Re: [rtcweb] Summary of Application Developers' opinions of the current WebRTC API and SDP as a control surface

Peter Thatcher <pthatcher@google.com> Mon, 08 July 2013 14:39 UTC

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From: Peter Thatcher <pthatcher@google.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Jul 2013 07:38:05 -0700
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Subject: Re: [rtcweb] Summary of Application Developers' opinions of the current WebRTC API and SDP as a control surface
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On Mon, Jul 8, 2013 at 5:11 AM, Stefan Håkansson LK <
stefan.lk.hakansson@ericsson.com>; wrote:

> On 7/7/13 11:14 PM, Roman Shpount wrote:
> >
> > On Sat, Jul 6, 2013 at 2:33 AM, Stefan Håkansson LK
> > <stefan.lk.hakansson@ericsson.com
> > <mailto:stefan.lk.hakansson@ericsson.com>> wrote:
> >
> >     On 7/3/13 11:37 PM, Eric Rescorla wrote:
> >      >     I'm glad to be wrong here.  Is the phrase "you shouldn't have
> to
> >      >     modify the SDP but rather there should be API points to cover
> >     most
> >      >     of the use cases"  the consensus of the working group?
> >      >
> >      >
> >      > I thought it was, but I'm not the chair, so maybe you could ask
> >     Harald or
> >      > Stefan.
> >
> >     I definitely think this is the consensus of the working group.
> >
> >
> > Can you point out when exactly this consensus was reached? This is news
> > to me, but I definitely could have missed something.
>
> No I can't really. To be clear, no consensus call (or similar) has been
> held. But every time this is discussed, what I hear is people agreeing
> and no objections.  It was discussed a bit, e.g., at the f2f at TPAC last

year, if you read the minutes [1] you will find some traces of that
> discussion.
>

No objections at all?  That is rather surprising to me.  I asked for some
feedback the API in the spreadsheet from web developers, at there many
objections from them about this part of the API.  A majority did say it was
good enough for simple use cases, but he objections were still clearly
non-zero.

I think perhaps the web developers are not well represented at TPAC.  But I
could be wrong.  Perhaps they are but changed their mind.  Or maybe they're
objecting on the IETF mailing list when they should object on the IETF
mailing list.   Or maybe the spreadsheet has a sample bias, while TPAC is
the true sample.   I don't know, but it seems like something is going on,
and I'd like to know what it is.

Stefan, what do you think?  What could explain the apparent contradiction
between objections on the mailing list vs. no objections f2f?


Also, on discussions about the API, should those who want to propose
additions (such as the NoPlan JS API I proposed) and other comments put
them on the W3C mailing list instead of the IETF one?  Is everyone barking
up the wrong tree?

Thanks in advance for your input.





> And, I don't understand why there would be a debate about this. There
> are obviously many who want to define APIs (or constraints) that allow
> most use-cases to be met without having to modify the SDP.  Why would

anyone have anything against that?


I think your question actually has two questions:

1.  Is anyone against making additions to the API to avoid SDP munging?

2.  Why are they against additions to the API to avoid SDP munging?


My personal experience for #1 is that there are some notable people in the
WG who are very much against making additions to the API to avoid SDP
munging.  Some of them are rather upset with me for proposing a few minor
additions to the API (the NoPlan JS API) precisely because it allows the JS
to go around the SDP in many cases, and they don't like that.  So, from my
experience, it's clear that the answer to #1 is "yes, many do".

And since many object to such additions, and others want such additions,
you end up with debate.


How about #2?  Why do they object?  My experience is that they view any
additions as a threat to API as a threat to the current API, which means
it's a threat to the current WG progress, which means it's a threat to
getting done.  They are very sensitive to such threats, and so object to
any additions or changes that would allow JS to avoid using SDP.  Also, I
think they don't want to ways of doing things, so SDP must remain the one
true way.


But that's just my personal experience and perspective.  I could just be
seeing it wrong, or maybe the only person experiencing this.






> I If there is anyone who really wants
> to modify the SDP instead (I have no clue why, but anyway) they can
> still do that.
>

Well, no one is going to hit themselves in the head with a hammer if they
don't have to, but there are many uses cases that currently be done only by
SDP munging, and I don't see any API additions on the horizon that will
help those uses cases.    So, until we can agree on some API additions that
help SDP munging, many web developers are going to have to keep swinging
that hammer, no matter how much it hurts.

But clearly, if you gave them an API that didn't require such pain, they
would use it.



>
> [1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webrtc/2012Nov/0072.html
>
> > _____________
> > Roman Shpount
> >
>
> _______________________________________________
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>