Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 27th Apr 2010 21:52 UTC
Multimedia, AV The inventor of the Ogg container format, Monty "xiphmont" Montgomery, has written up a remarkably detailed article refuting every complaint Mans Rullgard has posed in his anti-Ogg articles. "Mans Rullgard has written two long rants about the Ogg container in the past few years. One made it to Slashdot [and OSNews] apparently based on the drama potential alone. If you don't know what I'm talking about below, don't worry about it, tl;dr. I'd not originally intended to respond to open trolling. The continued urging of many individuals has convinced me it's important to rebut in some public form. Earnest falsehoods left unchallenged risk being accepted as fact."
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no disinfectant like sunlight
by project_2501 on Tue 27th Apr 2010 22:54 UTC
project_2501
Member since:
2006-03-20

A great post. And like the other one on openness, it shows that an advantage of open systems is that claims can be verified independently. You don't have to believe marketing brochures.

Reply Score: 7

RE: no disinfectant like sunlight
by segedunum on Wed 28th Apr 2010 00:18 UTC in reply to "no disinfectant like sunlight"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

No there isn't. The original critique was rubbish. Too much comparing Ogg to specific different formats, be it Matroska, MP4 or ASF, interchangeably for no good reason other than to make Ogg look equally bad next to all of them.

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

No there isn't. The original critique was rubbish. Too much comparing Ogg to specific different formats, be it Matroska, MP4 or ASF, interchangeably for no good reason other than to make Ogg look equally bad next to all of them.


The original critique was indeed rubbish.

Nitpick: suggested re-phrasing: "for no good reason other than to try make Ogg look bad"

My take: The conclusion above was pretty self-evident from the original rant, even without the comprehensive rebuttal from Monty of Xiph.org.

PS: Another observation: These made-up "objections" to Theora and Ogg seem to be becoming increasingly: shrill, illogical, hysterical, vocal, loud and frequent. Someone, somewhere is clearly pushing an agenda.

Edited 2010-04-28 00:33 UTC

Reply Score: 5

merkoth Member since:
2006-09-22


PS: Another observation: These made-up "objections" to Theora and Ogg seem to be becoming increasingly: shrill, illogical, hysterical, vocal, loud and frequent. Someone, somewhere is clearly pushing an agenda.


I don't know, people fear change. And the are a lot of stupid people who think that FOSS equals communism.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

" PS: Another observation: These made-up "objections" to Theora and Ogg seem to be becoming increasingly: shrill, illogical, hysterical, vocal, loud and frequent. Someone, somewhere is clearly pushing an agenda.
I don't know, people fear change. And the are a lot of stupid people who think that FOSS equals communism. "

FOSS equals collaborative effort, I suppose, but I would contend that communism doesn't. Systems of Communism imply a planned economy, with decisions made by a supreme authority, which are features totally lacking in FOSS, and actually are more reminiscent of commercial software developemnt.

If I were to pick a economic system that was closest to FOSS, I would perhaps nominate either "barter" or "scientific research" as the closest models.

Neither of those models are new (in fact they are both thousands of years old, and barter is even older that capitalism), so they don't really represent change at all. They just focus on the trading of effort directly between individuals to their mutual self-interest and benefit, and they leave control and rip-off by big business out of the picture entirely.

Edited 2010-04-28 01:59 UTC

Reply Score: 7

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

If I were to pick a economic system that was closest to FOSS, I would perhaps nominate either "barter" or "scientific research" as the closest models.


Also, "co-operative" is reasonably close as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooperative

The only real difference between FOSS and a co-operative is that a co-operative seeks to take a profit from people who are not in the co-operative, whereas FOSS typically doesn't.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumers%27_cooperative

PS: I suggest that FOSS == "non-profit co-operative" or "consumer's co-operative". Pretty close. Food for thought, anyway.

A consumers' cooperative is a cooperative business owned by its customers for their mutual benefit. It is a form of free enterprise that is oriented toward service rather than pecuniary profit. Consumers' cooperatives often take the form of retail outlets owned and operated by their consumers.

...

The major difference between consumers' cooperatives and other forms of business is that the purpose of a consumers' cooperative association is to provide quality goods and services at the lowest cost to the consumer/owners rather than to sell goods and services at the highest price above cost that the consumer is willing to pay.


Edited 2010-04-28 02:34 UTC

Reply Score: 1

merkoth Member since:
2006-09-22

I'd suggest that FOSS == software development and distribution model and communism == politics crap I'm not even interested in. But that's just me.

Reply Score: 5

CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

Communism, capitalism and socialism are all economic systems.

Republic, democracy, fascism etc. - those are political systems.

I wish public school was able to drive the distinction home more effectively. Most of my countrymen in the US think our form of government (our political system) is capitalism.

*sigh*

Reply Score: 3

Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

Thom/Admins,
why was this completely reasonable comment voted down?
Can you have a peek?

Reply Score: 2

boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

I don't know, people fear change. And the are a lot of stupid people who think that FOSS equals communism.


Surely, those where the only concerns that where ever expressed: "I am ediot, I unlike Theora," and "Oh JESUS! Change! NOOOO!" I mean, it is completely self-evident that there are no valid objections or concerns about Ogg Theora as a format.

I'm still waiting on that rigorous, verifiable and reproducable quality comparison (on the same, high quality source input, Lemur!).

Not that I'm opposed to Theora, mind! I just don't think you're giving credit to the handful of legitimate objections that have come up.

Reply Score: 2

DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

Agree on the criticism of the original. The original article confused me at the point where it said Ogg was inferior because it had infinite possible "mappings" of data within the container...

Rullgard's original article made it sound like there were infinite possible mappings, as if the Ogg container didn't really describe what it contained in any kind of systematic fashion. In my mind, that's the purpose of a container, so I was a bit amazed that Ogg wouldn't do that.

As for the rest of the analysis, I admit I fell for it, but I won't blame myself for that because of the blatant misrepresentations Rullgard used in the original article. Hell, if Monty is right, Rullgard's article is downright fraudulent.

Basically, not only did Rullgard use meaningless comparisons, he cherry-picked his data or outright lied about the results of tests. Rullgard either only compared Ogg to the few codecs that performed better IN THAT PARTICULAR AREA (ignoring others that did worse), or he only presented numbers for Ogg and claimed the other containers were superior when they aren't all that much better. I recently had to sit through a stupid online course on ethics in research, and this debacle reads like one of their textbook examples.

I'm inclined to believe Monty because he gave actual numbers and his explanations of the things I DO understand make much more sense. He could still be gaming the system by using inefficient programs to generate mp4 or MPEG-TS files or doing useless comparisons, but I'm not knowledgeable enough to say more on the issue. We do still have to rely on Monty and Mans Rullgard for subjective opinions on what is "excessive" or not...

As to lemur2 below, I'd normally do that, but Monty is potentially biased toward what he admits is his own brainchild...

Edited 2010-04-28 02:09 UTC

Reply Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I'm inclined to believe Monty because he gave actual numbers and his explanations of the things I DO understand make much more sense. He could still be gaming the system by using inefficient programs to generate mp4 or MPEG-TS files or doing useless comparisons, but I'm not knowledgeable enough to say more on the issue.


When you are faced with a situation like this, the best approach is to "follow the money".

Ask yourself: How does Monty's interest in this benefit if his position is actually lying? How does Rullgard's interest benefit if he is lying?

Or, to put it another way: which side is asking for your money (e.g. royalties), and which isn't?

This is a very quick and easy way to sort out which is what.

Edited 2010-04-28 01:58 UTC

Reply Score: 2

boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

I recently had to sit through a stupid online course on ethics in research, and this debacle reads like one of their textbook examples.


We recently went through our quarterly ethics training where I work, too, although it was for the whole university system, and not just the research arm. And yes, it was extremely boring and highly self-evident. (Wow, you mean I shouldn't use university money to buy myself stuff? I would never have known if they hadn't told me!)

I'm inclined to believe Monty because he gave actual numbers and his explanations of the things I DO understand make much more sense. He could still be gaming the system by using inefficient programs to generate mp4 or MPEG-TS files or doing useless comparisons, but I'm not knowledgeable enough to say more on the issue. We do still have to rely on Monty and Mans Rullgard for subjective opinions on what is "excessive" or not...


Part of what aggravates me about tall this is how people are almost pointedly and deliberately not doing any kind of testing. If one person would take the time to smack together an exhaustive test matrix (and release and detail it!), then we could almost-conclusively settle this whole damned debate. Instead, one partisan player or another keeps cropping up and shouting out their personal point of view.

Edited 2010-04-29 17:42 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

PS: Another observation: These made-up "objections" to Theora and Ogg seem to be becoming increasingly: shrill, illogical, hysterical, vocal, loud and frequent. Someone, somewhere is clearly pushing an agenda.


Well, alot of these "objections" seem to come from people involved with the x264 project. And since they are currently contacting all contributors in order to change the licence to allow offering a proprietary version for money I guess there is a monetary incentive for them to tout the superiority of x264 against theora. In this case however it was an attack at the container rather than the codec. Also I don't know if Mans Rullgard is involved with the x264 project in any way.

Reply Score: 4

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"PS: Another observation: These made-up "objections" to Theora and Ogg seem to be becoming increasingly: shrill, illogical, hysterical, vocal, loud and frequent. Someone, somewhere is clearly pushing an agenda.
Well, alot of these "objections" seem to come from people involved with the x264 project. And since they are currently contacting all contributors in order to change the licence to allow offering a proprietary version for money I guess there is a monetary incentive for them to tout the superiority of x264 against theora. In this case however it was an attack at the container rather than the codec. Also I don't know if Mans Rullgard is involved with the x264 project in any way. "

http://www.windows7download.com/win7-x264-video-codec-64bit-/xjscqt...

Good guess.

x264 Video Codec (64bit) r1391 Free library for encoding H264/AVC video streams The code is written from scratch by Laurent Aimar, Loren Merritt, Eric Petit(OS X), Min Chen (vfw/asm), Justin Clay(vfw), Mans Rullgard, Christian Heine (asm), and Alex Izvorski (asm).


While I have no objection to people charging for their work, and in the case of x264 there is perhaps a good commercial market to be persued in digital TV transmitters and Blueray encoders, x264 authors would also have a huge pecuniary incentive to try to convince the world to entirely overlook the requirement for public-access web standards to be royalty-free.

h.264 simply has no place as the codec for the web.

Edited 2010-04-28 05:25 UTC

Reply Score: 5

DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

And thus, the only logical step is for someone to create a 'fiendishly complex mapping' to stick x264-encoded video into the Ogg container format and BLOW THEIR MINDS

Reply Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

And thus, the only logical step is for someone to create a 'fiendishly complex mapping' to stick x264-encoded video into the Ogg container format and BLOW THEIR MINDS


To what purpose? x264 is totally unsuitable for use as the video codec standard for the web, because unlike all other web standards it won't meet the requirement of being royalty-free.

I can see no clear incentive to embed x264 video in an Ogg wrapper.

Reply Score: 2

boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

No! Some things Man was not meant to do! You're playing God!

Reply Score: 2

Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24



Hmmm... this is looking more an more like an organized smear campain by the x264 devs against ogg/theora. Synched with them trying to offer a proprietary version which they can sell, if this is the case then it's pretty crappy in my opinion.

Reply Score: 3

Melicerte Member since:
2006-08-29

Thanks for making things cristal clear!

Reply Score: 1

Wes Felter Member since:
2005-11-15

Someone, somewhere is clearly pushing an agenda.


There are agendas on both sides, like the idea that the only thing that matters about a piece of software is its license.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Someone, somewhere is clearly pushing an agenda.
There are agendas on both sides, like the idea that the only thing that matters about a piece of software is its license. "

Hardly. Opera is a closed-source proprietary browser that is fully compliant with open standards web, including the HTML5/Theora video & codec proposed standard for the web. Firefox and Google Chrome are open source browser that likewise are compliant with the open standards for the web (in the case of Firefox, slightly less compliant than Opera or Chrome, but the point still holds).

The isssue is NOT with the license of the software embodying web standards, the issue is that for use on the web, the standards themselves embodied in the software must be royalty-free to implement.

Reply Score: 3

Flabbergasted
by vodoomoth on Wed 28th Apr 2010 14:53 UTC
vodoomoth
Member since:
2010-03-30

Shame is probably what Mr Rullgard should be feeling.

I didn't get all of Monty's tech talk but I clearly see that something was very wrong in the original critique.

The epitome of "mauvaise foi".

Reply Score: 1