July 5, 2009, 2:30 pm
The increasingly competitive browser market has at last created an environment in which emerging Web standards can flourish. One of the harbingers of the open Web renaissance is HTML 5, the next major version of the W3C's ubiquitous HTML standard. Although HTML 5 is still in the draft stage, several of its features have already been widely adopted by browsers like Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. Among the most compelling is the "video" element, which has the potential to free Web video from its plugin prison and make video content a native first-class citizen on the Web‚Äîif codec disagreements don't stand in the way.
In an article last month, we explored the challenges and opportunities associated with the HTML 5 video element. One of the most significant of these challenges is the lack of consensus around a standard media codec, a contentious issue that has rapidly escalated into a major controversy. The debate has now stalled without a clear resolution in sight.