Browser Wars #w2e

Browser Wars

Dion Almaer
Ben Galbraith
Rob Mauceri – Microsoft
Douglas Crockford – Yahoo
Brendan Eich – Mozilla
Alex Russell – Google

What is significant about the most recent releases?
RM: HTML 5 is really exciting. Really wanted to unlock the hardware capabilities for the browser. 
AR: Excited to get better access to the hardware too and making the experience the best it can be.
BE: The standards need to be better suited to pull it together.
DC: Would love to remove IE6, 7, 8. Insecurity needs to be removed.

What can FIrefox users expect with quick release cycle? What is the world going to look like?
BE: We are trying to keep the features in the dev cycle and if a feature doesn't make one release it will move to the next release. Security is a never ending issue that must be addressed. Get regularity and continuous updates.
RM: Devs want a reliable, stable and capable platform they can develop on over time. Not sure that continual releases is going to work. Delivered a preview that didn't include a browser. We saw much better feedback moving forward.
AR: How long do you have to live with the old thing? We end up updating high uptake rates. Hell is old version and that is something we can do something about. 

What do you think about the W3C model of talking about HTML 5?
BE: Seems silly to market this version number. We believe in graceful degradation. 
DC: W3C is not equipped to handle the standards and should be abolished.
AR: The web is bigger than closed platforms and there will always be versions.
RM: I think the organization does some really good things. Not just defining a spec but the process and tools to evaluate the spec.
BE: There are some things are hidden. There is a lack of transparency.
AR: There is some contention on how things are integrated into the spec and standard.

How are developers going to cope with the complexity of the web when apps can be built in a sandbox?
AR: Any app platform will have other variables so it isn't necessarily easier, especially as they grow larger. If you want scale/reach you'll have to deal with weirdness. 
BE: There is a cost as well as a benefit. With Apple you can only do what they want you to do. There are tools that can help reduce the cost of development. 
DC: The web will never be as up-to-date as proprietary platforms. The web has some advantage which has been sufficient to hold off the challenges. Can the web keep reach and openness. 
RM: We have a responsibility to implement standards in the same way. 

Can you provide an update with Javascript?
BE: Looking at CoffeeScript. Looking at how you can load in the browser as a module too. These languages are not for everyone so JS needs to improve. 
DC: ES 5 Strict mode is big for us.
AR: Proxies and binary data. 

Can you followup on getting IE6 off the web?
RM: The Windows license update is only required
DC: IE6 is still a problem. More users access Yahoo than Chrome, Opera and Safari combined.
AR: The feature to use Chrome frame is not out yet. Requires admin rights to install. More concerned with IE8. 
BE: Tried a social thing to convert friends. IT is coming around to allow modern browsers to be installed. 
AR: There still isn't a way to convert people that don't know there is a choice.

Can you comment on jQuery libraries?
DC: Libraries help ease the pain.
BE: Still dependent on the core features. 
AR: Libraries are somewhat limited. Browsers should evolve over time. Hopefully a reduction in use of JS.
DC: The DOM API is hard to work with but JS makes it easier.

What the future of web video?
DC: Hopefully free will win. But there are content holders trying to make it difficult. 
AR: Codec and DRM are different. WebM we want to be a free and open codec.
BE: DRM is like fonts were for a long time. Fully on board with open video. We think identities are the right proxy for DRM.
RM: With HTML 5 we want it to work for users. 

What is the role of extensions moving forward?
RM: IE9 will be support pinning which feels like a native application. Can use bookmarklets. 
AR: Don't think they are afterthoughts. Will continue to introduce new features.

What's it going to take to ship with the WebM codec?
RM: The promise and legal implications are for the codec. 
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