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  1. WebRTC efforts underway at Mozilla!

    Last week, a small team from Mozilla attended IETF 83 in Paris, and we showed an early demo of a simple video call between two BrowserID-authenticated parties in a special build of Firefox with WebRTC support. It is still very early days for WebRTC integration in Firefox, but we’re really excited to show you something that works!

    At Mozilla Labs, we’ve been experimenting with integrating social features in the browser, and it seemed like a cool idea to combine this with WebRTC to establish a video call between two users who are signed in using BrowserID (now called Persona). The SocialAPI add-on, once installed, provides a sidebar where web content from the social service provider is rendered. In our demo social service, we show a “buddy list” of people who are currently signed in using Persona.

    The video chat page that is served when the user initiates a video chat uses a custom API intended to simulate the getUserMedia and PeerConnection APIs currently being standardized at the W3C. A <canvas> is used to render both the remote and local videos, though it is also possible to render them in a <video>. We’re working very quickly to implement the standard APIs, and you can follow our progress on the tracker bug.

    A lot of folks burned the midnight oil to get this demo ready before the IETF event, and special thanks are due to Eric Rescorla, Michael Hanson, Suhas Nandakumar, Enda Mannion, Ethan Hugg, the folks behind Spacegoo, and Randell Jesup, in addition to the whole media team here at Mozilla.

    Current development is being done on a branch of mozilla-central called alder. It is going to be an exciting few months ahead as we work towards bringing WebRTC to Firefox. There is a lot of work to do, and if you are interested in contributing, please reach out! Maire Reavy, our product person and project lead for WebRTC would be happy to help you find ways to contribute. Many of us are also usually available in IRC at #media, and we have a mailing list.

    Transcript of screencast:

    Hi, I’m Anant from Mozilla Labs and I’m here at IETF where we are demonstrating a simple video call between two BrowserID-authenticated parties, using the new WebRTC APIs that we are working on.

    This is a special build of Firefox with WebRTC support, and also has the experimental SocialAPI add-on from Mozilla Labs installed. On the right hand side you can see web content served by, to which I will sign with BrowserID. Once I’m signed in, I can see all my online friends on the sidebar. I see my friend Enda is currently online, and so I’m going to click the video chat button to initiate a call.

    Here, I see a very early prototype of a video call window served up by our demo social service. Now, I can click the Start Call button to let Enda know that I want to speak with him. Once he accepts the call, a video stream is established between the two parties as you can see. So, that was a video call built entirely using JavaScript and HTML!

    You can check out the source code for this demo, as well as learn how to contribute to the ongoing WebRTC efforts at Mozilla in this blog post. Thanks for watching!

  2. BrowserID at the London Ajax meetup

    Yesterday at the London Ajax Meetup I spoke about “Rethinking User Registration with BrowserID”. In the (roughly) half hour talk I covered the need for new login systems on the web, what is broken now, how BrowserID is a solution for these issues and showed how easy it is to create a BrowserID login (both from a developer and from a user point of view).

    The video of the talk can be seen on the Skillsmatter website (HD on and fullscreen is your friend as the embedded version is a bit small).

    Video of the talk

    The slides are online and embedded here:

    (navigate slides with cursor left and right, go through bullet points with up and down and toggle notes with “n”)

    The audio is available on

    If you want to know more about BrowserID, here are some resources:

  3. Screencast: BrowserID login flow on

    BrowserID is an initiative to provide the web with a better way to sign in. The web is a connected collection of resources and you should not have to have a user name and password for each of them when you could use the web instead.

    Today we show you a screencast of how easy BrowserID makes it to login to a web site. For this, we’ll look at how the login flow for an existing BrowserID user works the first time they log in on a new website. Our example website is OpenPhoto, a hot new photo sharing app that keeps users in control of their data.

    Screencast of logging into OpenPhoto with BrowserID

    Get involved:

    BrowserID needs your help to grow and become a weapon of choice in the fight against insecure and annoying login systems. The great thing is that now is the time where you can be part of this.