Re: [rtcweb] Proposed Video Selection Process

Leon Geyser <> Thu, 21 November 2013 21:01 UTC

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Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2013 23:01:40 +0200
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From: Leon Geyser <>
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Subject: Re: [rtcweb] Proposed Video Selection Process
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>>This is IMO a very nice summary of issues and options.


On 21 November 2013 22:51, Maik Merten <> wrote:

> This is IMO a very nice summary of issues and options.
> Maik
> Am 21.11.2013 21:41, schrieb Ron:
>  On Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 11:13:11AM -0800, Adam Roach wrote:
>>> On 11/21/13 10:56, Justin Uberti wrote:
>>>> Following an IETF meeting on Jabber doesn't count as participating?
>>>> The "big guy vs little guy" narrative continues...
>>> I think that's a bit specious. If someone is following the issue at
>>> such a distance that they haven't expressed an opinion on the
>>> mailing list, I can't see how taking a vote from them counts as
>>> anything other than simple, old-fashioned ballot stuffing.
>>> I'll take it one step further. I find the prospect that we're
>>> allowing blue sheets to stand in for participation to be highly
>>> questionable: letting the tourists vote is weighting the opinion of
>>> demonstrably uninvolved (or less-involved) parties at the same level
>>> as those who have actually been working on the topic. I do not think
>>> that a blue-sheet sign in without any on-list participation should
>>> be sufficient to participate in the kind of process the chairs are
>>> proposing.
>>> Or perhaps I'm missing something.
>> I'd assumed that Justin was referring to the fact that people were
>> objecting to jabber participants but not the blue sheet tourists
>> who packed the room for the session with a hum.
>> So I'm glad you've made that (IMO obvious and important) extra detail
>> quite specific.
>> But that said, I think I'm firmly with Peter Saint-Andre here.
>> Taking this straight to (another) vote seems like a questionable
>> choice, with a very high chance of an even more questionable and
>> protested outcome (and precedent). [1]
>> My understanding of the current situation is:
>>   - We established consensus long ago that MTI codecs are a very
>>     important part of this specification.
>>   - We've had 2 seriously proposed codecs prior to the last meeting.
>>   - We have people expressing objections to both of them, that the
>>     chairs consider sufficient to declare there is no workable
>>     consensus for either at present.
>>   - The sustainable objections to both all boil down to people claiming
>>     there are insurmountable IPR difficulties.  Whether that be mythical
>>     risk, or clear impossibilities of obtaining a licence.
>>   - We've now had people resign themselves to the fact that this is the
>>     blocking issue for consensus that needs to be resolved, and propose
>>     solutions that directly address that issue, through the use of a
>>     codec that is broadly agreed does not have this problem.
>> So to me the obvious next step would be to probe for consensus about
>> the codec options that _do_ remain on the table - and see if anybody
>> has an actually sustainable objection that would prevent achieving a
>> rough consensus that the concerns surrounding our original preferred
>> choices are indeed satisfied by taking this path.
>> The strong objections that people have had to H.264 and VP8 aren't
>> going to go away, however a vote might decide - so unless those people
>> are going to retract their objections now (or the chairs are going to
>> declare them vexatious and irrelevant), then 'voting' for either of
>> those as MTI seems utterly pointless.
>> By my understanding we so far have 2 possible candidates for a MTI
>> codec that may satisfy the IPR and licencing concerns that have
>> blocked us from a decision to date:
>>   - H.261, for which everyone seems to agree the IPR is exhausted.
>>   - MPEG1, which Stephan raised some oblique concerns about, that
>>     might still prove unfounded with a little more investigation.
>> Theora I'm assuming will attract the same FUD that it did with W3C
>> (since people have already quoted the farce that occurred there)
>> and that VP8 has attracted.  All the other codecs are still
>> within the lifetime of live patents.  So if we can rule out H.264
>> and VP8, then we can immediately rule these out too without going
>> through the motions of repeating all the same arguments again,
>> with a just some search and replace for the codec names.
>> So wouldn't a better first step be to:
>>   - See if MPEG1 can actually be ruled out with plausible indications
>>     of real remaining IPR trouble.
>>   - If it is, we only have one codec left for people to try to raise
>>     objections about that might be sustained.
>>   - If it isn't, we really still only have one codec left for people
>>     to raise objections about, since there's obvious agreement that
>>     it would be superior to H.261 in every other way.
>> Given the agreement we've previously seen on what a MTI codec is
>> supposed to achieve, I'm having a hard time seeing how consensus
>> couldn't be established for at the worst H.261.  We'll all agree
>> that it sucks -- but I'm yet to see any reasonable objection about
>> why it _can't_ satisfy the requirements for being the MTI fallback,
>> in the absence of working agreement for a better alternative.
>> So why don't we just skip straight to seeking consensus on this?
>> Instead of having a vote stacked with multiple options that will remain
>> just as unacceptable as they are today, for all the same reasons, where
>> people won't have to actually _justify_ why they consider some option
>> or another to be unacceptable.
>>    Ron
>> [1] - though I'm not at all questioning the good faith of the chairs
>>        in trying to find an adequate way to resolve this (or envious
>>        of their predicament here).
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