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12.30.07

Time for Ogg (BoycottNovell and the WeBlob)

Posted in Audio/Video, Boycott Novell, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Site News, Standard, Videos at 11:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This Web sites has been guilty of inadvertently promoting the use of proprietary technology which puts Web standards at risk. We frequently cite and embed Flash videos. It’s not reasonable to just rely on the existence of gnash. From this point on, videos will be converted to Ogg and be made available whenever possible (copyrights must still be honoured). The previous post has already been updated to correct this mistake.

”Microsoft intends to gradually replace not only Flash but also (X)HTML.“Realisation of the important role of Web standards is key. The newest problems are well explained by the following two essays which were published today or yesterday. The first one speaks about the Halloween Documents and highlights issues that what we have covered here tirelessly.

Microsoft intends to gradually replace not only Flash but also (X)HTML. The goal is to turn the Web into a private property where the gatekeeper is a single company. At the moment, Novell helps this happen. I’ve had arguments about it in YouTube comments (videos extolling the virtues of Silverlight/XAML), but the average non-technical person is likely to be lured and fall into this trap. People are given free tools to lock themselves in without being aware of it. That’s one of Microsoft’s greatest talents.

First of all, everyone interested in the well being of the free world and the existence of competition in the software market should be able to recognize such strategies employed by companies wanting to create vendor lock-in traps. Second of all there are several other efforts at the time being going on which tries to accomplish the same thing in other arenas. One such example is XAML and Silverlight which effectively tries to de-commoditize the markup languages we are using today on the web. The fact that the HTML have been a commodity product have been the very back-bone of the success of the internet as we know it today. If HTML is replaced by XAML or other proprietary technologies, the free world on the internet as we know it today will be the victim.

[...]

Standardized protocols and languages are the best way to ensure commoditization of the very fabric of society. Use standard based software and protocols where possible. Say no to proprietary new and improved versions of existing standards. Use JavaScript instead of Silverlight, use HTML instead of XAML, choose tools that obeys to the standards as much as possible instead of those that tries to create “new and improved” versions. Choose Free Software where possible and least of all; do not fall for Embrace, Extend and Extinguish strategies.

Here is another good summary of recent events. Such events sabotaged attempts to help Web standards evolve to facilitate openness.

Ian Hickson, speaking for the HTML5 working group, recently announced that he removed the suggested Ogg Theora+Vorbis language from the HTML5 specification. The replacement language says that there should be unencumbered common audio and video formats in HTML but it doesn’t suggest any specific means of accomplishing that.

How did this situation come to pass? What happened between the time this spec was drafted and now? Corporate influence, in a nutshell. Apple and Nokia’s complaints have found an ear with those working on HTML specs.

What can you do to stop this? Raise the issue far and wide with everyone, even non-technical computer users. It’s time that these issues no longer live exclusively in the realm where only geeks tread.

Apple and Nokia never liked the language supporting Ogg Vorbis+Theora codecs. Nokia lied by claiming Ogg Vorbis and Theora were “proprietary”. What Nokia probably meant is that the evolution of the Vorbis and Theora codecs were not under the control of a corporate board which Nokia could become a member (and thus have a hand in controlling how Theora and Vorbis improve). Ogg Theora+Vorbis specifications are available for anyone to use for any purpose.

Regardless of the FUD from Nokia, this site will embrace Ogg and hopefully help increase Ogg’s presence on the Web.

Links about XAML:

An industry coalition that has represented competitors of Microsoft in European markets before the European Commission stepped up its public relations offensive this morning, this time accusing Microsoft of scheming to upset HTML’s place in the fabric of the Internet with XAML, an XML-based layout lexicon for network applications.

Links about Ogg in HTML5

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