[Flac-dev] Re: [Speex-dev] Re: [xiph-rtp] Re: [Vorbis-dev] Proposal: An extension to rules all others

Tom Grandgent tgrand at canvaslink.com
Wed Jan 17 07:28:37 PST 2007

Sorry, but I think generic extension names are far from perfect.  Here 
are some additional problems to consider:

1) Language.  When people talk about file types, they almost never 
say "dot" at the beginning.  They say "MP3 files".  For example, "Does 
that player support MP3 files?"  If you have an extension of ".music" 
this ends up being "Does that player support music files?"  Which is 
useless, of course.

2) Search.  In this age of search, it's essential to give things 
unique names so that people can find information on them.  If someone 
gets a .music or .voice file from somewhere and can't play it, do you 
think they're going to have much luck searching for info on the format?

3) Attitude.  Promotion is one thing, but trying to claim such generic 
names in the name of open source is simply arrogant, I think.

4) Confusion about purpose.  When it comes to audio, your proposed 
names are .music and .voice.  What happens when some content falls into 
both categories, or neither?  Example 1: Sound effects for a game.  
They'd have to be called .music, which is confusing.  Example 2: A 
podcast with a little bit of music at the beginning and end, but all 
voice in the middle.  If they're not willing to take a big quality hit 
on the music, they'd have to make it .music.  Again, confusing.  It's 
better to have .ogg (associated with music and high quality audio) 
and .spx (associated with efficient encoding of speech).

Finally, I disagree with your assessment of .oga/.ogv on all counts.  
Three letter extensions are good for many reasons: easy to display, 
easy to read, easy to type, and overall it's a familiar, consistent, 
and tried-and-true approach.  I also don't see how they're hard to 
remember (people are quite used to remembering TLAs), especially if 
they follow a logical and consistent naming convention like .oga/.ogv.  

As for not telling what the file is about, it seems more helpful to me 
for the extension to differentiate between formats as opposed to media 
types.  People usually have at least a hint about media type from 
context (i.e. where the file came from, what the name before the dot 
is, file size), but they usually don't have any such guidance when it 
comes to format.

So, in my opinion, Xiph format adoption is best advanced by continuing 
to promote OGG as an MP3 alternative while following established 
conventions in introducing additional extensions.

I hope you will consider this as feedback and not flames.


"Ivo_Emanuel_Gon=C3=A7alves?=" <justivo at gmail.com> wrote:
> > What is wrong with the MP4/Matroska/Windows Media/RealVideo model?
> > .oga (Vorbis, Speex)
> > .ogv (Theora, Theora + Vorbis, Theora + Speex, Tarkin, etc)
> All kinds of things are wrong there.  Those extensions use a three
> letter namespace, they are hard to remember, easy to confuse, and
> moreover they tell the user nothing much about what the file is
> supposed to be about.
> ...
> Although .music-perfect has a nice sound to it, it's possibly too
> large for an extension.  Of course that applies to .video-perfect as
> well, but those are so far only a suggestion asking for feedback.
> Personally, I stand behind .video, .music and .voice.  It's simply perfect.
> It's a shame that we are apparently going over yet another extension
> flamewar, but things as they are, are not all right.  There wouldn't
> be this kind of talk all the time if things were okay.  Let's hope a
> consensus is achieved soon, because there's far more important things
> to fix around here.
> ... 
> Finally, I also believe that this change means also a change of
> attitude from Xiph.  Many in the industry, or even in the
> mailing-lists here, have quite a few times pointed out that we are not
> promoting our projects well, or even at all.  This, I hope, is a step
> in the right direction.

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