MozCamp Utrecht – kick off

"What is the Open Web and Why it Matters" - Tristan Nitot

"What is the Open Web and Why it Matters" - Tristan Nitot (note: the slide mentions 2008 and there's a nice Fennec poster to the left)

Today is the first of a series of MozCamps, held at the Surfnet HQ in Utrecht. Some notes…

Tristan Nitot (chairman of Mozilla Europe) started his talk about the Open Web and why it matters. Quote: “standards are boring“, but they are essential for interoperability. So I can care about the brand of my phone (iPhone vs Nokia) and convey my lifestyle, rather than worrying about the network operator I’m using.

Also, standards enable the network effect: the value of all users combined on one single network is much more than the sum of users of disjoint networks.

Standardization worked out for telephony and email, but initially failed for IM (iCQ vs Yahoo vs MSN vs Jabber and so on – remember Excite PAL?).

Same considerations apply for using proprietary plugins in browsers (Adobe Flash) vs using native browser capabikities, based on open standards: Canvas as a widely implemented alternative.

All major brands (firefox 3.x, Safari 4.x, Google Chrome and Opera 10) except msie 8.0 implement SVG, Canvas native video, JIT Tracing for Javascript and HTML 5 features.

The message is: we should improve the market share of open standards based browsers and enjoy the interoperability.

Next Paul Rouget gives a demo of some these new cool features: native video, canvas, css3, filters, clip paths, canvas overlays… cool stuff indeed!

Tristan Nitot again: the web is not TV, we can not only consume the content but change it if we want!

Demo of people unknowingly working together: ThruYOU – a mix of youtube videos, resulting in a funky song. Each users’ contribution was useful even if they didn’t know in advance what their work would be used for. That is exactly how Open Source development is  working.

Followed by a demo by Olivier Gambier – Take back control over the Web using JavaScript (greasemonkey), Add-ons and Ubiquity – all means to take control over web content and interaction. Especially the pretty new Ubiquity is really useful!

Nitot again: do we want TV and passively consume content, or be part of a world where we can participate instead?

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