[theora] <video src="*.ogg">

Basil Mohamed Gohar abu_hurayrah at hidayahonline.org
Thu Jan 14 13:31:07 PST 2010

On 01/14/2010 04:08 PM, Michael A. Peters wrote:
> Google already supports it. Opera will.
Google's support is flaky and not as good as it should be.  Ensuring our
content is always a free format will force Google and other implementors
to give priority to them
> I think it will be very difficult getting either Apple or MS to
> support it. When they start making excuses about possible hidden
> patents, even though the code has been gone over numerous times, they
> really don't want to implement them.
The Java plug-in method is an okay workaround for this, but if the rest
of the browser market is going in one direction, they'll reluctantly and
feet-draggingly comply...if only after some time.
> What I do when I come across a site that won't play for me, I just go
> find one that does. That's what most people do.
Yes, and this is what I am trying to keep telling you - <video> does NOT
have a widespread adoption yet, so the normative behaviors related to it
are being formed now.  We are the early adopters.  Our choices and the
work we put into it at this stage can and will impact it in the long run.
> It was remarked that maybe I don't "get" the web. The web is about
> information exchange, sharing information, and there are plenty of
> people all over the world who share their information in a wide
> variety of formats.
I think I was a bit harsh, especially in making that statement
personal.  However, information exchange, sharing information, and
communication all require an agreed-upon standard in which to do so.  If
HTML wasn't an open format, where would we be?  If JPEG wasn't freely
implementable, do you think we'd even be using pictures as much? 
Proprietary examples of all formats have always existed, and we must not
allow them to become the *norm*.  We don't want to ban them completely,
either.  But having a free format as the defacto (or even dujure)
standard sets the precedent that that is how it /should/ be.  Imagine if
MS (or anyone else, but they hold the most clout) came up today with a
proprietary markup language for the web?  It would die within a year
(they try these kinds of things from time-to-time).  It's actually IE's
backward compatible support for broken HTML and other proprietary
technologies that make it such a dinosaur in the modern Internet age. 
Their attempt to strong arm the computing industry into using MS-only
technology has backfired on them and their customers that have bought
into the idea.
> The open ones that work well are best, I personally prefer Theora and
> Ogg. I am strictly Linux and they work out of the box for me. But I'm
> not going to limit the information I share to those using Theora
> capable browsers just like I don't like web sites that limit the
> information they share to users with WMV capable browsers.
There is nothing but technical roadblocks to implementing Theora support
in any browser.  WMV or other proprietary technologies are *legally
barred* from being implemented in an open fashion.  The two are not
> I'm sorry I brought using H.264 up on a Theora list, I agree I
> probably shouldn't have done that, but for me, the web is about
> getting information I want to share to those who want to receive it,
> not about pushing open vs proprietary formats.
Firefox has a much, much broader base of support than either Chrome or
Safari.  Supporting Theora gets the majority of people.  Additionally,
and I repeat myself, no one is relying on this behavior.  There are
options to make it work on all platforms currently, through Cortado.  So
you're not cutting anyone out.
> The web site where I use multimedia deals with educating the public
> about our native Reptiles and Amphibians. This is important, there is
> massive amphibian decline going on and people tend not to care about
> them unless they know about them. Am I going to keep my content from a
> user just because they use Safari or Internet Exploder? Hell no, the
> site exists for everyone to access, learn from, and hopefully a few of
> them will take up an interest in our declining species, even if they
> don't use patent free multimedia formats.
That is indeed important, and so is almost everything else everyone else
wants to communicate.  Using the <video> + applet method will get
pretty-much everyone, and you'll be sending the message that free
formats need to be implemented, or users are going to start complaining
about their browsers.  Does it mean we have to make some sacrifices up
front - yes, it does.  But the end is a victory for everyone when it's
been determined that large corporations will not be able to unjustly use
their power to force people to use their technologies and lock them in,
whether it's due to hardware, software, or legal action.  By explicitly
not support unfree formats, this can be achieved.  Giving in at this
early stage of adoption aids them.
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