[rohrpost] Finally: Open Source Video support in Firefox 3.1

Till Nikolaus von Heiseler till.n.v.heiseler at googlemail.com
Son Aug 3 11:26:44 CEST 2008

by fls [Florian Schneider] on Fri, 2008-08-01 17:51

It was my last day  at ISEA 2008 in Singapore and we were supposed to
have a dinner with noborder/no one is illegal activists and the
panelists of the bordercrossing theme, when jaromil came down the
street smiling all over the face: "I have great news" he screamed.
"Firefox 3.1 wil support OGG Theora!"

In other words: This is most likely the breakthrough for open video on
the web! OGG THEORA is the only open source video erncoding suite. It
is available for general use after the bitstream format for Theora was
frozen Thursday, 2004 July 1.

Native support in Firefox means that end-users on proprietary
platforms like windows or mac do no longer have to install additional
software in order to watch OGG encoded video. If you want to publish a
video you can  just use the tag like for any image. There is no need
for additional  javascript or flash!

Slashdot writes:    "Ogg Theora support for the HTML5 tag is in the
Firefox 3.1 nightlies. Theora is the only video format allowed on
Wikimedia Commons, so Wikimedia people are pushing Wikipedia readers
to download a nightly and try it out. Break it, crash it, report bugs,
get it into good shape and nullify Apple and Nokia's FUD the best way
possible. They may have gotten the words 'Vorbis' and 'Theora' removed
from the HTML5 spec, but the market will tell them when their browsers
are sucking."

Christopher Blizzard wrote in his blog "Mozilla is committing to
include native support for OGG video and audio in its next release
that includes support for the video element tag. (Very likely to be
Firefox 3.1 if there no huge change in course.) The code landed for
ogg support last night. I suspect that the effects of this will take a
long while to be felt but it's a great first step in bringing open
video to the web by delivering it to a couple hundred million people
around the world."

At KEIN.ORG and in many related projects (like the "Dictionary of
War") we have been insisting on the use of an open video compression
format for many years now. Despite all the complaints about additional
software installations it seemed crucial to us to give proove of the
possibility to publish digital video without the licensing and royalty
fees or vendor  lock-in associated with proprietary formats.

In summer 2003 we started the open source video platform V2V which is
entirely based on open source code. Ralph Giles, the maintainer of the
THEORA project, was one of the speakers at "NEURO -- networking
europe" in Munich in February 2004. Some months later Jan Gerber has
developed ffmpeg2theora a simple converter to create Ogg Theora files.

I am looking forward very much to a wide range of new projects and
initiatives which may come up now. For example jaromils video mixing
software FreeJ is a great tool with huge potential.

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