end, the user wins big and things evolve.

But of course, the rest of the world lives in reality, so the user loses.

Fuck you Microsoft. Die already!
Fuck you Adobe. Die already!
Fuck you Java. Die already!
Fuck you too Realnetworks. Just because.

Re:Things to learn from the Open Source model (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28562223)

Yeah and open source usually doesn't ever do anything fully. Almost all open source projects (that I've used) are partially done. They do work, yes, but they don't work well, and nor do they look good. Those who know know what they are doing can figure it out, but new users have tons of issues. Open source isn't the final end-all-commercial business thing. It's just an alternative.

Re:Things to learn from the Open Source model (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28562247)

you must be new here.

Re:Things to learn from the Open Source model (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28562361)

Why do we allow welfare recipients to have luxury items like cellphones and cable TV? Most of them got so poor in the first place because they couldn't handle money and bought luxury shit that they couldn't afford. The rest of them got so poor because getting an education and bettering yourself is "acting white" and a good way to be hated by your peers.

Re:Things to learn from the Open Source model (0, Offtopic)

AlexBeck (1199189) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562417)

Ditto

Re:Things to learn from the Open Source model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28562471)

So just because you don't agree with me means I'm new here and I haven't been assimilated?

Re:Things to learn from the Open Source model (1)

JustinRLynn (831164) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562715)

Nope, just means you're ignorant of the fact that pretty much all software (and I say pretty much just to CYA, otherwise I'd say all software) is like that, so there's no use pointing out the obvious.

Re:Things to learn from the Open Source model (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28562559)

Yeah and open source usually doesn't ever do anything fully. Almost all open source projects (that I've used) are partially done.

Ironic, I was just thinking that about all the closed source software I have...

There is a saying in development groups: You don't make money by making bug fixes, you only make money selling the next version.

Re:Things to learn from the Open Source model (2, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562331)

I find jus tthe opposite true.

Business users love obsolete software because its cheaper and what is the ROI for upgrading. Not to mention a larger IT staff is needed to support upgrades.

W2k and Office 2k live on and will continue to live for years to come.

Most users do not want to upgrade their computers as long as they work.

Open source evolves too quickly for users to be comfortable with. Until businesses ditch their proprietary obsolete software open source will never see the light of day.

Re:Things to learn from the Open Source model (2, Insightful)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562357)

Since when is Java a company... Oracle (previously Sun) are behind java

and why no mention of Apple? they are the ones refusing to support ogg

Re:Things to learn from the Open Source model (2, Informative)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562379)

Not only that, but Java IS fully open source.

Re:Things to learn from the Open Source model (4, Interesting)

samkass (174571) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562617)

To be fair, Google is also refusing to switch YouTube to Ogg because of its lower quality per bitrate than h.264.

As was argued by the original author, you're left in a situation where if Ogg were specified in the standard, you'd have folks who followed the standard at a disadvantage in quality and/or bitrate.

Besides, W3C doesn't say which image file formats are allowable, why should it specify a codec?

Re:Things to learn from the Open Source model (5, Insightful)

DECS (891519) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562921)

The mention of Apple managed to spleen together two unrelated ideas: "expressing concerns over patents despite the fact that the codec can be used royalty-free."

There is no relationship between worrying about patent submarines and Ogg being royalty free. This is simple idiot-targeted editorializing. Apple doesn't want to be the deep pocketed commercial implementation of Ogg that ends up having to pay patent trolls. That's why it is going with the ISO/MPEG standard, which pools patents together from everyone. Mozilla doesn't want to use the standard because it is the opposite: penniless and non-commercial. Its entire business plan is based on pushing users to do Google searches as that $50M in search fees is its only source of income.

The only good news is that Apple owns the mobile web with the iPhone, so it can pretty much establish HTML5 itself and provide Flash-killer standards-based video without any help from Firefox.

Re:Things to learn from the Open Source model (5, Insightful)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562383)

FYI: Not only is Java Open Source, it is actually 'Free Software' and has been for a while now. The license of Java also always gave a grant for compatible implementations, even when it was not Free Software (hence GCJ/Classpath, Kaffe etc. were never under any threat). For this reason I usually recommend Java rather than other equivalent technologies (which I shall not name lest its proponents tarnish me as 'troll'). Yes, it is a shame in this day and age we cannot even standardise on video codecs due to competing business interests ("my business is more important than my users)".

Fuck Apple too... (5, Insightful)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562445)

Fuck Apple too. They are as bad as it comes. No less than microsoft.

Re:Fuck Apple too... (-1, Troll)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562541)

Hah!

Ahem, sorry. You don't know your history at all, do you?

Re:Fuck Apple too... (0, Flamebait)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562839)

You mean that Gates bailed them out, and they have a history of making shitty products well beyond what anyone would reasonably pay for the products, even if they DID work as advertised?

Re:Fuck Apple too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28562959)

I'm sorry, I'm Canadian.

Whew, before I read your sig I thought I might have to dignify your trolling with a response

Re:Fuck Everyone! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28562835)

Don't stop there, Fuck everyone!

And you too! Yes you, staring at the screen...

Re:Fuck Apple too... (1)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562875)

Safari uses webkit. They don't have to support it. Webkit has a good record of supporting most open standards. They get it for free. Although I believe apple contributes quite a bit.

Re:Fuck Apple too... (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562879)

Nevertheless, the cat is out of the bag now. There will be those who support <video>, and those who don't. And those who don't, will disappear.

Re:Fuck Apple too... (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562881)

You're a brave humanoid. I always have the urge to point this out as well, but it's getting to the point where any anti-Apple comment will get you modded into oblivion. Fanboy-ism is not a good thing, whether it be Apple, Sony, etc. Question any company when it has questionable behaviour.

Re:Things to learn from the Open Source model (4, Insightful)

nausea_malvarma (1544887) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562521)

We have been taught to fear destruction, and praise creation, without realizing the two functions are complementary. Like a tree must be pruned before it can bear fruit, the death of outdated technologies forces us to innovate, and thus destroying creates. When flash and silverlight die, newer, better technologies will fill the void. I echo your call for said entities to die already. Death is beautiful.

Re:Things to learn from the Open Source model (1)

suso (153703) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562599)

Thank you. You put it more eloquently than I did.

Re:Things to learn from the Open Source model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28562655)

When is a data format obsolete? When nobody needs to read it any more.

While it may be fun for you to curse at random companies, the rest of us would just as soon be able to actually use the content that's already available.

Besides, your comment is entirely pointless, and has nothing to do with the actual point at question here.

Re:Things to learn from the Open Source model (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28562701)

You seem to have forgotten that Mozilla and Google are every bit as guilty as the closed source companies in this case. Perhaps you should reread the summary without your rose coloured glasse.

Fuck Apple, but why Java? (5, Interesting)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562745)

Fuck you Microsoft. Die already!
Fuck you Adobe. Die already!
Fuck you Java. Die already!
Fuck you too Realnetworks. Just because.

Not "Just because". Fuck Real for producing crappy software that doesn't fit in anywhere at makes it annoyingly non-trivial to download things I want to watch.

Fuck Adobe for Flash. Seriously, I don't need vector graphics in my web browser. I'd love to have embedded .wmv/.avi/.mpeg files, whatever, because I can play those with mplayer which DOES NOT SUCK. As opposed to flash.

Fuck Microsoft for being the great browser market retardant. And in general for writing shitty software which doesn't do what I want it to (heck, I can't even get XP to install; epic fail).

And fuck Apple for being such control freaks. Well, first, fuck 'em for not helping fix this browser shit. Secondly, fuck them for being a worse control freak than Microsoft could ever be. I recently played with an iPhone (display/sales demo); among the top 25 apps in the store is one that displays scantily clad women, which are "as naked as Apple will let us get away with". FFS, Apple. Don't decide whether I'm going to watch porn on my phone. And you include a web browser---is that porn-filtered too? Assholes.

But don't fuck with Java. It's free software. It works for what it does: sorting algorithm animations and interactive Rubik's cube algorithm display. Java is OK, when used in moderation.

Flame on ;-)

Re:Things to learn from the Open Source model (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562919)

See, this is something that open source accomplishes that stupid fucking arrogant businesses will never get. When something is obsolete or no longer needed, it gets ditched or replaced by something better.

Unfortunately, things that are not obsolete and are still needed often get ditched or replaced by something better. (Or something not better, but merely different, because some developer would rather work on something new instead of work on someone else's code).

Why do the vendors have a say? (5, Insightful)

ditoa (952847) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562189)

Perhaps it is a stupid question but why do the vendors have a say what goes into the spec and what doesn't? Isn't it up to them to choose to implement the spec fully or not? FFS just make it Ogg Vorbis/Theora and if Apple doesn't want to support it then Safari can just not support that part of the spec. It isn't like any of the browser are 100% complient anyway.

Re:Why do the vendors have a say? (0, Troll)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562269)

Who cares what apple, google and opera think anyway. They have tiny browser shares.
Microsoft can simply be trusted to do the wrong thing. Whatever is worst for everyone but themselves.
That leaves firefox who have the largest consolidated browser share, (IE 6, 7 and 8 are so wildly incompatible they are best treated as 3 separate competing browsers).

Mozilla. Do the right thing!

Re:Why do the vendors have a say? (3, Interesting)

ditoa (952847) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562375)

I agree. Mozilla have supported Ogg Vorbis and Theora as of 3.5 and it works pretty good from the demos I have used. The W3C needs to ignore everyone and push forward with Ogg support in the spec. If hardware acceleration is a problem then work with companies to get it supported in hardware. I know it won't be easy but saying "ugh that is gonna be too hard, lets just drop it from the spec" is stupid, work with Nvidia and ATI and Intel, etc. to get h/w support for Ogg. I am not a specialist so I have no idea how hard it would be to get h/w support for Ogg up and running but I know that my iRiver H10 mp3 player had Ogg support back in 2003 or so, so I am sure it is possible without _too_ much work.

Re:Why do the vendors have a say? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562449)

What do you want them to do? They are happy to implement Theora (and they already have...), but it is unlikely that they would be able to get a license for H.264 that anyone else could use (so, for instance, Debian would not be able to legally distribute the implementation in the branding fork).

Re:Why do the vendors have a say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28562861)

Here's an idea, write the fucking spec to the benefit of the users and let the piece of shit vendors be damned. This isn't the US Government for Christ sakes. Require FLAC, Vorbis, and Speex for audio, and Theora and Dirac for video. Then sit back and watch. Can you imagine if a site as popular as YouTube didn't work on IE or Safari? That'd end their precious DRM-loving field trip pretty damn quick, now wouldn't it?

Re:Why do the vendors have a say? (4, Insightful)

hansraj (458504) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562283)

Perhaps because there is no point having a standard if no one is willing to adopt it.

Re:Why do the vendors have a say? (2, Informative)

ditoa (952847) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562457)

But Mozilla already have supported it with Firefox 3.5??

Re:Why do the vendors have a say? (3, Informative)

0racle (667029) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562507)

And Apple supports a different one in Safari 4. IE supports neither so the W3C might as well dictate unicorn farts since HTML5 won't be supported on most of the desktops in the world.

Re:Why do the vendors have a say? (2, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562963)

Sometimes you put something into a standard as a way of pressuring people to adopt something. Make it the standard, and if Apple won't adopt it, make a big stink about how Safari isn't really HTML5 compliant.

I suspect that the problem is that companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Adobe have enough influence on the W3C to kill something like this.

Re:Why do the vendors have a say? (4, Insightful)

Radhruin (875377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562287)

The stated reason is that, if vendors will refuse to implement a portion of the spec, that part shouldn't be in the spec. The spec isn't supposed to force vendors to implement something, it's supposed to be a common set of rules that everyone can follow, and mandating Theora is counter to that goal.

Re:Why do the vendors have a say? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28562343)

I second this. The cart is way before the horse. If the WC3 doesn't have the balls to issue a standard and let the vendors stick to its implementation, maybe it's time for us to get a new standards committee.

Re:Why do the vendors have a say? (1)

Millennium (2451) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562367)

They have a say because they're the ones writing the standards.

Re:Why do the vendors have a say? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562377)

If Apple, Microsoft and Google aren't playing along, it doesn't really matter what the spec says (Oh yeah, Opera and Mozilla too), no one will be able to rely on it anyway.

Then html5 wont exist (2, Interesting)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562455)

If no browser will support the codecs then webmasters wont use html 5 and stick with html4. When IE owned a significant marketshare a couple of years ago the web evolution slowed down to a halt. Firefox can't adopt H.264 because its patented and Firefox can be shutdown if a lawsuit over infringement takes place.

And Firefox does not have a significant enough marketshare for developers to care about Ogg Vorbis/Theora. Besides all the professional tools do not support it so it wont ever be used. It wont ever be used because professional tools do not support. Its a catch-22 just like Microsoft Windows and Office. You can't ever leave the platform.

If silverlight and flash work on 95% of the market why switch?

Re:Then html5 wont exist (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562853)

Because they don't work, or if they do they are insanely slow.

For example hulu recommends a Intel Pentium Core Duo 1.8GHz and at least 2.0 GB RAM. To play a video not even at 720p. I can watch the same shows on a Pentium 4m 1.5Ghz with 512MB of ram in actual 720p.

Clearly in this case the non-standard non-legal version is quite superior.

This means the "standard" method has a lot of catchup to do.

Re:Then html5 wont exist (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562917)

Besides all the professional tools do not support it so it wont ever be used

Which professional tools are these? Most video editing software I've seen uses either QuickTime or Windows Media for exporting, and both of these have (free) plugins for encoding Theora (and Dirac). You wouldn't want to use Theora as an intermediate format - something like MJPEG or Pixlet with no inter-frame compression is better for that - but exporting from most tools is pretty trivial.

Re:Why do the vendors have a say? (2, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562563)

In most cases, the purpose of a standards organization is not to be the supreme commander and dictate what everyone has to do, it's purpose is to be the consensus builder and find a compromise that everyone can agree on.......at least agree on enough to implement it. The web browser writers hold the most power in this case because if the standard doesn't get implemented by the majority of web browsers, then it is irrelevant. W3C has to keep this in mind at all times, otherwise they will fail at what they are trying to do. History is full of standards that never got implemented and thus were a waste of time. C99, for example, is almost there, since few compilers implement that standard completely.

In fact I wouldn't mind if California politicians learned this lesson too, since they seem to have trouble in the compromise area a lot.

Re:Why do the vendors have a say? (1)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562793)

Perhaps it is a stupid question but why do the vendors have a say what goes into the spec and what doesn't? Isn't it up to them to choose to implement the spec fully or not? FFS just make it Ogg Vorbis/Theora and if Apple doesn't want to support it then Safari can just not support that part of the spec. It isn't like any of the browser are 100% complient anyway.

I feel the same way. The only requirement for the spec should be that it's a free, open standard that anyone can use, unrestricted, without having to worry about any sort of royalties or other payments. So far as I know, Vorbis/Theora like what you describe meets that criteria.

It's a shame this didn't work out. What I'd really like to see is for Flash and Silverlight and all these other proprietary/encumbered formats go the way of the dinosaur and become replaced by truly open standards. Hopefully there are or will be other ways to encourage this. The free and open exchange of readily available information without regard for platform is the kind of Internet I want to see more of. Given a choice, I'd rather see both Adobe and Microsoft go bankrupt than see them manipulate what I recognize is not rightfully theirs to control. If we the customers and users offered them this choice, and were willing to vote with our feet and our wallets in order to enforce it, they would get with the program in record time. It'd be nice to see just one such incident to prove to both the companies and the average user that yes, we do have this power so long as our principles come first.

Re:Why do the vendors have a say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28562925)

I don't think we need a larger web browser test matrix than we already have.

Re:Why do the vendors have a say? (2, Insightful)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562951)

It isn't like any of the browser are 100% complient anyway.

That is the excuse Microsoft used to set back open web standards years with IE. Two wrongs don't make a right.

Apple's concern (5, Insightful)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562195)

Apple, for its part, won't support Ogg Theora in QuickTime, expressing concerns over patents despite the fact that the codec can be used royalty-free.

Or perhaps their concern is precisely because of this fact?

Re:Apple's concern (5, Informative)

Radhruin (875377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562313)

Apple also doesn't want to support anything doesn't have off-the-shelf hardware acceleration. Until Apple can buy chips to decode Theora that will work in the iPhone, Theora is a no go for them.

Re:Apple's concern (5, Insightful)

evanbd (210358) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562551)

They build enough iPhones that, if they announced to vendors that they wanted such a chip, it would get built.

Re:Apple's concern (5, Interesting)

Microlith (54737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562353)

No, if something being royalty-free were a downside they would not have included a BSD userspace with OS X. While Ogg Theora is royalty free, there are no -known- patent violations. As I recall back when Vorbis was getting off the ground, the implication was made that people with patents wouldn't care unless it got off the ground and then they would start looking for violations.

Basically, Theora and Vorbis are huge unknowns with potential patent bombs in them, regardless of what the developers and /. thinks. And all it takes is someone with a patent and the muster to enforce it and everyone who implemented them in their browser suddenly has a huge problem.

Re:Apple's concern (3, Interesting)

StormReaver (59959) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562975)

> While Ogg Theora is royalty free, there are no -known- patent violations.

The exact same argument can be made for the BSD base Apple uses for OSX. It doesn't matter that BSD went through a long copyright case way back when; both because that case was about copyrights rather than patents, and because unknown patent violations can easily have crept into the code base since then. In fact, I can safely go out on a limb and guarantee that every non-trivial piece of software (including everything Apple has) is violating software patents. Software patents are handed out by the USPTO like Bibles are handed out in prison.

Apple's argument that they won't use Theora because of potential patent problems rings completely hollow. I'm not going to speculate on their motives, but the one they gave is nonsense.

Apple does not seem to want to update QuickTime. (3, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562459)

My understanding is that Apple doesn't want to work on QuickTime because it is buggy and no one wants to fix it.

Re:Apple does not seem to want to update QuickTime (1)

Binary Boy (2407) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562909)

Well, you're wrong. There's a major release coming up.

Wait a second (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562219)

Wasn't the decision to force everyone to support OGG/Theora dropped months ago?

Never mind that there are no hardware codecs for either, which is probably a huge part of why there was external pressure to avoid forcing a codec on everyone.

Apple? (3, Interesting)

ichthus (72442) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562227)

What's with Apple? They had no problem paying Sorenson Media in the past. What, specifically, is wrong with Theora?

Re:Apple? (1, Troll)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562277)

Royalty-free doesn't mean the patents won't cause problems down the line.

You can get GPL stuff royalty free but it can royally hose you over in its interactions with other licenses or agreements.

Re:Apple? (0, Troll)

funkatron (912521) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562299)

ffs. Just trash the patent system and shut the fuck up.

Re:Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28562305)

Maybe, just maybe, the problem is that Theora sucks big time.

Re:Apple? (2, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562439)

Theora is good enough. I'd rather have "good enough" than be stuck paying fees for 'IP' for what should be an open standard.

Simple (3, Informative)

Benanov (583592) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562401)

They don't know who to pay.

Re:Apple? (2, Interesting)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562499)

Because Apple wants to create a monopoly with file formats. Supporting Theora would lower barriers to entry for competitors running on Windows to compete with them.

Re:Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28562903)

That's silly. HTML5 is a cross-platform standard.

Apple does produce its own proprietary codecs, but its focus has been on high-bit-rate, high-quality solutions, not on codecs which might be suitable for the web.

They'd love to have the H.264 codec in the HTML5 standard since (a) it's already a standard, well-understood, and with hardware decoding support, and (b) it doesn't expose them to patent risks (which are assumed by the H.264 licensing authority).

The Theora "standard" has other issues besides the patent risk. It is less than eight months old (released November 3, 2008). Compare this to the H.264 standard which is now six years old (May 2003). It's not very mature yet (few implementations, little experience on embedded platforms, etc.). Its quality is not as high as H.264 at the same bit rate, so content providers (e.g. Google/YouTube) said that they would not support it as part of the standard.

Re:Apple? (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562669)

To that fact, the max cap on licensing H.264 is in the neighborhood of $5M. (at least it was the last time I looked at the licensing a couple years ago) Why can't the Mozilla Foundation license it the same way that the FreeBSD Foundation licenses Java from Sun.

Who cares about Apple's browser? (-1, Troll)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562251)

Really? It's already rubbish. Users are already used to using a proper browser for a decent experience.

Dropping support because Apple don't want to play ball would be like dropping support because it wouldn't be supported in IE 5.5...

Re:Who cares about Apple's browser? (2, Insightful)

Radhruin (875377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562391)

It's not just Apple, though. MS will probably not implement Theora either. Google will not be using it for anything substantial because of substandard quality per bit. The fact is that nothing is gained by making it a spec requirement. Either vendors will implement Theora or they won't, having it in the spec won't change anything. So why even have it, if that's the case?

Re:Who cares about Apple's browser? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28562427)

First...

Have you even *used* Safari, Webkit, or any Webkit derived browsers?

Why would they care what Apple/Webkit supports? Um, besides the fact that 65% of mobile browsing is currently with a Webkit based browser, golly, I can't think of any.

Someone please mod this idiot Troll.

Second...

But, I agree with others ... that they shouldn't care what *any* browsers currently support. Make it part of the spec and the users will decide. FireFox users will use ogg, Webkit based browsers will use h.264... I really don't see the issue here.

Seems to be more of a 'if you won't play my game, we just won't play ... I'm taking my ball and going home' behavior that really isn't helping the situation to me...

Re:Who cares about Apple's browser? (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562535)

Safari is a great browser, at least on the Mac. I much prefer it to Firefox.

Re:Who cares about Apple's browser? (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562547)

I take it that you've never used Safari. Well, either that or you're one of those people that can't use a browser unless it's Firefox with a few dozen weird extensions. Pretty much every (previously old-school UNIX-using) mac user I know uses Safari for their everyday browsing because it's fast, has a nice UI and is one of the best browsers when it comes to standards compliance.

/Mikael

PLEASE NOTE: As I stated but which I have no doubt that some troll will miss, practically all mac users I know personally are people who previously used other UNIX systems, not "liberal arts majors who get confused by more than one mouse button" or any crap like that.

Re:Who cares about Apple's browser? (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562579)

What is this Real Browser(TM) to which you speak of? I use Safari because it works with my bank's website. Go to it with Firefox or Opera and you get an error message.

On a daily basis I use Safari and Opera.

Webkit is being used by others now (Google Chrome) and right now over 80% of our hits from mobile browsers are Safari/iPhone.

We need to speak up (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28562295)

We need to speak up in defence of a Free video and audio codec in HTML 5. Apple should not be allowed to get away with this. W3C needs to hear our voice: ian at hixie.ch

j.delanoy is a fucking bastard (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28562311)

it is shitbags like him that ruin wikipedia. plus he vs a filthy jew that hitler should of delt with.

What the point of a standards body (1)

skyphyr (1149207) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562315)

That refuses to set a standard because people who should be implement it say they won't? Simply choose the most appropriate technology, detail the requirements fully in your standard. It's then a matter for the vendors to decide if they wish to make a standards compliant product or not. The point of a standards body is to put the interests of the general public first. Failure to do this is failure to fulfil their purpose. Doing so because of what are effectively bullying tactics is even worse as you've just decided to put corporate interests ahead of people's. First ISO corrupts itself into virtual irrelevance now we're seeing W3C fail. Are there any standards bodies left with the tenacity to get their job done?

Re:What the point of a standards body (1)

Radhruin (875377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562467)

The real question is: What's the point of a spec that major vendors will not implement? The true purpose of a spec is to have a common set of conventions that all vendors can agree upon. Having Theora in the spec cannot be agreed upon by vendors, and thus, it should not be a part of the spec.

Re:What the point of a standards body (1)

skyphyr (1149207) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562891)

That's a good point, but it didn't bother the ISO when approving OOXML. Though the W3C haven't scrapped the video tag and Microsoft has made no commitment there. Apple are a smaller player than Mozilla in the browser market. So either way we're looking at inconsistent behaviour. On the other hand if people feel the standard provides benefits then they'll use the products which support it. So this puts the balance back towards providing a solid spec in the interests of end users. If there aren't benefits the standard will fail if there are benefits then the products which refuse to support it will fail.

Microsoft must be celebrating (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562327)

I can see smiles on the part of Microsoft. In the meantime, if I were Adobe, I would open up everything that has to do with Flash so that Flash does not become irrelevant.

In other words, it's Apple-baw (3, Insightful)

Millennium (2451) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562339)

So not counting Microsoft (which has had nothing to say on the matter, and therefore cannot be counted one way or another), the only party blocking this is Apple, and they're blocking it based solely on a trumped-up and prima facie invalid argument, and furthermore, an argument that has never once impeded any of Apple's past actions. In other words, "BAWWWWW they din pik my pet codec BAWWWWW i wants every1 usin only my codec BAWWWWW BAWWWWW BAWWWWW!"

Seriously, folks; QuickTime uses a plug-in architecture for a reason. If Apple were truly concerned about Theora and patents, all they'd need to do is implement it as a plug-in -something they should have absolutely no trouble doing, as it's their own architecture- which could then be trivially removed if the need ever arose. But no; this is a step back towards the bad old days of Not-Invented-Here syndrome at Apple.

Re:In other words, it's Apple-baw (0)

Microlith (54737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562799)

Might I suggest you take your brilliant means of stuffing words in other people's mouths and go back to 4chan.

Top Secret! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28562355)

"Microsoft has made no commitment to support video"

They're working on their own enhanced marqueeflashvideo tag.

I can't wait.

Doesn't matter... (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562429)

Set SOMETHING as a standard and wait for the dust to settle LATER to change things. Mozilla and Google are right to support something that is open first; plugins can support more but by default, only open standards should be a standard otherwise you are supporting a vendor.

This seems like a non-story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28562435)

The video and audio tags are staying; they're just not specifying a particular codec that needs to be supported. I don't see what the problem is.

A solution: system codecs. (4, Interesting)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562437)

How about making the browser use system (DirectShow on Windows, whatever-it's-called on Linux) codecs, so everybody could be using whatever codec they want. Look, a lot of media players on Windows (like WMP and MPC) use DirectShow, so thew users can install additional codecs.

Why they want to include the codecs in the browsers. This way is worse. If system codecs were used, then the sites could choose whether to use h.264, ogg or some other codec, like XviD.

Also, this way all of the patent/license/whatever issues for the browser vendors would go away. And if the users are watching video files on their computers they most likely have codecs already installed.

Re:A solution: system codecs. (3, Insightful)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562779)

You're right on a technical level, you really are. But wouldn't that make playing video on the web more like it was in the web 1.0 era? People would have to stay on top of codecs and go surf for these sorts of things. I believe flash won out originally because it was a seamless solution for the end users-- one plugin to rule them all.

Honestly, the solution you're suggesting is not unlike the way Silverlight/Moonlight handles media-- except that it does have a default/preferred codec.

Why, you could circumvent the lack of a video tag on IE (or anything else) by using the pluggable codec support in Silverlight 3 to provide a Theora codec. ;) And that won't require any proprietary tools and very little code- just (if the browser is IE, load the following silverlight control, point it to the codec and your theora video)

We might as well just keep using the object tag to embed media files and let the system figure out what's supposed to run it, if we're going to use system codecs. On Windows, WMP will do it, on Linux, mplayer (or gstreamer if the user is a sadomasochist), and on mac it will be Quicktime. I mean, it's progressive, in an absolutely regressive sort of way.

Re:A solution: system codecs. (1)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562869)

I may be missing something.

  At some point, if i want to show video on the web, i need to choose some encoding (technically, some encoding and an envelope, but we're talking about codecs here). That is the problem they're trying to solve, have web content choices be simple, a single codec for content. I can be secure that everyone can see my vid, since all browsers will have access to that codec.

It seems you're solving a different problem, whether the browser needs to code directly against the libs for a specific codec, or some generic abstraction API. That's not the issue they're trying to solve. It's a content encoding problem, not an api problem.

sort of like they do fonts (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562913)

i can specify a font to use on a webpage, but support for that font is all over the place, and often depends upon the underlying operating system

of course, the font not being there means what font is used degrades to some sort of default according to the browser. but in css, you can actually specify the degrade path. example:

p{font-family:"Times New Roman",Georgia,Serif}

which basically means: use times new roman for this paragraph. you don't have it? then use georgia. you don't have that? then use any serif font you have laying around. you don't have that? then... (and the browser does something default)

the point being, you could do the same with codecs. of course, different codec means different source files, but that's ok, use a value pair in the css. something like

where, much like font-family css, the codec css style specifies a degradation path. but unlike font, it includes value pairs, one value being the codec to use, the other value being the file source to use if that codec is available

of course, my little example is not the best nomenclature, but the basic idea is sound to solve this browser vendor vs html5 standard imbroglio

Re:A solution: system codecs. (1)

TorKlingberg (599697) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562955)

Because then there will be no codec that plays everywhere, so website will prefer Flash video. We have had the embed tag for ages, but nobody uses it.

Fire fox should support ogg (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562441)

Firefox should simply support Ogg theora and stop any effort to get the video tag off html5 distribution. If Microsoft and Apple do not want to support this, it is their right to ignore it. Let us just make sure Ogg Theora is really safe and it has no sunset or submarine patent lurking beneath it.

Re:Fire fox should support ogg (3, Informative)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562539)

This is essentially what is happening. FF3.5 shipped with support for Theora.

Re:Fire fox should support ogg (1)

repetty (260322) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562633)

> Firefox should simply support Ogg theora and stop any effort to get the video tag off html5 distribution.

I agree with you 100%.

This is one occasion where the Mozilla organization can take a real, true leadership role.

If this eventually doesn't pan out to be Ogg, so what? Change it and move on.

--Richard

Google hates <video>? (1)

MaggieL (10193) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562465)

Dayum. If Google has a problem with HTML5 <video>, they did a really good job of hiding it at Google I/O.

Re:Google hates ? (1)

Radhruin (875377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562491)

No one said Google hates video. Google is not happy with the quality of Theora (they find it to be unacceptable to use for, say, YouTube). Google is definitely on board with HTML 5 and the video tag -- they've already implemented it in Chrome with Theora support AFAIK.

Re:Google hates ? (1)

ditoa (952847) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562577)

While I understand Google's problems with Theora quality it is surprising for them to be against it (which is what I assume is their official position for Theora support in the video tag?). By the time HTML5 is all finished I am sure Theora will be good enough and if they are unsure that it will be why can't they help it along with a few $$ or directly helping with development for it?

WTF? It is obvious how it should be solve (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28562523)

Why would be Theora included in the spec? it just plain sucks. Furthermore, is better to have multiple options to choose from. So, the solution is that broswers use the codecs already installed on the PC so they don't need to implement every codec out there.

Video was bait anyway (1, Flamebait)

Dracos (107777) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562585)

Video was a piece of bait for forcing HTML5 down everyone's throats. Now can we move on to dropping the whole spec?

The real reasons... (5, Interesting)

jonnyj (1011131) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562595)

Vendors never actually mean what they say. Here are the real reasons:

Apple won't support a codec that's incompatible with its huge installed base of ipods and iphones. They don't care about royalty fees because most Safari users pay for an OS X licence, and they want the free browsers to look sub-par compared with theirs.

Microsoft won't support a codec that makes the web more reliable for non-Windows users - especially Linux users. They don't care about royalty fees because all IE users pay for a WIndows licence, and they want the free browsers to look sub-par compared with theirs.

Google, Opera and Mozilla won't support anything that puts them at risk of needing to pay royalties on the huge number of free downloads they give away.

Nobody actually cares about end users or developers. If you think they do, you're kidding yourself.

Video For Everybody- a javascript free tag (5, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562737)

You can still make use of the tag in a cross platform way. Video For Everybody [camendesign.com] Is a simple set of code that uses the video tag with only two input files - an ogg and an mp4 - and lets the tag work for, well, everyone. IE6? Check. Safari? Check. iPhone? Yep.

It falls back to whatever method works for playback - including using Flash to play the h.264 if it needs to.

It's pretty funny to see so many people bitching about Apple not supporting ogg when Microsoft ignores the tag altogether. Everyone, start supporting the video tag today as widespread use is the only way to get big companies to fully adopt it - perhaps that will motivate Apple to someday support ogg.

Nothing but hot and smelly air (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28562773)

what they did, is just one brain fart out of this quote from:
http://lists.whatwg.org/htdig.cgi/whatwg-whatwg.org/2009-June/020620.html [whatwg.org]

"I considered requiring Ogg Theora support in the spec, since we do have
  three implementations that are willing to implement it, but it wouldn't
  help get us true interoperabiliy, since the people who are willing to
  implement it are willing to do so regardless of the spec, and the people
  who aren't are not going to be swayed by what the spec says."

There's no word about "cutting theora" just considerations that some companies won't comply with the spec.
But I guess this is somehow normal with new specs...

Dang patent threat! (1)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 5 years ago | (#28562929)

IANAL, but...You know what would be great? If you could say "I want to do this, this and this," and if any of them violated patents, the patent holders would be kind enough/required to mention that during the planning stage, long before you implement it.
Kind of a "If any man has any reason why these two technologies should not be joined in holy awesome-ness, let him speak now or forever hold his lawsuit" phase.
Then if it turns out you are infringing the patent, oh well, you gave them ample time to mention it.
Of course, this implies that the patents were held for the sole purpose of protecting your technology, and not just to get money off of poor suckers who use it. It would also require both parties to be honest (yeah, right!).
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