News on interfaces of the Web in 2010

Towards a VP8 codec for HTML 5

Google announced it would cut soon support to H.264 codec on the Chrome browser (for the video tag in HTML 5), joining Mozilla which never implemented it in Firefox.
Youtube is undergoing a transition to the VP8 codec and Adobe has also decided to consider this codec for the Flash player. Thus, in HTML 5 as Flash, H.264 should in future be replaced by VP8 and with the gradual integration of the VP8 decoder in new processors we are moving towards a standard format that will be de facto that of HTML 5.
January 12, 2011.

H.264 on Firefox

Mozilla refusing to pay the license fee for the H.264 codec, offered only WebM, with qualifications equivalent, but incompatible with this widespread codec.
Microsoft decided to remedy this by providing a plugin for Firefox, running under Windows 7.
It replaces the HTML 5 video tag in web pages with a call to the Windows Media Player.
Note that Google announced on its side a plugin to add support for WebM and VP8 codec on Internet Explorer.
December 16, 2010.

Open Web Applications

Mozilla has a prototype for an ecosystem of online applications on Mozilla Labs.
It includes:
- A shop (App Store). With a payment system.
- A directory (App Directory). As the shop, it can have a system of ratings, reviews.
- A system of self-publishing (Self-Published).
- Technical documentation.
- And the source code, available on GitHub.
These online applications work on all browsers and on mobile and are written in HTML and JavaScript.
October 20, 2010.

WebSocket dangerous

The protocol for client-server communication WebSocket is disabled on Firefox due to vulnerabilities discovered in its internal operation.
The security specialist has been able to show that it was possible to replace scripts in web pages through this protocol, and thus introduce malicious code.
Pending a rewrite of the specification ...
December 9, 2010.


This project of Mozilla Labs wants to create the interface of a browser in HTML, CSS and JavaScript.
Chrome is the name of the Firefox interface and is built based on XUL and XPCOM. Technologies that are difficult to master for programmers, hence the idea to replace them with HTML. However, a rendering engine is required to display the code, so XULRunner must be installed on the client machine. October 22, 2010.

Comparing browsers

Meanwhile Firefox 4 and Internet Explorer 9, Chrome appears to be the fastest browser now.
In fact it is ten times faster than Internet Explorer 8. Firefox 3.6 is not even second in the benchmark, it is surpassed by Safari too.
The comparison by Arstechnica. On Windows.

To improve hardware acceleration with DirectX and OpenGL, Mozilla suggests to install the plugin Grafx Bot. It conducts tests on your computer and offers then to send the results to Mozilla.
October 16, 2010.

Mozilla Labs Gaming

Mozilla dedicates a part of his laboratory site to browser games, working with Web standards. Taking advantage of fast JavaScript compilers and WebGL, the browser becomes a platform adequate for 3D games with the advantage of a universal portability. And it is certainly a new economic sector that appears.
September 8, 2010.


Skywriter is the new name for the online editor from Mozilla, previously known as Bespin. A downloadable version is now available on the code hosting website GitHub.
This JavaScript code running on HTML 5 is still in development stage.
September 3, 2010.

Firefox 4 - Beta 4

Nouvelle version de test pour le navigateur avec deux fonctionnalités ajoutées: Panorama pour une meilleur visualisation et gestion des onglets, avec un balise vidéo complétée de la propriété "buffered", pour voir l'état du chargement.
25 août 2010.

Universal Validator: Unicorn

The W3C has replaced three tools to validate by one: Unicorn. It tests both compliance with the standard of HTML and CSS code for the page is submitted.
In addition, if a link to an RSS feed is present, it also verifies the compliance of the RSS file.
The W3C expects developers to add other test modules, through its development space.
28 July 2010.

Dojo 1.5 and Claro

Dojo is an Ajax framework and includes a toolkit with many widgets to build an online application. July 24, 2010.

Truetype now free

The vector format of fonts created by Apple after 20 years fell into the public domain. It was used by Microsoft that had the license, but Linux should use a compatible format for Freetype.
July 20, 2010.

Web Notification: a standard for "push" in Web apps

Push is the fact to show the information in an application when it becomes available. For example when a user sends an email, the recipient is directly informed. While it is currently visiting his voicemail, email appears otherwise a message may appear in a window or in the status bar.
W3C has launched a new standard for this type of notification: Web Notification.
July 1, 2010.

Flock leaves Firefox for Chromium

The social browser which was based on Firefox code has changed its original code, the latest version in beta at the moment is based on Chromium and Webkit like Google's Chrome. This makes it lighter and faster.
May 17, 2010.

Safari 5 enemy of webmasters

After Chrome, Safari also allows to have extensions thanks to the Extension Builder. The new release is also thanks to Nitro, the JavaScript compiler, 30% faster. Apple claims that this makes it two times faster than Firefox 3.6.
It offers better support for HTML 5 features and such as Firefox and IE8, development tools for webmasters.
The new HTML 5 features: Geolocation, sections, drag and drop, form validation, WebSocket, EventSource, Ajax history.
The Reader is an original function that displays articles in one page when the webmaster, it is fashionable for now, split them into several pages. But it removes ads too, a gift from Apple to Google and its Adsense service. It does not work on pages without a large block of text. According to my experiments, there are numerous cases where it does not work and webmasters have now the challenge to build pages that defeat it to save revenues!
For Windows and Mac.
July 7, 2010.

WebM to replace H.264

Google, Mozilla and Opera join forces in a project to provide a free and open alternative to the H.264 video codec.
It was defended by Apple and Microsoft, is a proprietary format in the U.S., subject to high fee, which is why Mozilla has refused to integrate it in Firefox.
Since Google acquired the VP8 codec, superior to H.264, we wondered if it would become free and so to replace H.264, including for the <video> tag in HTML 5. This is done, as confirmed by the project's source code.
You can already watch videos on Youtube with the right parameter: webm=1, example:

Webm will be supported by future version of Chrome, Firefox and Opera. Adobe just announced it will be supported by the Flash player too and Microsoft that it will be supported by Internet Explorer 9.
May 19, 2010.

Making the W3C readable

"So, I've been trying to read specs more than ever. Not only is the language used some form of incomprehensible bullshit, but the readability to these pages is abysmal."

Not very happy with the reading of these specs, Ben Schwarz and Anthony Kolber made a script to beautify the documents without having to modify the content by hand.
May 19, 2010.

The H.264 codec supported by Firefox

This codec adopted in particular on Youtube, which will be the only supported by Internet Explorer 9, is not at all supported by Firefox (which supports Theora), because it is subject to patents and allows holders to charge high fees on users.
However, only two countries allow patenting software, the USA and South Korea. Therefore any codec can be used freely and for free anywhere in the world. This prompted some developers to launch Wild Fox, a modified version of Firefox for users in the wide World that integrates H.264 ...
May 16, 2010.

Scribd moves to HTML 5

This online document provider on which you can read for free all the English classical works has decided to drop Flash and PDF in favor of HTML 5. 10 millions of documents are being converted!
This is not unrelated to the choice of Apple for not supporting Flash, as iPad like all the PC tablets is ideal for reading books online in a chair or in bed...
Besides that, Adobe announced it will offer the best tools on the market to build HTML 5 applications.
May 6, 2010.

WOFF File Format 1.0

This specification does not come from the W3C, but it has been submitted to it by a consortium of publishers of browsers including Mozilla, Google, Opera and even Microsoft.
WOFF (Web Open Font Format) is a font format to be downloaded by and used by a Web page, which has the advantage of being compressed. This frees up webmasters from compatibility constraint between the fonts of different operating systems, which reduces the possible choice.
To obtain a compatible font, it has just to be converted from TrueType to WOFF.
It is an alternative to SVG Font that Microsoft will not implement in Internet Explorer 9.
April 28, 2010.

Google supports the Theora codec

A solution to the thorny problem of codec backend to the <video> tag of HTML 5. Some, like Apple (and Google so far) are in favor of h264, others like Mozilla for the free Theora codec.
Google just opt for the latter on the mobile market by sponsoring the development of TheoARM, a performing version for ARM processor used by most mobiles.
Recalling that Theora is based on V3 from the company On2 , it is copyright free, and On2 that also creates V8, probably the most efficient codec at the time, was acquired by Google. This suggests a bright future for Theora and HTML 5.
April 10, 2010.

jQuery, an alternative to mobile applications

The version 1.8 of the JavaScript and Ajax framework includes five new extensions. The widget button allows to customize buttons, the widget autocomplete completes text entered in the input tag with a drop-down list.
The file size of the core library is also reduced by 70%.
Since there is a jQuery extension for touch screens (see JavaScript extensions), it is possible to a Web application to run in the browser on any mobile without the need to create applications specific to them.
March 25, 2010.

New HTML 5 documents

After the controversy caused by Adobe, HTML 5 is back with a specification update. On this occasion were published a new version of Canvas 2D and HTML Microdata, two standards included in HTML 5 Adobe challenged the link with HTML 5.
It is announced but not officially confirmed that the next version of Internet Explorer, IE9, will support HTML 5 and SVG.
March 6, 2010.

Adobe blocks the publication of HTML 5

The latest version of HTML 5 dated August 25, 2009 when the paper changed every three days ago.
As shows the mailing list of the format, Larry Masinter on behalf of Adobe, has raised a Formal Objection, which can make any involved person and causing blockage of the publication of the standard under development.
The nature of the objection was made public on the HTML 5 mailing list. Adobe would like milestones are given for the publication and that it was given a clear statute that says this is a specification being and not an established standard.
It is clear that Adobe manifests his displeasure after the Apple affair, as it is not delivering any browser, it is not involved but rather competing to Canvas with Flash.
February 13, 2010.

Apple supports HTML 5

Steve Jobs explains why iPad does not support Adobe Flash:

At Adobe they are lazy. They have the potential to make interesting things, but they refuse to do so. Apple does not support Flash because it is too buggy. Each time a Mac crashes, most often it is because of Flash. Nobody will use Flash. The world is moving to HTML 5.

January 30, 2010.

In his essay, Thoughts on Flash, Steve Jobs confirms his support to HTML 5 and explains why Flash will never be accepted on iPhone.
April 29, 2010.

Firefox 3.6

A new version of the browser is available. The option to search updates in the Help menu allows an automatic download and replacement.
Among others improvements, a faster loading of the browser.
January 21, 2010.

JQuery 1.4

A major version with its own website: JQuery14. The minified version was compiled with Closure, the Google's JavaScript compiler.
January 15, 2010.

© 2010