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.
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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 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 Parent Score: 7

RE: Good questions, but...
by JAlexoid on Wed 12th Jan 2011 19:34 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 Parent Score: 3

RE: Good questions, but...
by james_parker on Wed 12th Jan 2011 20:57 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 Parent Score: 4

RE: Good questions, but...
by PresentIt on Fri 14th Jan 2011 22:20 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 Parent Score: 1