Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 12th Jan 2011 17:44 UTC
Internet & Networking With yesterday's news that Google will be dropping H.264 support from the Chrome web browser, the internet was split in half. One one side, there's people who applaud the move, who are happy that Google is pushing an open, royalty-free and unencumbered video codec (irrespective of Google's motivation). On the other side, there are the H.264 supporters, who believe that H.264 is the one and only choice for HTML5 video. One of the most vocal and public figures in the latter group is John Gruber. Following his five questions for Google, here are ten questions for Gruber about WebM, H.264, and standards on the web.
Order by: Score:
Firefox never even supported H.264
by lollipop on Wed 12th Jan 2011 18:09 UTC
lollipop
Member since:
2009-06-30

Excellent questions especially concerning Firefox. Everyone who has responded negatively to the announcement seems to be forgetting that Firefox never supported H.264 and so if you wanted to support Firefox you had to encode in WebM anyway. Google's decision will hopefully push the remaining browsers, Safari & IE to support WebM allowing for a single compatible encoding format.

Reply Score: 4

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

This whole point is about the HTML5 video tag. Nothing else.

Reply Score: 6

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm afraid Flash does not mean explicit h.264 support, despite what some people might think.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Firefox supports h.264 courtesy of an installed Flash plug-in.


Au contraire, any installed Flash plugin is not Firefox.

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Ah, parroting Gruber. You could've just linked to either Gruber or the original Slashdot comment, you know.

Reply Score: 3

shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Call it free standard if you wish. In the context of Open Web, open standard includes royalty free licensing.

Apple is not a supporter of Open Web. Adobe Flash is just a competitor, so Apple plays against them. The same reason they banned all other browsers (even open ones) from iOS. Nothing to do with openness or closedness. It's all to do with Apple's paranoid thirst for control and domination.

Don't forget that Apple is part of MPEG-LA and they get money just from the widespread usage of H.264. The advance of WebM will weaken H.264 usage in hardware and software. I.e. it will kill the chicken with golden eggs which Apple likes to collect. So why should Apple speed up their own decline in profits from video codecs licenses? So stop this nonsense about Apple and Open Web.

Reply Score: 4

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Call it free standard if you wish. In the context of Open Web, open standard includes royalty free licensing.


Yet funny enough the <img> tag has no specified file format and people were quite happy to use GIF even with all the patenty goodness that came with the territory. Let the marketplace dictate what format rises to the top.

Reply Score: 3

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Yet funny enough the tag has no specified file format and people were quite happy to use GIF even with all the patenty goodness that came with the territory. Let the marketplace dictate what format rises to the top.

Wow... Congratulations for destroying your point all by yourself !

It's precisely because of the Unisys incident (which happened due to widespread use of GIF) that so much people *don't* want of a format encumbered by patents, obfuscated licensing terms and royalties on the web. And I'm ready to bet that it's also because of it that the W3C now specifies that any web standard must be royalty-free.

Edited 2011-01-13 09:16 UTC

Reply Score: 4

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Wow... Congratulations for destroying your point all by yourself !

It's precisely because of the Unisys incident (which happened due to widespread use of GIF) that so much people *don't* want of a format encumbered by patents, obfuscated licensing terms and royalties on the web. And I'm ready to bet that it's also because of it that the W3C now specifies that any web standard must be royalty-free.


How have I destroyed my point? you're demanding that W3C *MUST* specify WebM as the default format - I say that no format should be specified. The above scenario regarding png happened because W3C didn't specify a format thus a multitude of formats came in use and supported hence it reinforces what I've said - allow the marketplace to decide.

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Then we somewhat agree. H.264 is certainly not suitable for widespread use on the web, but there are several other present and future video codecs which could do the job, and the W3C shouldn't cramp the spec by saying now "hey, you're going to use THAT ONE !".

My problem is that your example is terrible. If you want to advocate the solution used by the img tag, just say something like "At the time the specification for it was written, PNG did not exist. It is now proven to the best format for high-quality images on the web, with JPEG as a good second."

Advocating the img solution while talking about GIF is like saying "Oh, the US legal system is perfect, and the lawsuit which that lady won against McDonalds perfectly proves my point".

Edited 2011-01-13 09:30 UTC

Reply Score: 3

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Then we somewhat agree. H.264 is certainly not suitable for widespread use on the web, but there are several other present and future video codecs which could do the job, and the W3C shouldn't cramp the spec by saying now "hey, you're going to use THAT ONE !".


True, 100% agree. I've since corrected my position based on information I've been provided by another post. I was under the impression with at least Mac OS X that h264 was provided by Safari linking into the QuickTime Framework (the Framework, not though the NPAPI plugin) but from what I've heard that isn't the case which means the idea 'just install a plugin' isn't a viable solution.

My problem is that your example is terrible. If you want to advocate the solution used by the img tag, just say something like "At the time the specification for it was written, PNG did not exist. It is now proven to the best format for high-quality images on the web, with JPEG as a good second."

Advocating the img solution while talking about GIF is like saying "Oh, the US legal system is perfect, and the lawsuit which that lady won against McDonalds perfectly proves my point".


True - and WebM for all the hysterics put forward by some is actually pretty good when compared to h264 hence the 'technological' argument pretty much falls on flat on its face. My impression was that WebM support on at least Mac OS X could be provided through a QuickTime Framework plugin but I've since found out that it isn't the case - that the Qtkit doesn't provide a plugin infrastructure and Safari apparently is hard coded for h264 which makes the whole idea of 'just install a CODEC' an impossibility.

Reply Score: 2

Ncrdrg Member since:
2011-01-17

Advocating the img solution while talking about GIF is like saying "Oh, the US legal system is perfect, and the lawsuit which that lady won against McDonalds perfectly proves my point".


I have the bad feeling you mean the coffee lawsuit. Let me disprove your ramblings :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebeck_v._McDonald%27s_Restaurant...

That was pretty damn justified. She got 3rd degree burns, needed skin transplant because they kept their coffee too hot. She wanted to have her hospital bills paid, she got the run-around, she sued.

Edited 2011-01-17 23:37 UTC

Reply Score: 1

PresentIt Member since:
2010-02-10

Yet funny enough the tag has no specified file format and people were quite happy to use GIF even with all the patenty goodness that came with the territory. Let the marketplace dictate what format rises to the top.

This comparison is silly. The gif situation shows exactly why a baseline image format should have been specified. We could have avoided the whole gif mess.

Reply Score: 1

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

This serves two strategic purposes for Google. First, it advances a codec that’s de facto controlled by Google"

Controlled by Google in what way? I get to use it without having to hire a lawyer, I get to install it on devices and make as much content as I like and I have the full specifications and code so I can do what I like with it.

at the expense of a codec that is a legitimate open standard controlled by a multi-vendor governance process managed by reputable international standards bodies.

We've had these before. They're closed clubs designed to lock out competition they don't like.

(“Open source” != “open standard”.)

A typical Microsoft line, interestingly. An open standard without an implementation people can guarantee is totally worthless.

And second, it will slow the transition to HTML5 and away from Flash by creating more confusion about which codec to use for HTML5 video...

h.264 proponents might be worried about it but it won't worry anyone else. They'll use what work on YouTube for the most part.

Reply Score: 4

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Don't you know? ISO et al. are evil when they ratify a Microsoft standard, but holy sacred good when they ratify anything else using the exact same process.

Makes total sense.

Reply Score: 1

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Don't you know? ISO et al. are evil when they ratify a Microsoft standard, but holy sacred good when they ratify anything else using the exact same process.

I'm not entirely sure where that's going, but no. A railroaded 'standard' is a railroaded 'standard'. There is ample evidence that Microsoft has loaded ISO committees in the past simply to rubber stamp everything. The ISO should be putting the brakes on this kind of thing, but nevertheless, Microsoft was still to blame.

You can only guarantee a standard to be a standard that everyone can implement by getting on and creating an implementation that anyone can freely use anywhere.

That's why ODF is worth a hell of a lot more than OOXML, but I digress. You can believe they were created by the same process if it makes you feel better in some way.

Reply Score: 3

PresentIt Member since:
2010-02-10

ZNU said it best:

Nonsense. It is nothing but FUD.

First, it advances a codec that’s de facto controlled by Google

It is not controlled by Google. Stop spreading lies.

a codec that is a legitimate open standard

It is NOT open. It is closed. Stop spreading lies.

“Open source” != “open standard”.

No, but free of patent claims = open standard.

it will slow the transition to HTML5

It's better that it takes more time, if it saves the web from more closed crap like h264.

Reply Score: 1

alwillis Member since:
2011-01-13

Firefox for Mac OS X and Windows supported H.264 via Apple's Quicktime plugin as well.

Reply Score: 1

dvhh Member since:
2006-03-20

What about chrome, it does certainly support NSPlugins. So it would be the same option here.

Reply Score: 2

PresentIt Member since:
2010-02-10

That would defeat the purpose of native video in browsers. Plugins can never be like native support.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by mtzmtulivu
by mtzmtulivu on Wed 12th Jan 2011 18:11 UTC
mtzmtulivu
Member since:
2006-11-14


10. Why do you appear to be opposed to promoting an open, royalty-free, non-patent-encumbered video codec? Is it because said codec is currently not promoted by Apple? If Apple were to switch to WebM and drop H.264 tomorrow, would you then herald it as a great move?


He, like MG from techrunch are nothing but an extension of Apple's PR machinery. To expect a rational discussion with them is a waste of time. They will agree with you if you agree with what apple is doing and will simply ignore you if your views are different from apple's.

When will flash release a version with webM build in? Flash plays a critical role in mass adoption of this codec.

h.264 vs vp8 is largely not a practical problem for now since most people access h.264 content through flash and a switch from one codec to the other will be transparent to most of them. This could be one of the reasons google still has flash as one of their friends. Flash will help in easing the transition from h.264 to vp8.

This move greatly helps flash because now flash will be able to play everything "out of the box" and most web designers wont have to change anything.

Apple enthusiasts and idevice owners will be negatively affected the most and hence some of their complaints are understandable

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by mtzmtulivu
by Beta on Wed 12th Jan 2011 18:19 UTC in reply to "Comment by mtzmtulivu"
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

When will flash release a version with webM build in? Flash plays a critical role in mass adoption of this codec.

I asked them earlier today on Twitter, no reply..

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by mtzmtulivu
by RichterKuato on Wed 12th Jan 2011 22:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by mtzmtulivu"
RichterKuato Member since:
2010-05-14

Probably because they never announced support for WebM.
Just support for the VP8 codec.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by mtzmtulivu
by Beta on Thu 13th Jan 2011 11:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by mtzmtulivu"
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

Probably because they never announced support for WebM.
Just support for the VP8 codec.

Which is why I asked about the codec, then the container.

‘@johndrinkwater: Hey @adobe @jdowdell when is that Flash update with #VP8 coming? 8 months a long time with no news… supporting #WebM container too ?’

http://twitter.com/johndrinkwater/status/25204868918542336

Though, from the reply, sounds like it is WebM coming:

‘@jdowdell: @johndrinkwater @adobe Sorry, tweeted yesterday that I hadn't seen timing guidance yet on Adobe WebM integration. 'Spect that'll change. ;-)’

http://twitter.com/jdowdell/status/25286855821889536

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by mtzmtulivu
by RichterKuato on Thu 13th Jan 2011 11:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by mtzmtulivu"
RichterKuato Member since:
2010-05-14

Well, it's exactly official but here's hoping.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by mtzmtulivu
by Kroc on Wed 12th Jan 2011 18:22 UTC in reply to "Comment by mtzmtulivu"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

When will flash release a version with webM build in?


When it makes them money. Releasing a version of Flash that will help obsolete Flash is not good business strategy.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by mtzmtulivu
by hatsix on Thu 13th Jan 2011 00:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by mtzmtulivu"
hatsix Member since:
2011-01-12

WebM becoming a standard is a good thing for Flash. The html5 video tag doesn't support DRM, streaming, ad-insertion or bandwidth switching... Companies serious about their online video will still need to use Flash.

And remember, Adobe makes more money off of Creative Suite than it does off Flash, and content creators always want easier and more streamlined ways of creating content. Adobe just demo'd the ability to grab animations/grpahics out of Flash and paste it into Dreamweaver... creating HTML5-compliant animations.

Adobe makes money by selling tools to developers and content creators. The more features they can add, the more often they can release software and charge devs.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by mtzmtulivu
by woegjiub on Thu 13th Jan 2011 00:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by mtzmtulivu"
woegjiub Member since:
2008-11-25

Repeat after me:
*Flash is not just for internet video*

It has legitimate uses for vector-based animations and games, which are easy to make, and very amusing.
There is no alternative to flash animations and flash games (yet).
Killing flash video = good.
Killing flash = bad.

One can create and view flash animations and games with FOSS implementations such as gnash, so until there is an HTML5 alternative that allows the amusement of flash animations and games, we need it to stick around.

Reply Score: 4

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

http://raphaeljs.com/

Edited 2011-01-13 08:44 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by mtzmtulivu
by shmerl on Thu 13th Jan 2011 23:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by mtzmtulivu"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Pure HTML5 games: https://mozillalabs.com/gaming/

Edited 2011-01-13 23:12 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by mtzmtulivu
by fairAndBalancedTech on Thu 13th Jan 2011 00:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by mtzmtulivu"
fairAndBalancedTech Member since:
2011-01-13

Playing video in Flash is one of hundreds of use cases the Flash Player is capable of, so let's can this argument that HTML may some day play video without a plugin across all browsers, making Flash obsolete. Right now, Adobe is footing the bill for people to play their H.264 video by paying this licensing fee and then giving away their player. Something other companies (Firefox and now Google) aren't willing to do.

Adobe, though suffering from some of their just deserts in being slow to fix bugs, has the LEAST going on here in terms of an agenda. They are just trying to push their authoring software. They have numerous products here that will author both SWF and HTML content, so they're covered.

I agree 100% that Flash Player will help Google in this transition to WebM, and that those who will eventually suffer will be iDevicers. They have been duped by Apple and their sheep into believing the very thin openess arguments. The fact is, Google is adhering to what stands as the HTML5 spec by supporting both Flash, as it is a plugin, and plugins are in, and WebM as it is royalty-free. Both are part of the spec. The royalty model of H.264 is not.

Edited 2011-01-13 01:08 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by mtzmtulivu
by PresentIt on Fri 14th Jan 2011 22:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by mtzmtulivu"
PresentIt Member since:
2010-02-10

Why would WebM obsolete Flash but not h264? If one will, then so will the other.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by mtzmtulivu
by sagum on Wed 12th Jan 2011 18:28 UTC in reply to "Comment by mtzmtulivu"
sagum Member since:
2006-01-23

When will flash release a version with webM build in? Flash plays a critical role in mass adoption of this codec.
...
This move greatly helps flash because now flash will be able to play everything "out of the box" and most web designers wont have to change anything.


First, I'd like to see flash not be the only thing that crashs on my computer several times a day due to pretty much any webpage having a flash advert on it.

Secondly, I really want to see supported 64bit version already.

At the moment, I have a great hate for flash and it feels like its just getting worse with every new version released.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by mtzmtulivu
by TechGeek on Wed 12th Jan 2011 18:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by mtzmtulivu"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

Not to derail the thread Sagum, but what OS and version of flash are you using? I use flash constantly on Fedora 14 (the 32 bit version) and it very rarely crashes. When it does, it only crashes flash, not the OS, not even the browser. At most I have to reload the page. And it only ever crashes on videos.(usually when I have multiple videos going)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by mtzmtulivu
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 12th Jan 2011 18:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by mtzmtulivu"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I personally haven't seen Flash crash in... Well, ever since I started using Windows 7, I guess (release day).

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by mtzmtulivu
by JAlexoid on Wed 12th Jan 2011 19:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by mtzmtulivu"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

I personally haven't seen Flash crash in... Well, ever since I started using Windows 7, I guess (release day).

It sometimes crashes on YouTube HD videos.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by mtzmtulivu
by jacquouille on Wed 12th Jan 2011 19:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by mtzmtulivu"
jacquouille Member since:
2006-01-02

Here's a query in Mozilla's crash database for all plugin crashes during the past week alone:

http://crash-stats.mozilla.com/query/query?product=Firefox&version=...

As you can see for yourself:

* The top 100 entries are all the Flash plugin ("NPSWF32.dll" on windows, "Flash Player.plugin" on mac).

* The top crash signature alone gave 71,000 crashes during the past week. The second gave 9,800 crashes, the third gave 7,400 crashes.

* Crashes affects all operating systems, including Windows seven, e.g. http://crash-stats.mozilla.com/report/index/decf2420-f0a0-4975-8775...

Edited 2011-01-12 19:34 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE[5]: Comment by mtzmtulivu
by Archipel on Wed 12th Jan 2011 20:07 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by mtzmtulivu"
Archipel Member since:
2008-12-06

Of course the top 100 is filled with Flash crashes. It's the only plugin people actually use!

I don't think flash runs all that well on Linux in combination with opera (64 or 32 bit makes no difference to my experience). But as stated before, it only crashes once in a while when having a lot of flash ads + videos open. In firefox and chrome this seems to happen less, though I could just have missed it because I seldom use these browsers. Flash never ever crashed any of these browsers however! At least not in the last ... 5 years or so?

Oh, and on Windows XP or 7, which I use at work, I never had a single crash either, regarless of the browser.

Edited 2011-01-12 20:15 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE[6]: Comment by mtzmtulivu
by Flatland_Spider on Wed 12th Jan 2011 21:44 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by mtzmtulivu"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

I just ran into this the other day, and I found, on a 64-bit Linux install, Opera 11 32 + Flash 32 runs better then Opera 11 64 + Flash 32. Previously, Opera 10 didn't have this problem, and a 32-bit install doesn't seem to have the problem with Opera 11.

Firefox doesn't seem to have the problems Opera does, but I'm running AdBlock which cuts down on the number of Flash threads.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by mtzmtulivu
by nt_jerkface on Wed 12th Jan 2011 22:12 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by mtzmtulivu"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

I use Win7 and I've seen Flash crash a lot more in Firefox than Chrome or IE8.

The one advantage of IE8 is that it has the best version of Flash. Using IE8 for Flash videos can save you some battery life.

I'm surprised by how many people use Firefox. I've had the most problems with in the past few years.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by mtzmtulivu
by Neolander on Wed 12th Jan 2011 22:38 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by mtzmtulivu"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I'm surprised by how many people use Firefox. I've had the most problems with in the past few years.

Well, you first have to understand that it's only recently that IE became an acceptable browser again from a user's point of view, with IE8. IE 7 and IE 6 were really terrible (IE 7 especially).

For most people, Firefox just works. It's not #1 cracker target, so it's a better choice than IE for a cautious sysadmin. And it's sometimes simpler to use than IE, too, e.g. when you want to setup something as simple and common as proxy settings you don't have to go through a mess that's nearly comparable to IE's settings panel.

Sure, there are other browsers. But FF was there first, it works, it's simple, it's not branded by a megacorp having some bad reputation in terms of privacy, and as one of my friends (who used to use FF and now uses IE 8) says, "I just can't get used to Chrome's interface". Some people love it, some people just can't do with it.

Edited 2011-01-12 22:42 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Comment by mtzmtulivu
by nt_jerkface on Thu 13th Jan 2011 00:59 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by mtzmtulivu"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Well, you first have to understand that it's only recently that IE became an acceptable browser again from a user's point of view, with IE8. IE 7 and IE 6 were really terrible (IE 7 especially).


IE6 was really terrible? Thanks for the tip, this is my first day reading tech news.

Anyways IE6 was far worse than 7.

For most people, Firefox just works. It's not #1 cracker target, so it's a better choice than IE for a cautious sysadmin.


Most sysadmins choose IE for group policy. Anyone concerned with security should use Chrome. FF is overrated and I'm surprised by how many tech site visitors use it. It's not as safe as people assume
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/security/mozilla-plugs-firefox-drive-by-d...

I realize FF has a bazillion extensions but I think it is more crash-prone than IE8 and I still hear complaints about memory leaks.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by mtzmtulivu
by TechGeek on Wed 12th Jan 2011 22:13 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by mtzmtulivu"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

If funny you should bring up that site for crashes. Because according to that link, Linux has suffered ZERO flash crashes. Thats right, not one. They are all Windows bugs. Now maybe that is because of Flash. And maybe its because its Windows. You would think that if they were so bad at coding, the Linux version of flash would have just as many problems.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by mtzmtulivu
by nt_jerkface on Thu 13th Jan 2011 06:07 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by mtzmtulivu"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Filter by Linux.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by mtzmtulivu
by Neolander on Wed 12th Jan 2011 19:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by mtzmtulivu"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I second that, even though I use the 64-bit "Square" alpha myself. Because the 32-bit plugin won't get installed anyway ;)

-There's an unofficial repo where updates to the 64-bit plugin are put as soon as they are available.
-For an alpha release, it rarely crashes. Only way I've found to crash it yet is to put it under a very high load (20 engadget tabs with videos or so).
-When the plugin does crash, it just leaves a gray rectangle in the browser. Browser session and OS are left intact.
-Please note that with this alpha you'll get garbled sound on some flash videos (like nokia's), though. That's because Adobe devs don't know how to use libc functions properly. Solving the problem is only a matter of find-and-replace, so the issue should be gone with the next pre-release.

Edited 2011-01-12 19:42 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by mtzmtulivu
by sagum on Thu 13th Jan 2011 01:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by mtzmtulivu"
sagum Member since:
2006-01-23

Not to derail the thread Sagum, but what OS and version of flash are you using? I use flash constantly on Fedora 14 (the 32 bit version) and it very rarely crashes. When it does, it only crashes flash, not the OS, not even the browser. At most I have to reload the page. And it only ever crashes on videos.(usually when I have multiple videos going)


Windows 7, 64bit/nvidia gtx 280 (signed and beta). I've tried lots of different configurations as well. IE8/IE9/firefox 3x/4 Flash+beta + squarebox etc and altho, IE9 copes well (OS never crashed due to flash) the webpage flash control does cause the page to stop responding and IE recovers the page. and I currently have firefox without flash installed for pages that consistantly crash flash. But, most of the time, if a page is crashing the browser Tab. I can usually fix it by ending the FlashUtil10j_ActiveX.exe process....

But regardless, consumers just want it working and when pretty much every website has flash adverts, it needs to be working pretty much perfect.

Having flash crash out just because we're watching videos isn't good. i do find it seems to be when there are multiple adverts on the screen so it might be related to the same problem you're having. however when I usually have at least 4 tabs open when browsing, the amount of adverts with some kind of video playing in them goes up, and is very annoying when i have to load firefox just to browse one page, more so when i've had to login as well.

i've been thinking about using a hosts file to block all the adverts, but i'd rather the sites to get at least a bit of impression cash back to help run the sites.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by mtzmtulivu
by hatsix on Wed 12th Jan 2011 23:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by mtzmtulivu"
hatsix Member since:
2011-01-12

64bit flash has been available in beta since November. The more people that try it the sooner it'll be released:

http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashplayer10/

Reply Score: 1

Sabon
Member since:
2005-07-06

Agree.

But there are actually only 6 questions there. The other four are just previous questions that were rewarded and not truly new questions. I'm guessing the article looked better with "10 questions" as compared to "six questions".

Reply Score: 2

Timmmm Member since:
2006-07-25

Indeed. At least his questions were actually *questions*. This article is basically:

* Are you aware that WebM is way better than H.264?
* WebM is better than H.264. Why are you trying to say it isn't?
* Do you not see why WebM is better than H.264?
* When did you stop beating your wife?

etc.

Reply Score: 3

Like he is going to answer
by TechGeek on Wed 12th Jan 2011 18:37 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

I would be REALLY surprised if he answers any of the questions. It would be kind of hard to answer them without looking like a complete ass or a total shill.

Reply Score: 4

fairAndBalancedTech Member since:
2011-01-13

Has anyone ever seen John Gruber and Steve Jobs in the same room at the same time? Think about it...

Reply Score: 4

Technical superiority vs. openness
by theosib on Wed 12th Jan 2011 19:06 UTC
theosib
Member since:
2006-03-02

The two sides of the argument are (a) those who value open technologies over closed ones, and (b) those who value technically superior solutions regardless of openness.

Now, I know some people are going to try to argue that WebM isn't inferior to H.264. But it's quite well known that H.264 has superior motion compensation, among other things. There's a lot of subjectivity, but H.264 seems to compress at least slightly better or have slightly better image quality. Just accept it. ;)

But see, technical superiority isn't an argument to those of us who prefer freedom. Patents have prevented all sorts of superior technologies from entering common usage. Look up "arithemtic compression" on Wikipedia some time. Patents lock up all sorts of great things.

If you're going to fight H.264 because of the patent mess, you have to make sure your arguements are based on things that are true. Don't argue technical superiority. Stick to your point... the problems associated with what happens when patent trolls try to cash in.

Reply Score: 4

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

The people who argue H.264 is better aren’t those paying the licence fees. Not one.

Reply Score: 3

ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

The people who argue H.264 is better aren’t those paying the licence fees. Not one.

License fees are passed onto the consumer. People who buy Blu-ray players, iPod Touches, Windows 7, etc... all wind up paying the respective company's licensing fee.

I bought Windows 7 so basically I payed in part Microsoft's fee.

Adobe figured out some business model that let's them give away their Flash plugin and not go bankrupt.

Reply Score: 3

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Licence fees are _also_ paid by anybody broadcasting H.264 content for commercial use. Gruber doesn’t pay it. He probably should be, but he’s chosen not to.

So how can he be in support of H.264, but not willing to pay for a commercial licence since his website is his source of income, and therefore commercial.

Reply Score: 2

hankheathen Member since:
2009-05-13

Since when has Daring Fireball published video - in any format?

What on earth are you on about??

Reply Score: 1

hankheathen Member since:
2009-05-13

"Adobe figured out some business model that let's them give away their Flash plugin and not go bankrupt."

LMAO - It's called selling software, Einstein.

Other than the Flash plug-in, Adobe develop one or two other applications... Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, InDesign etc...

You might have heard of some of them.

Reply Score: 1

theosib Member since:
2006-03-02

Ah, good point. One other thing that makes technical superiority take a back seat... the cost!

Reply Score: 2

Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

I think the default encoder for H264 actuallty produces worse result than VP8. H264 is currently getting better results due to the open source encoder x264, but unless I am mistaken some the main developers in that project are attempting to port it to producing VP8 video streams. If that happens I doubt the difference will be anywhere near as big. They videos are using the same basic math, just different permutations of it (this is also what makes the patents issue so vague).

Reply Score: 4

hankheathen Member since:
2009-05-13

What 'default encoder'?!?

Reply Score: 1

cheemosabe Member since:
2009-11-29

If you're going to fight H.264 because of the patent mess, you have to make sure your arguements are based on things that are true. Don't argue technical superiority. Stick to your point...


The technical point is always valid when it comes to technology. What I argue against is tunnel vision idiots who consider 1% better to be "The Best" and nothing else matters. These seem to be the vast majority of opponents.

Whinny bitches who can't get passed "Why would you use something technically inferior?". An objective piss off to you.

Reply Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Now, I know some people are going to try to argue that WebM isn't inferior to H.264. But it's quite well known that H.264 has superior motion compensation, among other things. There's a lot of subjectivity, but H.264 seems to compress at least slightly better or have slightly better image quality. Just accept it.


Just on this point ... I don't accept that entirely.

It IS true that H.264 has superior motion compensation, because WebM sacrifices accuracy of high-motion as part of its strategy for high compression. WebM produces blur in areas of high rates of motion. H.264 doesn't, it is sharper in areas of high rates of motion.

H.264's strategy to achive high compression is to "guess" what the picture should be. This produces artefacts ... elements of the picture which aren't actually there. It is sharp, but it is inaccurate ... it is a sharp picture which includes some things that were not actually present in the original scene.

At exactly the same compression level, WebM produces blur in areas of high motion, and H.264 produces artefacts. The question is, then, which is the highest quality?

H.264 will register a slightly better score against computer-based assesments of quality such as PSNR, but the thing is, the human eye will actually see things moving quickly (high rate of motion) as blurred anyway.

This is something that H.264 supporters will NEVER tell you about.

Edited 2011-01-13 04:55 UTC

Reply Score: 7

PresentIt Member since:
2010-02-10

The two sides of the argument are (a) those who value open technologies over closed ones, and (b) those who value technically superior solutions regardless of openness.

There is only one side if you want something on the web. The web needs to be open and patent-free. That disqualifies h264.

Quality isn't important anyway. VHS/BetaMax, CD/SACD, MP3/CD, Wii/PS3 etc. There are numerous examples where "inferior"/"lower quality" technology won.

Now, I know some people are going to try to argue that WebM isn't inferior to H.264. But it's quite well known that H.264 has superior motion compensation, among other things.

Except, of course, there's hardly any difference when you look at h264 baseline, which is what everyone is using. And again, quality is irrelevant.

Reply Score: 1

Good questions, but...
by ingraham on Wed 12th Jan 2011 19:20 UTC
ingraham
Member since:
2006-05-20

While these are all good questions, Gruber's questions still remain valid. Why does Google support H.264 through YouTube and Android? Why is Flash allowed? It's hard to see this as a purely selfless "support open standards" move. Maybe I'm just cynical, but it sure looks like Google is doing this only because they think there's an advantage in it. I don't know what that advantage might be, since WebM is free, but they must have some ulterior motive.

His final question is a good one, too. Chrome had a distinct advantage over Firefox and Opera. Now it's gone. Most people just want their browser work, and don't care about the underlying technical issues. (I also really wonder about Apple with Flash. How can you leave your customers unable to access so many sites?) Why not have both?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good questions, but...
by Kroc on Wed 12th Jan 2011 19:29 UTC in reply to "Good questions, but..."
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

It's hard to see this as a purely selfless "support open standards" move


Quite right. But even if it’s a completely selfish move, does that mean that you have to pay to encode and broadcast WebM? No. You still win—we all win—regardless of Google’s motive here. A web that uses WebM instead of H.264 is still a better web, regardless of who does what in it.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Good questions, but...
by JAlexoid on Wed 12th Jan 2011 19:34 UTC in reply to "Good questions, but..."
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Maybe they are trying to cut off the spread of H264 to HTML5 video early on. Flash is already there and it's hard to unseat Flash.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Good questions, but...
by james_parker on Wed 12th Jan 2011 20:57 UTC in reply to "Good questions, but..."
james_parker Member since:
2005-06-29

Why does Google support H.264 through YouTube and Android?


The answer is probably because the industry is still in transition. Companies (in particular, hardware companies) are currently adding support for VP8 and WebM, and other browsers are also catching up. I would expect that other third parties such as those with video encoding products are working on it as well.

Once the infrastructure is complete, I would expect that there will be wholesale moves to WebM to bypass all the royalties, and Google will naturally begin phasing out all H.264 support.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Good questions, but...
by PresentIt on Fri 14th Jan 2011 22:20 UTC in reply to "Good questions, but..."
PresentIt Member since:
2010-02-10

Gruber's questions still remain valid.

No, they are FUD from an Apple fanboy.

Why does Google support H.264 through YouTube and Android?

Because it was the only format until now. Also, h264 can still be used for offline video. This is about web browsers.

Why is Flash allowed?

Because it's everywhere, and it's just a plugin, not a native browser feature. Google never said plugins are a bad thing.

His final question is a good one, too.

No, it sucks as much as the rest of them.

Reply Score: 1

v Time for a reset....
by Pana4 on Wed 12th Jan 2011 19:41 UTC
Gruber is a tool ...
by kragil on Wed 12th Jan 2011 20:06 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

... and he probably wouldn't mind doing some nasty things to Steve Jobs.

It is really beyond me why people read the crap he writes.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Gruber is a tool ...
by Neolander on Wed 12th Jan 2011 20:24 UTC in reply to "Gruber is a tool ..."
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Sometimes, I wonder if John Gruber actually does exist.

And if he does, whether he is actually the kind of guy he pretends to be, or rather some PR guy of Apple specially trained for the job.

Conspiracy theories FTW !

Reply Score: 5

RE: Gruber is a tool ...
by _txf_ on Wed 12th Jan 2011 20:30 UTC in reply to "Gruber is a tool ..."
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

Indeed.

If somebody is a known shill on a their opinion becomes essentially worthless because it isn't an opinion. It mystifies me that people even bother to read when they already know what is written on his site.

Edited 2011-01-12 20:31 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Gruber is a tool ...
by vodoomoth on Thu 13th Jan 2011 13:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Gruber is a tool ..."
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

The weird thing is that while reading the article, I wondered "if this guy, the same who changed sides about UI conformism, is indeed saying what the article reports, isn't Thom giving him more exposure?"

EDIT: I forgot: someone said in an earlier comment that JG's income is through his website... I didn't even know some people are blessed with earning their life via their weblog. What was he before that point? a programmer? a PR person? a tech journalist?

Edited 2011-01-13 13:33 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Gruber is a tool ...
by hankheathen on Sun 16th Jan 2011 13:28 UTC in reply to "Gruber is a tool ..."
hankheathen Member since:
2009-05-13

Yeah - he doesn't write anywhere near as elegant or classy as you, you puerile maggot.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Gruber is a tool ...
by TheGZeus on Sun 16th Jan 2011 16:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Gruber is a tool ..."
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

Fok jou.

Reply Score: 2

Hyperbole.
by FellowConspirator on Wed 12th Jan 2011 20:22 UTC
FellowConspirator
Member since:
2007-12-13

The article's a little hyperbolic and has some inaccuracies.

1.) strictly speaking, h.264 and WebM are equivalent with respect to royalties and patents with the exception one of the holders of VP8-related patents (Google) has given public license to them; WebM will be cheaper, but not free. The royalty-free nature of h.264 is now set to expire in 2014, but so will many of the patents covering it.

2.) MPEG-LA wouldn't be a patent-troll per se. They were formed by the consortium of the technology developers and original patent holders and they've always been up front about their claims.

3.) Is correct, but it's not clear why it's important. It will take a few years before the technology is pervasive, at which time it probably won't be relevant.

4.) Some browser makers. However, web browsers make a minority of the video distribution and production space. Almost all modern video tech outside of the web is based off h.264.

6.) VP3 is improperly compared to h.264. It's much closer to ISO/IEC 14496-2 which came out a year prior to VP3. ISO/IEC 14496-2 (h.264) are most closely comparable; they are contemporaneous and use many of the same technical approaches.

7.) This overlooks the fact that perceived patent issues with VP8 and it's predecessors contributed to the sale of VP8 to Google.

9.) It's a loaded question. The browser should rely on the platform it runs to provide support for codecs. The only reason this conversation exists at all is because some want to move responsibility for implementing video codecs directly into the browser itself instead of the operating environment (the idea being that it might simplify implementation and consistency).

10.) I don't think Apple cares, honestly. They use h.264 because everyone else does. Their platforms offer video playback and transcoding through a common API and a codec plugin architecture (as does Microsoft). Adding support for WebM really only requires pushing out the codec in an OS update (or an OS X download). You don't find WebM anywhere yet, thought, so why add bloat?

The arguments are kind of silly. Google has good reasons to push for adopting a codec wholly controlled by them as the de facto standard. It gives them the ability to be the sole arbiter on matters of DRM, etc. For Apple and Microsoft, it's pretty much an annoyance. For the video production and distribution industry, it'll be an enormous pain in the butt.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Hyperbole.
by WereCatf on Wed 12th Jan 2011 20:36 UTC in reply to "Hyperbole."
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

9.) It's a loaded question. The browser should rely on the platform it runs to provide support for codecs. The only reason this conversation exists at all is because some want to move responsibility for implementing video codecs directly into the browser itself instead of the operating environment (the idea being that it might simplify implementation and consistency).

Hooking to system APIs is fine for a browser aimed for that platform but it just simply doesn't suit a browser that is aimed at being consistent on multiple platforms. Like for example if Firefox hooked to system APIs one couldn't anymore say "works on Firefox", they'd have to say "works on Firefox if [condition]"

Secondly, it would indeed create lots of extra work. At the moment if there is a problem with one or another feature and they get a bug report then it's quite easy to find, but if they hooked to native APIs and there was a bug somewhere there Mozilla would get lots of bug reports that actually have nothing to do with Firefox. Ie. it would mean lots of bogus bug messages and more work to sift through all of them. Not to mention the work needed to support all the different APIs. It does all add up to quite a lot.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Hyperbole.
by steve_s on Thu 13th Jan 2011 09:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Hyperbole."
steve_s Member since:
2006-01-16

Hooking to system APIs is fine for a browser aimed for that platform but it just simply doesn't suit a browser that is aimed at being consistent on multiple platforms. Like for example if Firefox hooked to system APIs one couldn't anymore say "works on Firefox", they'd have to say "works on Firefox if [condition]"


And yet every single cross-platform browser hooks into system APIs for many other aspects of their functionality, such as accessing files, drawing windows, etc. This is done through shim libraries.

Secondly, it would indeed create lots of extra work. At the moment if there is a problem with one or another feature and they get a bug report then it's quite easy to find, but if they hooked to native APIs and there was a bug somewhere there Mozilla would get lots of bug reports that actually have nothing to do with Firefox. Ie. it would mean lots of bogus bug messages and more work to sift through all of them. Not to mention the work needed to support all the different APIs. It does all add up to quite a lot.


Yes, it would create some extra work, but I'm not convinced it would be all that much. All that's required for each platform is a fairly thin shim library that converts to the OS provided media framework. The functionality of all media frameworks is largely equivalent and generally very similar in functionality.

In contrast, cross platform game developers write engines that use either DirectX or OpenGL for rendering - the differences between how those two libraries work, especially in their latest incarnations, is an order of magnitude more complex than media playback, yet they still manage just fine.

As for bug reports, the crash logs would clearly indicate where the error occurred.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Hyperbole. - games
by jabbotts on Thu 13th Jan 2011 15:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hyperbole."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Games have not traditionally been high value targets; they do not provide the easy point of remote attack that web browsers do. They don't offer the same opportunities for accessing the same numbers of users when compared to access points and user counts among website viewers.

Historically, games have tended to be more buggy and quicker to push out of active development and maintenance. Game hits shelves, people buy, vendor maintains a few generations of patches, game version 2 hits shelves, people buy, vendor moves developers over to maintaining game 2 leaving game 1 unsupported. They are short lived; they only need maintain the illusions for a few times through the story until the user stops playing through it and/or moves on to the next greatest-gotta-have-it blockbuster title. I've personally got a growing list of games that are long since abandoned by the applicable game publisher.

Between showing a smaller remote attack surface and being meant for a shorter period of use and support, games have not justified the efforts that browsers justify in securing. Browsers affect more users and get a whole lot more attack attempts per user session.

The grey area remains things like World of Warcraft where the game is tied to a network stream and central servers. In that case, you are opening your customers up to greater chances of remote attack versus self contained games that function without validating against a network server.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Hyperbole.
by segedunum on Thu 13th Jan 2011 17:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Hyperbole."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Hooking to system APIs is fine for a browser aimed for that platform but it just simply doesn't suit a browser that is aimed at being consistent on multiple platforms.

It also restricts new competitors coming in with new devices and new software systems, since they're obviously not going to have h.264 and will need to get it - if the oh, so open consortium of competitors decides to be nice.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hyperbole.
by galvanash on Wed 12th Jan 2011 21:32 UTC in reply to "Hyperbole."
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

The article's a little hyperbolic and has some inaccuracies.


Not as many as your post...

1.) strictly speaking, h.264 and WebM are equivalent with respect to royalties and patents with the exception one of the holders of VP8-related patents (Google) has given public license to them; WebM will be cheaper, but not free. The royalty-free nature of h.264 is now set to expire in 2014, but so will many of the patents covering it.


That is based on your assumption that WebM is encumbered by patents that are not owned by Google. Google doesn't believe there are any. Also, that last sentence should read "The royalty-free nature of non-remunerated (i.e. free) content over the internet is now set to expire...", but nice attempt at trying to cast that net over the whole thing.

2.) MPEG-LA wouldn't be a patent-troll per se. They were formed by the consortium of the technology developers and original patent holders and they've always been up front about their claims.


They are run by one (Larry Horn) according to the linked article, which was the point being addressed I believe. I'll leave this one alone though as it doesn't make much difference to me.

3.) Is correct, but it's not clear why it's important. It will take a few years before the technology is pervasive, at which time it probably won't be relevant.


You will need to explain that one further if you want to convince me. MPEG-2 is still widely used after over 15 years, and while its use is waining there is no reason to believe webm won't be relevent for just as long.

4.) Some browser makers. However, web browsers make a minority of the video distribution and production space. Almost all modern video tech outside of the web is based off h.264.


So what? What exactly does that have to do with HTML5? I don't see how that is relevant at all.

6.) VP3 is improperly compared to h.264. It's much closer to ISO/IEC 14496-2 which came out a year prior to VP3. ISO/IEC 14496-2 (h.264) are most closely comparable; they are contemporaneous and use many of the same technical approaches.


Im not even going there. This whole "who had what first" line of reasoning is pointless - none of it means squat unless there is a lawsuit at some point. We'll see.

7.) This overlooks the fact that perceived patent issues with VP8 and it's predecessors contributed to the sale of VP8 to Google.


Show proof of that. I'm not saying your wrong, just that I have never seen evidence that On2 believed they were infringing.

9.) It's a loaded question. The browser should rely on the platform it runs to provide support for codecs. The only reason this conversation exists at all is because some want to move responsibility for implementing video codecs directly into the browser itself instead of the operating environment (the idea being that it might simplify implementation and consistency).


Total bull. Ive seen this argument so many times it makes my hair stand up. That whole line of reasoning is nothing more than a clever ruse to hide the fact that it isn't possible for an open source or free to the user product to implement h.264 legally - the license as it is currently defined simply doesn't have a provision in it that would even allow for such a product as it is explicitly defined by sales... So you say "Let the OS do it", which in reality means "you don't make money so you don't even exist to us - you don't matter".

The best place to implement the video stack for HTML5 is in the browser itself. Google does it this way, Opera does it this way, and Mozilla does it this way. IE and Safari have their reasons for choosing to use the system codecs, which are plainly obvious to anyone with a brain.

10.) I don't think Apple cares, honestly. They use h.264 because everyone else does. Their platforms offer video playback and transcoding through a common API and a codec plugin architecture (as does Microsoft). Adding support for WebM really only requires pushing out the codec in an OS update (or an OS X download). You don't find WebM anywhere yet, thought, so why add bloat?


Nice dodge. They care because:

1. They are part of the h.264 patent pool.
2. They use h.264 extensively and almost exclusively.
3. They are backers of a streaming standard that uses h.264 exclusively, and it is the only streaming method they officially endorse for use over 3G (HTTP Live Streaming)

In fact I would go as far as saying that "they don't care" is about the most dishonest thing you posted here - they absolutely care.


The arguments are kind of silly. Google has good reasons to push for adopting a codec wholly controlled by them as the de facto standard. It gives them the ability to be the sole arbiter on matters of DRM, etc. For Apple and Microsoft, it's pretty much an annoyance. For the video production and distribution industry, it'll be an enormous pain in the butt.


How is it "controlled" by them? I thought other people had patents on it ;) Regardless, it is BSD licensed, the minute the published that license they lost all control over it. For anyone wanting to write free software that encodes video for web distribution, it is the only game in town.

I'm not going to get into a pissing contest about one or the other of these formats winning or whatnot, its irrelevant. At worse WebM causes a minor dent in MPEG-LA's protection racket, it isn't going to have any affect on the broadcast world or most hardware devices, Apple will likely never adopt it so it will be relegated to Android for mobile, it will always be a red headed stepchild when it comes to Windows, etc. etc. I'm not naive enough to think that it matters at all in the grand scheme of things. But it does matter to people who do not want to get dirty hands from dealing with the likes of MPEG-LA.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Hyperbole.
by chrisr on Thu 13th Jan 2011 12:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Hyperbole."
chrisr Member since:
2005-08-26

Google claim to believe that VP8 does not infringe on any third-party patents, but they don't offer indemnity to companies planning to use VP8, so apparently the belief is not held with much conviction.

If they released some analysis of their patent clearance check I might place more weight on their claim. There are a huge number of patents covering all conceivable aspects of a video codec, so I am extremely skeptical that VP8 does not infringe any third party patents.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Hyperbole.
by galvanash on Thu 13th Jan 2011 17:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hyperbole."
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Google claim to believe that VP8 does not infringe on any third-party patents, but they don't offer indemnity to companies planning to use VP8, so apparently the belief is not held with much conviction.


MPEG-LA doesn't offer indemnity for h.264 either... I'm no more inclined to trust a cartel of technology companies than I am to trust one. In other words I don't trust any of them. Frankly either or both codecs are equally exposed to the risk of a black horse patent infringement claim.

I'm not trying to be snarky. It is obvious that WebM does carry some risk since it is very similar to h.264 conceptually and the patent landscape for video codecs is a minefield. However, the whole "they don't offer indemnity" argument is bullshit - no one does.

The reality is it doesn't really matter whether or not WebM infringes on MPEG-LA patents or not. What matters is if MPEG-LA can mount an effective patent infringement lawsuit in the climate that Google is creating. It isn't a moral question, no one is right or wrong. Software patents are the real problem, not who has which ones. Assuming MPEG-LA can actually come up with a clear case of patent infringement the questions become:

1. Can they sue successfully without alienating half the industry (including some of their licencors)?
2. Does Google hold patents that they infringe on, and are they willing to lose their entire patent pool over this?
3. Is there enough upside (i.e. money) in it to even bother.

These are all significant questions that are highly relevant. I don't have answers to any of them, but at this time I'm inclined to think that the most likely scenario is MPEG-LA is going to sit back and do nothing, but you never know.

If they do proceed with lawsuits WebM could quite conceivably be destroyed in the process (and so could MPEG-LA). That is a real possibility. Lots of companies could lose lots of money and time, and there would be a big stink over it.

Guess well see what happens.

Edited 2011-01-13 17:16 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Hyperbole.
by chrisr on Fri 14th Jan 2011 10:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hyperbole."
chrisr Member since:
2005-08-26

It's true that MPEG-LA does not offer indemnity, but the fact remains that many businesses holding essential claims for H.264 have found it joining the patent pool preferable to engaging in risky litigation.

Regardless of what 'climate' Google creates, each patent has a presumption of validity regardless of whether the invention is embodied in software or hardware. Furthermore, any rights holders who allow their patent rights to be infringed (perhaps in the hope of letting damages accrue) risk losing those rights under the doctrine of laches, so an incentive exists to sort this out sooner rather then later.

Finally, I have to say that the MPEG-LA is actually doing everyone a favour by starting a patent pool for VP8. Dealing with a single company to obtain a license is vastly preferable to identifying each company and separately negotiating licenses.

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: Hyperbole.
by galvanash on Fri 14th Jan 2011 11:18 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Hyperbole."
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Finally, I have to say that the MPEG-LA is actually doing everyone a favour by starting a patent pool for VP8. Dealing with a single company to obtain a license is vastly preferable to identifying each company and separately negotiating licenses.


A world where VP8 requires royalty payments is a world where VP8 may as well not exist - being royalty free is the only attribute it has that that anyone cares about. It either survives royalty free, or it dies. If MPEG-LA creates a patent pool for it and starts going after people, the issue will get hashed out in court. If an MPEG-LA patent gets upheld in court against a VP8 implementation... well it is dead as a doornail.

Please stop peddling this lying-through-your-teeth bullshit about "doing everyone a favor"... The purpose of a VP8 patent pool would be to kill it - not do anyone any favors.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Hyperbole.
by chrisr on Fri 14th Jan 2011 11:48 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Hyperbole."
chrisr Member since:
2005-08-26

Ah but this a key point - a world without royalty payments is a world where neither VP8 nor H.264 would exist. VP8, as you know, was created by On2 technologies. In a world without royalty payments, On2 technologies would never have made that investment in the first place and VP8 would not exist.

As for your second point, the patents exist regardless of whether a patent pool is formed or not. Any rights holders who wish to kill VP8 would never join the pool. That is independent of the MPEG-LA.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Hyperbole.
by galvanash on Fri 14th Jan 2011 13:50 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Hyperbole."
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Ah but this a key point - a world without royalty payments is a world where neither VP8 nor H.264 would exist. VP8, as you know, was created by On2 technologies. In a world without royalty payments, On2 technologies would never have made that investment in the first place and VP8 would not exist.


Whatever... Software patents cause immeasurably more harm than good. If software patents didn't exist neither would IP royalty payments - do you think all innovation would stop? I have nothing against people making money with software - its fair and reasonable to charge someone money for rights to use an implementation of software, but patents hurt the software industry more than they ever helped. They don't foster innovation, they stifle it.

As for your second point, the patents exist regardless of whether a patent pool is formed or not. Any rights holders who wish to kill VP8 would never join the pool. That is independent of the MPEG-LA.


VP8 is royalty free. Its value is that it is royalty free. Were it to become not royalty free, it is practically worthless to anyone (including Google). Hence the only reason to form a patent pool for it is to make it worthless, i.e. kill it.

But you already know this...

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Hyperbole.
by segedunum on Thu 13th Jan 2011 17:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Hyperbole."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

At worse WebM causes a minor dent in MPEG-LA's protection racket, it isn't going to have any affect on the broadcast world or most hardware devices, Apple will likely never adopt it so it will be relegated to Android for mobile, it will always be a red headed stepchild when it comes to Windows, etc. etc.

I'm not so sure. When you have a format like this that a major video site uses, a format that everyone uploading to there will use and a format that anyone has the freedom to implement these things have a habbit of encroaching like sand filling in a lot of crevices.

That's what the MPEG LA is worried about and why Gruber, Apple and Microsoft have ratcheted up the rhetoric. Once the pillars fall down that keeps the exclusive control of a club intact it doesn't have much of a future.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Hyperbole.
by galvanash on Thu 13th Jan 2011 17:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hyperbole."
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25


I'm not so sure. When you have a format like this that a major video site uses, a format that everyone uploading to there will use and a format that anyone has the freedom to implement these things have a habbit of encroaching like sand filling in a lot of crevices.


I'll concede that it is a possibility, but I don't see that happening in the commercial video world. H.264 is highly entrenched, and for the big companies using it commercially the licensing fees are easily recovered through sales. H.264 also has a significant advantage when it comes to tools and flexibility, and that isn't going to change for quite a while if ever.

Commercial broadcasters and distributors for the most part want to buy tools, because they want support contracts from their vendors. WebM is going to take a long time to penetrate there (if ever) - and the only advantage it really offers is the elimination of licensing fees, which frankly are not that much for the Sonys and Toshibas of the world.

You'll notice I have never said I thought WebM was a better format technically - that is because imo it isn't. It probably never will be, but it is certainly good enough for most uses. I think the simple fact that it is open and royalty free will create an environment where tool development will become highly accelerated over the course of this year. By 2012, we should have some pretty good open source tools for WebM. Enough that a thriving video ecosystem for non-commercial video becomes possible.

I personally think what will end up happening is WebM will take over the non-commercial video world, but will have little if any effect on the commercial video market. But you never know...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hyperbole.
by cheemosabe on Wed 12th Jan 2011 22:24 UTC in reply to "Hyperbole."
cheemosabe Member since:
2009-11-29

1.) I think you are hyperbolic here. Won't even bother.

4.) You know why WebM is called as such? The discussion is about the future of the web.

9.) If you want your browser to use OS codecs use one that does. This whole discussion doesn't apply to you anymore.

10.) You're kidding, right? Nobody should even try to innovate then.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Hyperbole. - #9.. it's for security
by jabbotts on Thu 13th Jan 2011 15:03 UTC in reply to "Hyperbole."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

One reason for implementing support within the browser is security; the browser is a huge target and easy access point into the OS.

- if browsers feed content to the OS media framework a successful exploit (malformed media content) gains access to the entire OS. Play exploit against vuln in the OS framework and you pwn the OS.

- if browsers play content internally a successful exploit may be contained within the browser's own sandbox; it does not rely on things outside it's own security sandbox. Play exploit against vuln in the browser and you pwn the browser, not the OS.

IE had a vuln in the system wide ANI related library; any program that displayed an animated mouse pointer was exploitable including IE. Use a malicious mouse pointer within your website and you would be able to feed stuff directly through IE into Windows.

Exploits against Flashplayer have also allowed people to break out of the browser into the greater OS. Flashplayer runs externally from the browser so bugs in it affect more than just the browser.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hyperbole.
by PresentIt on Fri 14th Jan 2011 22:19 UTC in reply to "Hyperbole."
PresentIt Member since:
2010-02-10

1) H264 is closed. WebM is open.
2) They are patent trolls.
4) Web browsers are needed to view video on the web, which is the context here. Pay attention.
7) Quit it with the FUD. No actual patent claims have been filed for VP8.

WebM is not controlled by Google. You Apple fanboys need to stop lying.

Reply Score: 2

v h.264
by dukes on Wed 12th Jan 2011 21:01 UTC
Gruber is mixed up.
by jkimball4 on Wed 12th Jan 2011 21:26 UTC
jkimball4
Member since:
2010-09-30

Gruber's questions are pretty useless and not particularly relevant to the topic. Android support of H.264 has little to do with Chrome other than being owned by Google. Flash, while used for video is not related either. It isn't used through HTML's video tag, it is an object or embed (however they're doing it these days). It's a fundamentally different technology, though that doesn't mean it should be bundled either. Netflix and Youtube seem to cloud the discussion, too. To any browser, Netflix is hardly using H.264, it's using Silverlight or nothing. The other sites, I'm not sure.

To me, this raises a better question: Chrome isn't a serious browser, it's only raison d'etre is to make tracking everyone that much easier and making Google's job of marketing to you that much easier. The questions we should all be asking is how to escape Google's grips and not stupid crap about some proprietary video codec that you shouldn't want to use anyway.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Gruber is mixed up.
by galvanash on Wed 12th Jan 2011 22:05 UTC in reply to "Gruber is mixed up."
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

To me, this raises a better question: Chrome isn't a serious browser, it's only raison d'etre is to make tracking everyone that much easier and making Google's job of marketing to you that much easier. The questions we should all be asking is how to escape Google's grips and not stupid crap about some proprietary video codec that you shouldn't want to use anyway.


Run chromium if your worried about it (all the phone home stuff is removed). It's easy enough to find builds for your OS of choice. Really, saying it isn't a serious browser is downright silly - it is a very very good web browser.

Reply Score: 4

mrhasbean
Member since:
2006-04-03

One one side, there's people who applaud the move, who are happy that Google is pushing an open, royalty-free and unencumbered video codec (irrespective of Google's motivation). On the other side, there are the H.264 supporters, who believe that H.264 is the one and only choice for HTML5 video.


By that I gather you mean the group who support H.264 because it is an internationally recognised INDUSTRY STANDARD, that is used in every other major form of digital content delivery, AND has consistently delivered a superior end product?

You are a proponent of Apple using its influence to diminish the importance of Flash for the web. Yet, when Google makes similar moves to rid the web of a similarly closed and patented, albeit different type of technology, you do not support them. Why is Apple promoting an open web a good thing, but Google promoting an open web a bad thing?


So how much does Apple profit from reducing the web's dependency on Flash? How much does Google profit by forcing a WebM standard on everyone? The answer to the latter is very very obvious, and multi-pronged. The former not so much. Then there's the proven performance and battery life issues with Flash, that have only been partially addressed after Apple took the stance. And comparing Apple's influence on the web to Google's? Please - you're kidding right?

What about this one - that's conveniently overlooked by the "we're not going to pay royalties" brigade. Currently commercial video is encoded using H.264 for a variety of media. What additional costs, that will be passed on to the consumer, will be involved in "retooling" then creating and maintaining new production workflows to spit out WebM encoded video purely for delivery by a Google dominated web video market? How will those costs compare to the current fees associated with using H.264? I personally believe this will be a double-edged sword, but as there are currently no royalties being charged for H.264 for private web use anyway, I thnk the ultimate situation will be an increase in cost of commercial video delivered via WebM.

Of course private video will remain free, just as it currently is, but of course "we can't trust them". We can however trust Google, so they tell me...

Reply Score: 0

galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

What about this one - that's conveniently overlooked by the "we're not going to pay royalties" brigade. Currently commercial video is encoded using H.264 for a variety of media. What additional costs, that will be passed on to the consumer, will be involved in "retooling" then creating and maintaining new production workflows to spit out WebM encoded video purely for delivery by a Google dominated web video
market?


If it is "Commercial" video, it means it is being sold to end users either directly or through subscription. If that is the case it is almost guaranteed to be DRM'd in some form (i.e. Netflix, Hulu, PPV services, etc.). None of these enterprises will likely ever deliver their content using HTML5, because neither the <video> tag standard nor webm allow for DRM currently. So having to "retool" for webm is a stupid argument - flash and silverlight are the only solutions for these people currently, and will likely remain so for the foreseeable future - neither of which has announced any plans to drop h.264.

Some distributers may choose to switch to webm assuming said players incorporate support for it in a manner compatible with their DRM schemes, but there will certainly be no pressing need for them to do so. They would, however, save the licensing costs of h.264 so I would expect at least some of them would choose to do so quite willingly if the opportunity arises.

In a nutshell, your scenario is a fairy tale.

How will those costs compare to the current fees associated with using H.264? I personally believe this will be a double-edged sword, but as there are currently no royalties being charged for H.264 for private web use anyway, I thnk the ultimate situation will be an increase in cost of commercial video delivered via WebM.


Commercial video will never be delivered in webm...

Of course private video will remain free, just as it currently is, but of course "we can't trust them". We can however trust Google, so they tell me...


I don't trust Google. I trust the license webm is offered under. That simple.

Edited 2011-01-12 23:19 UTC

Reply Score: 5

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14


By that I gather you mean the group who support H.264 because it is an internationally recognised INDUSTRY STANDARD, that is used in every other major form of digital content delivery, AND has consistently delivered a superior end product?


Just because h.264 is a standard doesn't mean its worth crap. Just look at what Microsoft did to the ISO to get OOXML through. As for it being superior, maybe. streamingmedia.com did an analysis of the two. And while h.264 was better looking in still frames, I am not convinced it is something you would be notice in full motion video. Its certainly not better enough that we ought to get into bed with a known patent troll.

So how much does Apple profit from reducing the web's dependency on Flash? How much does Google profit by forcing a WebM standard on everyone? The answer to the latter is very very obvious, and multi-pronged. The former not so much. Then there's the proven performance and battery life issues with Flash, that have only been partially addressed after Apple took the stance. And comparing Apple's influence on the web to Google's? Please - you're kidding right?


Apple has a lot to gain from the fall of Flash. Mainly, more people using Apple Xcode to code for their mobile devices. There is also the increased use of h.264 by the web. Google doesn't care about flash. Flash is available for all platforms for free and it will never make it into the web standard anyway. But Google does care about having a royalty free codec available for the world and open source to be able to ship in its products.


What about this one - that's conveniently overlooked by the "we're not going to pay royalties" brigade. Currently commercial video is encoded using H.264 for a variety of media. What additional costs, that will be passed on to the consumer, will be involved in "retooling" then creating and maintaining new production workflows to spit out WebM encoded video purely for delivery by a Google dominated web video market? How will those costs compare to the current fees associated with using H.264? I personally believe this will be a double-edged sword, but as there are currently no royalties being charged for H.264 for private web use anyway, I thnk the ultimate situation will be an increase in cost of commercial video delivered via WebM.

Of course private video will remain free, just as it currently is, but of course "we can't trust them". We can however trust Google, so they tell me...


Private video? Whats that? That would be only stuff you show on your own computer. Any site that hosts video and has ads is not private and therefore the license won't be free. You can also bet that those terms only apply to the decoder. To make video, you are going to have to license the codec. But you don't have to trust Google. They open sourced the codec. So it will be free no matter what they think about doing in the future. We already KNOW that the terms for h.264 will be changed in the future.

Reply Score: 4

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

By that I gather you mean the group who support H.264 because it is an internationally recognised INDUSTRY STANDARD, that is used in every other major form of digital content delivery, AND has consistently delivered a superior end product?

Are we really talking about H.264 Baseline here ?

Reply Score: 1

PresentIt Member since:
2010-02-10

By that I gather you mean the group who support H.264 because it is an internationally recognised INDUSTRY STANDARD, that is used in every other major form of digital content delivery, AND has consistently delivered a superior end product?

It is not an open standard, and the web requires open standards. And it is not superior when it comes to the web because it is incompatible with the W3C's patent policy.

How much does Google profit by forcing a WebM standard on everyone?

Stop being dense. Google isn't forcing anything on anyone. This move by Google has been welcomed with open arms by open standards advocates.

Only the Apple fanboys are hypocritically whining about it.

What about this one - that's conveniently overlooked by the "we're not going to pay royalties" brigade.

No, ignorant child. Having to pay royalties is incompatible with open web standards.

Of course private video will remain free, just as it currently is, but of course "we can't trust them". We can however trust Google, so they tell me...

WebM is owned by an open-source project, not by Google. You fail again.

Edited 2011-01-14 22:19 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Sabon
Member since:
2005-07-06

Maybe Apple has a contract for Google (YouTube) to keep H.286 for x number of years...

Reply Score: 2

Regarding Question 10
by jorisw on Wed 12th Jan 2011 23:20 UTC
jorisw
Member since:
2011-01-12

Can't somebody object to removal of support for one codec, without being opposed to the support of another?

The point is that H264 is widely adopted already, and now one browser decided to drop support for it, even though it was already there.

The two (opposing one codec and opposing the removal of support for another) are entirely unrelated.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Regarding Question 10
by galvanash on Wed 12th Jan 2011 23:39 UTC in reply to "Regarding Question 10"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Can't somebody object to removal of support for one codec, without being opposed to the support of another?


Hey, honestly I agree with you on principle. I personally do not care at all if Google continues to offer h.264 or not. I'm no fan of promoting it, but at the same time I do understand and appreciate the technical advantages it offers. All the arguing is over the fact that in the end it is not the internet community's decision to make. You may not like the fact they are pulling h.264 - that is your prerogative... but they are not taking something away from you, you never had it in the first place - Google was simply subsidizing it on your behalf (at least as far as their use of it goes).

The same applies to every company using it. h.264 is not free, it costs money at every level of distribution with the exception of last leg delivery of free internet content. You pay for it every time you buy a bluray disc, TV, DVR, set-top box, or rent/download a movie from the internet. The one place where it is impossible to pass the cost off to you is open source software/free software (i.e. Chrome, Firefox) - something Google is heavily involved with on many many levels...

Edited 2011-01-12 23:40 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Regarding Question 10
by PresentIt on Fri 14th Jan 2011 17:39 UTC in reply to "Regarding Question 10"
PresentIt Member since:
2010-02-10

The point is that H264 is widely adopted already, and now one browser decided to drop support for it, even though it was already there.

The point is that h264 is a closed standard, and therefore incompatible with the web. It should be removed from the web.

Reply Score: 1

What about Grubers 4th question?
by NeoX on Thu 13th Jan 2011 01:27 UTC
NeoX
Member since:
2006-02-19

This OSnews article is a little iffy to me. Some of the questions are little pathetic. Don't flame me it's just my opinion. Hey I am all for open standards but you H.264 is a standard in the video world and to remove it from the browser is just plain dumb. To make content makers encode the same video with multiple codecs is also dumb. Think about all the waste of storage, time and bandwidth. That's what Google proposes though.

With that you completely ignored Gruber's 4th question. I will quote it here for ya:


Do you expect companies like Netflix, Amazon, Vimeo, Major League Baseball, and anyone else who currently streams H.264 to dual-encode all of their video using WebM? If not, how will Chrome users watch this content other than by resorting to Flash Player’s support for H.264 playback?


Sorry but it does not seem reasonable to the content providers just because Google has a bug up its butt.

I get that these are FREE browsers but don't mistake FREE for non-profit as these free browsers are bringing in ad revenue and that is nothing to sneeze at. So free, in this sense isn't an excuse.

Reply Score: 2

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

Free is EVERYTHING! I don't mean free as in no cost. The only way that open source browsers can support WebM is if it uses a free codec. Otherwise it will never happen. And considering most browsers in use ARE open source, isn't it really Apple and Microsoft who are being a bit inconsiderate?

Edited 2011-01-13 01:39 UTC

Reply Score: 2

NeoX Member since:
2006-02-19

And considering most browsers in use ARE open source, isn't it really Apple and Microsoft who are being a bit inconsiderate?


Nah. Don't forget that the rendering engine behind Safari is Open Source. So if Webkit supports it then so will Safari. IE is well, IE. I don't have a problem with Microsoft making their own browser either. It is FREE, even if it is closed source, so it matters not in that avenue. Is MS and Apple being inconsiderate for not having Open Source OSs? No, OS X does not count because only parts of it are. I don't think they are because they are a business trying to make money, after all.

Reply Score: 1

PresentIt Member since:
2010-02-10

Hey I am all for open standards but you H.264 is a standard in the video world and to remove it from the browser is just plain dumb

H264 is a closed standard. That makes it incompatible with the web.

To make content makers encode the same video with multiple codecs is also dumb. Think about all the waste of storage, time and bandwidth. That's what Google proposes though.

They already are! They are offering videos in several bitrates and resolutions. They might as well do it in an open format.

And you are forgetting that Google is one of the biggest video content owners, through YouTube.

Sorry but it does not seem reasonable to the content providers just because Google has a bug up its butt.

What utter nonsense. Google is a content provider too!

Reply Score: 2

NeoX Member since:
2006-02-19


H264 is a closed standard. That makes it incompatible with the web.

Did I say that it was an OPEN standard? No I said it was a standard and it is. Just because a standard is closed does not mean it is incompatible with the web, THAT is nonsense.


They already are! They are offering videos in several bitrates and resolutions. They might as well do it in an open format.

No, you seem to have trouble reading. The article said encoding (codecs) not bitrates and resolutions. [/q]


And you are forgetting that Google is one of the biggest video content owners, through YouTube.

And you are forgetting that Google is one of the biggest privacy offenders too and has their hand in everything related to the web. They have too much power, IMHO.


What utter nonsense. Google is a content provider too!

Thank You. Is it nonsense to Netflix, Vimeo and the others, not to mention the MAJORITY of consumers who do not give a crap if a standard is open or closed only that one day they are going to get a message that they can't play the content because of Google playing internet lord. Consumer confusion is always good, isn't it and no big deal either huh?

Just my Opinion, and you obviously don't agree with it and thats up to you.

Edited 2011-01-14 20:32 UTC

Reply Score: 0

PresentIt Member since:
2010-02-10

Just because a standard is closed does not mean it is incompatible with the web, THAT is nonsense.

Actually, that is exactly what it means. Look up the patent policy at w3.org.

No, you seem to have trouble reading. The article said encoding (codecs) not bitrates and resolutions.

The point is that they are already re-encoding videos, so they can just switch to re-encoding to webm instead.

And you are forgetting that Google is one of the biggest privacy offenders too and has their hand in everything related to the web. They have too much power, IMHO.

Good thing webm is a separate project that's only sponsored by Google, then. Also, you didn't even address the fact that Google is a major content provider when it comes to video.

not to mention the MAJORITY of consumers who do not give a crap if a standard is open or closed

How on earth is that relevant? The requirement for an open web doesn't disappear just because most people don't know or care.

Reply Score: 2

NeoX Member since:
2006-02-19

[q
Actually, that is exactly what it means. Look up the patent policy at w3.org.
[/q]
irrelevant. It can exist on the web and be closed, otherwise flash would be incompatible. I don't like flash but it is part of the web.


Good thing webm is a separate project that's only sponsored by Google, then. Also, you didn't even address the fact that Google is a major content provider when it comes to video.

Ok WebM as a container is sponsored by Google, but WebM uses the VP8 codec, that was developed by On2 which Google purchased the company. So it is more then a sponsor they owned it and then released it to be open. I could care less if Google is a large content provider, that is why I didn't comment on that. I was referring to OTHER companies, not Google.


How on earth is that relevant? The requirement for an open web doesn't disappear just because most people don't know or care.

Oh, I see. Again most people don't know the web is supposed to be OPEN. It is not completely open as long as there are closed parts of it. And that was my point, who cares as long is the consumer gets a good experience.

You obviously don't get what I am saying and I am too tired to try to explain so I am done with this.

Reply Score: 1

TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

...I am done with this.

Thank GOD...

Reply Score: 2

NeoX Member since:
2006-02-19

"...I am done with this.

Thank GOD...
"
And just who are you? I have seen plenty of your debates, so you can hardly say a thing. Go Troll somewhere else because that is what you are doing with that comment.

Reply Score: 1

TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

No, I'm thanking a nebulous concept.

I thought you were done here... or was that just an empty promise?

Reply Score: 2

PresentIt Member since:
2010-02-10

"Actually, that is exactly what it means. Look up the patent policy at w3.org.

irrelevant. It can exist on the web and be closed, otherwise flash would be incompatible. I don't like flash but it is part of the web.
"
I never said it can't exist. I said it's incompatible with an open web.

Ok WebM as a container is sponsored by Google, but WebM uses the VP8 codec, that was developed by On2 which Google purchased the company.

VP8 was released as part of WebM.

Oh, I see. Again most people don't know the web is supposed to be OPEN. It is not completely open as long as there are closed parts of it. And that was my point, who cares as long is the consumer gets a good experience.

The point is that the fundamental building blocks need to be open.

Reply Score: 1

Patents on H264 should be invalidated!
by r2d2 on Thu 13th Jan 2011 03:28 UTC
r2d2
Member since:
2006-08-08

I advocate all positions sustained by OSNews and back the decision from Google.

Nonetheless: It shows once more that the H264 patents should be invalidated.

It is clear that from a licensing point of view, we should all support WebM. The 10 questions here show it in a perfect way. It has also been shown that H264 is superior. And it is a fact that it is very widely spread.

We're facing the problem that we'll have to use twice the storage, and a LOT of energy (think YouTube) to transcode the existing H264 content to WebM/Theora. This can't be true! Someone has to stop those crazy patent trolls. Actually I hope Google's WebM announcement is just one move in this direction.

A web developer

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

It has also been shown that H264 is superior.


No, it hasn't.

And it is a fact that it is very widely spread.


It certainly is a claim that is widely spread.

We're facing the problem that we'll have to use twice the storage, and a LOT of energy (think YouTube) to transcode the existing H264 content to WebM/Theora.


YouTube content has already been transcoded to webM (not Theora). WebM was announced in may 2010, and in November it had reached 80% of YouTube content converted to WebM:

http://www.osnews.com/story/24021/WebM_Update_80_of_Daily_YouTube_V...

It is probaly nearing one hundred percent by now.

Google has a million servers, which are on all of the time. The conversion to WebM was done using spare capacity of Googles servers (idle time). Since the servers were on anyway, this required no more energy than if the conversions had not been done.

Edited 2011-01-13 05:03 UTC

Reply Score: 3

If he's an Apple support
by aliquis on Thu 13th Jan 2011 05:11 UTC
aliquis
Member since:
2005-07-23

... why do you even care?

Read the whole post but seriously:

Boho, I don't want WebM instead of H.264 -> Safari only supports H.264 and Apple has been pro H.264 the whole time and encode lots in it.

Boho why aren't you consistent and go after flash to? -> Apple iPhone don't have flash, boho, why don't you help Apple?



Yeah, lots are encoded in H.264, it's an issue for direct upload. But if we would keep the same formats forever we'd be using wave/iff/bmp/..

Reply Score: 5

WebM is the lesser of two evils
by Torbjorn Vik Lunde on Thu 13th Jan 2011 07:46 UTC
Torbjorn Vik Lunde
Member since:
2009-09-04

WebM may be open source, but that doesn't mean Google doesn't control it.

If Google are really serious about this openness thing, they should set up an organization so many different companies can work together on WebM, or maybe donate it to W3C or another standards body. Right now, despite being OSS, Google de-facto controls WebM. And although it is certainly bad that h264 is patented and all that, it is at least controlled by more than one company.

That being said, I definitely consider WebM to be the lesser of two evils.

Reply Score: 1

RE: WebM is the lesser of two evils
by lemur2 on Thu 13th Jan 2011 08:38 UTC in reply to "WebM is the lesser of two evils"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

WebM may be open source, but that doesn't mean Google doesn't control it.

If Google are really serious about this openness thing, they should set up an organization so many different companies can work together on WebM, or maybe donate it to W3C or another standards body. Right now, despite being OSS, Google de-facto controls WebM. And although it is certainly bad that h264 is patented and all that, it is at least controlled by more than one company.

That being said, I definitely consider WebM to be the lesser of two evils.


Google have provided (donated) a worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, zero-charge, royalty-free license to everybody with respect to WebM.

http://www.webmproject.org/license/bitstream/

The code is open source, and the development process is accessible to all.

http://www.webmproject.org/code/contribute/

So Google already have "set up an organization so many different companies can work together on WebM". exactly has been happening now for over six months. here are the organisations already involved:

http://www.webmproject.org/about/supporters/

I can't see how WebM could possibly be any more inclusive. You need to actually come up with something that Google haven't done to make WebM open before you can begin to criticise them for not doing enough.

Reply Score: 4

Torbjorn Vik Lunde Member since:
2009-09-04

So Google already have "set up an organization so many different companies can work together on WebM". exactly has been happening now for over six months.

Awesome.

I can't see how WebM could possibly be any more inclusive

I'm trying to find information on if WebM organisation (if there is one) is simply sponsored by Google, or also controlled by Google.

If it is only sponsored by Google, and control of it is democratic in similar fashion to how open web standards are developed, color me a believer. (Which does seem to be case.)

Edited 2011-01-13 11:34 UTC

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

They can change the licensing in the future but not for what has already been released. What is currently available under the BSD license remains open to all and would become the starting point if it really came down to forking the code away from Google's control.

Though not BSD, MySQL is a good example; when the decisions of it's steward came into question, the source was forked into a new database project - by the original MySQL developer no less. More recently, the OpenOffice project; Oracle's stewardship of it since the Sun purchase has driven developers to fork the code starting the LibreOffice project.

Forking a project is not promoted as a first response but it is an option when no other remains.

Reply Score: 3

v Best analysis yet...
by Tony Swash on Thu 13th Jan 2011 16:44 UTC
RE: Best analysis yet...
by Radio on Thu 13th Jan 2011 17:07 UTC in reply to "Best analysis yet..."
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

You, sir, are an idiot who doesn't read osnews and just came to troll:
http://www.osnews.com/comments/24252

And you think Peter Bright's analysis is the best, believing his shameless, mind-boggling, orwellian spin that H264 is open and VP8 is proprietary. You, indeed, are an idiot.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Best analysis yet...
by segedunum on Thu 13th Jan 2011 17:21 UTC in reply to "Best analysis yet..."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

I couldn't give a shit, frankly. What WebM is really about is Google being afraid of being held over a barrel with YouTube if the content on there was to be largely raw h.264. Good for them. I would be.

The rest of us getting a genuinely free format, with working code no less, that can be implemented freely into any operating system, software or any new device that comes on the market without the say-so of an organisation of trolls (or indeed Google) who would rather others were kept out.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Best analysis yet...
by Vanders on Thu 13th Jan 2011 19:40 UTC in reply to "Best analysis yet..."
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

What an idiotic article.

The reason Google has given for this change is that WebM (which pairs VP8 video with Vorbis audio) and Theora are "open codecs" and H.264 apparently isn't.


Nice rhetoric. There is no "apparently" about it.

In the traditional sense, H.264 is an open standard.


Oh I see. That old trick! Yes, and OpenVMS, OpenWindows and OpenServer are open because they have open in the name.

At the time of its development, VP8 was a commercial product, licensed by On2. Keeping the specifics of its codec secret was a deliberate goal of the company. Though it has since been published and to some extent documented, the major design work and decision-making was done behind closed doors, making it at its heart quite proprietary.


LOL

I hope the author doesn't describe Java or C# as Open. Or Mozilla. Or OpenOffice/LibreOffice. Or all those other Open Source projects that started off as commercial products.

(Google) hasn't taken any steps to submit WebM to ISO, ITU, or SMPTE for formal open standardization.


What is now shall ever be.

What H.264 isn't, however, is royalty-free.
...
The result is that anyone wanting to distribute an implementation of H.264 must obtain licenses for all of the different patented techniques that they use, and these licenses typically come at some cost.


*golf clap* Took him half a page. What a clever boy.

the threat with both of those codecs [Theora and VP8] is that they may, in fact, infringe on one or more patents, in spite of efforts to the contrary. If this turns out to be the case, one or both of the codecs might end up in a very similar position to H.264, as far as royalties are concerned.


Yes, and has been pointed about eleventy billion times:

a) It is equally likely that H.264 infringes on patents filed by On2 and held by Google.
b) MPEG-LA have had ten years to sue On2 and never have. Google purchasing On2 doesn't suddenly make patents appear at MPEG-LA.

Is freedom all it's cracked up to be?


He's right you know. Let's stop with all this silly "open web" nonsense. What has openness and transparency ever done for the Internet?

I'm just going to stop. The article is hilarious, doubly so because the author actually appears to believe what he is writing.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Best analysis yet...
by Radio on Thu 13th Jan 2011 21:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Best analysis yet..."
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

Follow-up on OSNews : http://www.osnews.com/story/24259/Microsoft_Opera_s_Haavard_Respond...

Edited 2011-01-13 21:15 UTC

Reply Score: 1

This is a lesson
by littlegeek on Fri 14th Jan 2011 07:32 UTC
littlegeek
Member since:
2010-08-16

This is a lesson we have learned from Flash, when a proprietary software is getting popular and becomes a defacto standard for www, it is harmful to everyone. Because the proprietary software will control the world, if they hate somebody, the will not support the platform, and people on the platform then have trouble to live with Internet.

Edited 2011-01-14 07:34 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: This is a lesson
by TheGZeus on Fri 14th Jan 2011 10:45 UTC in reply to "This is a lesson"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

Now, now.
Let's not overload "proprietary".
h264 is 'encumbered', 'patented', 'evil'.

It's not even 'software'.

It's a 'standard' with many strings attached. Strings which wrap may around your neck if you use the web or have a business or ever consider making money from anything you do.

Yet mencoder, x264 et al are free software.

Reply Score: 2