Linked by lemur2 on Mon 20th Jul 2009 18:29 UTC
Multimedia, AV In a recent interview, Wikimedia deputy director Erik Moller talks about the site's upcoming suite of editing tools and sharing options. "Although videos have been part of the Wikimedia stable for a couple years through the open-source Ogg Theora format, the offering has been limited. Now, however, a Firefox 3.5 plugin called Firefogg will allow for server-side transcoding to the Ogg format. In addition to allowing for downloading and editing, the Ogg format also consumes significantly fewer resources during video playback. The linked article also indicates that there are other video sites (apart from Wikimedia and Dailymotion) that are moving to the open standards format for video, noting that "hundreds of thousands of public domain videos from sources such as the Internet Archive and Metavid will be available in the new format".
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dsmogor
Member since:
2005-09-01

Your misconception is that W3C can force anyone to do anything and it's just a matter of overruling somebody in some obscure voting to shape the market.

W3C is simply a table for each of the important players to sit together and resolve their differences before they go straight into market and engage in destructive wars which surely benefit the collective customer the least. Think of it as a kind of web UN, meant straight to escape the dreadful prisoners dilemma. It's only relevant as long as everybody voice is heard, and it took years of blood, sweat and tears for W3C to gain this.
But if the players are not ready/mature enough to spring free ecosystem in this domain and start seeking revenue on a higher level. Well, that's a pity but W3C (nor any other committee) can't do anything about that, it can only hurt itself.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Mark Williamson Member since:
2005-07-06

Your misconception is that W3C can force anyone to do anything and it's just a matter of overruling somebody in some obscure voting to shape the market.


Well, quite! I certainly don't think the W3C can force anything on anyone, all they can do is exert pressures to try and get a concensus - they're in a reasonable place from which to do that. We can just hope for the W3C to introduce some coherence, getting the de-facto standards as close as possible to the *real* standards.

That's why I'm not suggesting the W3C mandate a particular codec if it can't get the co-operation of the browser makers - it's not going to be able to strong-arm them. They could, however, have refused to include a tag in the absence of sufficient agreement about how it should work across multiple browsers.

Making the presence of the video tag in their spec be predicated on some agreement as to format seems something it seems like they could do to focus the browser people's minds - a motivation to agree on something, or lose an opportunity to include a useful tag in the spec. As it is, the browser makers have been left to fight their vested interest corners and have chipped away at the semantics until they have scope to do what they like. It's their right to do this but I'm not relishing installing random codecs to make the video tag work on everyone's sites - Flash sucks but at least there's a Linux version I can install once and be done with.

Unfortunately, if they were going to play hardball by refusing to standardise it and yet still avoid the browsers going and making proprietary / incompatible copies of it, they probably should have stated an ultimatum up front. At this point the browser manufacturers have already started and are probably going to go ahead and implement the tag video whatever.

On the other hand, without a standardised format the implementations will be de-facto incompatible, so maybe that's not actually much different!

Reply Parent Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Your misconception is that W3C can force anyone to do anything and it's just a matter of overruling somebody in some obscure voting to shape the market.

W3C is simply a table for each of the important players to sit together and resolve their differences before they go straight into market and engage in destructive wars which surely benefit the collective customer the least. Think of it as a kind of web UN, meant straight to escape the dreadful prisoners dilemma. It's only relevant as long as everybody voice is heard, and it took years of blood, sweat and tears for W3C to gain this.
But if the players are not ready/mature enough to spring free ecosystem in this domain and start seeking revenue on a higher level. Well, that's a pity but W3C (nor any other committee) can't do anything about that, it can only hurt itself.


This is why public perception is important. There is an "Internet meme" being pushed at this time that:

- there is no consensus on W3C standards,
- that W3C standards are unstable and evolving,
- that W3C standards are somehow insufficient, and extra browser plugins (such as Silverlight or Flash) are necessary in order to have rich content on the web, and
- that it is necessary to have code to cater for the different types of browsers that users may have.

None of this is true.

If there had been consensus to support open web standards as they became recommended, and a common, unencumbered, royalty-free set of multimedia codecs (and right now, that means Vorbis and Theora) was agreed, neither Silverlight nor Flash would have been required and we all could have enjoyed low-cost, well-performed rich media content on the web, delivered to and rendered equally well by any (acid3 compliant) browser of a user's choosing, up to five years ago, with no need for webmasters to jump through ridiculous hoops trying to cater to different browsers.

Fortunately, there are at least three very good browser clients that will behave in the correct manner: Firefox, Opera and Google Chrome. Safari will also come close, except that it won't support Theora out of the box, but it can easily be made to do so with an extra download.

There are at least five video websites identified who are going to be supporting HTML5 and Theora-encoded video in the immediate future: Dailymotion, Internet Archive, Wikimedia, The Video Bay and Metavid. This alone represents over half a million videos.

Since Google Chrome also will soon support HTML5 and Theora-encoded video, and H264 is going to cost a bomb in the near future, there is at least a good chance that YouTube will also go this way.

Given that momentum, it is likely that this could become a defacto standard, and only IE users will be unable to participate.

That should push it into universal acceptance ... even though, as you state, W3C alone has no power to force anyone to do anything.

Edited 2009-07-22 12:03 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Given that momentum, it is likely that this could become a defacto standard, and only IE users will be unable to participate.


Actually, not to worry, even IE users may be OK.

http://www.theora.org/cortado/

Cortado streaming applet

Cortado is an open-source cross-browser and cross-platform video playback solution based upon Java technology. Leveraging the huge installation base of Java it allows web-authors to deliver Ogg Theora content without having to worry about the media playback setup installed on customers' machines. This enables e.g. Wikipedia to deliver Ogg Theora video content embedded into articles to millions of users. Originally developed at Fluendo, Cortado's latest versions are now maintained by Xiph.org. If you're interested in using free media delivery technology, e.g. to avoid the costs adjunctive to non-free technologies like H.264, and want to reach a big potential user base, Cortado may be the solution you've been looking for.

Using Cortado as a Fallback for HTML5 video

Cortado works great as a fall-back-solution for using HTML5's audio and video support. This code uses the latest signed Cortado applet issued by Xiph.org and should work with non-html5 browsers like Internet Explorer.


Enjoy.

PS: Another smallish site:
http://tinyvid.tv/

Have fun.

Edited 2009-07-22 12:20 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2