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Monday, February 8, 2010

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written by: Viktor Ustijanoski in
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Open source + Microsoft + Adobe browsing improvements

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After Mozilla announced that there will be no support for h264 encoded video (Youtube as example), a new open “coalition” is made in form of OGG Theora video codec for Silverlight. Next, Microsoft have just joined the SVG working group and Adobe promise significant improvements in Flash 10.1, including hardware rendered flash and lowered CPU usage. And there is CoperLicht - a WebGL JavaScript 3D engine – OpenGL support in browsers.

If you want OGG playback within Silverlight, you can do that with Highgate media suite, an open source product. It also provides a JavaScript bridge that’s compatible with the HTML5 video API, allowing developers to script it as a fallback to the HTML5 video tag. Given that all the major browsers that aren’t IE already support HTML5 video, this seems somewhat limited to IE/Windows; nether-the-less, it exists and means that there’s another way to play OGG.

Last months, Adobe is working quite hard to bring faster flash experience for end users. They announce that Flash 10.1 will bring many improvements first on Mac platform but we expect same improvements for Linux and Windows soon. Fewer crashes, faster, better, reduced CPU usage. Adobe have been getting a lot of bad feedback at the moment as many developers move on HTML5 support - without flash. The best Adobe can do is make Flash suck less and be upfront and honest about their plans to solve people’s complaints about flash.

CoperLicht is a set of development tools to take advantage of emerging OpenGL support in browsers (“WebGL”). WebGL exposes an OpenGL ES API to the HTML5 Canvas element. Support is highly experimental at this stage on Webkit and Firefox only, with no public releases. You can read more here and see the demos of a Quake III level.

And why is all this? Google announce only h264 codec support for their Youtube service. Becouse h264 is closed licensed product Mozilla refuse to license h264 for their Firefox browser and there will be no support for that codec on Firefox - at least in form of legal support, so they are forcing Ogg theora codec - also quality but open source video codec. ( Many open source supporting companies can join forces to refine OGG Theora in a perfect codec but there is no interest about that. Why?? ) As Google browser improves in many ways and Youtube is highly consumed it's logically that a competition response is coming. OGG Theora is now playable within Silverlight, Adobe is fixing Flash bugs and will improve hardware Flash decoding and also there is new OpenGL implementations in browser world which will dramatically improve web usability and web UI for future applications and games. What we get from all this? Just, more enjoyable and quality time in front of our browsers...

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