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Re: so what can we do to voice our support? (Re: video codecs in HTML 5)

Holger Levsen schrieb:
> First of all, thanks to Maik for bringing this up here!

Well, I'm a user of free software so this topic is in my very interest ;)

I totally missed you already brought this to the project mailing list -
I fired another mail to debian-project before noticing that. Sorry for
the spam. I propose moving the whole discussion to debian-project as
it's really mostly a political thing (beh, patents over and over again)
and not so much a technical thing developers are interested in.

> So despite the technical and philosophical details whether we should ignore 
> patents or whatnot, what can we do to voice our support for a standard with 
> mandates free codecs instead of propietary ones? (Which IMO is quite 
> obvious.)
> So how can Debian make an official statement? Do we have to wait until the end 
> of the DPL elections? (April 8th)
> Maik, whats the timeline in this discussion? 

I'm not aware of any deadline up until a set of formats has to be
chosen. I think there's room for action until the WHATWG 1.0 spec is
"final" - no idea when that'll happen.

I think a sensible goal would be to just defend the current wording of
the WHATWG working draft, which happens to elevate the free Ogg codecs
to a "SHOULD be supported" state. It has been proposed to REQUIRE
browsers to support those formats, but that has no real chance of
happening because the WHATWG is also targeted at platforms that may not
happen to be able to support the Ogg codecs (or any other multimedia
format). SHOULD is as good as it'll ever get IMO.

So what has to be done to preserve the current wording? Somehow Apple
needs to be convinced that it's acceptable for them to no demand to kill
it. They are part of the MPEG industry and their motivation seems to be
clear: They obviously may want to feed their own horse.

Simply overrunning the whatwg list with well-spirited, but unofficial
postings may be ineffective (they may simply stop listening). What we
need is an official and polite inquiry that sheds some light onto the
position of the free software world - and that would be (amongst other
things) "We want to stay free and we want our citizens to be first class
citizens on the web".

(If someone knows a good contact to the FSF: They may be interested to
see free formats getting more widely deployed, too.)

> And hmm, unfortunatly WHATWG is not affiliated with W3C, which as a nice 
> patent policy... :-( But we can use this as another argument :) See 
> http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Patent-Policy-20040205/ - summary at 
> http://www.w3.org/2004/02/05-patentsummary.html

I think the WHATWG proposal have a good chance of becoming "official"
W3C standards over time.

Maik Merten

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