[usf-devel] [Matroska-devel] Re: Final call : USF muxing in MKV, and playbackon DShow and Gstreamer

Liisachan Liisachan at faireal.net
Wed Dec 8 21:29:52 CET 2004

Christian HJ Wiesner <chris at matroska.org> wrote:

> We are a small team, and do have very limited resources. One day the 
> fansubbers will have to make up their mind if they want us to
> - make our stuff compliant with old, obsolete Win98 machines
> - code USF DShow filters for machines powerful enough to render RUBY in 
> real time

this either-or is actually not very logical,
because (1) is a bug fix while (2) is a new feature;
besides, it is not a given that USF doesn't work on Win98.

personally I don't mind whether or not mkv works on win98,
because I won't use win98. personally i don't mind whetehr or 
not USF supports RUBY or BIDI either, because I won't sub in 
Japanese nor Hebrew nor Arabic. (Altho this would mean a lot for 
those who sub in Japanese/Hebrew/Arabic)
In reality, most fansubbers are still using avi+hardsub,
altho mkv and rmvb are spreading slowly but steadily.

> With respect to the fact that Win98 doesnt offer any kind of support for 
> modern chipsets, and the old PCs its normally installed on are slowly 
> dieing out, i vote for option #2.

You are totally right, but i guess you can try to express 
that without potentially insulting windows 98/me users.

> To support both should not be possible for us,

You mean, it is a given that USF (*Universal* Subtitle Format) 
will never work on win98/me?

> Else its again the matroska team facing all the hard work, and i admit 
> its hard and harder to find the motivation to do so. Your arguments to 
> still prefer OGM to MKV, because of vsfilter ( a 3rd party filter we 
> didnt even code ) crashing on Win98 when playing standard MKV files, is 
> not too helpful either. I hope all this makes sense to you, lets see 
> what we can come up with in future.

OGM has its own practical forte altho it also has a lot of 
downsides compared to MKV. For one thing, from the users' side, 
OGM has better multi-audio support...(always easy to switch: Yes, 
I know the same thing is easy with MKV too if you are using 
MPC etc.)... not only the VSFilter problems.

Besides, I didn't say I prefered one to the other.
Unfortunately, OGM is a practically abandoned format,
which nobody continues to develop anymore.
So MKV will win by defualt anyway. But that doesnt mean I should 
hate one format nor I should prefer the other.

The cans and cannots of OGM is much clearer than cans and 
cannots of MKV; in other words, OGM is stable/frozen/dead while 
MKV is living/changeable/vivid. These have upsides and 
downsides: for instance,

(a) when you want to softsub using SRT,
- if you use OGM, you are very sure that the resulted file plays 
fine on Windows
- if you use MKV, you are very sure that the resulted file plays 
fine on Win2K/XP but not sure about 98/me

(b) when you want to mux RV40
- if you want to use OGM, you'll just find it's impossible
- if you use MKV, it's possible but there will be a certain 
amount of unsureness about replayability (Like, is this OK on 

(c) when you want to mux FLAC
- if you want to use OGM, you'll be just doomed
- if you use MKV, this should be ok, thanks to CoreFlac 0.4 etc

So, from the users' side, OGM vs MKV is not that simple.
Basically MKV is much more powerful, but MKV is for advanced 
users atm, not for lazy/ordiary/newbie users.
Some parts of MKV are already very stable, but many other parts 
of MKV are experimental, and might have unknown bugs--not too 
practical for general purposes.

* S_SSA to S_TEXT/SSA (And Gabest's filters still support S_SSA 
while Haali's version doesnt)
* New Lacing System (We found that older filters couldnt play 
nerwer files)
* new '64-bit type' (ditto)

Advanced users may understand and accept these complications,
but ordinary users will be confused by a little discontinuity.

These things just happen in vivid development.
Ironically, OGM is 'safer' in this respect because it is stalled 
and (most probably) will never change no matter what.

So please understand that when I somehow connotate OGM is 
'safer', I'm not derogating MKV.


ps. it is too bad that MKV and the doom9 forum don't mix
mainly just because a certain mod prefers OGM. everything will 
change anyway sooner or later tho

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