On Fri, Aug 6, 2010 at 12:34 AM, James Salsman <jsalsman(a)gmail.com> wrote:
There is nothing in that, or in
which suggests that
we can't use Flash for microphone audio upload, is there?
Sure it does. "Full participation in projects operated by the
Wikimedia Foundation should not require the use of any proprietary
software on the user's system." If microphone upload only works via
proprietary software, it contradicts the draft proposal (although that
was never actually adopted).
aware of http://haxe.org/doc/intro
? The bulk of Flash is no longer
If the specific implementation can be demonstrated to work reliably
with an open-source Flash implementation, that would be another story.
I know there are patent issues around some flash
formats, but at this point I have little confidence that any of the
major browser authors will provide HTML microphone upload in the next
five years. Is there any reason to believe otherwise?
Yes. Ian Hickson added a <device> element to the HTML5 draft within
the last year, and one of its goals is to enable input from
Almost all if not all major browser vendors have expressed interest in
implementing it. In fact, after video and animation,
microphone/webcam input is the most commonly cited use of Flash, and a
leading goal of HTML5 is to replace Flash. I think it's extremely
likely that at least one browser will implement some form of
microphone input within the next five years. I think it's fairly
likely to happen within the next two years.
Recall that <video> was first implemented in November 2007 by Opera.
It's now supported by the newest version of every major browser, less
than three years later. Browser implementers will implement things
very quickly when they get around to it -- they just have bigger
use-cases to handle right now than microphone input, like polishing up
<video> so it's actually better than Flash. When that's done,
audio/video input will likely come up on everyone's agendas and be
solved within a couple of years.
(I don't think there would be consensus for
dropping Wikimedia support
for closed-source browsers, as a related matter.)
It's fine to support closed-source software, as long as open-source
software is supported to the same degree. It is not fine to have some
features of Wikipedia work properly only if you install proprietary
software, unless there's really no other option. If we want direct
microphone input, and the only way to do this right now is Flash, and
it's impossible to get it working in Gnash, and it's not practical for
Wikimedia to fund whatever work is needed to get Gnash to support the
features properly -- then there'd maybe be a case for supporting only
Flash here, until a free alternative is available. I doubt that all
this is the case, though.