Just some sidenotes.
On Thu, Nov 11, 2004 at 01:19:01PM +0100, Andre Engels wrote:
I still protest the policies on this point.
In the name of freedom, we
are enforcing a non-standard format,
On the contrary, we are enforcing STANDARD formats, and more, OPEN STANDARD
formats. Don't confuse "standard" with "installed on most proprietary
overmarketed systems"; availability does not make it standard. It is right
to note, that the standard formats are not yet as widespread, but do not
giving people extra problems to
just hear and see the sound files and videos on Wikipedia. Wikipedia
should be there for the normal internet user, not just for tech-savy
While I see your point I disagree (as probably most of those who actually
shaped the policy this way). Many believes that Wikipedia is not just free
but have the mission of publicise freedom agains vendor locking. I believe
that if there is a generally available and useful free format replacing a
widespread, non-free, non-standards-compliant (and often simply illegally
obtained or used) format then a free and open project should press the users
a bit to obtain it and use it.
This way standard formats will become widespread formats as well: it is
going to be easier to install them, even easier to obtain and use them. This
way Wikipedia would serve the open/free community, the idealists (like me)
and itself, since people who use open formats are probably creating open
format files as well, which helps Wikipedia in the end.
I strongly disagree that these formats are, as you put it, for tech-savy
open-source-loving nerds. Codec installation is not a hard task even for a
windoze lemming, and downloading and running a player isn't really a tough
job either. My grandma probably would be able to do it if she were still
around, and she wasn't a tech-savvy nerd either.
Right now it requires EFFORT from the clueless end users. Installing windows
requires efforts from them, too. We have the possibility to make them use
their efforts for something useful, even if they are not aware of it, since
they probably wouldn't understand at all what it's all about. If they want
to use Wikipedia, they will familiarise themselves with the free tools.
Educate themselves. Became smarter. More open. In the end, free.
(And if Xiph can point out that "see! this is the STANDARD format which is
used even in the greatest project of our times: Wikipedia" then it could
help the development of these free formats, and make them eventually
universal. Wikipedia isn't "just another webpage" anymore.)
My computer when seeing a .ogg-file, automatically
assumes it's a
sound file, and thus I cannot see this movie. I know there are others
who don't even have software for .ogg-soundfiles. We are much too
strict on this point. What should bother us is not whether there are
any patents on a certain format, but whether free software exists to
play it. Where that is the case (for the most common platforms, or at
the very least for Windows and Unix), rejecting files because their
format is supposedly non-free is doing a disservice to our readers and
writers with no actual advantage to compensate for it.
What do you expect, Windoze IS braindead, after all. But others mentioned
.ogm as a simple workaround (and widespread, if not standard, solution).
But the other points you made are perfectly clear: if there is free software
to create and play these formats, it "should bother us" if people don't use
them. That's what it's all about: vorbis and theora are open, free and
available, they match your definition, so we bother to make them used. To me
it sounds fair.
My point 3 paragraphs ago was exactly about that "actual advantage" and
"disservice" you mention: it is a service, and it have actual and very real
advantage. You may not see it since you may happen to be one of those who,
as I mentioned, doesn't understand or see the service others want to do for
you (or, actually, force down your throat :)). But it's for your [or avid
clueless windows users'] own good.
ps: I can see clearly the cardio video. I didn't make any efforts, it seems
that my mplayer supports theora... but i'm a tech-savvy open-source nerd,
after all. :)