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Convergence of Web and TV at NEM Summit 2011

July 28, 2011

For the second year in a row, I — where I stands for François Daoust, part of the OMWeb team — will be pleased to attend and present at the NEM Summit, 27-29 September 2011, in Torino, Italy. Last year, I focused on the HTML5 <video> tag, showing that it is a useful first step to integrate video on the Web, even though challenges remain. The slides Towards Video on the Web with HTML5 I presented back then, as well as the underlying paper are available online.

Thanks to a series of workshops on the convergence of Web and TV (a third workshop is to take place in Hollywood!) and the creation of the Web and TV Interest Group, W3C has been exploring challenges and potential solutions to ensure a successful convergence between Web and TV. The paper I submitted to NEM Summit this year, Adopting HTML5 for Television: Next Steps (PDF), presents key topics discussed in W3C (e.g. home networking scenarii, extensions to HTML5, etc.) and likely next steps from a standardization perspective.

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Proceedings of the Second Web and TV Workshop in Berlin

July 27, 2011

While preparing for the third Web and TV Workshop, in Hollywood, California, USA, 19-20 September 2011, you may want to review the discussions of the second workshop held in Berlin in February 2011. The materials of this second workshop have long been publicly available online but note that the proceedings of the Berlin Workshop are now available as a single ready-to-print document (PDF, 20.6MB) which includes the workshop report, minutes, as well as a copy of presented papers and slides.

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W3C Web&TV workshop in Hollywood (CfP)

July 11, 2011

The third W3C Web and TV Workshop will take place in Hollywood, California, USA, 19-20 September 2011. Hosted by Comcast Cable, this will continue the previous workshops (Tokyo Workshop and Berlin Workshop) efforts, with a particular focus on the needs of content creators and distributors. Anyone may participate in this workshop. A position paper is required from a presenter while a statement of interest is required from an observer. Both position papers and statements of interest are due 15 August 2011. Please see the Call for Participation for further details.

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Call for Trainers: “HTML5 for Rich Media”

June 30, 2011

HTML5 logoW3C is looking for trainers to create and teach courses on HTML5-based “rich-media” Web content including:

  • Video/audio sites based on HTML5
  • Design and development of HTML5-based games
  • Graphics in HTML5 (SVG, canvas)

The trainers will have to develop and deliver (before the end of year 2011) a new HTML5 online training course, aimed at existing Web developers and designers who need to get up to speed with the new and more complex media features available within HTML. The course will include extensive hands-on practical work, lectures, assignments, and such. Assignments would be based on examples related to application domains such as games, movies, online audio CD packaging, etc.

Please real the full details of this call for HTML5 trainers and send your application to Marie-Claire Forgue, W3C training manager.

This course is expanding W3C’s existing training program as part of the Open Media Web project funded by the European Community’s Seventh Framework programme.

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Supporting commercial service provider requirements in HTML

June 23, 2011

As part of its exploration of requirements and potential solutions to ensure that the Web will function well with TV, the Web and TV Interest Group has launched a Media Pipeline Task Force, set to discuss requirements placed on the HTML5 video, audio and media interfaces by media formats that will be used for Web and TV.

While HTML5 already goes some way to bringing audio and video to the Web, there remain a few areas to address for commercial video service provider to propose high-quality services using the Open Web Platform. A few example use cases that could come to mind:

  • Enabling access to parameters controlling the adaptive bitrate algorithm (when such an algorithm is used) and more generically exposing statistics and metrics on media streaming performance.
  • Content splicing to link together media content in a continuous stream
  • Browser handling of dynamic tracks, for instance when the media stream is of indefinite duration, as happens on a TV channel.
  • Enhancements to media elements to augment the video experience with metadata sent in sync with the media stream

The Media Pipeline Task Force is to discuss and propose extensions to the <video> and <audio> elements to support these additional requirements and enable a quality of experience for videos on the Web similar to the one that exists in the traditional TV world.

This Task Force is the second task force of the Web and TV Interest Group. The on-going Home Network Task Force is actively working on a use cases and requirements document to enable home networking scenarios, such as using the Web browser on a mobile device to interact with the TV set.

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New levels of support for Cascading Style Sheets

June 8, 2011

W3C today released an update to the core CSS standard (2.1) to reflect the current state of support for CSS features, and to serve as the stable foundation for future extensions.

CSS has been in widespread use as an Open Web technology for more than a decade, but it took many years for implementations and the specification to converge. The collective efforts of the CSS Working Group, implementers, contributors to the CSS Test Suite, and the W3C CSS community have made interoperable CSS a reality for the Open Web. More than 9000 CSS tests have made it easier for designers to create style sheets that work across browsers, and across devices.

“This publication provides me with an opportunity to congratulate and thank the CSS Working Group, and all of the developers that have made CSS a success,” said Bert Bos, co-inventor of CSS and Editor of CSS 2.1. “This publication crowns a long effort to achieve very broad interoperability. Now we can turn our attention to the cool features we’ve been itching to bring to the Web.”

A Stable Platform for Innovation

This year we celebrate the 15th anniversary of CSS, the powerful toolkit that makes it easy to create visually engaging pages and applications, to deploy experimental features safely, to maintain style independently of content, and to adapt pages to new devices.

CSS interoperability plays an important role in the rapid adoption of W3C’s Open Web Platform, which also includes HTML5, SVG, WOFF, APIs for geolocation and offline storage, real-time communications, and a host of other technologies for building rich, interactive applications.

Read the press release and testimonials (from Adobe, Antenna House, Disruptive Innovations, HP, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nokia, Opera Software, University of Oviedo) , and learn more about Cascading Style Sheets.

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Audio/Video conferencing on the Web

May 6, 2011

Yesterday, W3C announced the creation of a new Working Group, the Web Real-Time Communications Working Group (or Web RTC WG)

As defined in its charter, The Web RTC group is to define client-side APIs to enable Real-Time Communications in Web browsers. These APIs should enable building applications that can be run inside a browser, requiring no extra downloads or plugins, that allow communication between parties using audio, video and supplementary real-time communication, without having to use intervening servers (unless needed for firewall traversal, or for providing intermediary services).

In short, the group is to enable audio/video conferencing scenarios directly from within the Web browser. We’re looking forward to seeing this become a reality!

The work got created as a result of exploration discussions at the RTC Web Workshop back in October 2010. It will not prescribe underlying codecs and protocols to be supported by Web browsers but will in close relationship with the IETF Real-Time Communication WEB group to ensure compatibility between the API functions that the W3C group will work on and the Profile that the IETF group will define.

Instructions to join the group are available.

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