All posts tagged ‘googleIO’

File Under: HTML5, Multimedia

Major Browser Vendors Launch WebM Free Open Video Project


SAN FRANCISCO — The web received a shiny new gift Wednesday morning — a truly open and royalty-free video codec for HTML5 web pages.

The new open media project is called WebM. As expected, the VP8 codec is at the center of WebM. Google acquired the video technology earlier this year, and developers have been itching with anticipation for Google to release VP8 as open source code. Wednesday morning, they got their wish.

“We are fully open-sourcing VP8 under a completely royalty-free license,” Google VP of product management Sundar Pichai announced to the thousands of attendees at the company’s I/O developer conference, taking place here this week.

Google has already added support for the format to Chrome, and on YouTube as part of the site’s ongoing experiment in building an entirely HTML5-powered experience.

WebM is a set of codecs (coder-decoders) for browsers to use to play video and audio content embedded on HTML5 web pages without the use of plug-ins. The project was launched with the backing of Mozilla, Opera and Google. All three browser vendors have already begun building support for it, and Microsoft announced Wednesday that it will support the video technology in Internet Explorer 9, which is due later this year.

Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch was also on stage at Google I/O, and he announced that VP8 and WebM support would be rolled into Flash Player in the near future.

WebM arrives at the height of a great debate about the future of video online. Support is split between several technologies, including two separate technologies for native video playback, and the Flash Player, which some developers are moving away from in favor of open web standards like HTML5.

The primary components of WebM video are the VP8 codec, which is used for video, and the Vorbis codec, which is used for audio. The content is served inside of a Matroska container. Google acquired the video technology company On2 this year, and it has been working on developing VP8 for use in browsers and on hardware devices since the acquisition was approved.

The dominant video codec in use on the web is H.264, which some developers and browser vendors are loathe to use because of patent and licensing restrictions. H.264 patents are handled by the MPEG-LA licensing group, of which Apple and Microsoft are members.

Mozilla VP of engineering Mike Shaver came on stage to praise the new WebM technology, saying “We want to see this in all browsers, on all devices.”

He also announced the latest nightlies of Firefox will have support for WebM video and audio playback.

Hakon Lie, CTO of Opera Software, creator of CSS and long-time proponent of open web video, also took the stage and underscored the importance that open, unpatented video technology would make on the web.

“Tim didn’t patent HTML, I didn’t patent CSS and Brendan didn’t patent JavaScript,” he said.

Opera’s ongoing work on WebM, along with the latest browser builds with WebM support, can be found at

Homepage photo of Vic Gundotra, VP of engineering for Google: magerleagues/Flickr

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File Under: Browsers, Events, HTML5

Google I/O Will Be Chrome’s Time to Shine


In the year and a half since it first emerged, Google’s Chrome browser has matured from a thinner-than-air experiment that only ran on Windows into a stable, full-featured browser that works on all major operating systems and is available in 50 languages.

No longer just the new kid on the block, Chrome is now poised to become even more formidable. We expect Google to show off some new enhancements that would better enable it to handle the next version of the web next week at Google I/O, the company’s annual developer conference taking place in San Francisco.

Chrome is continually being updated, but recent developments in web video, social web technologies, HTML5 and new data APIs point to more capabilities making their way into the browser.

Chrome is designed to deliver a superior experience when using web apps, with its ability to isolate apps within individual browser tabs, its advanced JavaScript engine and its support for new technologies in HTML5.

“What we care most about with Chrome is driving the growth of web apps forward,” says Google director of engineering David Glazer.

Continue Reading “Google I/O Will Be Chrome’s Time to Shine” »

File Under: Browsers, Events, HTML5

Meet the Winners of Webmonkey’s Google I/O Giveaway

We’re giving away a pair of passes to Google I/O today.

A little over a week ago, we kicked off our contest, encouraging you to send us any HTML5 web apps or Google Chrome browser extensions you’ve built. Alternatively, we asked you to tell us how you’d describe a web app to your grandmother. We got a heap of submissions, but we worked our way through the field and picked two winners.

Abraham Williams and Mike Cantelon will be heading to Google’s premiere developer event, which takes place May 19 and 20 at Moscone Center in San Francisco, free of charge.

Here are the winning apps, chosen by the Webmonkey staff, along with a couple of honorable mentions:

Winner: Intersect by Abraham Williams

Williams came up with this cool extension for Chrome that shows additional information about a user’s followers on Twitter — in particular, it shows where you and another user’s social graphs overlap. Install the extension and visit somebody’s Twitter profile page. You’ll see additional grids loading below their stack of followers. You see which of your friends are also following that user, which friends you have in common and which followers you have in common. It’s an excellent social discovery tool for Twitter power users, and the best extension for Twitter’s stock web interface we’ve seen yet. Congrats, Abraham!

Winner: Blood Funnel by Mike Cantelon

Cantelon created this funky little game called Blood Funnel using JavaScript and HTML. It’s basically Space Invaders, except with flying, demonic Goldman Sachs bankers standing in for the buglike aliens. The paranoia is amped up by an awesome, thumping techno soundtrack — served up as an ogg file, of course. Check out Cantelon’s JavaScript source, it’s elegant. Caveat: Blood Funnel is nimble in Chrome, but it’s slower in Firefox. Congrats, Mike!

Continue Reading “Meet the Winners of Webmonkey’s Google I/O Giveaway” »

File Under: Events

Google I/O 2010 Registration Is Open

Google has announced details for the next Google I/O, the company’s largest developer event. It runs May 19 and 20, 2010, at Moscone Center in San Francisco. Registration is $400 now, but the price goes up to $500 a month before the event, so register early. Students and faculty can get in for $100, but you have to act quickly.

I/O is two days of Google’s big ideas. Past events have been the forum for Android’s coming out party, the debut of Google Wave and VP of engineering Vic Gundotra’s epic HTML5 keynote, which showed off everything the HTML5 stack can do in the browser. The excitement has grown to be huge, much like the Stevenotes from many a Macworld past.

Last year, everyone got a free Android touchscreen phone. The official @googleio Twitter account has been pegged with questions about what’s going to be given away this year, but whoever is operating that feed at Google says there are no plans for giveaways at this year’s event.

Of course, if Google was planning on giving away something extra cool, why would it spoil the surprise?

This year’s event is set up much like the previous ones — there’s a big keynote each morning, followed by breakout sessions all day long on a wide variety of tech topics. Some sessions we’re looking forward to: A bunch of stuff about Chrome, like how to use Chrome Frame, how to make extensions and an update on HTML5′s progress. There’s also an intro to using Chrome’s built-in developer tools.

There are a couple of sessions about how to optimize your site for social activity using single sign-on systems and the real-time publishing technology PubSubHubbub.

There are also sessions on all the Data APIs and Google Web Toolkit. Read the full list.

There are also after-hours parties featuring things like drunken tricycle races, and this year there’s a special gadget party for the hardware geeks (and aren’t we all?).

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File Under: Events, Programming

Video: Users Are People, Too

User input is critical to the success of any project, be it a piece of desktop software, a web-based app or a simple brochure-ware website. And I’m not just talking about usability testing, e-mail forms or demographic surveys, which most of us consider a necessary evil. The truth is that your project, and your creative skills, can gain significantly from involving the user in the process of building and improving your app.

Granted, user communities can be a burden to manage, but the happiness of that very community determines how its members are going to engage with your app. If you ignore them or cheese them off, they’ll leave and refuse to come back. If you do what you can to satisfy them even a little, they’ll not only stick around, but they’ll encourage their friends to participate as well. And once you do engage your users directly, you’ll probably end up stunned at how rewarding the results can be.

The video above is of a talk by Google’s Ben Collins-Sussman and Brian Fitzpatrick — who is also head of Google’s Data Liberation Front, and who we interviewed last week on Webmonkey — at the company’s I/O developer conference last May. Ben and Brian talk in-depth about the “lost art of customer service” and the complicated relationship between engineers, user communities and marketing priorities.

A must watch for engineers, designers and project managers alike. About an hour long.

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