[Foundation-l] Theora and Vorbis support in Firefox 3.1a2

Jon wiki at konsoletek.com
Wed Jul 30 23:46:52 UTC 2008


On Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 3:27 PM, Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell at wikimedia.org>wrote:

> I'm very pleased to point out this announcement from the Mozilla project:
> "Mozilla is committing to include native support for OGG video and
> audio in its next release that includes support for the video element
> tag." [http://www.0xdeadbeef.com/weblog/?p=492]
> This is an announcement that Mozilla will be supporting the WhatWG
> HTML5 multimedia tags as well as including Xiph's unencumbered media
> codecs as part of Firefox.
> The WHATWG HTML5 <video/> and <audio/> tags allow supporting browsers
> to naively display multimedia content just as they display still
> images: without the need for plugins or extensions and with full
> integration. Mozilla's commitment to including a set of reasonably
> performing and unencumbered codecs as a baseline means that web
> developers and users have an opportunity to have multimedia that Just
> Works without licensing obligations adding friction to the free flow
> of knowledge.  Together the native multimedia support and the baseline
> inclusion of unencumbered multimedia codecs are an essential step
> forward in preserving the open and unrestricted qualities of the web
> which are so important to our mission.
> The Wikimedia projects have long had a strong commitment to free media
> formats, and Wikimedia Commons is probably the largest repository of
> videos in Ogg Theora on the web.  But our commitment has, at times,
> been a costly one: As an early adopter of free media technology we've
> suffered from more than our share of complications and incompatibilities.
> After years of effort driving adoption and our own work improving the
> state of the art for free media formats we're now seeing the beginnings
> of a true mainstream adoption which will allow these multimedia formats
> to be truly costless for producers and consumers of knowledge.  I know
> from my own involvement that Wikimedia's adherence to free formats has
> been essential in moving things this far, and everyone who has worked
> on multimedia within the Wikimedia projects should be proud of our
> collective contribution here.
> This could never make it into the mainstream without the groups
> developing and promoting these free codecs -- particularly Xiph.org,
> spreadopenmedia.org, and the FSF's PlayOGG campaign. The W3C's policy
> of only accepting royalty-free technology has played an essential
> role by not allowing encumbered codecs as part of the standard, but
> there has been a stalemate in the adoption of a useful, royalty free
> baseline codec set. Because of this, I'd like to personally extend
> thanks to the Mozilla Foundation for joining our leadership in this
> important area of web standards. Without their help Web Video would
> have no hope of escaping the environment of incompatible, proprietary,
> "de facto standards" with their related costs.
> The Wikimedia projects have had integrated video playback support
> for some time now via the OggHandler extension. OggHandler supports a
> multitude of playback methods (such as a Java player using Cortado, and
> the VLC browser extension) in an effort to get unencumbered multimedia
> format support working for as many people as possible. OggHandler has
> been a great success, already working for a vast majority of readers, but
> the native support in a popular browser will make OggHandler even better
> (smoother performance, zero install or an easy upgrade to FireFox, etc).
> The new <video/> tag in Firefox has been supported as a playback method
> in OggHandler since day zero so the new Firefox builds will automatically
> use their native playback ability on the Wikimedia sites.
> The code for native support for Ogg Theora and Vorbis
> was checked into the Mozilla mainline last night and is
> already available in nightly builds marked 3.1a2pre or later
> [http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/nightly/latest-trunk/].
> The support is new and pretty raw: There are obvious outstanding issues
> with things like timing and audio access on some platforms (such as many
> GNU/Linux distros).  Once the known bugs are fixed I'll be soliciting
> Wikimedians to check for bugs in both our own player code as well as
> the Firefox test releases.
> Now would be a good time to start building up some material on commons
> to showcase this support for Firefox's official release. Although
> we've had video on our projects for a long time it's still largely a
> new and unexplored territory for us.  There are many opportunities to
> make important contributions and to have a lot of fun.
> --Greg Maxwell
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