[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

video codecs in HTML 5


I'm new to this list, so hello. I'm not a Debian developer, but I think
I should bring something to your attention that may impact badly on Debian.

The WHATWG ( http://www.whatwg.org/ - that's mostly Apple, Opera and
Mozilla) are currently discussing an extension to HTML - the <video>
element. The basic plan is that browsers can embed and play video
content without the need of a plugin. Because of this browsers need to
ship with at least one video and one audio codec.

Thanks to the free nature of the Ogg formats the current draft (
http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#video ) reads

| Video and audio codecs for video elements
| User agents may support any video and audio codecs and container
| formats.
| User agents should support Ogg Theora video and Ogg Vorbis audio, as
| well as the Ogg container format. [THEORA] [VORBIS] [OGG]"

This basically means the free Ogg formats, which are included in Debian
already, form a basic set of codecs that are recommended to be supported
by all browsers.

Recently Apple joined the discussion and questioned if the Ogg formats
should get such a recommendation (
). The following discussion implies Apple wants to see MPEG4 being used
for embedded video in browsers. These codecs are not free (they demand a
fee for it) and restrict distribution of software containing them.

This would mean Debian may have to strip support for <video> from all
shipped browsers. That would mean many Debian users can't legally access
 parts of the web.

I think it could help if someone from Debian could join the discussion
and summarizes the issues that may arise from using non-free codecs in
web browsers.


Maik Merten

Reply to: