This is a sad day for interoperability in the Web

Today, Adobe Systems Incorporated announced that they will extend their Flash platform to support the proprietary H.264 and HE-AAC formats.

The Xiph.Org Foundation has previously contacted Adobe to consider extending Flash to support the Open Media formats Vorbis, Theora, and Speex. Adobe developers replied by stating it would be unwise as it would increase the file size of the Flash Player, and yet, that is what will happen now, with the unfair procedure by Adobe to ignore the backing of our formats by the W3C through SVG and SMIL, by the WHATWG through HTML 5, and by the XMPP Standards Foundation through Jabber’s Jingle.

There is clearly a need for a non-patented, royalty-free standard for video and audio on the web. The Xiph.Org Foundation provided such standards. Adobe Systems Incorporated decided to ignore this and back the use of formats with submarine patents and no clear advantage over Open Media formats. Interoperability on the Web? Nah, screw that.

The Xiph.Org Foundation will continue to provide support for the corporations who seek to create interoperability on the Web. We will not stop the improving process of our formats.

The Xiph.Org Foundation will announce soon the Web Video/Audio Interoperability Campaign through our Spread Open Media project. This campaign will bring together the community and the browser developers to speed up support of the <video> and <audio> elements of HTML 5, as well as the use of SVG and SMIL in order to create an Open Web. Be part of such vision.

Adobe Systems Incorporated describes itself as “Adobe revolutionizes how the world engages with ideas and information — anytime, anywhere and through any medium”. We would like to work together with Adobe Systems Incorporated to reach such goal. However, we do not agree on their approach in this issue, and we would like to ask them to consider their stance.

The Xiph.Org Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides a collection of open source, multimedia-related projects. It is the most aggressive effort to put the foundation standards of Internet audio and video into the public domain, where all Internet standards belong.

4 Responses to “This is a sad day for interoperability in the Web”

  1. 1 Peter Saint-Andre

    Perhaps folks from the Jabber and Xiph communities can work together on this?

  2. 2 Tony Lovasco

    Luckily, there is already a way to stream Ogg Theora via the web: the Cortado Java applet from Flumotion:

    Still, it is unfortunate that Adobe would flat-out refuse to incorporate these formats themselves.

  3. 3 Bob

    Adobe has never been particularly friendly to Linux users.

    All they’ve ever really done is provide their .pdf viewer for Linux (usually late) and their Flashplayer for Linux (usually incredibly late!) and it only really works with Mozilla-based web browsers.

    But in the end open standards will win out and unless Adobe changes, they’ll be left in the trashbin.

  4. 4 Hub

    Adobe Flash is already ultra-proprietary as Adobe does not want third parties to write “players” for Flash. Nothing of this is surprising in the end.

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