codec buddy, fluendo, etc.

Christopher Blizzard blizzard at
Sat Feb 9 17:22:06 UTC 2008

On Feb 8, 2008, at 12:04 PM, Jeff Spaleta wrote:
>>>> It puts us into a precarious political and ethical situation. So  
>>>> I see
>>>> very little good from it at this point.
> I'll make a bolder statement... there is very little good associated
> with any issue involving patent encumbered codecs or data formats
> generally.  I don't care what we do, we're not going to end up with a
> good outcome.  I'd like to actually have something like miro in
> fedora, making use of codeina, so that we can actually have a
> constructive forward looking conversation with miro and its sponsors
> about going the next step and actually helping to produce good open
> format editting tools to start bootstrapping our way out of this
> frelling mess.  I'm very unhappy on where miro stance on 'format wars'
> They've taken a complete pass on the very issue.  If we take a
> complete pass as well, we'll give developers in this space a reason to
> ignore us.

I think that Miro probably did the right thing on this topic.  They  
pushed the problem down the operating system.  Also, a video player  
that didn't play any of the video that's available on the web doesn't  
seem like a very compelling offering, does it?  Those guys are doing  
what Mozilla did - building a consumer brand around an experience and  
leveraging as much of the existing infrastructure as possible (OS  
support for codecs, Mozilla for an engine, etc) and taking it directly  
to the public.

I'm not sure why we get to project our concerns onto their project.   
Mozilla got the advantage of at least starting with an open format and  
continues to improve it vs. Miro where they have only closed content  
to consume and are trying to make it as open as possible.  Miro won't  
have leverage until they have a lot of users and open formats _also  
_provide better tools or something better that actually creates value  
or people creating content with that format.

> The whole thing blows big monkey chunks.  The fact that you need this
> crap to make flash usable is going to be an increasing more and more
> painful, because in the bright kickass future of web 2.0 and online
> desktop....we are screwed because flash is an integral part of this
> stuff when it comes to video.

Yup.  And the fact that it's hard to get any of the browser vendors  
other than Mozilla and Opera to even consider including free-as-in- 
speech codecs is a sign that we've got a problem.  Apple will likely  
be the first to ship <video> support in the browser and I'll bet that  
you can guess which formats it will support.  Opera might be second,  
or Mozilla might be, it's hard to tell.  But that doesn't help the  
fact that Flash is going to be the main source for video for quite a  
while to come.  It's the only solution that's available everywhere.

I can't believe that the solution here is to punish users because  
we're pissed about the state of open video.  I believe that the  
solution has to be to focus on building great tools for creating video  
for open formats, taking the format itself to a place where the others  
fear going and making it so dead easy for anyone to create and consume  
video in those formats that they take the web by storm.  You can't win  
by stopping people from doing something.  You can only win by giving  
them the tools so that the right thing is also the natural thing.   
(Oh, and it's going to have work on more than just Linux.)

> What if codeina was reworked such that by default we only made no-cost
> items available by default after the education page?
> What if codeina was reworked such that different service providers
> could drop in support for their codecs? For example, so that
> livna/rpmfusion could configure codeina when the release rpm was
> installed?
> If the Fluendo can task people to halp make those sorts of changes
> isn't worth inviting them to a discussion?

Is there actually another vendor for this stuff that's also legal?


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