On 3/12/2012 9:16 AM, Andreas Gal wrote:
> On Mar 12, 2012, at 7:57 AM, Ted Mielczarek wrote:
>> On Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 10:47 AM, Doug Turner<do...@mozilla.com
>>> I do not think that is the case. I just think taking a hard line on free codec on mobile isn't worth the cost to Firefox for Android.
>> This may be true, but can you say with a straight face that supporting
>> non-free codecs on mobile (including on our *own* platform, B2G) isn't
>> tantamount to giving up on free codecs for the web? It seems pretty
>> obvious to me that we will lose any moral high ground we hold by doing
>> Now, it may be that we have already lost this war. If that's the case,
>> we should just admit it and move on, and not sabotage ourselves by
>> shipping support only on mobile platforms.
> I do believe this war is lost. Just look around. Almost none of the content users want to watch is available in WebM. The only reason desktop is usable is because of Flash, a proprietary plugin, playing video for us (in H.264, mostly). Even Google, supposedly a proponent of open codecs, never fully converted youtube and never dropped H.264 from Chrome. Taking a principled (I would at this point prefer 'stubborn' I think) stance on H.264 won't change reality. It just hurts us and our users.
Just to back this up, I keep talking to people building sites and there
are only a couple of organizations that are willing to embrace WebM
because it's the right thing to do. Transcoding & hosting costs are
huge.* Beyond that I've not really run into anyone who wants to do
WebM. It's just seen as a cost that Firefox is incurring on web developers.
I think that if Google had switched off H.264 support in their browser
soon after they said they would (well over a year ago) then the shift
might have taken place. But that window is gone. It's time to move on,
listen to our users and developers and fight a different battle.
* I talked with an organization that has a lot of video a couple of
weeks ago. Actual quote: "If we wanted to transcode we could, but that
would be a full month of time if we used our entire cluster, not to
mention the storage costs at scale. We just can't afford to do that."