20 Nov 2013

My First FOMS

Tonight ends the final night of my first attendance to FOMS. It's been a great couple of days talking and hearing about different things going on in open-media standards and implementations. I got to meet a lot of great people from NICTA, Opera, Google, Apple, Brightcove, JW Player, and others, and talk about the future of open-media.

My particular interest in going to FOMS was to participate in discussions surrounding WebVTT. In particular I really wanted to iron out issues in the layout algorithm part of the spec as that's currently what I'm working on implementing right now.

Fortunately, WebVTT was probably the biggest topic there and through a series of 4 meetings and one hackfest day more clarity has been brought to many of the current issues and future directions of WebVTT. I'll list out some highlights to give a quick snap shot of what happened in regards to WebVTT:

  • The WebVTT layout algorithm will be refactored so that there is hopefully only one code path for rendering cues.
  • Scroll up captions and character defined lengths for regions and cues are coming to a WebVTT near you soon.
  • HLS of WebVTT is on the horizon.
  • And oh so much more.

Internet Archive

The Internet Archive was the site host for the event and let me tell you, they are some awesome people. We got to go on a tour of their facility and saw, among other things, the racks they use to host the arhive data, book scanners, and an Internet Archive credit union ATM. It kind of blew me away to hear that they've indexed something like 360 billion web pages so far and have 3.5 million books archived as well. That's not to mention the music, movies, and TV they're working on too. Plus on top of that their coffee and breakfast were great.


I'll highlight a couple of projects that I saw at FOMS. This list is not exhaustive and definitely doesn't cover all the awesome things going on, which was mostly everything at FOMS:

  • rtc-glue is a JS library that makes it easy to build web pages that utilize WebRTC
  • All the cool work that JW Player has been doing on incorporating Text Tracks into its player. Personally, I hope a lot of this stuff gets standardized someday.
  • Got to hear a lot about Daala, and although I didn't understand most of it, it sounds really cool.
  • Integration of Internet Archive searching and sharing in Popcorn Maker is coming soon, and initial versions of it were built over the course of the event by Mathew Shranz.
  • Boris Smus presented a demo on a JS Media Controls API that would allow web page content to control media controls on video and audio through "key" like events. So that, for example, when you press the play button on your keyboard the browser captues that and plays the media on the page. "Key" events could be triggered through any number of inputs including gestures, which were suggested.
- Tagged in mozilla, seneca college, open-source, and cdot.

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Wow coding Copyleft Richard Eyre 2013

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