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Google Chrome To Have Real-Time Communications

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the i-prefer-fake-time dept.

Chrome 121

kai_hiwatari writes "Last month, Google released an open-source project called WebRTC which aims to enables Real-Time Communications capabilities in the web browsers through simple JavaScript APIs. Now, they have taken the first step towards having WebRTC built into Chrome. With WebRTC, developers will be able to build voice and video applications using nothing more than HTML and JavaScript. This is a powerful technology which can challenge services like Skype."

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Permission? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36518604)

If this is done through javascript then is it possible to start running these services automatically without user oversight? Could lead to some interesting spyware opportunities.

Please me in the ass (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36518756)

See title.

Re:Permission? (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#36519570)

Not sure about the technology but my personal bet is that it is just a protocol sitting on top of websockets.
Websockets do not exactly allow cross site calls.

Re:Permission? (1)

Timmmm (636430) | more than 3 years ago | (#36519786)

Yes I'm sure they haven't thought of that blindingly obvious possibility. Well done anonymous slashdotter, you have out-smarted the best minds of Google!

Re:Permission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36521248)

Don't knock my coward friend, I think he has a valid point. JavaScript and HTML is getting more and more like Flash for every minute, It wont be long until someone writes a botnet entirely in java script. It's OK laugh all you want, but I will have this post to point to when it happens a couple of years down the line.

See? I told you so!

Re:Permission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36522320)

This is no different than Geolocation through HTML, the browser prompts to allow site / always allow site ... or monitor my every movement for discounts on 1000s of items at the store. Easy.

Sounds cool (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36518610)

Looking up WebRTC's license right now, says it's open source. Can't wait for the other browsers to pick up on this. I just hope it warns users before allowing access to the camera and mic.

Re:Sounds cool (4, Funny)

zarthrag (650912) | more than 3 years ago | (#36518742)

I'm sure Apple is drawing up a patent on allowing the camera and mic to be turned on remotely, without permission. Probably in response to certain keywords.

Re:Sounds cool (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36518784)

Hah, that's not even trolling, with all the remote-bugging tech they've been patenting recently. I honestly wouldn't be surprised.

Re:Sounds cool (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#36518832)

I'm pretty sure there are laws, at least in the US, that require devices to have an indication that they are recording.

Re:Sounds cool (1)

jijacob (943393) | more than 3 years ago | (#36519212)

The Kinect doesn't.

Re:Sounds cool (1)

Joe Jay Bee (1151309) | more than 3 years ago | (#36519546)

Huh? I might be remembering wrongly, but I'm fairly sure my Kinect has a big green light on it.

Re:Sounds cool (2)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#36520412)

Yes. And a red light, used to scan depth.

Also, the Kinect calibrates by panning up and down. If you see your camera nodding at you, it's probably recording.

Re:Sounds cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36519826)

It's adorable that you think those laws/notifications have any effect when it's the government that wants to watch.

Re:Sounds cool (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36520114)

Maybe, but they didn't used to.

The first gen Logitech webcams didn't have a light, and the second gen had a call to turn off the light and keep recording.

They where also exposed, so you could surf your neighbors camera, tel it to keep the light of an record.
I sent them an email with my code. The next patch removed the API functionality that allowed the light to be turned off.

They never responded, so I don't know if I was why they changed it, or a sudden burst of sense in whomever wrote their APIs.

ah, the 90's.

Re:Sounds cool (1)

zarthrag (650912) | more than 3 years ago | (#36521322)

You have to have consent, but I don't think devices require any kind of indicator - or nanny cams would be illegal. Though, in modern cases, consent might already be covered in the EULA.

Re:Sounds cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36519126)

How about remote activation triggered when a schools district hasn't been sued in a while for spying on students? The legal profession needs stimuli if they're to lead us out of thus downturn!

Re:Sounds cool (1)

mysterios_asian (2035572) | more than 3 years ago | (#36519024)

I'm sure that it warns users about it before having access to the camera and mic

Couldn't they just... (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 3 years ago | (#36518682)

...use JavaScript for this sort of thing? Why the special need for "WebRTC"?

Re:Couldn't they just... (2)

NoSig (1919688) | more than 3 years ago | (#36519078)

I'd rather not have video compression implemented in slow Javascript (even if it is getting faster). I also imagine that you can't access web cam peripherals from Javascript without some kind of browser extension, though I don't know.

Re:Couldn't they just... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36519886)

Well there is a Hardware spec. But it appears to be very early in development.

Re:Couldn't they just... (2)

yarnosh (2055818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36520492)

Javascript doesn't have Peer to Peer communication. Normally you're not allowed to make JS connections to anything but the server the JS came from. And even then, you can only make HTTP connections. And you certainly can't listen for incoming connections from peers. And then there's the lack of access to audio and video inputs.... So, there are many reasons why WebRTC is required.

Re:Couldn't they just... (0)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 3 years ago | (#36520796)

I'm fairly certain AJAX allows one to make connections to other servers.

Re:Couldn't they just... (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#36521618)

Other servers with a port open. The trick is getting javascript running on your destination system's web browser to launch a server that can listen on a port.

Re:Couldn't they just... (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 3 years ago | (#36521848)

I was assuming they'd use a centralized server to make those connections, but I guess that wouldn't be feasible a lot of the time.

Re:Couldn't they just... (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#36521704)

I'm fairly certain AJAX allows one to make connections to other servers.

"Normal" AJAX is restricted by the same origin policy, though there are workarounds (e.g., JSONP).

Skype? Try Facebook (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36518686)

Imagine Facebook: TNG where everything you're doing right now is broadcast immediately to everyone else.

Re:Skype? Try Facebook (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36519440)

Imagine Facebook: TNG where everything you're doing right now is broadcast immediately to everyone else.

As opposed to the masses who are doing this already?

Reminds me of that ST:TNG episode where Wesley saves the day (of course!) by not falling victim to the 'game' everybody is playing. "It's almost easier if you just let it play itself".

Re:Skype? Try Facebook (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36519500)

No Data saved the day. Wesley just avoided the game long enough for find Data disabled and Turned him back on.

Re:Skype? Try Facebook (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36519718)

Without Wesley Data doesn't get turned on....so how is this not Wesley saving the day again?

Re:Skype? Try Facebook (3, Funny)

silverglade00 (1751552) | more than 3 years ago | (#36520288)

Without Wesley Data doesn't get turned on

That put a horrible picture in my head and I threw up a little in my mouth.

Mobile support? (2)

torgis (840592) | more than 3 years ago | (#36518696)

I wonder if there's anything from a technical point of view that would prevent this from working on mobile devices, such as iPads and Android phones and tablets? If they're looking for wide adoption, I'll bet that getting it running on everyone's mobile or tablet would make it a killer app.

Re:Mobile support? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36518738)

Processing power might be a problem on recent devices. That's why they didn't bother add webcam support into the Flash version shipped with the N900 (800Mhz ARM, same CPU as iPhone 3GS)

Most phones now are 1GHz+ or dual core so it probably won't be an issue by the time this is in use.

Re:Mobile support? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36518850)

My Droid has a similar CPU and video chat with it only sucks due to the lack of a front facing camera. You have to use a mirror, they make one you can stick on. Webcam support in flash was not added on the N900 because flash sucks, not because it is that CPU intensive to encode low res video.

Re:Mobile support? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36519668)

Good point, the N900 does have video chat as well, I just forgot because I hardly use it :-P

The future.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36518714)

Web sites that scan your living room and generate targeted advertising, with real-time estimate of income range and instant connection to real salespersons in India.

Re:The future.... (4, Insightful)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 3 years ago | (#36518776)

"We noticed that your face was turned away during our advertisement. Let us play that again for you..."

Re:The future.... (1, Insightful)

Qatz (1209584) | more than 3 years ago | (#36518908)

If so many a Indian salesmen will be video bombed with penis's.

Why in Chrome? (2)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 3 years ago | (#36518724)

I know Google has this whole web-based vision where everything is accessed through the browser, but I'd rather see this as a stand-alone app. I like my web browser to browse the web, my softphone to make calls, my email client to check my email, and my word processor to process my words. Heck, Windows 8 will be written in HTML/Javascript, and Gnome Shell is written in Javascript, so I don't expect to have to wait too long for a native app. I just can't wait for the cloud bubble to burst so we can go back to having traditional software again.

Re:Why in Chrome? (2)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 3 years ago | (#36518804)

Why in Chrome?

Why is Skype as popular as it is?

The answer is ubiquity. Everybody has Skype.

Packaging it in Chrome means that you get a significant user base without requiring people to install *another* client.

Re:Why in Chrome? (2)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#36519234)

Packaging it in Chrome means that you get a significant user base without requiring people to install *another* client.

Isn't that how Microsoft became evil? They bundled in windows certified printer driver to nullify the advantage WordPerfect had, that it would print on any printer. They bundled in IE to kill Netscape...

Re:Why in Chrome? (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36519466)

but but it's from teh Google!!!!

Re:Why in Chrome? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36520178)

No. MS became evil through shady sales tactics, bad security, and pushing others out of the industry by hook or by crook

'Bundling' was just the focus of there legal issues regarding a monopoly.

Breaking your software for the explicit reason of not letting other peoples applications work is different then 'bundling'.

If chrome makes it so no other webcam or mic software worked, you would have a comparison.

Re:Why in Chrome? (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 3 years ago | (#36522204)

Or if they made so that only "partner" webcam makers products would work.

Re:Why in Chrome? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36522002)

Not comparable. Google is just shipping the technology, anyone can write their own client using it.

Not to mention that the tech is BSD licensed, so it won't be a Chrome-only advantage.

Re:Why in Chrome? (1)

yarnosh (2055818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36520580)

Packaging it in Chrome means that you get a significant user base without requiring people to install *another* client.

And what's wrong with installing a client? You'd rather have to keep a tab open for your chat/video client to work?

Re:Why in Chrome? (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 3 years ago | (#36520818)

You and I (and likely parent) don't have a problem with this, but to the average user, its just one more program they have to install.

Re:Why in Chrome? (2)

jo42 (227475) | more than 3 years ago | (#36518848)

The Browser (is now) The OS. Long Live The (retarded new) OS!

Re:Why in Chrome? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#36519874)

Dear Browser-Is-OS-People,

Fuck your OS.

Hugs and Kisses,
Verizon, Comcast, et al.

Re:Why in Chrome? (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#36518876)

I just can't wait for the cloud bubble to burst so we can go back to having traditional software again.

I just can't wait for the web bubble to burst so we can go back to having traditional software again.

The world has never really been the same since we developed this "everything is a web page" model. In a lot of ways, I don't find web-pages to actually be a good replacement for a traditional applications; the interface usability has greatly suffered.

(Yes, there are still some things which don't run as web pages ... who knows, maybe we'll get good old-fashioned native clients pulling in data from the cloud, and there will be unicorns and bunnies and all will be good.)

Re:Why in Chrome? (1)

darrylo (97569) | more than 3 years ago | (#36519168)

I just can't wait for the cloud bubble to burst so we can go back to having traditional software again.

I don't think it's likely to burst -- cloud-based data is just too useful (assuming, of course, that you have an internet connection and sufficient bandwidth, which can be pretty big assumptions). John Gruber, of all people, makes some pretty good points on the upcoming client-in-a-web-browser (Google) and client-as-a-native-app (Apple) wars: http://daringfireball.net/2011/06/its_all_software [daringfireball.net]

Re:Why in Chrome? (1)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 3 years ago | (#36519918)

Universally accessible data is the only part of the cloud mess that I like. Assuming you can find somewhere trustworthy to hold your data for you, it's a nice supplement to the computing experience.
Should it be the only way to use the computer experience? Absolutely not. It should be an add-on, if for no other reasons than security and cost-effectiveness. And I'll keep my apps running natively, thank you very much. Sooner or later we'll realise that not everything needs to be cloud-enabled.

Re:Why in Chrome? (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 3 years ago | (#36521620)

Don't worry ... we went from mainframes (first computers) to PC's ... to mainframes ... to PC's ... to mainframes ("cloud computing").

You might want to get a job at a bank, they're funny because they still haven't fully migrated away from the former version of the mainframes and COBOL. Then they link it to PC's using all sorts of weird protocols (like screen scraping a terminal emulator to translate to xml ... oh the horror). And now of course, on top of that xml they're implementing web2.0 interfaces and webservices.

Needless to say, bugs tend to be epic, extremely hairy bugs, 5 permissions required in writing before you can tie your shoelaces on company grounds. Fixing tiny one-line bugs takes weeks. But the monetary aspect of the job unfortunately makes up for much of this.

Re:Why in Chrome? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#36521658)

I don't think it's likely to burst -- cloud-based data is just too useful (assuming, of course, that you have an internet connection and sufficient bandwidth, which can be pretty big assumptions). John Gruber, of all people, makes some pretty good points on the upcoming client-in-a-web-browser (Google) and client-as-a-native-app (Apple) wars

Which are pretty much po-TAY-to vs. po-TAH-to wars.

There are plenty of tools being built to allow HTML/Javascript "native" apps, and Chrome includes NaCl (and soon, PNaCl) which allow the browser to run native code delivered over the web.

Re:Why in Chrome? (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 3 years ago | (#36522234)

Web developers are cheap. Go out and advertise C++ development for $50/hour and you'll soon see a lot more native apps getting built.

Re:Why in Chrome? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36522382)

I just can't wait for the cloud bubble to burst so we can go back to having traditional software again.

I just can't wait for the web bubble to burst so we can go back to having traditional software again.

The world has never really been the same since we developed this "everything is a web page" model. In a lot of ways, I don't find web-pages to actually be a good replacement for a traditional applications; the interface usability has greatly suffered.

(Yes, there are still some things which don't run as web pages ... who knows, maybe we'll get good old-fashioned native clients pulling in data from the cloud, and there will be unicorns and bunnies and all will be good.)

Thank you! I totally agree, and it's nice to hear someone else thinks the same way!

Re:Why in Chrome? (1)

Timmmm (636430) | more than 3 years ago | (#36519814)

I can see this being useful for specific websites though, e.g. on facebook you can talk to your facebook friends, on ebay you can ask sellers questions, on chatroulette you can show people your cock...

But I agree it should be standalone too. Maybe it is...

Re:Why in Chrome? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36520194)

The cloud bubble is no more likely to burst then the hardrive bubble is likely to burst.

The cloud is how things will be done, I suggest you get used to it.

Re:Why in Chrome? (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 3 years ago | (#36521640)

Hey if you were a mainframe salesman you could use the same line :

"Mainframes are how things *are* done, I suggest you get used to it"

disclaimer : I might have worked at a bank

Re:Why in Chrome? (1)

yarnosh (2055818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36520540)

I know Google has this whole web-based vision where everything is accessed through the browser, but I'd rather see this as a stand-alone app

First of all, it isn't an app. It is an API for building apps. Second, you can do this in a standalone app. ANd you can probably do it better. There are libraries for video, audio, and peer to peer communication.

Re:Why in Chrome? (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#36520586)

Chrome OS. The more that gets moved to the browser, the more functional their new machine will be.

Though I will say this: Traditional software was written to a particular processor. That got abstracted out to run on a processor family class. That was abstracted out further and further, behind BIOS calls, OS Kernels, dynamic linked libraries, etc. Time sensitive code doesn't need to be written in Assembly anymore, or even in a compiled language.

One more layer of abstraction, if it makes coding easier (yes) and more reliable (snicker), is not that surprising.

Re:Why in Chrome? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#36521616)

I know Google has this whole web-based vision where everything is accessed through the browser, but I'd rather see this as a stand-alone app.

Its not an app at all, its a set of Web APIs exposing existing infrastructure that has to be supported by the host OS for it to work at all.

So, if you are developing for an OS that already supports this type of thing outside of the browser (most do, though the APIs may or may not be as nice), and you don't mind tying yourself to that OS, and you don't want to integrate with the Web, then you don't need this.

OTOH, if you do want to integrate with the Web, you need something that has browser integration, and you probably want it to work across different OS's.

Heck, Windows 8 will be written in HTML/Javascript

No, it won't.

Windows 8 will include and support apps that are written in HTML/Javascript, but that's not the same thing.

so I don't expect to have to wait too long for a native app.

Since its not an app at all, but APIs and supporting infrastructure on which apps can be built, which requires existing non-web APIs and infrastructure to already exist in the underlying OS and hardware, a kind of native equivalent already exists anywhere this can be deployed.

I just can't wait for the cloud bubble to burst so we can go back to having traditional software again.

I'm pretty sure native realtime communication software is fairly common already.

Spy technology! (5, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36518896)

With WebRTC, developers will be able to build voice and video applications using nothing more than HTML and JavaScript. This is a powerful technology which can ...

... implement some truly awesome spy technology. Implemented both by site owners and site hackers.

Re:Spy technology! (1)

linuxgeek64 (1246964) | more than 3 years ago | (#36519170)

It won't be able to record without the user's permission. And before you mention clickjacking, that's been done with Flash too, of course. Also, in Google Chrome, there's a JavaScript function to query the user for permission to enable notifications for a particular site, but in my experience it seems it can be triggered only by the user clicking a button.

Re:Spy technology! (1)

moriya (195881) | more than 3 years ago | (#36519308)

Yeah, I don't need sites I randomly visit to start recording the sound of me jacking off as I watch porn.

Re:Spy technology! (1)

txghia58 (951109) | more than 3 years ago | (#36519664)

Self replicating pr0n

Re:Spy technology! (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36519822)

Self replicating pr0n

Thanks for instantly turning 'Grey Goo' into 'White Goo" in my head. Fuck you very much.

Re:Spy technology! (1)

Lysander7 (2085382) | more than 3 years ago | (#36520120)

Now if they could only add a feature to increase the size of your tin foil hat.

Re:Spy technology! (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 3 years ago | (#36522108)

With WebRTC, developers will be able to build voice and video applications using nothing more than HTML and JavaScript. This is a powerful technology which can ...

... implement some truly awesome spy technology. Implemented both by site owners and site hackers.

Right, I'm sure none of the browser vendors will ever think of implementing a user prompt before turning on the microphone and camera. Just like none of the mobile browsers ask the user before providing location information to web sites, and none of the browsers have any tools for removing or limiting the scope of cookies, or...

Jeez, people. Paranoia is well and good, but you should at least come up with something that won't obviously be addressed right up front.

That explains it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36518912)

I just started searching for more information on Google, and my webcam's light turned on. Now Google can put a face to their users. Good job!

Working... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36518930)

Does anyone knows how to kill that annoying "[Spinner] Working..." message that stays all the time in the bottom on /. page?

Re:Working... (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36519128)

Alt-F4?

Re:Working... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36519332)

slashdot.org##div.genericspinner

Oh Goody (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36519088)

More anonymous random "check out my pics" crap.
wonderful.

Microsoft bought Skype - Patent wars will begin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36519180)

Sadly for Microsoft who just bought Skype they are once again one step behind, and since they will not play ball with new technologies their only attack will be some sort of "patent attack".

I do not like that 'BSD-like' license they chose (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#36519192)

The 'BSD-like' license [google.com] Google chose is not right in my opinion. Companies like Microsoft could easily do an 'Embrace-->Extend-->Extinguish' game on the technology. What is wrong with LGPL ver. 3?

Re:I do not like that 'BSD-like' license they chos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36519248)

GPLv3 is so big and overreaching that nobody wants to litigate it.

Don't worry, it's been years since MS has been in the driver's seat. They will have a hard time extinguishing it.

Re:I do not like that 'BSD-like' license they chos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36519352)

RTFC: LGPL != GPL.

Re:I do not like that 'BSD-like' license they chos (1)

Qubit (100461) | more than 3 years ago | (#36519652)

The 'BSD-like' license [google.com] Google chose is not right in my opinion. Companies like Microsoft could easily do an 'Embrace-->Extend-->Extinguish' game on the technology.

True, they *could*, although for the moment Microsoft is really jumping on the HTML5/standards wagon like crazy. Note:
- The IE team is cranking through support for various HTML5 features, CSS, etc...
- Windows 8 is apparently going to strongly support HTML5-based apps
- Microsoft seemed okay with supporting WebM in IE as long as it was installed as a separate codec on the system (no promise yet of baking it in)

Also note that according to Wikipedia, marketshare for browsers in May 2011 is something like this:

    Internet Explorer (43.5%)
    Firefox (27.9%)
    Google Chrome (16.8%)
    Safari (7.3%)
    Opera (2.2%)
    Mobile browsers (5.8%)

At this point, if Chrome and Firefox team up on any web technology, they'll have equal marketshare with IE. If Opera and Safari join in, then they have a more than 10% advantage over IE.

This means that if IE tries to embrace/extend here, they'll have not only an uphill battle, but they might find themselves in a fight they can't win. End users will just download Firefox or Chrome and install that if YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or whatever Hot and New website they're using stops working for them.

What is wrong with LGPL ver. 3?

Google likes permissive licenses. Such licenses allow Google and their Copyleft-shy friend companies not feel "trapped" by the share-alike feeling of copyleft licenses such as the (L)GPL. Attitudes in various companies are gradually changing, and Google does work on a number of (A|L)GPL projects, but for now you're going to see most of the work coming out of Google be available under permissive licenses.

There is a certain logic to putting the reference implementation of any standard under a permissive license. If one does so, any company or individual can take the code and incorporate it into any project, with little thought paid to licensing back the changes or releasing code or schematics. This allows a standard to quickly gain acceptance and get a bit of a "head start" in use in the wild.

However there is a bit of a problem with getting everyone to use the same reference standard. If you look at something like WebM, you'll see that the reference is ...the standard which is... the reference. Did I confuse you yet? What I mean to say is that if there is only one implementation of a given technology, then it is likely that the implementation is inextricably bound together with the documentation for the standard, and it is highly likely (as was the case with WebM) that a compatible implementation cannot be constructed merely from the documentation, but must be partially guessed at or inferred from the reference.

So while I am supportive of the desire to have reference implementations of a standard available under a permissive license, I am also quite in favor of a requirement of several standards bodies which is that they will not ratify or recommend a standard until there are at least two independent, inter-operable implementations of the proposed standard.

Re:I do not like that 'BSD-like' license they chos (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#36519764)

Well put! Thanks.

Re:I do not like that 'BSD-like' license they chos (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#36520176)

True, they *could*, although for the moment Microsoft is really jumping on the HTML5/standards wagon like crazy.

So you are saying they embrace HTML5/standards?

Re:I do not like that 'BSD-like' license they chos (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#36521176)

The 'BSD-like' license [google.com] Google chose is not right in my opinion. Companies like Microsoft could easily do an 'Embrace-->Extend-->Extinguish' game on the technology.

EEE doesn't work on BSD-licensed (or public domain) software as long as as there is an active developer community around the open source version (and especially not if there is at least one big corporate user that sponsors the open source version to get people to work for them for free), it only works if there is little concern in the community for the product for open licensing, or if the product is essentially dead. Sure, you get use in closed products that may or may not contribute back, but so what? Lots of closed products use SQLite code, yet SQLite is still alive as an active public domain project, with lots of big corporate backers, presumably because those corporations realize that SQLite is important for their business, but not what they are in the business of selling, so its more important to them that it is maintained than that they exclusively control it. PostgreSQL, with a BSD-style license, comes to mind, as well.

The bigger danger with EEE is against standards like the communication interface, and the license you choose for the software, no matter how restrictive, is unlikely to effectively restrain EEE on against the communication interface, except by inhibiting adoption in the first place, which is counterproductive. OTOH, as long as there are enough big users of the original interface (something which Google has some power to make happen), its very difficult for an EEE effort to displace the original interface in the open source software with an incompatible interface only provided by their own proprietary software.

What is wrong with LGPL ver. 3?

GPL-style licenses (including the LGPL, though not as much so as the GPL itself) are really good if you favor Free Software for ideological reasons but don't actually believe that it offers value for developers as well as end users. If you believe that it brings pragmatic benefit to developers, rather than just ideological satisfaction, to release source under open-source license rather than keeping it proprietary, the additional restrictions in GPL-style licenses become counterproductive for developers (including the first developer) and unnecessary (as the pragmatic value providers downstream developers a built-in incentive to release their own work under a similar license.)

Chrome Bloat (1)

rueger (210566) | more than 3 years ago | (#36519360)

Like many I embraced Chrome because it seemed that Firefox had become big, bloated, and cumbersome. Chrome seemed to resist the urge to stuff extra doo-dads into the browser, and I like that. (that's the beauty of plug-ins - you can add junk by choice, not because someone decided to add it for you)

The crazy thing is that I spend probably 60% of my time working in browser space, but I rely on the sites and services I use to deliver what I need, not the browser itself.

You wouldn't build Gmail into the browser, so why build in phone service?

(Aside from which, it's already built into Gmail)

Re:Chrome Bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36519716)

(Aside from which, it's already built into Gmail)

It requires plugin, remember? So that's why, I guess.

Please download the voice plugin to make a call.

Re:Chrome Bloat (1)

aix tom (902140) | more than 3 years ago | (#36520310)

So they basically just *bundle* the "voice plug-in" into the standard install.

What I'm really waiting for is for the "to the same stuff you have been doing for years, only with added layers of complexity and corporate limitations" bubble to burst.

It used to be that you could run one application at a time on your computer. Then came the multitasking-OS, and the promise of "run as much applications in parallel as you like". Then the applications became difficult to maintain, and conflicted with each other, and they started to put different OS installs into different Virtual machines. Then maintaining the applications became even more of a hassle, and they start putting them into the browser.

Of course, as an Administrator for a medium sized company, I now have to have VMs with DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF DIFFERENT BROWSERS handy, because a lot of those co-called "easy deployable web-apps" only work with specific browsers often only with specific versions of those browsers.

Plus the ADDITIONAL headache that possibly confidential data is accessed with a web browser that is also used to browse the internet. Since you can basically never be sure someone might find a vulnerability in a browser that can be exploited, you have to someone SPLIT the "Browser that is installed for real web browsing" and the "Browser that is installed to access you internal web interfaces" somehow again.

The way I see it the whole HTML5 craze is just re-inventing the UI (Windows/GTK/QT/etc..) again badly. It might work for "Fun Leisure Gadgets", but I wonder if there is anybody still developing for the people who really have to WORK with their computers. In that way the age of the "Personal Computer" might come to an end. 95% of people will just use "Smart" Phones and "Smart" TV to do a little browsing and mailing, only very few will still have and use a real full-featured computer. Which might be bad news price-wise for those.

Re:Chrome Bloat (2)

Teckla (630646) | more than 3 years ago | (#36520400)

Google won't add basic features like proxy settings that aren't shared with the operating system, and a master password for your saved passwords, but they keep packing these kinds of features in.

I really don't understand why they're making the kinds of decisions they're making. It seems so random, like they stuff in whatever shiny they like, and then come up with weak justifications for skipping the rest.

Re:Chrome Bloat (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#36521508)

Google won't add basic features like proxy settings that aren't shared with the operating system

Chrome does support this via an extension API (chrome.proxy).

and a master password for your saved passwords,

A while back, Google added integration with kwallet and gnome keyring, which, does this without requiring a separate master password for the browser; OTOH, simply using saved passwords and having appropriate security on your OS user account would seem to be an adequate approach for dealing with this concern.

I really don't understand why they're making the kinds of decisions they're making. It seems so random, like they stuff in whatever shiny they like, and then come up with weak justifications for skipping the rest.

Have you considered that, aside from your errors regarding what features they have supposedly skipped, their perceptions of what is important in a browser may differ from yours, and that their success in rapidly building browser market share based on what they have done with Chrome might be an indication that they aren't completely in the dark about what matters?

Re:Chrome Bloat (1)

Teckla (630646) | more than 3 years ago | (#36522286)

Chrome does support this via an extension API (chrome.proxy).

I don't see any extensions that use the proxy API so that you can keep proxy settings separate from the OS. Can you recommend one? Or hasn't one been created (yet)?

A while back, Google added integration with kwallet and gnome keyring, which, does this without requiring a separate master password for the browser; OTOH, simply using saved passwords and having appropriate security on your OS user account would seem to be an adequate approach for dealing with this concern.

I use KeePass myself, and don't really want my browser keeping passwords for me; however, I know people that do. For non-technical users, downloading and installing yet another application to keep passwords for them -- passwords they'll only use on web sites while in their web browser -- can be a non-trivial challenge and annoyance. Also, I'm not sure how your suggested approach will help Chrome OS users at all.

This really does smell like one of those basic features Google should consider. Many or most non-technical users will probably cope by using the same password on all the web sites on which they have accounts -- the exact opposite of the kind of security Google claims they consider important.

Of course, the moment you mentioned kwallet and gnome keyring (of all things) suggests you're probably completely out of touch with normal users already. I'm sure next you'll be telling me how people should be compiling their own kernel and learning Emacs so they can edit textual configuration files.

Have you considered that, aside from your errors regarding what features they have supposedly skipped,

I bet your immature and condescending approach to communication wins you lots of friends and respect.

In any case, from my research, the proxy API is still considered experimental: http://code.google.com/chrome/extensions/experimental.proxy.html

So perhaps support is forthcoming, but not there yet. But since I am a very forgiving person, I forgive you for your error in assuming the API was considered non-experimental, generally available, and that some extensions already made use of it, to supply me with one of the pet features I would like to see in Google Chrome.

As for lacking a master password, it is almost laughable you consider the fact that Chrome stores passwords in plain text on Linux an acceptable solution; in addition, I do find it laughable you consider kwallet and gnome keyring a reasonable solution for typical users.

You did do a good job, however, giving me a hearty laugh, and I congratulate you on reinforcing the kinds of stereotypes normal people have about chest-thumping uber-geeks.

their perceptions of what is important in a browser may differ from yours, and that their success in rapidly building browser market share based on what they have done with Chrome might be an indication that they aren't completely in the dark about what matters?

My whole point was the fact that I recognized their perception of what's important is different, but perhaps in your headlong rush to respond "because someone is wrong on the Internet!", that little bit of comprehension escaped you, Einstein.

I like Google Chrome, and I think the success of the browser so far is mostly deserved; however, that being said, the saying "past results do not guarantee future performance" comes to mind. I think Google needs to be careful when they justify not including basic features that a lot of people are asking for, but are perfectly happy adding APIs like those discussed in the article.

It makes me question their decisions and the future of the browser, and I'm sorry to say this to you, if you don't like me questioning their decisions, well, you're just going to have to suffer. Keep some tissues handy for your tears.

Re:Chrome Bloat (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#36521286)

Like many I embraced Chrome because it seemed that Firefox had become big, bloated, and cumbersome. Chrome seemed to resist the urge to stuff extra doo-dads into the browser, and I like that.

This impression of yours has been misguided from the start. Chrome has been, almost from the beginning, all about adding extra doodads to support rich internet applications based in the browser. It's true that compared to contemporary versions of Firefox, Chrome had less doodads, but that's because Chrome was focussing on what Google thought was important for rich internet apps (initially, JavaScript performance was the main focus), and because, like many lean/agile projects, it was a start-small-and-build-rapidly effort.

You wouldn't build Gmail into the browser, so why build in phone service?

Google hasn't built phone service into the browser, they've built lower-level realtime communications functions that can be used to implement phone service as well as lots of other apps.

They've also built a lot of stuff into the browser to provide low-level support for Gmail and other existing Google Apps (that can be, and are, used for lots of other things.) Desktop notifications come to mind. And the SPDY protocol. So, really, they haven't treated phone service any different from Gmail here.

Re:Chrome Bloat (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 3 years ago | (#36522360)

They aren't building in the phone, they are building in a way for others to build a phone. The phone I build could be very different from the phone you build. Google may build a reference phone in their labs or implement it in gchat. That does not mean that the browser is a phone only that it can be one when desired.

It could also be a music studio, a translator's tool, a telegraph, a sensor monitor, an alert system, a door answer service, etc.

Reuse of acronyms (0)

LocalH (28506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36519636)

RTC has stood for "Real-Time Clock" for how many years and now suddenly it's being redefined? Where are all those who defended the use of KB/MB/GB and ridiculed those who use KiB/MiB/GiB?

Re:Reuse of acronyms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36519986)

RTC has stood for "Real-Time Clock" for how many years and now suddenly it's being redefined?

I agree this would be annoying. Sure, there's a limited stock of short acronyms, but "real-time comms" is hardly even an obvious name for a new VoIP protocol.

However, note that it's "WebRTC", and I'm unaware of any "web real-time clock" projects, so there's actually negligible risk of confusion.

Where are all those who defended the use of KB/MB/GB and ridiculed those who use KiB/MiB/GiB?

Hopefully dead and gone. Abusing SI prefixes that way was always wrong, and inevitably led to unspeakable abominations like MB=1024000B. There's a world of difference between pointlessly overloading a perfectly fine acronym and fixing a botched mess.

Re:Reuse of acronyms (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36520230)

I'm pretty sure there have always been duplicate acronyms.
This is just another. It still stand for "Real Time Clock", also these:
http://www.acronymfinder.com/RTC.html [acronymfinder.com]

Only Thought (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 3 years ago | (#36519946)

When will Opera & Pidgin have this?

Re:Only Thought (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 3 years ago | (#36520900)

"Does Pidgin support voice or video? Yes, Pidgin does support voice and video, but this is limited to Unix-like platforms and the XMPP protocol (including GoogleTalk)." http://developer.pidgin.im/wiki/Using%20Pidgin#DoesPidginsupportvoiceorvideo [pidgin.im]

This is the first time I've ever seen a feature come out on *nix FIRST, then go to windows.

Challenge? No more than any other program. (1)

yarnosh (2055818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36520394)

How does this challenge Skype? Someone still has to write the damn software, you know. It isn't like you couldn't write a "skype killer" before this.

Re:Challenge? No more than any other program. (1)

F34nor (321515) | more than 3 years ago | (#36520672)

The only challenge to Skype is me shorting M$ stock for wasting a couple billion on a money loosing and totally generic software company. Balmer you stupid fucking moron. There is nothing about Skype anymore but momentum. The Gizmo5 --> Google Voice is so much more usefully, flexible and interesting.

Direct Link (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#36521682)

TFA provides nothing useful over the site itself [webrtc.org] , other than a bunch of hover-over-this-text ads.

Duke Nukem 3d as a browser game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36521884)

I'll be satisfied when someone reboots Duke Nukem 3d as a browser playable game.

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