Media Specs

Mozilla reluctantly embracing H.264

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Interesting doings this week on the HTML5 video front.

Brendan Eich of Mozilla has stated the organization will now provide native support for H.264. In Video, Mobile, and the Open Web (also cross-posted at his personal web site), Eich writes:

What I do know for certain is this: H.264 is absolutely required right now to compete on mobile. I do not believe that we can reject H.264 content in Firefox on Android or in B2G and survive the shift to mobile.

Losing a battle is a bitter experience. I won’t sugar-coat this pill. But we must swallow it if we are to succeed in our mobile initiatives. Failure on mobile is too likely to consign Mozilla to decline and irrelevance.

Douglas Perry in Tom’s Guide writes:

For Google, Mozilla’s complaint is a dent for the credibility of the Chrome strategy and the pro-open source campaign. If Mozilla drops WebM entirely, WebM is practically dead. Firefox isn’t significant in market share on mobile devices, but it is the 25 percent wild card on the desktop. Google will only be able to help WebM survive with the support of Mozilla, which gives Google/Mozilla about 55 percent of the total browser market (according to StatCounter). Without Mozilla, WebM drops to 30 percent and H.264 rises to 70 percent of the market.

On her blog, Mitchell Baker writes:

For the past few years we have focused our codec efforts on the latter part of this sentence. We’ve declined to adopt a technology that improves user experience in the hopes this will bring greater user sovereignty. Not many would try this strategy, but we did. Brendan’s piece details why our current approach of not supporting encumbered codec formats hasn’t worked, and why today’s approach regarding existing encumbered formats is even less likely to work in the future.

Andreas Gal, director of Mozilla research, sums it up:

Google pledged many things they didn’t follow through with and our users and our project are paying the price. H.264 wont go away. Holding out just a little longer buys us exactly nothing.

Google has only its self to blame if (when) WebM follows Betamax and HDD into tech oblivion.

Just Shelley

Suggests for a smart phone

I’m finally leaving my cave and buying a real, live smart phone.

I left the Apple world over a year ago, so I’m looking at buying an Android phone. I want one that comes with Ice Cream Sandwich. Hopefully a phone that doesn’t get stuck with one version of an OS for years and years.

Any suggestions for a phone? Any suggestions for a carrier/plan, here in the US? Anything I should be wary of?


Learning Node: Well, one Rails aside

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

After denouncing the use of Ruby and Rails terms to describe Node and Node modules, I must now confess that I did use a Rails resource in the section on MVC in Chapter 6.

The Rails Guide has an absolutely beautifully written overview on MVC and routing, Rails Routing from the Outside In, I used as inspiration for the design of the MVC section in Chapter 6.

However, in my defense I’ll note that most of this overview really doesn’t depend on knowing either Ruby or Rails in order to benefit from the writing. It simply and easily demonstrates a mapping between HTTP verbs, routes, controller actions, and database CRUD (Create-Read-Update-Delete) probably better than anything else I’ve ever read.