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Mozilla Labs To Promote Open Web Gaming

timothy posted about 4 years ago | from the good-idea-oh-lord dept.

Firefox 127

An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla Labs has started an initiative to promote and develop gaming based on Open Web technologies. They write, 'We are excited to present to you the latest initiative from Mozilla Labs: Gaming. Mozilla Labs Gaming is all about games built, delivered and played on the Open Web and the browser. We want to explore the wider set of technologies which make immersive gaming on the Open Web possible. We invite the wider community to play with cool, new tech and aim to help establish the Open Web as the platform for gaming across all your Internet connected devices.' To that end Mozilla Labs will launch Game On 2010, a game development competition, at the end of September."

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timothy to promote open anuses (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33505094)

Open to his huge 12" uncut cock, that is.

Maybe... (5, Insightful)

wampus (1932) | about 4 years ago | (#33505102)

Maybe they should focus less on evangelization and more on making a browser that people want to use. Chrome is eating their lunch and they are content to push agendas instead of pushing code.

Re:Maybe... (3, Insightful)

odies (1869886) | about 4 years ago | (#33505110)

Exactly. The battle against H.264 will end up costing them even more market share too.

But what always seems weird to me in discussions about web games in here is the dissing of Facebook games. People complain how they are apparently timewasters, stupid and how people should be playing real games instead. Why? They are entertainment just as any other "real" game and people think they're fun to play. They might be more tailored towards casual people, but in fact in the 1990's and 2000's I remember reading discussions about how to get more non-hardcore players and especially girls to play games. It seems web games, especially social ones like on Facebook is an answer to that. Why do so many people have an axe to grind if someone plays and enjoys Facebook games?

Also, web games really aren't there to completely replace "real" games, there's place for both. Especially with the current technology and the sizes that "real" games require when installed. Internet and computer usage is completely different now than in 1995 and there's room for both type of games.

However where Mozilla probably fails here is that they want to strictly promote games using open technologies.

There are three problems to that; First of all, any of those technologies don't support games as good as Flash, and don't have a universal way for websites to embed them. Usually you also end up having to give out your full code, which just isn't going to work for companies and some people.

Secondly, Flash has awesome authoring tools for coders and artists. There's none such for the mentioned technologies - you usually just write it in JavaScript.

Thirdly but not least, the state of open source games is not good. Lack of artists, only copying of commercially successful games like Civilization and SimCity and similar just makes things worse. Projects also usually die quickly, just like those projects you worked with as a teenager. You had great interest in them at first, but then it just died and you moved on to something else. Commercial games overcome that problem by paying their developers, but that is not possible in open source world.

Re:Maybe... (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#33505162)

and don't have a universal way for websites to embed them.

There was iframe before there was iPod.

Usually you also end up having to give out your full code

To a greater extent than you end up giving your code to anyone with an SWF decompiler?

Re:Maybe... (2, Informative)

internettoughguy (1478741) | about 4 years ago | (#33505672)

How the fuck is this modded troll? The GP seems closer to a troll.

Of course Mozilla, as a member of the floss community is going to promote floss and open standards, as does Google, and even Apple to an extent.

Re:Maybe... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | about 4 years ago | (#33506958)

You can decompile anything - and since adobe released the full spec for swf, it's hard to say it's less open

However, that's not the point - the point is that html5 games are crappy in terms of performance compared to flash. It's the same as the current "manipulate the dom" model - a stupid hack that wouldn't have gone anywhere in a sane world.

Re:Maybe... (1)

Surt (22457) | about 4 years ago | (#33508126)

That's depressing if true. The performance of flash is truly atrocious. At least with an open source stack you have the hope that a competent performance engineer will have a look at some point, with flash there's no hope, because such a person would have to agree to work for adobe.

Re:Maybe... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33505374)

Exactly. The battle against H.264 will end up costing them even more market share too.

What battle? Open video is here to stay and it's usage is growing every day. Look:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLPPlRDOZx0 [youtube.com]

You can watch that video in WebM natively in your browser with no plugins. Firefox will not only be just fine but will, in fact, be better than ever. So will Blackberry with the embrace of open audio on the Blackberry Torch 9800 and Curve 9300 [berryreview.com] .

Re:Maybe... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33505638)

What battle? H.264 was here way before WebM and works on a lot more platforms than only Firefox and two models of Blackberry.

Re:Maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33506470)

+ Opera + Chrome

Re:Maybe... (1, Informative)

westlake (615356) | about 4 years ago | (#33506738)

What battle? Open video is here to stay and it's usage is growing every day. Look.You can watch that video in WebM natively in your browser with no plugins.

That video wasn't recorded or edited in WebM.

It was trancoded by YouTube - and it will play just fine in your H.264 enabled browser.

Re:Maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33505708)

People are annoyed by the category of "social" games on Facebook where success in the game is dependent almost entirely on how many of your Facebook friends you have gotten to view to the game producer's ads, not anything involving skill at the game. No one gets annoyed at Scrabble on Facebook. People get annoyed at getting an invite for yet another game with no significant user control. There is a difference between a game being simple/easy and a game being significantly influenced by aspects outside the game itself (i.e. getting friends to join the game).

FOSS games are just as good as Facebook games (3, Interesting)

Acetylane_Rain (1894120) | about 4 years ago | (#33505746)

I see a double standard in the way you praise Facebook gaming while "dissing" open source games. First, you say that we should consider Facebook games as just as good as "real" games. On the other hand, you also say that "the state of open source games is not good." But for every popular Facebook game (e.g. Farmville, Mafia Wars), I can download dozens of FOSS [wikipedia.org] games that are just as good or even better. So okay, maybe these FOSS games are just knockoffs of some commercial game. But aren't those Facebook games that you say are "fun to play" also knockoffs of, let's say, Sim City? Oh well, I'm logging off now and playing another round of Megaglest [wikia.com] and Sauerbraten [sauerbraten.org] .

Re:Maybe... (1)

oljanx (1318801) | about 4 years ago | (#33505838)

I have a suspicion that assuming "real" games cannot be delivered to a browser is a lot like saying 64k ought to be enough for anyone.

Re:Maybe... (1)

Khyber (864651) | about 4 years ago | (#33506360)

It's enough for the guys that do demoscene stuff all day long.

Re:Maybe... (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | about 4 years ago | (#33506298)

Thirdly but not least, the state of open source games is not good.

So how many Open Source games have you actually played then?

Re:Maybe... (2, Insightful)

whitehaint (1883260) | about 4 years ago | (#33507008)

RE: Facebook games. It's because of Zynga, the company that keeps pushing you to blow your money on stupid crap, is a cause of much wasted space on peoples wall and in general are slightly unethical wankers.

Re:Maybe... (2, Informative)

cabraverde (648652) | about 4 years ago | (#33507034)

The battle against H.264 will end up costing them even more market share too

Don't be ridiculous. There are sound legal (not idealogical) reasons why Mozilla cannot implement H.264. Patent law, basically. For you to portray that as Mozilla fighting a 'battle' is downright disingenuous.

Re:Maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33507920)

That's because Mozilla is just too stubborn to simply pass the video to the OS, which in 99.5% of cases already can play the H.264 video.

Re:Maybe... (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | about 4 years ago | (#33507236)

There are lot of knock offs in commercial gaming: just look at the zillion FPSes.

However I found some really brave and innovative opensource games, like Tremolous and Globulation.

Re:Maybe... (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 4 years ago | (#33507416)

First of all, any of those technologies don't support games as good as Flash, and don't have a universal way for websites to embed them. Usually you also end up having to give out your full code, which just isn't going to work for companies and some people.

I'm pretty sure that's how DirectX initially got started. I remember digging through bulk masses of Microsoft "free" code to find out how to do stuff early on. Little did I know then that most people probably just took and copy/pasted that code into their own game... but apparently that's how you "win" the game. You just have to write the program for some people and play ignorant when it comes to copyright.

Re:Maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33505144)

Hmm, let's compare chrome against IE9, Opera, and Firefox 4.0 [youtube.com] and also against Safari 5.0 [youtube.com] . Huh. I don't get it. Why doesn't Chrome win?

Re:Maybe... (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | about 4 years ago | (#33505488)

Wow. Just, wow. They have four browsers open on one PC at the same time, using a benchmark written by Microsoft, and they expect a valid benchmark result? WTF?

Re:Maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33506330)

Wow. Just, wow. They have four browsers open on one PC at the same time, using a benchmark written by Microsoft, and they expect a valid benchmark result? WTF?

You can download the IE9 preview and run tests yourself, with the combination of GPU accellerated HTML5 (Canvas, SVG etc.) and the new Javascript engine (on par with Chrome, leaving Firefox in the dust), it actually is pretty impressive speedwise.

Re:Maybe... (1)

arose (644256) | about 4 years ago | (#33505148)

Maybe you should focuson what you want less and what Mozilla has always been doing. Not to mention that Chrome's "agenda" is very similar.

Mozilla's agenda is "to open the web". Chrome's agenda is to "advance the web".

Re:Maybe... (5, Insightful)

JackieBrown (987087) | about 4 years ago | (#33505186)

Chrome agenda is both. They are trying to "advance the web" by pushing "to open the web."

There is a reason that they almost exclusively chose open protocols and standards for their products and browsers.

They are large supporters of HTML 5, they pushed an open codec to give a viable alternative to h.264, they support imap and pop for gmail even though it allows you to bypass their adds, and they use jabber for their IM protocol instead of coming up with something new and closed like Mypsace, MS, Yahoo, Facebook, and Skype did.

Re:Maybe... (4, Interesting)

mr_mischief (456295) | about 4 years ago | (#33505492)

Not just open protocols and open standards, but open source to implement them. That's a big deal, too. Everyone should see the benefits of open standards and open protocols. Open source is a subtler and less commonly chosen solution.

Re:Maybe... (1)

pr0nbot (313417) | about 4 years ago | (#33506758)

Browser development is not Google's core business (advertising is). When push comes to shove, they will choose their business interests over your browser experience.

Look at iTunes. It's just a media player. But Apple has no interest in making it the best possible media player - if they did, it would (to take a random example) allow syncing to as many portable players as possible, rather than just iPods. iTunes serves Apple's core business interests. I'd be really surprised if Chrome didn't go the same way.

Browser development is Mozilla's core business. Pushing for an open internet directly supports this.

Re:Maybe... (3, Interesting)

wampus (1932) | about 4 years ago | (#33505188)

And here I thought Mozilla was after producing a quality web browser first and foremost. If I wanted to run something substandard that gives me an unwarranted sense of superiority because it is more open, there are Linux distros specifically for that.

Re:Maybe... (1)

Phopojijo (1603961) | about 4 years ago | (#33505366)

If your company spends its time and capital developing all their new features open... it doesn't need to spend its time and capital defeating other standards. Betamax was technically superior to VHS.

Re:Maybe... (1)

wampus (1932) | about 4 years ago | (#33505412)

And? The Webkit/KHTML browsers are open. IE is open but not free. Using "open" as a selling point isn't very convincing when everyone is open and supports the same standards. Mozilla had a lot to do with progressing things to where they are now, but they run the risk of becoming irrelevant if they don't have a compelling product.

Re:Maybe... (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 4 years ago | (#33505778)

Mozilla ain't got shit to worry about. sure some geeks may go play with chrome for awhile, but Mozilla has an ace in the hole I haven't seen any of the other touch yet...their kick ass extension framework, which appeals to what I call the "non geek" factor. My GF barely knows more than "clicky clicky" on a PC, my mom and dad are even more clueless, yet they all have custom browsers. Did I do that? Nope, Firefox extensions. Once they learned of Firefox extensions they were customizing like crazy, and frankly I have yet to see any of the other browsers give me the kind of fine grained control over the web like Adblock Plus and Noscript give me.

So if any Mozilla developers are reading this? Listen to your old pal Hairyfeet: Embed a video on your first run site that shows a simple tutorial on how easy extensions are to install and use, and I would add something like "Have you tried extensions to make the web YOUR way? want us to show you how with an easy video?" on the screen they see after an update. Extensions are THE "killer app" you have over everyone else, and the lock in potential is off the chart, as everyone I know who have tried extensions, including myself, simply won't go back to using the web without it.

Hell even my 67 year old clueless dad will call me if he has to use a relative's PC that doesn't have Firefox complaining that "Their web is busted, all they have is that lousy blue E thing!" and I have to walk him through getting Firefox so he can have IMGZoom and Adblock Plus. So push extensions Mozilla, push them hard.

Re:Maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33505912)

So if any Mozilla developers are reading this? Listen to your old pal Hairyfeet: Embed a video on your first run site that shows a simple tutorial on how easy extensions are to install and use, and I would add something like "Have you tried extensions to make the web YOUR way? want us to show you how with an easy video?" on the screen they see after an update. Extensions are THE "killer app" you have over everyone else, and the lock in potential is off the chart, as everyone I know who have tried extensions, including myself, simply won't go back to using the web without it.

I quite like this video from the Mozilla Summit which demonstrates making extensions in five minutes to make the web your way:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKN4_fOKEWQ [youtube.com]

Re:Maybe... (3, Funny)

Inda (580031) | about 4 years ago | (#33506496)

I'm sorry but I have to disagree.

My father-in-law said "Firefox is shit because it is as slow as shit" or words similar. He wasn't on about the slow rendering and JS people on Slashdot complain about. He was talking about the 50+ extensions he'd installed. He'd gone through all the extensions installing each one that looked cute. FF took 3 or 4 minutes to start. You can imagine the rest.

Re:Maybe... (3, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 4 years ago | (#33506724)

Well just because you have a family member that does the classic "ur doin it wrong" doesn't make what I said any less true. Working PC repair I get to see many "Joe Normal" Firefox installs, and I'd say the average is 3-6 extensions, with 4 usually being the sweet spot. Rarely do I see any like mine where they have nearly a dozen, and those are usually what would be called a "power user", since it really doesn't take much to change you web experience completely. Take my dad for example, he is color blind and wears thick glasses, so the pictures on many websites would be just a gray blob. Thanks to IMGZoom he can simply hold the right mouse button and make any pic as big or as small as he needs, which makes it a "must have" for him.

The other "killer app" Mozilla has is Personas. We geeks laughed at it but the Joe Normals seem to really love them. I've seen everything from monster trucks to boy bands starting Firefox lately everyone seems to be changing the look. Hell even in my own family everyone has changed personas without me even pointing that feature out. My mom has flowers (they just make everything cheerful) my oldest has a gothic looking one, the youngest anime, and last I looked dad had a classic car.

Everyone likes to be different, everyone has different tastes and different wants. The nice thing about Mozilla Firefox is it doesn't take any real PC knowledge to have a completely custom browser. If Mozilla is smart they will heavily push extensions and personas, as those really set it apart from the pack IMHO.

Re:Maybe... (2, Interesting)

sourcerror (1718066) | about 4 years ago | (#33507268)

Another use of personas: you're able to the tell the difference between different Firefox accounts (I have several, 1 for developing tools, 1 regular).

Re:Maybe... (1)

maxume (22995) | about 4 years ago | (#33506672)

People always say Betamax was better than VHS. Apparently it has better video quality, but it is ridiculous to pretend that recording time is not technically a feature (and VHS units had better recording times earlier).

Re:Maybe... (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | about 4 years ago | (#33506252)

A couple of points:

1) You are able to connect to the Internet on your PC (whatever OS it runs) because of open standards - i.e. TCP/IP.

2) You are able to read & post on Slashdot now because of open standards like HTTP.

3) NVIDIA and ATI create Linux graphics drivers which are closed sourced & therefore closed standards. Likewise Adobe with Flash and a few others. In other words, just because someone runs Linux, it does not mean everything run on it is based on open standards.

4) You're deluding yourself if you believe most Linux users give a damn about what you run. Linux exists as an alternative to, and despite of, proprietary Microsoft OSes and most people use it because of its capabilities. An OS is nothing more than a computer toolkit & you choose the what tools you consider to be right for the job.

SWF is an open format (1)

tomhudson (43916) | about 4 years ago | (#33506992)

NVIDIA and ATI create Linux graphics drivers which are closed sourced & therefore closed standards. Likewise Adobe with Flash

Please stop spreading lies [adobe.com] .

SWF File Format Specification (Version 10)

The SWF file format is available as an open specification to create products and technology that implement the specification. SWF 9 introduced the ActionScript(TM) 3.0 language and virtual machine. The SWF 10 specification expands text capabilities with support for bidirectional text and complex scripts with the new DefineFont4 tag. The DefineBitsJPEG4 tag allows embedding JPEG images that have an alpha channel for opacity and also a smoothing filter. SWF 10 also adds support for the free and open-source Speex voice codec and for higher frequencies in the existing Nellymoser codec.

Download the SWF file format specification [adobe.com] (PDF, 940K)

Adobe seriously considers all feedback to the SWF file format specification. E-mail any unclear or potentially erroneous information within the specification to Adobe at flashformat@adobe.com.

Same as pdf, same as a lot of other stuff

They also have an swf sdk that you can download if you want to implement your own flash development environment. They "get it." They know that the best way to stay #1 is to constantly challenge themselves by encouraging competition.

Re:SWF is an open format (1)

jonescb (1888008) | about 4 years ago | (#33507602)

I'm haven't looked at the spec myself, but I remember hearing that the main Gnash developer didn't find anything in the spec particularly useful. They had everything in the released spec figured out before it was released, and Gnash still doesn't fully support SWF 9 and 10. So I'm led to believe that Adobe's documentation is pretty sparse.

Re:SWF is an open format (1)

tomhudson (43916) | about 4 years ago | (#33507860)

Well, if you've already reverse-engineered the spec, you're not going to find much useful in it - except confirmation that you got it right. Unlike, say, Java, where you can only get the conformance test tools if you pay beaucoup buck$ and sign an NDA - hardly open source.

They make plenty of other stuff available as well - you can download the Flex SDK source [adobe.com]

The Flex SDK is one of several open-source projects in a Subversion repository hosted by Adobe. Subversion is an open-source revision control system used for many open-source projects. If you haven't used it before, please see the official documentation. For a high-level overview of source control concepts, see A Visual Guide to Version Control.

If you don't feel like downloading anything, you can browse the source tree [adobe.com] . going through it, I picked a lib at random, and I see it's licensed under the Apache license - that's pretty much a F/LOSS license in most people's books.

Re:Maybe... (5, Insightful)

BZ (40346) | about 4 years ago | (#33505178)

1) Mozilla's goal is an open web, not "making a browser". Making a browser is a means to an end.

2) I'm curious about your use of "instead" instead of "in addition to".

Re:Maybe... (-1, Offtopic)

wampus (1932) | about 4 years ago | (#33505220)

1) Christian missionaries do that, too. Feeding starving people is a means to an end. Unfortunately that only works when there are no other options or when what is on offer is more compelling than the competition. It isn't anymore.

2) Long standing problems that may or may not be fixed in the 4.0 branch (thinking specifically of update functionality in Windows here- there are other examples) and the entire video tag debacle.

Re:Maybe... (1)

BZ (40346) | about 4 years ago | (#33505450)

> Christian missionaries do that, too

Sure. So does everyone.

For example, no one currently making a browser actually wants to make a browser per se. They all have an agenda they would like to push, using their browser as leverage.

> Long standing problems that may or may not be fixed in the 4.0 branch

You mean long-standing problems like not being able to print preview in Chrome? Or long-standing problems like broken CSS selector matching in Chrome (and other Webkit browsers)?

Complex software tends to have some long-standing problems. A number of such got fixed in Firefox 4.0; not all of them did. That doesn't equate to no work happening.

I also disagree with your characterization of the video tag situation, but only time will tell which of us is right.

Re:Maybe... (1)

Moridineas (213502) | about 4 years ago | (#33505468)

1) Christian missionaries do that, too. Feeding starving people is a means to an end.

That is really so not true, for so many missionaries...

Re:Maybe... (1)

dangitman (862676) | about 4 years ago | (#33505788)

That is really so not true, for so many missionaries...

OK, so if that's not true, why don't they just go over there to feed the starving people, rather than going to feed the starving people and promote Christianity?

Re:Maybe... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33506262)

Because the church will pay for it.

Re:Maybe... (1)

musicalmicah (1532521) | about 4 years ago | (#33505252)

This looks like the effort of 1 FTE [wikipedia.org] , tops. For all we know, it may even be a volunteer project. And remember, open source evangelism is one of the reasons Mozilla got its edge and re-opened the web after the onslaught of IE.

Re:Maybe... (5, Insightful)

Zixaphir (845917) | about 4 years ago | (#33505268)

I can not for the life of me understand how anyone thinks that Firefox is a substandard browser. It does everything I want it to do and more, while allowing me to tweak anything in almost any way I please.

Re:Maybe... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33505298)

Well who gives a fuck what you want. You're just one cock guzzling asshole.

Re:Maybe... (1, Redundant)

wampus (1932) | about 4 years ago | (#33505310)

Substandard is a strong word, but Firefox seems like it has lost its focus. If they keep it up, you could be downloading Firefox Communicator with 3D blink tag support while the rest of the players pull the market in another direction.

Re:Maybe... (2, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | about 4 years ago | (#33505508)

Yeah, Firefox is still my browser of choice, but I'm no longer as evangelical as I used to be. Ever since the Awesomebar debacle... they've seemed to have an agenda that was distinct from simply making a good, open, browser. They've gotten all 'marketing' on us, trying to move us in certain directions, rather than helping us go where we want.

Re:Maybe... (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 4 years ago | (#33505360)

I would use Firefox exclusively, except I keep experiencing a weird lag problem, sometimes bogging down to about 1 frame every ten seconds. With FF as the only program running, on a dual-core gaming laptop. So now I dual-wield browsers: Chrome for normal surfing, Firefox to read the scores of RSS feeds I follow. If Chrome had something on par with Live Bookmarks, I'd use it, but until then, two browsers works fine. Except for that one issue, FF is a superior browser to Chrome, in my opinion. Better UI, better extensions, better browsing experience in general.

Re:Maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33505416)

List of open standards with incomplete/buggy support in Mozilla Firefox:

CSS 2.1 (standard reached Candidate Recommendation status since July 2007)
CSS 3 (standard under development since 2005)
SVG 1.1 (standard finished 2001)
DOM Level 3 (published April 2004)
ECMAScript 5 (published December 2009)

Re:Maybe... (1)

peppepz (1311345) | about 4 years ago | (#33505844)

Are you trolling or what?

Firefox 4 gets 97/100 on the Acid3 test and 574 out of 574 in the CSS3.info selectors test.

Unlike webkit-based browsers, it supports MathML (and has for ages). It also directly targeted WebGL support, whereas other vendors tried to sneak in proprietary standards before giving up.

Say that it is slow, but not that firefox doesn't support open standards.

Re:Maybe... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33506148)

Of course Mozilla supports open standards. My point was that they are SLOW to implement them. There is still no WebM support in stable releases of Firefox. I understand that they have limited resources but the point is that they seem to have a strange set of priorities (such as constantly fidgeting with Firefox's UI) when they do not yet completely support stuff that is YEARS old. Things like WebM are already a day late and dollar short when it comes to market penetration. The last thing we need is for projects such as Firefox dragging their feet supporting open standards--especially ones that are going to be of vital importance like which video codec is going to be strewn all over the web in the next 5-10 years.

Re:Maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33506210)

And by the way, there is no excuse for Firefox's pathetic support of SVG 1.1. If they are serious about wanting to displace Flash then that is another area that needs some major work.

Re:Maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33506458)

Firefox 4 beta 5 allows animation events, and the final version will pass over 80% of the testsuite. Sure there is more work to be done, but they're ensuring it's done RIGHT.

For example, run this simple animated counter [imgh.us] in beta 5 and see if Chrome or Opera or IE9 come even close to rendering it as correctly as Firefox 4.

Re:Maybe... (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 4 years ago | (#33507458)

Unlike webkit-based browsers, it supports MathML...

Actually, MathML was merged to the trunk of Webkit the middle of last month. So if you're running the latest, it's working, although when it will be in a particular browser depends upon the release schedule for that browser.

It also directly targeted WebGL support, whereas other vendors tried to sneak in proprietary standards before giving up.

I'm not sure what you're referring to. Chrome and Safari both have extensive WebGL support at this point. They also support some additional functionality, like Apple's 3D CSS transforms, but calling them proprietary is misleading. The Firefox team has actually implemented some of them. "Proprietary" doesn't mean the same thing as "hard to implement on OS's that don't have most of the graphics work done for you". It's a published open standard.

Re:Maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33505624)

Mozilla's JS engine SUCKS.

Re:Maybe... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33505882)

http://arewefastyet.com/ [arewefastyet.com]

I'll just leave this here...

Re:Maybe... (1)

dangitman (862676) | about 4 years ago | (#33505728)

I can not for the life of me understand how anyone thinks that Firefox is a substandard browser.

It's slow and has a clunky interface. Not to mention the "automatic updates" bullshit that seems a lot like Windows automatic updating. Have you actually tried using other browsers?

Re:Maybe... (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 4 years ago | (#33507576)

You may think it has a "clunky interface", but I personally like it much more than Chrome. Though, I end up using Chrome more often because of synchronized bookmarks and I use multiple machines. That doesn't mean I like the interface. I just find that it has one killer feature I would rather not live without.

As far as interfaces: Firefox > Chrome > IE8 (I have not used Safari or Opera, but I imagine they are Chrome-like in going for form over function.) I do however combine all the Firefox toolbars into one nice thin bar at the top:
http://i.imgur.com/cDQqW.png [imgur.com]

Re:Maybe... (4, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 4 years ago | (#33506480)

Because of stupid ass stunts like foisting the 'Awesome Bar' on us with no option to completely revert back to the old behaviour (no, setting maxRichResults to 0 DOES NOT WORK before someone chimes up with it - it gimps the AB somewhat but it does not revert it to pre-AB behaviour).

Because of stupid ass stunts like turning on silent automatic updates by default when we bitched and shouted at Microsoft for doing exactly the same thing.

Because of the way activity in one tab can still block the entire browser, such as showing an authentication prompt (no way to switch to another tab while that there box is showing).

Re:Maybe... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33507670)

1] Edit->Preferences->Privacy->Location Bar->When using the Location Bar, suggest: Nothing
2] Edit->Preferences->Advanced->Update tab->uncheck automatic update boxes
3] you have a minor point; I'd suggest dealing with the authentication box first

Now get back to work, Dick.

Re:Maybe... (1)

Exitar (809068) | about 4 years ago | (#33507328)

Because it has still awful memory leaks.
I use FF to play an "html only" MMO (mostly due to some helpful greasemonkey scripts not working on chrome) and after 1 hour of play it is using 1 Gb (and when it doesn't reach that limit it's because it crashed before)...

Re:Maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33505402)

Chrome is not replacing my ff in any hurry, it's a cute little cousin type browser that I take out for a spin when my ff is all loaded up with my real work.

Re:Maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33505440)

My first thought was "now, if only there were someone to create a web browser efficient enough to make gaming on the web realistic (without flash of course)" now...who could possibly do that...who do we know that's been known to develop web browsers...

What's so wrong with flash? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | about 4 years ago | (#33507030)

It's a completely open spec [adobe.com] that adobe has made available to anyone who implement it

SWF File Format Specification (Version 10)

The SWF file format is available as an open specification to create products and technology that implement the specification.

You can also download their flash and flex SDKs, and other stuff [adobe.com] .

The problem isn't flash - it's single-threaded browsers that sh*t all over themselves when a badly-written page (doesn't matter the content) ends up pegging your cpu, eating all your memory, and making you wonder if they ever heard of threads.

Some people! (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 4 years ago | (#33505482)

Some people would bitch if you hung 'em with a new rope.

Re:Some people! (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | about 4 years ago | (#33505510)

I'd bitch about that whole "you hanging me" part. I don't really care about the rope, unless it's old enough to break. Then I'd care if you wanted to update it.

Re:Maybe... (0, Troll)

gmhowell (26755) | about 4 years ago | (#33505924)

You're just angry because their first project will be a simulation of the genocide of your people.

Re:Maybe... (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | about 4 years ago | (#33506278)

It looks to me like you are contradicting yourself by evangelising Chrome.

Besides which, who gives a shit? Both browsers are free to use, there are enough add-ons about to sync bookmarks and settings between the two, and hard disks are not small these days. Therefore I personally give both of them a spin and "let nature take its course"; if I end up only using one of them in the future then so be it.

Hmmm (Re:Maybe...) (1)

EXTomar (78739) | about 4 years ago | (#33508038)

It seems to me that people like to play lots and lots and lots of games through web browsers. It would seem to me that promoting building web games in an open way goes along with "making a browser that people want to use".

When I want to read the article, it isn't there (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | about 4 years ago | (#33505266)

There isn't much information on this.
If my game isn't open source, do I still get to participate?
I'm working in Flash.

Re:When I want to read the article, it isn't there (3, Insightful)

DamienRBlack (1165691) | about 4 years ago | (#33505334)

I don't think it matters if you game is open source, just the tools you are using. I think using flash goes against their goal. There are plenty of flash games, they are trying to show games that use open platforms.

Re:When I want to read the article, it isn't there (3, Interesting)

mr_mischief (456295) | about 4 years ago | (#33505556)

Flash (the authoring tool) can now produce HTML 5 Canvas + JavaScript. Flash Player (the runtime) was produced for years because there was no other viable option for running the output of Flash.

The output right now pretty much sucks, but they're working on it. The Flash IDE is pretty nice, so if people who have invested time in learning it can eventually put the output onto a standard web page without requiring a plugin on the client, I'm sure that's what most people will be smart enough to do.

Also, Adobe has done a lot of work on standardizing the SWF format and even the save format used by the Flash IDE. Macromedia's versions used to just dump a memory image to disk to save a Flash project. Now you can save it as an XML file that can be worked on with a node editor, text editor, XSLT, or whatever. The SWF format targeted at the Flash Player is even published so that other players can be written to the exact spec, although HTML 5 + JavaScript will hopefully be the dominant output from the IDE soon.

Now, I don't see the multi-hundred dollar Flash development system itself becoming open source any time soon. Adobe does have some tools they've put in the open realm, though. The quality of clones both open and closed of the IDE is improving. There are scores open source tools that output to SWF now that could also output to HTML 5. One programming language I've worked in (haXe [haxe.org] even targets SWF, JavaScript+HTML DOM, or the Neko VM selectably (but with different libraries and some differences in capability for each).

Re:When I want to read the article, it isn't there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33506402)

Are you trying to say that Flash is converting ActionScript as an intermediate format into JavaScript? This can only end badly. It's impossible for it to achieve the performance capabilities of raw JS. In reality it will likely be 10-50x slower. Flash-HTML5 games will earn the same awful notoriety that SWF games have. Can't Adobe do anything correctly?

Stop with the FUD (1)

tomhudson (43916) | about 4 years ago | (#33507050)

I don't think it matters if you game is open source, just the tools you are using. I think using flash goes against their goal. There are plenty of flash games, they are trying to show games that use open platforms.

Flash is an open platform. [adobe.com]

SWF File Format Specification (Version 10)

The SWF file format is available as an open specification to create products and technology that implement the specification. SWF 9 introduced the ActionScript(TM) 3.0 language and virtual machine. The SWF 10 specification expands text capabilities with support for bidirectional text and complex scripts with the new DefineFont4 tag. The DefineBitsJPEG4 tag allows embedding JPEG images that have an alpha channel for opacity and also a smoothing filter. SWF 10 also adds support for the free and open-source Speex voice codec and for higher frequencies in the existing Nellymoser codec.

Download the SWF file format specification [adobe.com] (PDF, 940K)

Other Adobe Open Source Stuff [adobe.com]

You can also download their SDKs, etc. There's nothing stopping anyone from implementing flash and/or flex - the specs are all out in the open, as are the tools.

Re:When I want to read the article, it isn't there (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | about 4 years ago | (#33507856)

I also wonder if there is something to win in their competition.

I hope the first game is Strategic Conquest (1)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | about 4 years ago | (#33505346)

Did any of you ever enjoy Strat Con [deltatao.com] ? It did not use much horse power and should work fine if ported to javascript/html5.

Re:I hope the first game is Strategic Conquest (1)

Spliffster (755587) | about 4 years ago | (#33505722)

You might be Interested in an HTML5/SVG Version of freeciv: http://freeciv.net/ [freeciv.net] It's still in development but it is playable already. Best results in in Chrome, Safari or Firefox.

Re:I hope the first game is Strategic Conquest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33505784)

Now that is a game I haven't seen in a very long time, but I played a lot of it. I'd probably play it just for old times if it came out in a web version.

That and Spaceward Ho!

Obfuscation probably as good as DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33505486)

Why not just pass your code through an obfuscator sure people could steal it but could they figure out how to make it run from thier site I guess that depends on how well JavaScript can be obfuscated? That would leave only the game content vulnerable and there might be a way to get around that if JavaScript becomes fast enough.

Personally I always liked the Space strategy games where you had to outfit a ship with various wepons and move around conquering.... sort of like the old star trek games.

Flash? (1)

gaspyy (514539) | about 4 years ago | (#33505578)

There are no rules or at least guidelines for now. I'm curious whether or not Flash will be allowed. I guess not, since if they do, all the winners will be flash-based.

Love it or hate it, Flash is the best way of writing a game for web (and in some cases mobiles), and with frameworks like AIR or tools like ZINC they can become standalone apps for Win/Mac/Linux - effectively meeting the promise made by Java 15 years ago.

Two years ago a wrote a little chess game [sparkchess.com] . I initially considered Java and then Silverlight but I ended up writing it in Actionscript 3 simply because of its broad reach and ability to easily have nice graphics. Despite the fact that it's not nearly as powerful as a chess game written in C, it's been surprisingly successful.

I've been thinking about porting it to HTML5, but I see no practical advantages to doing so and I'd only lose 60% of the viewers and I'd have to put up with browsers inconsistencies, rendering bugs, javascript's prototype-based class model...

Re:Flash? (1)

gaspyy (514539) | about 4 years ago | (#33505646)

Just speaking of inconsistencies, the text links at the top of http://www.mozillalabs.com/gaming/ [mozillalabs.com] (which use a web font - Museo Sans) look different in Firefox and Chrome, while on https://gaming.mozillalabs.com/ [mozillalabs.com] the red circles with "Read blog", "Follow" are rendered incorrectly by Chrome (latest DEV build). What's not to love?

Re:Flash? (1)

peppepz (1311345) | about 4 years ago | (#33506006)

It's great that you can now inspect multimedia-rich web pages and see that all the elements that compose them (including scripts, fonts, sounds) are now first-class citizens, not distinguished from hyperlinks and images, instead of alien entities sealed in a square box in the middle of the page. You can now learn how they work by looking at the code, and even rip the resources you like, as you have always been able to do with text and images. I think HTML5 is a long overdue update to HTML that, in the long run, has a clear potential to finally put an end to the reign of fear of browser plugins, with their security vulnerabilities, performance issues, integration issues, portability issues, compatibility issues, maintenance issues.

About inconsistencies: it would also be interesting to look at how flash content looks like when run outside the canonical windows/unix/mac desktop plugin developed by Adobe. For instance, in Android devices, Nokia devices, on the PS3, or any non-x86 architecture which is served by a different plugin than the Adobe one. There, I'm used to see plenty of inconsistency, transparency issues, animations which just get stuck, sluggish performance, "please update your flash player" messages (of course updating the flash player on a cell phone is usually out of question).

I agree with you that Flash is *the* best way, currently, to run multimedia content that the largest number of desktop users will be able to access. But the availability of high-quality open source html5 engines and the rise in importance of non-x86 portable devices will probably change that in the near future. I think even Adobe is keeping the back-end of their tools open to alternative solutions to Flash, just in case.

Re:Flash? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | about 4 years ago | (#33507092)

Flash runs great on the Wii - without the need to write specifically to the Wii platform. Same app, same appearance.

Re:Flash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33506662)

You make it sound like Javascript's prototype-based class model was a disadvantage O_o

Re:Flash? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | about 4 years ago | (#33507078)

Flash is still the way to go - and contrary to the fud being spread here, the flash standard is completely open [adobe.com] - anyone is free tom implement it.

You also get cross-platform from one codebase for free. Windows, Linux, BSD, even the Wii! And since smartphones will increasingly be able to run flash, why bother with anything else (especially slow non-portable html5 games).

it is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33505616)

My opinion it is that is matter. If all are open then you can do trick and that is very important.piese auto online [auto-tip.ro]

Bill gates Internet Tidal wave hits... (0, Redundant)

nulled (1169845) | about 4 years ago | (#33505626)

In 1995 Bill Gates wrote a panic email to his top execs titled, "Internet Tidal Wave"... why did he write this? Because, he knew that one day the browser could go full screen and become the operating system capable of playing games and complex software. This threatened Microsoft's bottom line on all levels.

Now, it seems his worse nightmares are coming true. Microsoft tried to stop it, but was only able to slow it down. By destroying Netscape by putting it out of business before netscape and java was able to get too big. But, as things turned out, you can not stop the inevitable. Google plays to release an Operating system soley based on a web browser. The web browser capable of running native code with the power of Open GL for graphics and the framework to develop sophisticated applications.

I have been waiting for this day... although I saw it coming years ago, when Google co-oped with Web GL and began NaCl (native client)...

Re:Bill gates Internet Tidal wave hits... (1)

dangitman (862676) | about 4 years ago | (#33505758)

In 1995 Bill Gates wrote a panic email to his top execs titled, "Internet Tidal Wave"... why did he write this? Because, he knew that one day the browser could go full screen and become the operating system capable of playing games and complex software.

I doubt very much he "knew this" as such. I think he had only a vague idea of what was going on. Certainly, the way Microsoft reacted (trying to create a proprietary web) didn't really indicate that he understood the problem.

To be fair, nobody really knew in 1995 what was going to happen. It was all USENET and CD-ROM.

Re:Bill gates Internet Tidal wave hits... (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | about 4 years ago | (#33506160)

It was all USENET and CD-ROM.

Ssssh. The first rule of Usenet Club is you do not talk about Usenet Club.

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Need open web browser fart apps! (1)

leftie (667677) | about 4 years ago | (#33505822)

There's clearly an unfulfilled need for online browser fart aps!

Dear Mozilla Foundation (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33506452)

Dear Mozilla Foundation: if you want people to write games using open standards, get a half-decent language (i.e. not the steaming pile known as JavaScript) adopted as an open standard. Because until then, it ain't gonna happen.

Re:Dear Mozilla Foundation (1)

tomhudson (43916) | about 4 years ago | (#33507130)

Get a half-decent content model - not the DOM. And not HTML. In other words, apply that age-old truth - "Different tools for different jobs." Otherwise, you'll always be behind implementations that do this (think swf, which is an open specification [adobe.com] free for anyone to implement).

In other words - why didn't moz implement native support for the swf spec instead? The spec is out there, you can also freely download the SDK directly from Adobe, as well ss Flex, etc. They even invite people to do this:

The SWF file format is available as an open specification to create products and technology that implement the specification.

Or maybe they could fix their browser so that badly-written pages don't grab 175% cpu and all available memory on multi-core machines.

Re:Dear Mozilla Foundation (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | about 4 years ago | (#33507610)

I abandoned javascript 12 years ago, frustrated by the inconsistencies amongst browsers and frustrating unexplainable errors. I tried it again last year and was surprised by its evolution : easy to code, many helpful libs, good integration with HTML through DOM, etc... If your feelings toward javascript are a bit old, maybe you should try it again.

Re:Dear Mozilla Foundation (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 4 years ago | (#33507816)

I abandoned javascript 12 years ago, frustrated by the inconsistencies amongst browsers and frustrating unexplainable errors. I tried it again last year and was surprised by its evolution : easy to code, many helpful libs, good integration with HTML through DOM, etc... If your feelings toward javascript are a bit old, maybe you should try it again.

I'm going to make a wild guess and say you found it easy to code... using the aforementioned helpful libraries.

Raw JS is still as much of a PITA now as it was 12 years ago. Worse now, since you have to take into account quirks across 4-5* JS engines instead of just 2.

*4 if you ignore Opera, 5 if you include it.

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