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Ogg Vorbis / Theora Language Removed From HTML5 Spec

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the nice-while-it-lasted dept.

Patents 395

Rudd-O writes "It's official. Ogg technology has been removed from the HTML5 spec, after Ian caved in the face of pressure from Apple and Nokia. Unless massive pressure is exerted on the HTML5 spec editing process, the Web authoring world will continue to endure our modern proprietary Tower of Babel. Note that HTML5 in no way required Ogg (as denoted by the word 'should' instead of 'must' in the earlier draft). Adding this to the fact that there are widely available patent-free implementations of Ogg technology, there is really no excuse for Apple and Nokia to say that they couldn't in good faith implement HTML5 as previously formulated."

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395 comments

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Ogg mad! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21655557)

Ogg the cavemen break Apple and Nokia heads with open source CD!

Figures (4, Insightful)

strikeleader (937501) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655561)

And once again the public loses

once again the public loses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21655671)

yay for oppression!

Re:Figures (0, Flamebait)

GodsBlood (1143061) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655847)

It's official. Ogg technology has been removed from the HTML5 spec, after Ian caved in the face of pressure from Apple and Nokia.
Well Apple is involved, so maybe the public will be loseless after all!

Re:Figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21656033)

Yeah. Now their browsers will only be able to view media of a type they actually have.

An alternative... (5, Interesting)

drakaan (688386) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655567)

Instead of specifying a specific format, just specify the salient details...how about "...MUST use a non-patent-encumbered format that is released under an OSI-approved license...". Well, not that, per-se, but you get my drift.

Get your ZERO-DAY patches, GET THEM NOW !! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21655583)



All your bases are belong to us otherwize !!

Re:Get your ZERO-DAY patches, GET THEM NOW !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21655643)

You furry man
You to o late
Bases are all belong to us

Re:Get your ZERO-DAY patches, GET THEM NOW !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21655669)

Huh? Furry man? I think this is for patch tuesday. It's for windows only so every here can continue goofing off/

Re:An alternative... (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655593)

Codec Hell isn't a problem at all.

Re:An alternative... (2, Interesting)

drakaan (688386) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655675)

Well, if the codec is unencumbered, then there will be wide availability. After that, it becomes a matter of popularity. Saying "Codec Hell" is like saying "Window Manager Hell", it's fun, but meaningless in the end. Sure, there are a lot of different WMs, but there are a handful that people use, and just as with video format, people usually pick a favorite and stick with it.

Re:An alternative... (1)

cching (179312) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656117)

Saying "Codec Hell" is like saying "Window Manager Hell", it's fun, but meaningless in the end.
What are you smoking? It isn't meaningless and I'd like to know your reasoning for saying it is.

Re:An alternative... (1)

drakaan (688386) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656379)

What are you smoking? It isn't meaningless and I'd like to know your reasoning for saying it is.

Okay. My reasoning is pretty simple. After taking the number of window managers available and comparing that to the number in widespread use, I note that the second number is a fairly small fraction of the first. The same is true of video codecs. If you don't have an issue where you have to download dozens of codecs to play video at your favorite sites (and you don't...ogg, quicktime, and windows media player will probably take care of 99% of the sites out there), then the description of "Codec Hell" is tough to make stick.

Of course, that's just my opinion...you may have a different one, and I respect that...although I haven't heard *your* reasoning.

Re:An alternative... (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656131)

I'm confused. Whats codec hell?
I dont think I have ever experienced that.

Oh wait. Your a Windows user? Never mind. :)

...now that I read the changes... (5, Informative)

drakaan (688386) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655603)

I see that what I just suggested is exactly the change they made. I'm fine with that...off to tag the front-page article with "badsummary"

Re:...now that I read the changes... (1)

AikonMGB (1013995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656265)

I've been around long enough to know not to trust the summary let alone the headline, but that still doesn't mean I check the article frequently. Thanks for the info m8.

Aikon-

Re:An alternative... (0)

cloricus (691063) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655621)

And look where beating around the bush is getting the document format world.

Make a standard, make the hard choice, and stick with it. If you reasoning is sound (and the case of ogg is) you can tell all nay sayers to go shove it which is what those working on the HTML5 spec should have done. Since they've shown no spine in this matter I think I'll show no interest in moving from xhtml to html5. If you don't cut right to the point you end up with greedy groups like Microsoft ruining every ones day.

My two cents anyway.

Re:An alternative... (3, Interesting)

drakaan (688386) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655875)

Does that mean that HTML5 should specify PNG exclusively for image content? This isn't so much about a specific standard as it is about *open* standards. Nokia and Apple are hand-wringing and whining because the standard specified a specific format other than quicktime (and whatever format Nokia has up it's sleeve). Provided Apple and Nokia are putting forward new codecs licensed under the same terms as Ogg (or at least in-line with the spec's recommendation), what's wrong with letting them then compete on their technical merits?

I'm not saying I want windows media, quicktime, and realplayer to be considered, but if there was an incentive to honestly open those formats to implementation by anyone, for free, with no catch, I'd be fine with allowing them.

It's not beating around the bush that's causing the document format controversy, it's exactly the same issue that's present here. There's no place where it says "hey, if you create a document, it has to be in a format that has these attributes". *Because* of this controversy, organizations, companies, and governments are actually looking at the issue of access and seeing that open standards matter.

To me, this type of change serves to drag the issue that remains unobvious to most people straight into the light of day. If Nokia and Apple take issue with the changed language, then they have to discuss the differences in licensing between their preferred formats and Ogg before they can do anything else. That ain't a bad thing.

Re:An alternative... (1)

jamie (78724) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656069)

Does that mean that HTML5 should specify PNG exclusively for image content?

Last I knew, both JPEG and GIF were unencumbered by patents. An alleged JPEG patent claim would have expired last year even if valid, and Unisys's last GIF patents expired in 2003-6. If I missed something, let me know.

(Just picking nits.)

Re:An alternative... (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656207)

A internet using PNG exclusively...... That would be freaking AWESOME!

If web developers could use 24 bit colour with alpha reliably then (some) websites would look far nicer and cooler.
Only thing holding them back atm is....well IE 6.

Yeah Jpeg has its place but GIF is plain old fashioned.

Re:An alternative... (0, Offtopic)

DarkSarin (651985) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656169)

Actually, except for raster images (eg, the friggin pictures of stuff), I think that .svg should be mandatory. Why? As good as PNG is, it leaves a lot to be desired and it does not scale well. On the other hand, .svg will scale perfectly, allowing features like zooming to be much more effective. This would also kick svg editors in to full gear. Right now I do not hesitate to say that inkscape is the BEST svg editor available. Some other editors offer some features that inkscape does not, but it is extremely flexible and powerful. It does have some drawbacks, especially once you get into highly complex and large images (I've got a 4.4mb .svg that renders into an ENORMOUS .bmp or .PNG [120MB+ & 25MB+, respectively] that is an absolute beast to work with because it is so complex. I've got literally thousands of cloned (not copied) objects. Before I started cloning the SVG file was over 20MB, but I dropped that down a LOT when I switched to cloning objects (and that took a lot of work, but when you are using a page file just for the program you are working with to have enough memory, let alone the OS, you need to do SOMETHING).)

Personally, I prefer inkscape to any other image creation program I've used extensively (although my stint with Photoship as a image creation tool is limited). Fireworks, illustrator, gimp (ahem), and even the stuff from Xara, are all inferior in a number of regards, and especially since the only other free one is the Gimp, I'm convinced that the ROI is pretty much unbeatable.

Now there are a few things you can do in each of those programs that can't be done (directly) in inkscape (such as multiple pages or html auto-generation of drop down menus), but these are special cases.

Graphic designers may disagree, YMMV.

Re:An alternative... (1)

n0-0p (325773) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656335)

They never specified Ogg as a requirement. They made it a recommendation but not to the exclusion of other formats. Realistically, if you don't give a concrete recommendation in the standard we'll be waiting for years while companies push different incompatible formats that fit their separate agendas. How does that make things any better than they are now?

Re:An alternative... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21655945)

If you tell everybody to shove off then they won't implement it, and thats what you want people to do with a specification written by a group with no kind of legal powers over what various companies do with their browsers. If you write a spec that none of the big browsers like, then guess what? Nobody will be able to move from XHTML to HTML5. I think they would rather just lose you.

Re:An alternative... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21655769)

The main point is to stop the "Babel Tower" as called. Leaving an open specification as you suggested wouldnt solve this problem.

Re:An alternative... (1)

Metaphorically (841874) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656103)

Part of HTML5 is about getting widely implemented features realized as written-down standards. I think that specifying the encoder is in line with that goal. It fits with naming support for PNG and WAVE files.

Re:An alternative... (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656239)

How about "Must have hooks to access your system's codec/container stack, and support for all fully open formats is suggested."?

Re:An alternative... (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656325)

Hey, look at that. It's exactly what HTML5 currently says.

Now, I don't mind wrangling users' systems to determine what is the best format to put stuff in; that's how we get a market for these things, how we keep them technically competitive, and the web developers (not the standards organizations) are the best people for the job here (we're used to it, and we're good at it).

smart (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655569)

maybe they new Fark planned to patent ogg next year.

Who the hell is Ian? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21655575)

We don't all live in this world and know the players.

Re:Who the hell is Ian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21655639)

You don't know my bff Ian?

Re:Who the hell is Ian? (2, Funny)

ricebowl (999467) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655763)

We don't all live in this world

You know, I've thought that for the longest time...

Re:Who the hell is Ian? (2, Informative)

Penfold1234 (920794) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655819)

I assume it's referring to Ian Hickson, who's a member of the HTML5 working group.
If not, then I have no idea...

The only reason that I am even in a position to guess this is because I happened to go to University with him, so I agree the summary could use some work.

Microsoft, Google, Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21655581)

So Microsoft is evil, because they're a big corporation. OK.

Google says "do no Evil," but yet has, so now they're an evil big corporation too. OK.

Now Apple is going lower than even Microsoft or Google would stoop. Are they a big corporation that does evil now, too?

Please, crowd of random Slashdot users, validate my perceptions so I don't feel undersocialized.

Re:Microsoft, Google, Apple (1, Interesting)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655729)

Google is more of neutral, with good and bad acts.

Apple has always been evil, but the suave evil (with a few flaws in it's act) that makes other think it's not so bad. But in the end, it's evil nature is what got it such a low market share in the 90s. There recovery has been more due to improving thir suave act, rather than pretending not to be evil.

MS is a known evil and doesn't hide it, sometimes it's better to face a known evil, than an entity with unkowns.

Re:Microsoft, Google, Apple (4, Funny)

odourpreventer (898853) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655921)

Google = Chaotic Neutral
Apple = Lawful Evil
Microsoft = Chaotic Evil

Me = Nerd

Re:Microsoft, Google, Apple (1)

JoshJ (1009085) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656151)

Apple and Microsoft both are Lawful Evil. MSFT is known for exerting huge influence on the government to get the laws changed to favor them; really not all that different from the DnD player's handbook example of a corrupt government official.

Re:Microsoft, Google, Apple (1)

EvilRyry (1025309) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656381)

Last I checked, abusing a monopoly is still illegal. Lets not forget the obviously illegal tactics they attempted to use in Nigeria either. Sure it wasn't on US soil, but as a company that operates in the US they still fall under certain US business laws.

So, in other words... (1)

BitwizeGHC (145393) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656231)

Microsoft = Dr. Evil

Apple = John Travolta's character from Swordfish

If HTML5 gets adopted (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21655597)

there are bigger problems than Ogg!

For one, it will mean the death of any lightweight web browser. Web will become something like a TV where you are fed with content you cannot filter (because the TV is too complex to hack). Monopoly through complexity.

A simple new format that is designed from the start for vector graphics and that doesn't try to be backwards compatible with HTML would be the best way for the new web.

Re:If HTML5 gets adopted (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21655775)

Having the web be just like TV is exactly what large companies want. The marketting tards want you to see their company website exactly the way they think it's supposed to look. They certainly don't want people filtering content or anything like that. Why do you think Flash only websites are becoming so popular? The problem is mostly due to management and marketting types having no idea how the internet works.

On the plus side, it might be a pretty good filter all by itself. The second you see a site using HTML5, you automatically know it's probably not worth browsing.

Re:If HTML5 gets adopted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21656129)

Goodbye ad based web...Gopher, here I come...again! :-) http://www.scn.org/~bkarger/gopher-manifesto [scn.org]

Re:If HTML5 gets adopted (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656269)

Those flash only sites dont bother me.

Search engines cant read them so I never get to see them. :)

(Yeah yeah Google can read text from flash but most flash devs manage to prevent that unintentionally)

Re:If HTML5 gets adopted (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655937)

Worse, these "rich content" websites are almost always buggy or problematic in some way. Our library search software, "Metalink," will fall apart if you try to open multiple windows or tabs. There is no reason why that web page needs any Javascript whatsoever, but their use of it only makes it less functional. More complex software is more prone to failure, and there is no escaping that.

Re:If HTML5 gets adopted (0, Troll)

Nomen Publicus (1150725) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655941)

HTML really must die, and Javascript along with it. Let's stop pretending that markup doesn't have to be a fully specified programming language and create something that can safely run in a lightweight browser sandpit. Java should have been the solution but I think that it's missed the boat.

Re:If HTML5 gets adopted (2, Insightful)

kabloom (755503) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655961)

A simple new format that is designed from the start for vector graphics and that doesn't try to be backwards compatible with HTML would be the best way for the new web.
That will only solve half the problem with the Web. Personally, I believe that browers today is incapable of enforcing the kind security policy required for e-commerce, since they are vulnerable to things like cross site request forgeries and other such things. Time to design a new open protocol.

Well, these companies show their true colors (4, Insightful)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655607)

MSFT isn't the only one who pulls crap like this. AAPL and NOK would gladly do the same things if they can get away with it.

Re:Well, these companies show their true colors (5, Insightful)

base3 (539820) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655661)

I've always said that Apple is just like Microsoft, only not as good at it. Of course, saying so is a ticked to -1 as Apple apologists empty their clips of mod points into any post that doesn't hail Steve Jobs as the savior of computing. But I've got the karma :).

Re:Well, these companies show their true colors (3, Funny)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655861)

Of course, saying so is a ticked to -1 as Apple apologists empty their clips of mod points


WTF. For them to be appologists, they have to have the ability to think something was wrong, and they are so in love with their lord an savior, happily and arrogantly trapped behind the reality distortion field...

BURN KARMA BURN!

Slashdot OS war: fight! (-1, Offtopic)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656063)

All apple fanboys with modpoints: tag the parent -1 troll
All linux/windows fanboys: +1 informative

Let's see who wins :-)
(It's 1, Troll at the moment.)

Re:Slashdot OS war: fight! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21656171)

Of course trolling Mac fanboys is unsportsmanlike--like shooting fish in a barrel or deer at a salt lick.

Re:Well, these companies show their true colors (0)

sayfawa (1099071) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655737)

I'm sure someone will come along and helpfully and logically explain why Nokia is evil but how Apple was forced into this position somehow.

"Should" vs. "Shall" (1, Interesting)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655625)

Honestly, if the choice was between "Should" and not referencing it, I'd go for the latter. I deal in construction contracts and specifications, and if there's a word that has done more damage than "should", I'm not aware of it.

Repeat after me:

Shall=imperative
May=permissive

That's it. "Should" means "we want it, but making it a requirement will cause a problem, so if you don't do it we're going to whine, but there's nothing we can legally do about it"

Of course, then there's the whole "Shall" vs. "Will" thing, but I don't want to talk about it.

Re:"Should" vs. "Shall" (1, Flamebait)

Trevelyan (535381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655835)

The word has a strict meaning in this context, there is an RFC [ietf.org] about it.
So this "Should" vs. "Shall" is a mute point, they meant what they said.

Re:"Should" vs. "Shall" (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656301)

"3. SHOULD This word, or the adjective "RECOMMENDED", mean that there
      may exist valid reasons in particular circumstances to ignore a
      particular item, but the full implications must be understood and
      carefully weighed before choosing a different course.

4. SHOULD NOT This phrase, or the phrase "NOT RECOMMENDED" mean that
      there may exist valid reasons in particular circumstances when the
      particular behavior is acceptable or even useful, but the full
      implications should be understood and the case carefully weighed
      before implementing any behavior described with this label."

So it means exactly what I said - precisely nothing. If prefaced by "should", a requirement can be ignored based on criteria set by the implementor, and they can still say it is compliant with the specification.

Use of the word "should", unless under a very strict (and unnatural/contrary to the plain meaning) definition, is simply not a good practice. I would welcome an example of an instance where use of "should" has led to a desired outcome, ESPECIALLY when trying to implement _standardization_.

Re:"Should" vs. "Shall" (1)

ebcdic (39948) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655885)

For the relevant definition of "should", see http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2119.txt [ietf.org]

Re:"Should" vs. "Shall" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21655917)

Telecom standards are littered with the same obscure terms.
Fortunately, 'Will' has disappeared for the most part, if not completely.
In my view (I think you probably agree...) everything Shall be specified as:

'Shall'
'Shall Not'
'May'

and nothing else.

(and slap the first person who asks, what about 'May Not' ....)

Re:"Should" vs. "Shall" (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656157)

I'm not real thrilled about "may" either, but that is more for it's misuse than lack of precise meaning. Spec writers tend to want it to mean "you can do it if you get permission", and get really cranky when the contractor just goes ahead and does it. But legally, "may" means "allowed" - period. Try to get that through some folks' heads, though...

Re:"Should" vs. "Shall" (1)

Phisbut (761268) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655999)

Honestly, if the choice was between "Should" and not referencing it, I'd go for the latter. I deal in construction contracts and specifications, and if there's a word that has done more damage than "should", I'm not aware of it.

Repeat after me:

Shall=imperative
May=permissive

Repeat after me:
Should != Shall

Pragmatism vs. Ideallism (1, Interesting)

coolGuyZak (844482) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655657)

Adding this to the fact that there are widely available patent-free implementations of Ogg technology, there is really no excuse for Apple and Nokia to say that they couldn't in good faith implement HTML5 as previously formulated.

HTML 5 is designed to be a pragmatic markup language, and neither Apple nor Nokia felt that Ogg was of practical use. The "intellectual purity" of ogg pales in comparison with the benefits of MPEG-4 and H.26x codecs. (To name a few: superior compression, less processing power for decoding, specialized chip support, and DRM hooks).

Re:Pragmatism vs. Ideallism (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655767)

Not to mention the sweet sweet licensing fees.

Re:Pragmatism vs. Ideallism (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656007)

Who enjoys the "pragmatic" "practical" "benefits" from "DRM hooks"?

Re:Pragmatism vs. Ideallism (2, Insightful)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656165)

Ogg Theora sucks but Ogg Vorbis and Speex are, arguably, the best codecs for audio.

You're a bit off. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21656293)

Theora is a bit computationally cheaper to decode than H.264, and of much higher quality per bit than older generation codecs.

W3C was quite clear in their diff that pay-per-use codecs like H.264 were utterly unacceptable to them. This isn't a choice between Theora and H.264, it's a choice between Theora and H.261 ... which needs on the order of 10x the bandwidth to still have worse quality than Theora, enough of a difference that H.261 is not really suitable for web streaming. So it's really a choice between Theora and nothing at all, a state of affairs that screws the public but should leave the codec licensing folks happy since they are already making great money off the fragmented status quo.

Theora is not as good as H.264, but it's not that far behind, and it's much better than anything else no-cost. For a baseline codec it doesn't matter that chosen codec isn't the best quality available, it matters that it isn't terrible and it matters that it can be universally implemented. Today Theora is pretty much the only option that meets those two simple criteria.

And, of course, Vorbis is a state of the art codec which stands up well even next to the best AAC-HE codecs, even at low bitrates.

Doesn't make sense... (5, Interesting)

binaryspiral (784263) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655677)

If the format is free of patents, and is essentially open source (released under the BSD license)... how can Nokia shake its finger around and threaten people?

This wouldn't be a story if Microsoft had done it, trying to force WMP codecs into the standard - I'm actually kind of surprised they hadn't yet... but Nokia? wtf

Re:Doesn't make sense... (1)

MrMickS (568778) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655825)

Ogg has been the poster child of FOSS for what seems like ages. In all that time its not really taken off. In the main people don't care about the idealism behind a format. All people care about is does it work and is it compatible.

Take off the Glasses of Idealism for a moment and look at it from the Nokia and Apple point of view. They've spent money and effort on implementations of the MPEG-4 standard. They've spent time in committee getting the standard right. If this had gone in they would have to add a whole new format implementation to their systems. One that is inferior to MPEG-4 in many aspects.

This is a pragmatic real world decision.

Re:Doesn't make sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21655955)

The license and lack of patents aren't the point here. Although it is cute to see so many people get all worked up over seeing "ogg", "removed" and "from spec" in a single phrase.

Why the hell does HTML need Ogg Vorbis, or any codec, for that matter? This isn't about making a proprietary format the standard, it's about not making a perfectly good spec pointlessly crufty and complex.

Apple and Nokia aren't the 'evil' ones here. People trying to push Vorbis into a standard where it doesn't belong are the evil ones.

Heh, the captcha reads "morality" go figure.

Re:Doesn't make sense... (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655985)

The format also sucks compared to most everything else.

Plus, it is not actually free of patents, the patent owners have just given a very broad license to use them for free. I'm not sure how that works out legally for companies like Apple or Nokia, it may or may not figure into it.

Re:Doesn't make sense... (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656351)

FYI yes its patented but its under a 'free for all' licence.
Anyone can use it for any purpose for free (both beer and freedom).

Does it really matter? (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655685)

The MP3 patents should expire at around 2010, and I imagine the other MPEG-1 patents will expire sometime around that time, if they haven't already.

Not a requirement (5, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655691)

Note that HTML5 in no way required Ogg

So what's the point in having it in there then? The vendors who don't want to implement it won't, and the people wanting an open baseline won't get one. The recommendation did nothing for openness or interoperability, it just gave people an official excuse to bash vendors that won't implement it.

All other things being equal, a smaller specification that everybody can agree on is better than one with unnecessary, contentious recommendations. There was never any need for this recommendation, it just bloated the already massive specification.

Re:Not a requirement (0)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655759)

Too bad I don't have any mod points, this needs Insightful mods.

(I was going to post asking the same question... I guess I'm a few minutes too late.)

Re:Not a requirement (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655965)

Exactly. "SHOULD" is the dead skunk under the specification porch. Either say "MUST", or just STFU.

It would have been nice... (1)

Loibisch (964797) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655705)

It would have been really nice to have a common denominator where if you want to put up a video you can just assume a single format will actually work on all modern browsers of all platforms (one day). But certain corporations are too afraid of their own tactics and therefore refuse to implement OGG Theora. Because, you know, one day someone might pop out of their hole saying "booyah, I have a patent on technology X and you're all infringing" and they would not be able to deny it as OGG is open for everyone to review.

So in fear of a potential lawsuit over something that might not even ever happen we keep up a non-uniform way of displaying video on all platforms and have abandoned hope for a unification for years to come.

What a sad world...

Re:It would have been nice... (1)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656001)

It would have been really nice to have a common denominator where if you want to put up a video you can just assume a single format will actually work on all modern browsers of all platforms (one day).

Yes, that would be nice. However the specification didn't aid that goal before this change either. It only recommended Theora. Vendors were still free to ignore the recommendation and not bother implementing it, and that's exactly what multiple vendors were planning on doing. So what has been lost by removing the recommendation?

Web Standards (2, Insightful)

bunratty (545641) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655719)

I don't see that the edit makes much of a difference. Even if HTML5 says that user agents SHOULD support Ogg, it doesn't mean they all will. And even though HTML 5 doesn't mention Ogg, it doesn't mean they all won't.

As every web developer knows, what you can and cannot do on a web site has less to do with what the standards say, and more to do with what browsers decide to support. There are web standards that have been specified for years that developers still cannot use (for example, much of the CSS in the Acid2 test), and there are technologies that get widely used before being standardized (for example, XMLHttpRequest).

Wierd. (4, Informative)

ak3ldama (554026) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655733)

From the page [html5.org] :

It would be helpful for interoperability if all browsers could support the same codecs. However, there are no known codecs that satisfy all the current players: we need a codec that is known to not require per-unit or per-distributor licensing, that is compatible with the open source development model, that is of sufficient quality as to be usable, and that is not an additional submarine patent risk for large companies. This is an ongoing issue and this section will be updated once more information is available.

What part of initially suggesting Ogg Vorbis doesn't fit with the new quote? It just seems wierd. Like they could say what they mean, but not explicitly suggest Ogg.

Re:Wierd. (1)

incripshin (580256) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656277)

They're passive aggressively saying that Apple and Nokia are a-holes. At least that's what it looks like to me, since I now have a chip on my shoulder that probably will never leave.

Why do people have a problem with compatibility? It's just more do what you feel mentality, which has screwed us over already with the varying implementations of HTML4/CSS2.1/JavaScript support between browsers. I thought this kind of crap was supposed to end at some point.

Re:Wierd. (1)

incripshin (580256) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656331)

Also DOM.

There really is no excuse? (2, Funny)

Chas (5144) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655739)

Sure there is! Lots of them!

Greed.

Avarice.

Stupidity.

Need I go on?

Re:There really is no excuse? (1)

damaki (997243) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656009)

Sex is a better excuse.

Bwah? (1)

TrebleJunkie (208060) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655749)

Forgive my ignorance, I've not been following the topic at all, but why would one even consider it a good thing to have specific support for one format -- free-as-in-beer-speech-whathaveyou -- embedded in HTML in the first place? Aside from the usual not very good hippie-mountain-crunch commun/social/altru-istic reasons, especially when there is likely to be an encoding-agnostic means to attempt to embed objects into HTML? (I'm assuming here, because I can't imagine something like the OBJECT tag going away any time soon, right?)

Re:Bwah? (1)

Azzmodan (96691) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656003)

For the same reason standard image formats are supported, so that you can show them inline and you know everyone can see them if they use a modern browser.

Right now for videos you have to hope that whatever proprietary plugin you use is available for the browser the custom uses. With more and more operating systems, devices, and other things having webbrowsers that assumption is harder and harder to make. If every HTML5 browser should support ogg or mp4 or whatever format by default then you can target that, instead of having to hope that whatever browser on whatever platform your target has happens to be able to play that kind of media.

Did anybody check the commit title? (1)

jthill (303417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655765)

Lift the cat who was amongst the pigeons up and put him back on his pedestal for now. (remove requirement on ogg for now)

... and the replacement text doesn't name ogg, it merely lists codec desiderata that only the oggs (afaik) can meet.

That said, I can easily imagine that companies are in exclusive-licensing binds and have promised not to support other media formats in exchange for, say, massive price breaks.

Playing devil's advocate (3, Insightful)

cowwoc2001 (976892) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655789)

I have nothing against the Ogg Vorbis format, but how is it the business of an HTML spec as to what file format is used by external links? This is no better than the spec mandating we use PNG instead of JPG. Developers will use whatever makes sense to them and it isn't really the spec's business to mandate what is really outside of its scope.

Re:Playing devil's advocate (1)

zullnero (833754) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656073)

A standard is just a standard, not a mandate or rule or regulation. There's no mandate for developers to follow the standard, except for the number of customers they'll piss off by not making their sites completely standardized for all browsers to be able to access and handle content. Pissing off the customers is the risk you take when you decide you're better off doing things YOUR way instead of following standards. That's your damage control problem, buddy!

say ogg WAS official (4, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655823)

why does anyone think that would actually carry weight? reference microsoft browsers and previous standards

make ogg official, and business will ignore it, and marginalize the standard. do we really want the standards ignored?

so allow the businesses their moronic formats, and use ogg anyways

it's silly if anyone thinks the war against proprietary formats is going to be won by a standards body. at the very best, business will embrace standards because the standards body play footsie with business desires, which is what happened, which is good!

at worst, the standards body ignores business on some ideological crusade, so businesses just ignore the standards as well, and we have a worse tower of babel on our hands

folks: this is the best possible outcome, where best possible outcome = ugly begrudging accomodation of moronic business desires. you can't do any better than what happened, unfortunate, but true

Ummmm..... (2, Interesting)

Solder Fumes (797270) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655869)

Did anyone read the last discussion about this? I thought it was pretty well established that Ogg Vorbis/Theora has no business being defined as the standard for anything, for the following reasons:
  • It's comparable to H.261 in performance
  • No one actually knows what the patent status is
  • No one even uses Theora for anything
  • Other containers and encoding formats are better and more popular and open, like x264
  • Why do we need video requirements for text markup?

Re:Ummmm..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21656289)

Did you and I read the same discussion? I thought it was fairly well established that:

Theora isn't the greatest in terms of performance but

It's the only one we don't know DEFINITELY requires paying licensing fees
(that's about as good as you can get...anyone can sue over anything...the fact that noone's claimed it to violate patents is the best you can do. MPEG1/2/3/4 and Microsoft's codecs all require payment which makes them a gray area for F/OSS ... no one seems to have sued over it yet but it requires tricks like hosting from overseas servers. I haven't heard of MPEGLA suing anyone ... yet - but that doesn't mean, under current US law, that they couldn't.)

Sure, noone uses Theora for anything...but if everyone had a player as part of their browser, they would.

There are encoding formats that are better and more popular, but _are_ they more open? What can I implement without signing licensing agreeements? If there are alternatives, I would like to know.

Real world web content delivery now includes video. The advantage to video standardization is obvious ... get rid of this mess of requiring RealPlayer, QuickTime, Windows Media (with dozens of different codecs out there), MPEG, Flash video ... all requiring massive downloads and plugins, many of which are only present on one or two platforms.

Patent FUD at fault. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21655887)

The actual removal can be found here [html5.org] .

"we need a codec that is known to not require per-unit or per-distributor licensing, that is compatible with the open source development model, that is of sufficient quality as to be usable, and that is not an additional submarine patent risk for large companies."

The sad thing is that Ogg/Theora is strong on all these points, and it's probably the only somewhat modern codec set that even comes close. Theora might not be state of the art, but it is orders of magnitude better 1980s tech that someone might propose as an alternative (and Vorbis clearly is a state of the art design).

Meanwhile the MPEG LA licensed codecs that Apple and Nokia are advocating have already landed several *licensees* in court for patent litigation, with two major cases ongoing. In particular the MPEG LA license agreement is quite specific that the license does not provide all the patents needed to implement the covered codecs. Some of the lawsuits have even been from members of the pool (such as Lucent), so paying up provides you with little protection from attack from the pool members, no zero protection from patent attacks by third parties.

Theora and Vorbis were designed to be free of serious patent problems. That doesn't mean that they are completely immune, *nothing can be* in our current patent climate. However, they should do better than their proprietary competitors... and the track record shows that.

Re:Patent FUD at fault. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21655987)

What does fud stand for?

Re:Patent FUD at fault. (1)

Tranzistors (1180307) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656187)

And I thought everybody used Wikipedia.
FUD [wikipedia.org] : Female urination device

The actual mail on the HTML-wg mailing list... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21655915)

Just to point out what it currently happening, here is the mail from Ian Hickson from this morning:

"I've temporarily removed the requirements on video codecs from the HTML5
spec, since the current text isn't helping us come to a useful
interoperable conclusion. When a codec is found that is mutually
acceptable to all major parties I will update the spec to require that
instead and then reply to all the pending feedback on video codecs.

    http://www.whatwg.org/issues/#graphics-video-codec [whatwg.org]
"

The title of the news is a bit misleading :) In other words "temporarily removed until a consensus has been found".

attention that mpeg4 guy (4, Insightful)

trybywrench (584843) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655939)

In the last story about this there was a guy who made a really good comment about mpeg4 and how Ogg/Theora isn't actually that good for HTML5. He basically said that the video codec was patent encumbered but the company who owned it made it available to the public under a free nonrevocable license since it was DOA anyway when compared to mpeg4. see here:


"Ogg's video codec is Theora, which was proprietary. On2 developed it as its closed competition to MPEG-4's H.263 (DivX) and H.264 (AVC) codecs, alongside other competing proprietary codecs from Real and Microsoft (WMV). The winner to shake out of all that competition has been the MPEG-4 standard, which includes both a container and different sets of codecs. MPEG-4 is open and supported by lots of companies, and is also supported by FOSS (x264 is among the best implementations)." - DECS


I get the feeling that if people would actually sit down and look at the issue objectively then it would be obvious that Ogg/Theora being included in the HTML5 spec isn't that great of an idea. The problem is the Ogg crowd has a huge chip on their shoulder since no one has really given them the time of day. So, here's a chance for them to get some validation for all their hard work but they've been cut out yet again so everyone's all up in arms.

Re:attention that mpeg4 guy (3, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656161)

MPEG4 is patent encumbered and does require license fees. While there may be patents for Ogg Theora, On2 has made it clear Theora is a genuinely open standard that doesn't require payment of royalties to them.

MPEG4 is only open in certain senses. It is not usable from the point of view of a web standardization body, given the dependence the web has on the free software world.

BTW, DECS runs the supremely awful "RoughlyDrafted" website, a kind of brain damaged Apple advocacy thing. I'd take anything he writes with a pinch of salt.

Benevolent dictators, thank you... (0, Flamebait)

PlanetSmashers (1201585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655949)

Why should a cellphone company, and a company that represents only 15% (is that a safe number?) of the PC market dictate what's best for the other 85%? Heil Jobs and Kallasvuo.

Patent expired techniques (2, Insightful)

starseeker (141897) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656031)

Oddities of writing style aside (and possible DRM agenda nonwithstanding) I actually thought the idea suggested in the original Nokia paper to use older techniques that are or will very soon be based on expired patents was a pretty good one.

Whatever we may want to think, it is true that someone COULD challenge Ogg Vorbis on patent grounds, valid or not. A technique 20 years old and based on expired patents is absolutely unambiguous - the patent office itself is the documentation that the technique is now unrestricted.

For most of what is done on the web the older technologies would work just fine. They are also mainstream, which means they stand a better chance of being used. The HTML standards process is not strong enough to push forward Ogg Vorbis, IMO.

Remember, this is big corporate lawyer turf here. Ogg Vorbis is thought to be free of patent claims but there is no way to prove that. Expired patents are the safest possible way to proceed.

Babel (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656047)

The Babel is even worse with video. I've almost given up on watching shows with torrents. Every fricken geek out there tries to use the newest and most obscure codecs they can find for some reason, but maybe they're just jackasses. I downloaded a television episode recently, and had to search the web to even figure out the file extension. Turns out it was some new codec where the only players available were at 0.0.1 alpha stage. Great. :-\

The **AA doesn't really have to do anything anymore. The file traders are going to obfuscate the whole thing into uselessness.

I'm still not sure we even want HTML5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21656057)

It seems to encourage sloppy code writing, there's too many "Well you can do it this way if you want" type comments which is a major reason we have many of the browser incompatibility issues we have in the first place.

Unless you define specifically how things should be done there's always going to be ambiguity and there's always going to be browser incompatibilities.

XHTML was a good common sense step towards making people standardise their code and it's existence has pushed that well. Why are we now throwing all that good work away and to an extent even contradicting it?

I'm not entirely sure why a specific media format is being suggested in the first place either, this seems like a bad idea. If the spec becomes stagnant as many others have in the past it's going to become outdated as recommended formats die out and so on and so forth leaving people to treat it with further ignorance.

The brilliance of XHTML is the very fact that it is extensible and does only specify the absolute minimum required to work whilst the rest can be added on through the extensibility provided via the spec. That leads to a very adaptable, very future proof, well defined language.

At the HTML5 site I see comments about how XHTML doesn't cater to web application developers but the core issue is that many web application developers came about without requiring any formal software engineering skills and again this is why the web is such a relative mess. The reality is that the language shouldn't be adapting to web developers but web developers need to be adapting to tried and tested good practice development methods and concepts to ensure a well structured, clean, standardised, future proof web.

Maybe it's just me.. (2, Insightful)

devjj (956776) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656285)

I'd rather have a spec that clearly defines how content is embedded, rather than what content to embed. Specifying a particular format reduces freedom. There's nothing to say you can't use Ogg. The only benefit to having Ogg in the spec itself would be to get the format more well-known, but that should happen on its merits, not because a standards body decreed it so. What is unfortunate in this instance is just how much sway a single company or pair of companies can have over a spec as a whole, and how quickly they can make changes happen. It just smacks of impropriety. I don't think anyone's going to argue that H.264 is a bad codec, but isn't the point of a standard to ensure interoperability? Why do these companies have so much clout?

This is why zeal matters (3, Insightful)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 6 years ago | (#21656341)

I am so sick and tired of people saying silly things like "Its only an operating system," or "use what's best," or other justifications for taking crap that we MUST STAND UP AGAINST.

Every little one of these things matters, they all add up like links in a chain. There are people actively trying to destroy freedom and they are doing it slowly with incremental steps. This is just another step. I'm sorry, if you can't be bothered to take an active participation in protesting and exploring alternate systems, then you are letting everyone down. You know the expression: "No one snow flake in an avalanche feels any responsibility."

The *big* picture is democracy itself. Once the information is controlled, the people are controlled. Make no mistake, people are actively working against the free exchange of information. While most are just working for their own self interests, there are others capitalizing on these actions in more nefarious ways.

I know you think this is tin foil hat stuff, but look around, look at what's happening. We have to work against these sorts of things because rust never sleeps.
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