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In-Depth Look At HTML5

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the digging-in-for-the-long-haul dept.

Programming 150

snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Peter Wayner offers a four-part series devoted to the new features of HTML5. Each article examines the evolving spec in-depth, focusing on canvas, video, audio, and graphics for display options, including the <canvas> and <video> tags, Scalable Vector Graphics, and WebGL; local data storage, including Web Storage, Web Database, and other APIs designed to transform Web pages into local applications; data communications, for cross-document messaging, WebSockets, and other HTML5 APIs that improve website and browser interactivity; and forms, for increasing control over data input and validation."

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150 comments

The truth is (0)

devxo (1963088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35432160)

Browser makers finally need to decide on one codec or it will just lead to the situation we had in 90's with tons of codecs (or everyone will keep using Flash). Google and OSS people have to stop being like a little kid and accept that H.264 is already everywhere from mobile devices to GPU's and HDTV's and HTML5 will not get anywhere if it isn't used. It's too late. There will come another round after H.264 gets old - make sure open source and free codec is ready by then. Now lets just enjoy that we even have HTML5.

Re:The truth is (5, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35432250)

Google and OSS people have to stop being like a little kid and accept that H.264 is already everywhere from mobile devices to GPU's and HDTV's and HTML5 will not get anywhere if it isn't used.

They can accept it all day long and want to distribute software that will encode and decode h.264, but where do you expect for them to get the money for the per-copy royalties from? Of course, being unwilling to push software that is inherently un-free is acting like a little kid.

Re:The truth is (2)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#35432742)

Well, pushing software that has no hardware support and provides no clear advantage to the end-user over H.264 is.. something. Pushing it only because it'll allow your corporation to dictate by fiat the possible business models for web video, that's something too. OTOH, acting like something that is "inherently unfree" is worse, regardless of useful it is, is pretty childish.

Re:The truth is (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35432818)

Pushing it only because it'll allow your corporation to dictate by fiat the possible business models for web video, that's something too.

Like h.264, who have a whole schedule of royalties based upon your business model? The only one that gets a free pass, mind you, is free-streaming video.

OTOH, acting like something that is "inherently unfree" is worse, regardless of useful it is, is pretty childish.

So pursuing alternatives to royalty-encumbered standards is childish. Got it. Time to start paying for those software patents. Perhaps instead we should just give up on open source entirely, because using it and considering it superior in any way is childish in the face of even moderately useful closed source, proprietary solutions. Gotcha.

Re:The truth is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35432992)

H.264 is open standard. It follows all the principles of being open. Open source people always say you can make money with open source - well, now MPEG-LA is doing that.

Re:The truth is (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35433286)

I haven't heard of anybody claiming that should be the case for standards. What they typically advocate for is products like Crossover Office where you're paying for something that's nearly entirely made of open source code.

Re:The truth is (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35433970)

By using software patents loaded with royalties that make it impossible to redistribute software using them. Oh sure, Mozilla could pay for the royalties, but no one who distributed Firefox could do so anymore without stripping the h.264 code out.

Re:The truth is (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35435516)

H.264 is open standard.

Yes. Exactly! Its open in the same way a closed door is open.

To quote a poster at OSNews.com:

WebM: unencumbered by patents, free, Free, open source, can be implemented by anyone - wherever, whenever, however.

H264: none of the above, but instead of being developed by a single company, it was developed by a few big shots.

And somehow, H264 is more open?

So yes, absolutely, H.264 is completely open so long as you completely redefine what "open" means so as to make us ignore the man behind the curtain.

Re:The truth is (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#35433318)

Like h.264, who have a whole schedule of royalties based upon your business model?

A consortium of 20 companies is far preferable to a single BDFL who effectively decides what will run on the web and what won't. A schedule of royalties is far preferable to the alternative, which is "I want to sell a better codec, but it's impossible because Google gives away mediocre ones."

Re:The truth is (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35433398)

A consortium of 20 companies is far preferable to a single BDFL who effectively decides what will run on the web and what won't.

Even when the "BDFL" basically puts it into the open and goes hands-off? They're just putting a video codec out into the open, not deciding what will and will not run on the web (in contrast to Adobe and Microsoft, who are and have tried, respectively.)

"I want to sell a better codec, but it's impossible because Google gives away mediocre ones."

I see this sort of sentiment leveled against open source software all the time, what makes it more true now than before?

Re:The truth is (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#35433542)

I see this sort of sentiment leveled against open source software all the time, what makes it more true now than before?

No other open source vendors have a monopoly. Web video is Youtube and a minuscule fraction is everything else. Vendors only care about supporting YouTube. If Google is able to dictate the hardware codec your equipment is built with, by setting the codec of YouTube, then they can effectively force everyone else to use their format. People might invent better codecs than YouTube's, but it'll be impossible to bring them to market because the barrier to entry created by the "free" Google codec will make it too expensive for manufacturers to put on the hardware, or too cumbersome for average users to install.

The MPEG-LA actually has companies that sell real video gear, and they compete to make good video gear. Google doesn't give a fuck about how good video looks, they just want to know where the ads go. YouTube's monopoly insulates Google from competition from other players in the video market.

Re:The truth is (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 3 years ago | (#35435722)

pretty much everything you've said here is bullshit, why would any hardware/software player manufacturer go "oh, i support youtube, guess i'm done, people won't want to watch ripped dvds or their existing content etc etc etc".

Re:The truth is (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#35436404)

Ah this is where you're wrong. It's all about controlling the streaming from large providers to set-top boxes, Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu to AppleTVs, Rokus, and the (basically moribund, due to Google's incompetence) GoogleTV platform. The companies in the MPEG-LA and Google both see that streaming distribution will be the future, and that no one will rip movies in the future, because it won't be sold. Physical media's days are numbered. I will be extremely happy if hardware supports both formats, and more, but people up the thread are arguing for MPEG eliminationism, and that would be bad for competition and consumers.

The only question is, do you stand with the monopoly that sells you to advertisers, or with the cartel that sells hardware to you? I'll always vote for the people I buy things from directly over a advertising company.

Re:The truth is (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#35433750)

Even when the "BDFL" basically puts it into the open and goes hands-off?

Is there some sort of covenant and indemnification to that effect? Is there a Community Process? Is there a way for people to work within the process and still compete on quality and have a practical way of delivering a better experience outside of it?

I mean, like Android, this is really the most bullshit kind of open sourcing. None of the benefits accrue to the end users, because almost none of the end users know how to code. All of benefits go to the releaser and its cadre, like the OHA; the open sourcing isn't done to foster innovation, it's done to burn the crops of the competitors. Apple open-sourced Darwin and Clang; they did it so no one could ever compete with them on a FreeBSD platform or low-level compiler again, allowing them a free hand to compete on the playing field they chose. Google's no different.

Re:The truth is (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35435764)

I mean, like Android, this is really the most bullshit kind of open sourcing.

That is a complete bullshit statement and a complete lie. Propaganda much?

Android does accept input and patches. Not only have bugs I've filed been fixed, at least one of my recommended patches are now running in Android; which was first adopted by third party roms. As are hundreds of other patches and improvements. And no, I do not work for Google or a carrier.

Android absolutely is open source in the most literal sense. Anyone who says otherwise is ignorant or an idiot with an agenda.

With your idiotic logic, Linux isn't open source because we don't all have the source and/or input into the bios and firmware of all the installed components.

Re:The truth is (3, Insightful)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#35432950)

How do you think H.264 started out ? With zero hardware support, this is where VP8 was a few months ago. Now they have a few hardware manufacturers that ship VP8 built in. Any many said they would do the same. The whole H.264 / VP8 debate is also about looking at the future not just now.

Re:The truth is (1)

Salvo (8037) | more than 3 years ago | (#35436490)

WebM still isn't ready for public consumption. By introducing the h.264/VP8 debate prematurely, Google have derailed the progress of HTML5.

Coupled with the stagnation of HTML5 YouTube and increased reliance on Adobe Flash in Google Maps, Stocks, Analytics and Android, it appears that Google have gone off HTML5. How long till Google Docs and gMail become Flash-based?

Re:The truth is (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35436590)

By introducing the h.264/VP8 debate prematurely, Google have derailed the progress of HTML5.

You mean by creating competition before a defacto incumbent could be entrenched, they stopped HTML5; which ignores video was a tiny, tiny element of the spec? WTF?

Coupled with the stagnation of HTML5 YouTube and increased reliance on Adobe Flash in Google Maps, Stocks, Analytics and Android, it appears that Google have gone off HTML5. How long till Google Docs and gMail become Flash-based?

So you're saying their open support for HTML5, such that they don't want to support flash vs a current need to drive their business can only be interpreted as support for flash? Paranoid much? You're conflating a business need now with a business need for tomorrow. They used what's available. They're working to change that for tomorrow. Someone you interpret very clear anti-flash behavior for being pro-flash to the detriment of themselves. How could you have possibly reached that conclusion?

HTML5 didn't exist yesterday. Flash did exist yesterday. Their only options were, use flash, create an entirely new technology which wouldn't be supported by other browsers, or push for a new standard. They picked the first option, to address current business needs and the third option to address tomorrow's business needs. I don't see the problem. Its the same decision any half way decent businessman would have made.

Re:The truth is (3, Informative)

PhunkySchtuff (208108) | more than 3 years ago | (#35432948)

H.264 is royalty free for Internet video that is free to end users (Internet Broadcast AVC) until at least December 31, 2016.
You need to pay a small licensing fee to use an encoder which Google would have to do with all the videos they encode on YouTube, but as far as including the codec in the browser, it's completely free of charge for at least another 5 years - by which time we will have probably moved on to something better.

Now is not the time to be pushing a private agenda, now is the time to get on board with established industry standards and get something more open into the next round.

http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/AVC/Documents/AVC_TermsSummary.pdf [mpegla.com]

Re:The truth is (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35432986)

Would you buy a book written in disappearing ink?
"It's fine, you can read it right now, no problem!" ?

Re:The truth is (2)

devxo (1963088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35433036)

Not everything lasts forever. In fact, only few things do. You ate food yesterday and that ain't coming back. Nor is your ex-girlfriend. Sometimes you just have to move on and do other things.

Re:The truth is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35435244)

This is a very poor analogy.

Re:The truth is (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 3 years ago | (#35435752)

it's a poor deal if you the alternative is food you can buy once and eat whenever you want until you get sick of it and delete it.

Re:The truth is (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 3 years ago | (#35435088)

Actually yeah I would, especially if it was just a novel. It would actually make the book far more useful as then once I have read it I would have at least a usable notepad as apposed to the 3 rooms of my house with wall to wall bookcases that realistically never get touched once I have read everything on it.

Re:The truth is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35435628)

*WHOOSH*

Re:The truth is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35434074)

Er. They aren't charging per file distribution fees now, but anyone who distributes a decoder still has to pay up to $5m/yr.

Re:The truth is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35434740)

as far as including the codec in the browser, it's completely free of charge for at least another 5 years - by which time we will have probably moved on to something better.

IE 6 was released on August 27, 2001.

Re:The truth is (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35434782)

>5 years - by which time we will have probably moved on to something better.

On the web, the original 'language' attribute for the script tag was put in place for when other languages were ported to run in your browser. JavaScript was the default embedded language just until 'something better came along'. Although I've seen a few experiments done, fifteen years later your choice is still JavaScript or nothing.

I'd be rich if I had a nickel every time I saw something done in code that programmers thought was just a stop-gap measure until something better came along-and fifteen years later it's still in use.

Changes in standards typically take an obscene amount of time-just ask the W3C. Thing about how long it would take for all the companies that are heavily invested in H.264 to move off to something better if they started *today*. More than 5 years I'd wager.

Re:The truth is (1)

Draek (916851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35435848)

it's completely free of charge for at least another 5 years - by which time we will have probably moved on to something better.

We won't, and the whole point of standards is that we shouldn't have to.

This is not the time for you technophiles to go spreading your political agenda at the cost of everyone else, this is the time for us to unite and get it right the first time around with a proper, Free standard for the web, just as all its predecessors have been.

Re:The truth is (1)

sunfly (1248694) | more than 3 years ago | (#35436630)

h.264 is an open standard, WebM patents are mostly owned by Google. Although since h.264 is a pool of patents, and many of the patents are very broad (sadly) several probably apply to WebM as well. The real push here is not for open standards, but free usage of those patents. h.264 has granted an indefinite free license to those distributing video for free. Those charging for video will likely have to pay royalties in the future whether they use h.264 or WebM (if the patent attorneys have their way). One is hardware supported, one is not. As an end user I simply want to keep watching video for free or cheap. Some business models may need adjusted accordingly.

Re:The truth is (3, Informative)

pipatron (966506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35432432)

How do you figure they could license the patents? It's most probably legally impossible unless they write new browsers from scratch and then pay from their own pockets for everyone downloading their software. The ball isn't in the hand of the OSS people here.

Re:The truth is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35433234)

How do you figure they could license the patents? It's most probably legally impossible unless they write new browsers from scratch and then pay from their own pockets for everyone downloading their software. The ball isn't in the hand of the OSS people here.

Google already licensed the patents. It was included in Chrome up till version 8. They took it out to promote their company-owned WebM.

Re:The truth is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35433840)

That's great, but how are free software developers expected to license the patents?

Re:The truth is (1)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 3 years ago | (#35435028)

How do you figure they could license the patents? It's most probably legally impossible unless they write new browsers from scratch and then pay from their own pockets for everyone downloading their software. The ball isn't in the hand of the OSS people here.

Google already licensed the patents. It was included in Chrome up till version 8. They took it out to promote their company-owned WebM.

So in otherwords, they wrote a new browser from scratch and paid from their own pockets for everyone downloading their software?

Re:The truth is (1)

Draek (916851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35436050)

It's one of the perks of operating a multi-billion dollar business: you can easily afford any paywall your competitors try to burden you with.

Sucks for everyone else, though, and thankfully Google is well aware of that.

Re:The truth is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35432476)

So we should let a codec that has random guarantees of the future licensing of the codec be the main stream? Yeah sure, let's give them full power to charge us an excessive amount when theirs is the only kid on the block. If "it's everywhere" was a valid argument to give up, nothing new would be created. You need to start from somewhere if you want greater acceptance over time and there will always be a "it's everywhere" deal when you start something new from scratch.

Re:The truth about Microsoft (1)

mcneely.mike (927221) | more than 3 years ago | (#35433640)

So we should let Microsoft that has random guarantees of the future licensing of their operating system be the main stream? Yeah sure, let's give them full power to charge us an excessive amount when theirs is the only kid on the block. If "it's everywhere" was a valid argument to give up, nothing new would be created. You need to start from somewhere if you want greater acceptance over time and there will always be a "it's everywhere" deal when you start something new from scratch.

Same argument... this is why i use gnu/linux.

Re:The truth is (3, Insightful)

Rysc (136391) | more than 3 years ago | (#35432662)

. Google and OSS people have to stop being like a little kid and accept that H.264 is already everywhere from mobile devices to GPU's and HDTV's and HTML5 will not get anywhere if it isn't used

No. H.264 doomsayers like you have to stop being like a little kid and accept that a royalty-encumbered codec will never be accepted as the "one codec." No, seriously, *NEVER*. If you insist on one codec then you can forget about H.264; put it out of your mind, it doesn't exist.

OSS people are not being pedantic or skinflints, it's just practical reality. It's "but H.264 has won!" people who need to wake up and smell some reality: H.264 is not nearly as permanently entrenched as you think it is. I'll take HTML5 with a mandated royalty-free codec over your "entrenched" de-facto standard any day of the week and twice on Sundays: in such a fight HTML5 will win nine times out of ten.

Re:The truth is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35432888)

. Google and OSS people have to stop being like a little kid and accept that H.264 is already everywhere from mobile devices to GPU's and HDTV's and HTML5 will not get anywhere if it isn't used

No. H.264 doomsayers like you have to stop being like a little kid and accept that a royalty-encumbered codec will never be accepted as the "one codec." No, seriously, *NEVER*. If you insist on one codec then you can forget about H.264; put it out of your mind, it doesn't exist.

OSS people are not being pedantic or skinflints, it's just practical reality. It's "but H.264 has won!" people who need to wake up and smell some reality: H.264 is not nearly as permanently entrenched as you think it is. I'll take HTML5 with a mandated royalty-free codec over your "entrenched" de-facto standard any day of the week and twice on Sundays: in such a fight HTML5 will win nine times out of ten.

Exactly, that's why we all stopped using un-free MP3s.

Re:The truth is (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#35433384)

. Google and OSS people have to stop being like a little kid and accept that H.264 is already everywhere from mobile devices to GPU's and HDTV's and HTML5 will not get anywhere if it isn't used

No. H.264 doomsayers like you have to stop being like a little kid and accept that a royalty-encumbered codec will never be accepted as the "one codec." No, seriously, *NEVER*. If you insist on one codec then you can forget about H.264; put it out of your mind, it doesn't exist.

OSS people are not being pedantic or skinflints, it's just practical reality. It's "but H.264 has won!" people who need to wake up and smell some reality: H.264 is not nearly as permanently entrenched as you think it is. I'll take HTML5 with a mandated royalty-free codec over your "entrenched" de-facto standard any day of the week and twice on Sundays: in such a fight HTML5 will win nine times out of ten.

The problem with your little rant is that H.264 is technically superior to all of the "open" standards.
Not marginally so. Not just a little bit. But massively so.

To suggest that end users should FIGHT for something INFERIOR just because it aligns with YOUR personal beliefs and Chicken-Little "the royalties are coming!" bullshit is absurd. The bottom line is that BROWSERS should not be decoding this shit themselves. A browser should merely connect to available codecs on the system. MS realizes this, and MS realizes that customers want something that works. So MS made the h.264 plugin for FF. Apple realizes that customers want something that works. So Apple, controlling the browser 99.9% of their customers use, made sure their browser could handle h.264. Whether or not Safari uses codecs on OSX/iOS or whether it comes with its own is irrelevant, since they control both except for the 2 people who actually use Safari on Windows. Opera supports h.264 when the system it's on supports it in an easy-to-access manner. Mobile devices with hardware h.264 decoding? Opera is able and willing to handle that, even though they still cry out for "open" codecs. Once again, Opera is the best choice.

So the hold outs are FireFox and Chrome. The vast majority of FireFox's waning user base won't give a shit because MS fixed the problem for them. Mozilla is holding out on principle. That's fine, but if they don't see that their stance is going to result in users dropping them in favor of other browsers, they're stupid.

Google is holding out because they don't want to buy into the MPEG-LA group. They could easily afford it financially, but they can NOT afford the hit to their public image, especially after taking such a vocal stance about "openness". In the end, someone will write an add-on for Chrome to do the same damned thing as Firefox. There will be an "app" for h.264 decoding on Android (released by Google, released by Google posing as someone else, or released by someone else) in the same fashion there is Flash on the web. This functionality could be bundled into an update for the Youtube "app", allowing the browser to easily tap into it, since most people still dissociate Google from Youtube and will be less likely to call them out on the flip-flop.

The end result will be OSStards screaming about h.264, and posting weekly FUD articles about impending royalty fees (which no end user will ever have to care about). They'll bitch and moan but they'll secretly install the plugin/app that makes shit work for them. All of 17 holdouts will actually browse the web in a manner that results in them unable to play h.264 content.

Re:The truth is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35434170)

The problem with your little rant is that H.264 is technically superior to all of the "open" standards. Not marginally so. Not just a little bit. But massively so.

HAHAHAHAha! Bullshit! You need a new set of eyeballs if you think h264 is that much better than WebM.

You h264 trolls just need to accept the fact that Google isn't playing ball and since Google owns Youtube, that's all she wrote. H264 will wane and VP8 will slowly but surely win.

P.S., it's a codec, not a religion so, please get a life.

Re:The truth is (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35436380)

Not marginally so. Not just a little bit. But massively so.

Pure delusion. The latest release of WebM almost completely closes quality gap. H.264 still has a huge lead in encoding performance. WebM has an edge in decoding performance. Given, as consumers, who have a primary need to decode, which makes more sense.

So basically we have more or less visual quality parity between H.264 and WebM. Hardware support is steadily growing for WebM which means battery life parity. H.264 is clear champ at encoding performance. WebM is pushing ahead of H.264 at decoding performance. For most devices, the later means superior battery life.

Contrary to you delusion, WebM looks to be offering H.264 some serious competition.

Re:The truth is (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 3 years ago | (#35434320)

I'm right between your argument and the GP's. I'm annoyed at Google for indicating they're going to drop support for h.264 (they can afford whatever future royalties will come), and I'm annoyed at Apple for saying they're not going to support WebM (they've got the resources to drop a few lines of code into their products to support it). I mean, all modern browsers support JPG, GIF and PNG; why can't we support even two major standards without everyone getting in a snit?

Re:The truth is (1)

Draek (916851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35435918)

In the case of Apple it's politics: they really don't like competition, and the h.264 licenses ensure the barrier of entry is high enough they don't have to worry about some puny little dev team disrupting their marketplace with some shiny new browser.

In the case of Google however, it's *also* about politics, but a slightly different take: they really don't like monopolies and oligopolies, since they tend to make dirtying and eliminating Google their first priority (see also: Bing, iPhone), and putting a Free codec in the standard ensures the big guys can't use the h.264 patents as a club to squash smaller competitors with.

Essentially, it comes down to whether you like seeing the web in the hands of a few or not. If you were around during the IE6 days, I assume you'll understand if I say I'm on Google's side in this one then.

Re:The truth is (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#35433290)

Firefox and Chromium (non-Google-branded open source base of Chrome) are open source browsers, the H.264 license model does not fit well with the open source development model. For example when a Linux distribution compiles Firefox or Chromium, they would need to get their own license for all the users of that distribution. The license cost up to 5000000 annually. In the past only Chrome included H.264 and not Chromium, Google didn't want to seperately maintain that part of the code, thus they dropped support for H.264 from Chrome. Just get with the program, H.264 for all browsers is not going to happen.

Re:The truth is (1)

Trufagus (1803250) | more than 3 years ago | (#35433796)

Why is this an issue for you?

You can host your videos in H264 and WebM and deliver whichever is supported to each client. Or, if you don't like that, you can just support one and ask your customers to install a plug-in. After all, there will be free H264 plug-ins for the browsers that don't ship with H264 support (actually, I think there already are). The only exception, of course, is iOS where users will not be allowed to use WebM, so I guess you'll go for H264.

On the other hand, when a browser like IE9 decides to not support half of the technologies that we are talking about, you don't have much recourse (short of asking them to switch browsers), so I would say that that is much more important to discussion.

Re:The truth is (1)

mldi (1598123) | more than 3 years ago | (#35434100)

Why do they have to decide on one or the other? What's wrong with supporting both? If someone wants to pay commercial licensing for encoding h264, they can. If they have a tighter budget and need something free and open but still supported, they can.

Everybody wins?

Re:The truth is (1)

Draek (916851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35436012)

Because all it takes is for a single significant player to decide not to support one of the codecs in order for the other to gain dominance over the whole market. And since Apple went crying and bitching to the W3C that they weren't ever gonna implement a Free codec because they didn't wanna, we need a counterpoint for the WebM/Theora side in order to have a meaningful debate instead of the zealots going all "iOS doesn't support it, therefore it's dead". Not that it has stopped them, but at least Firefox and Chrome's marketshare has made the more rational elements pause for a bit.

And then there's the potential legal issues with a heavily patented codec for Free Software, both present and future.

Re:The truth is (1)

MorpheousMarty (1094907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35434232)

So, exactly what kind of business model should Mozilla adopt to pay for h.264's licensing fees?

Re:The truth is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35436262)

They don't have to pay anything to provide support for pluggable codecs, which is something pretty much every OS provides. Then Firefox could simply play what is available and if the user happened to have an h.264 codec, regardless of how the user came in possession of it, Mozilla would not be responsible for it. Then the browser isn't tied to any specific format.

W3C HTML5 video draft does not specify a video format. The documentation spec as it stands provides markup to specify which codec to use and W3C seems to want nothing to do with locking the spec to any particular codecs. Internet Explorer and Safari both do this. The only reason Firefox, Opera and Chrome won't is political, plain and simple.

At the end of the day the question is simply whether or not you think Apple will bow to WebM/V8 support on iOS as there lies more influence and sway than the tech market can ever manage to muster.

four-part series (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35432292)

a four-part series devoted to the new features of HTML5

To quote American Pie... "Dude, that's a lot of work." Can you summarize in four sentences?

Something I've never understood about HTML (1)

Alaska Jack (679307) | more than 3 years ago | (#35432322)

Why isn't there a "Caption" tag? (I mean for images, not for tables).

So if you had something like this:

<img caption="yadda yadda yadda" src='"blah blah blah">

Then the caption would be underneath the photo, with the photo and the caption treated as one block (i.e., with the body text wrapped around it the same way it is wrapped around the photo.)

I'm sure there's a good reason -- can someone enlighten me?

    - aj

Re:Something I've never understood about HTML (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35432390)

The reason is that HTML doesn't have support for photographs. It has support for images. If you want to caption a photo it is trivial to do. Meanwhile, images have ALT text which does what you want except that presentation is left up to the browser.

Re:Something I've never understood about HTML (4, Informative)

WiglyWorm (1139035) | more than 3 years ago | (#35432478)

You are thinking of title text. Alt text is intended for accessibility for screen readers and other non-image capable browsers. It is not a caption, it is an alternate .

Re:Something I've never understood about HTML (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35432570)

[div class="photo"]
[img src="photo.jpg"]
[div class="caption"]
[p]Caption here[/p]
[/div]
[/div]

What's wrong with that? Plus in this model, you can embed HTML in the caption... and style it however you want using CSS.

Re:Something I've never understood about HTML (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 3 years ago | (#35432574)

<pedantic> Also, the way you've described it, the caption wouldn't be a tag; it would be an attribute of the image tag:
caption as an attribute:
<img caption="yadda yadda yadda" src="blah blah blah">

caption as a tag:
<img src="blah blah blah"> <caption text="yadda yadda yadda">

</pedantic>

Re:Something I've never understood about HTML (1)

Alaska Jack (679307) | more than 3 years ago | (#35435212)


You are technically correct -- the best kind of correct! Thanks. - aj

Re:Something I've never understood about HTML (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35436680)

Isn't that was CSS was invented for?

Re:Something I've never understood about HTML (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35432616)

figure and figcaption

Re:Something I've never understood about HTML (1)

Rizimar (1986164) | more than 3 years ago | (#35432618)

Probably because there would need to be additional coding to support a caption attribute. Browsers would need to determine the correct size and placement for the caption because it could throw off the image size. And it could be a headache for developers who want precision in their layouts. Would <img src="photo.jpg" caption="This is my caption" width="200" height="200"> still display an image that's 200x200px, or would it need to stretch/skew the image for the caption to be shown? Would the page's developer need to know how big the line/font height is of the caption to get that exact size?

The alt/title attributes can really help out with that because they replace the caption with mouseover text. Though, with CSS and HTML today, you can also simply add your image and a caption inside of a div element which can have specific sizing and placement which gives more control over how the caption is displayed.

Re:Something I've never understood about HTML (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35432696)

Almost all browsers except IE already support ANY [xmlsucks.com] tag. Just stick it between < and >, then style it in css.

So you can already have a <photo>photo tag</photo>, a <crap>crap tag</crap>a <slashvertisement>slashvertisement tag</slashvertisement> etc.

Re:Something I've never understood about HTML (1)

toriver (11308) | more than 3 years ago | (#35435692)

... but for XHTML you would need to namespace it since it would be outside the HTML (default) namespace.

But I guess XHTML is dead now.

Re:Something I've never understood about HTML (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 3 years ago | (#35432710)

Why isn't there a "Caption" tag? (I mean for images, not for tables).

So if you had something like this:

<img caption="yadda yadda yadda" src='"blah blah blah">

Then the caption would be underneath the photo, with the photo and the caption treated as one block (i.e., with the body text wrapped around it the same way it is wrapped around the photo.)

My guess is that it's not there because it would make the standard more complicated, and it doesn't add anything you can't do now (<div><img src='"blah blah blah">yadda yadda yadda</div>). Besides that, making it an attribute wouldn't make very much sense, because you'd probably want to be able to apply HTML to the caption. Making it the content of the img tag might make sense though (<img ...>yadda <i>yadda</i> yadda</img>), but that would make the distinction between the caption and the alt text confusing.

Re:Something I've never understood about HTML (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35436274)

Well said. The idiot asking for a caption tag doesn't know how to use XHTML and CSS properly.

Who freaking cares (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35432418)

about HTML 5! Is it really gonna make any of you happy?!? Here's an idea: forget about new tags and focus on getting drunk and fucking some new women!

Re:Who freaking cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35432638)

some new women!

By, "new women", hopefully this time you mean someone other than your brother in a wig.

Re:Who freaking cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35433622)

You're the insult master!

Discovery (0)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#35432692)

While an in-depth look at HTML 5 is really cool and all, does anyone have a link to a video of Discovery's approach and landing? I found one on space.com but it's only 1:30 and doesn't have a lot of the chatter between Discovery and control.

Re:Who freaking cares (4, Funny)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 3 years ago | (#35432744)

:rolleyes:

Because I was smart enough to care about emerging technology in high school and college instead of sex and drugs, I now have a well-paying job that provided me with a very, very nice house in one of the nicer parts of my town, the perfect motorcycle for my needs, an airplane, a late model truck and a (modest, granted) recording studio in one of the extra bedrooms in the aforementioned very, very nice house. As if that weren't enough, I have a smokin' hot wife and a daughter who makes life worth living, even if I didn't have any of the material possessions I mentioned first. Life is good. So, yeah, I'd say HTML5 probably will make some of us happy.

YMMV. Keep drinking cheap beer and chasing skirts while living in your mom's basement if you want, but when you find yourself old, fat, broke and alone, you'll have no one to blame but yourself.

Re:Who freaking cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35433274)

So, yeah, I'd say HTML5 probably will make some of us happy.

Only if you hail from Bangalore.

Re:Who freaking cares (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35434362)

about HTML 5! Is it really gonna make any of you happy?!? Here's an idea: forget about new tags and focus on getting drunk and fucking some new women!

Tell us about the drinks you drank and the new women you nailed after clicking submit!

Re: In-Depth Look At HTML5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35432528)

I have an In-Depth look at HTML5 right now... porting my stuff to awesome WebGL...

I am optimistic that, after 20 years, bullshit like Flash and proprietary codecs are finally going to die in a fucking shitstorm that caught fire

DO IT: http://nightly.mozilla.org/

I used to laugh at "web programmers" (2, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35432602)

I recall when the web was young people would claim "I program in HTML!" I was like "yeah, I can insert 'bold' and 'a' tags too..." In the beginning, HTML was nothing more than what the name says it is -- a markup language. (Of course "language" somehow means programming? No it doesn't...)

Well, now things are different, of course. Web programming today is real programming for some... still markup for others. But now the web is becoming more than a presentation medium which is very exciting I think.

Re:I used to laugh at "web programmers" (2)

trollertron3000 (1940942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35433002)

I'm still not in love with client technologies but I knew they were powerful when I first dug into "DHTML" and created an animation using nothing but html and js. Essentially it's still the same recipe, with server-side powering the whole thing. Good times.

But yeah, agreed. I used to scoff at the title myself but these days I'm in awe at the power of "UI programmers" who well versed in both client side and design elements. They code JS, they do graphics, they know design, they write server-side web APIs, and they're experienced in "Rich Internet" development like Flash and Silverlight. It's downright impressive.

Re:I used to laugh at "web programmers" (2, Funny)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 3 years ago | (#35433302)

It's downright impressive.

Until you start using it and discover it's all smoke, mirrors, duct-tape and baling wire.

Re:I used to laugh at "web programmers" (4, Interesting)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#35433560)

I don't know how it is in the US, a lot of the time this is all self-taught. Because pretty much no-one seems to teach HTML/CSS/JS/etc. properly in school/university and so on.

Javascript is one of the most used programming languages and because it looks simple or familair most people assume it is, but in reallity it is the probably the least understood language by frequent developers. Most have no clue what prototypal inheritance is for example.

Also the Javascript name is just a marketing ploy because it has nothing to do with Java.

The core of the language is very small and was created and working in just 10 days.

It is a functional programming language with a C-syntax.

With the recent creating of node.js (a fully event-driven framework for writing network programs) Javascript has also become much more populair on the server.

Node.js was created in 2009 and is already almost the most watched project on github.com for example.

There introduction video where the creator/author explains what it is about:

http://developer.yahoo.com/yui/theater/video.php?v=dahl-node [yahoo.com]

So it is just an event-loop just like a webserver like nginx.

One of the design goals is actually:

The API should be both familiar to client-side JS programmers and old school UNIX hackers.

I guess that applies to me twice. :-)

Re:I used to laugh at "web programmers" (3, Interesting)

roadsider (970039) | more than 3 years ago | (#35434292)

As a web designer who started as a print designer before the web was invented and even before the advent of desktop publishing, this whole meshing of coding and designing represents a kind of repudiation of the concept of WYSIWYG.

I took to the web design relatively easily, but only because HTML looked very similar to the same code used by the old digital phototypesetting machines made by Compugraphic, but early on, we all seemed to hope for that "killer app" that would finally get us away from the code. To me, designing a page in HTML was like doing a page layout working in Postscript. When GoLive and Dreamweaver finally appeared, that looked possible and some cases doable, but not with the advent of CMS. (Adobe destroyed GoLive and Dreamweaver is so complex, only a coder can figure it out, and a coder doesn't need it). Not really.

And now, I look at HTML5 and I see WYSIWYG threatened even more. Seems like the technology is advancing faster than left-brain types like myself can ever keep up, or the design software industry (read Adobe) can accommodate them.

I've never met a coder who knows a damn thing about design. I learned how to tinker with code just to stay employed, but the thought of designing in it makes my eyes glaze over.

Re:I used to laugh at "web programmers" (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 3 years ago | (#35435572)

And good riddance. "WYSIWYG" programs invariably generate a spaghetti-like mess of a page that could had no semantic logic, and could only be practically modified by using the program in question.

You don't design in code. You design with Photoshop (at least for the final version) and then hand it over to people who understand code to implement.

Re:I used to laugh at "web programmers" (1)

js_sebastian (946118) | more than 3 years ago | (#35436466)

And good riddance. "WYSIWYG" programs invariably generate a spaghetti-like mess of a page that could had no semantic logic, and could only be practically modified by using the program in question.

You don't design in code. You design with Photoshop (at least for the final version) and then hand it over to people who understand code to implement.

Sure, but what about that vast majority of web pages out there which are not developed by a whole team of specialized professionals? I know a few people who do some pretty good web design, and none of them sketch it up and hand it to a dev team. Unless your web page is really a complex application that happens to run in the browser, one web designer is quite enough to produce a professional-quality webpage,

Re:I used to laugh at "web programmers" (2)

Sla$hPot (1189603) | more than 3 years ago | (#35433872)

The fact is that nothing has really changed over the past 10 to 12 years. Regards to what you can do with HTML and JavaScript.

Before XmlHTTPRequest there was remote scripting via JAVA sockets.
Before Canvas there was VRML and SVG. The later now in IE9
Some used the div tags to paint charts and figures.
Some when even further creating a bizare technique using borders to create 3D http://www.uselesspickles.com/triangles/ [uselesspickles.com]

But today it seems that all the major browser vendors are finaly accepting HTML as a common web platform.
Which is really good.
It makes you believe that web is gonna bubble again. And stay bubbled!

Re:I used to laugh at "web programmers" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35435894)

HTML5 is the worst kind of stop-gap technology. At best, it is a working prototype for a real api.

Cool, but... (1)

grimsweep (578372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35432628)

There's been a lot of talk about HTML5 transforming today's browsers into tomorrow's platforms as this simple search suggests [google.com]. Essentially, with all of these additions, there seems to be a keen interest in providing "local application" experiences to web-based tools. For example, many of these additions essentially provide access to hardware devices in one form or another.

This is all nice in theory, but once we start including the 'kitchensink' tag, who's to say that browsers won't end up as bloated as Adobe Reader?

Re:Cool, but... (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 3 years ago | (#35432698)

And with as many security vulns. I really hope site sandboxing featuers become easier to use too. Currently I use a separate browser profile for unsavory companies like Facebook but as all these apps bleed together it would be nice to have a clean, easy to use separation feature.

Re:Cool, but... (4, Insightful)

skids (119237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35432830)

Well, despite the fact that XML and HTML are abysmal markup languages, they are a heck of a lot better and more consistent than the off-the-cuff designed-by-horses carnivals you find in PDF and other markup languages that started as internal document formats for proprietary word processors. Consistent design leads to more well organized, less complex code.

In addition, since HTML5 is coming with declarative animation features embedded, and on the heels of active use of the DOM, it has to be designed with performance in mind -- so there's a counterweight for the tendency for bloat to accrue.

That said, with HTML looking to become a "living standard" after HTML5 or in other words, complete anarchy, there will be space for a streamlined markup language to make gains again in another half decade or so -- if someone can finally produce something that doesn't suck for human readability and for complex relationships that transcend tree structures. Perhaps we will have the first popular non-textual markup language by decades end.

Re:Cool, but... (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35433132)

Well, I am fed up with xml and html specifically. I had my hopes set on xhtml2. I had even started working on tools for it. That got screwed over by the mess that is html5. I would love to create something even leaner and cleaner than xhtml2. But html is now a titan, I don't see room for anything to gain significant use.

What do you mean by non-textual? a markup language that can only be assembled in an WYSIWYG IDE?

Re:Cool, but... (1)

skids (119237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35435136)

Well, there's always YAML to extend....

What do you mean by non-textual? a markup language that can only be assembled in an WYSIWYG IDE?

Personally I've always thought graphical languages should be more like a free-form spreadsheet than those glorified text editors we call IDEs. No I do not mean WYSIWYG, except maybe where it makes a lot of sense to do so on small fragments, because the idea of a language, as opposed to an editor, is that you are looking at the underlying representation, not the final product. But yes, I do mean "not in a text editor."

Re:Cool, but... (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#35433154)

There is already a kitchensink in the specification. Although at this point it is only an image: http://images.whatwg.org/abstract.png [whatwg.org] http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/complete/ [whatwg.org] Anyway support for the device-tag is planned for the next big update. The device-tag allows access to the webcam (like Flash currently does), serial ports (so you can use your barcode reader with your webapplication), but also supposedly USB-stick-fileaccess (maybe useful for something like ChromeOS ?) and so on. Yes, yes, all with a banner at the top of the browser "would you like to give this website access to the filesystem of your recently plugged in USB-stick.", bla, bla.

Missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35433066)

Where is the story about the actual HTML5, the formalization of how to interpret all the tags that were already there in HTML4? That's where most of the effort and time has been spent...

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