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WebRTC now in Firefox Nightly

First step in long-term aim of revolutionising online communication

According to a post on the Mozilla Hacks web developer blog, WebRTC for desktop is now in both Firefox Nightly and Firefox Aurora. WebRTC is an open framework that has huge potential to revolutionise aspects of real-time online communication, the end goal being plug-in free voice calls, video chat and peer-to-peer file-sharing. The WebRTC FAQ explains that WebRTC includes “the fundamental building blocks for high quality communications” and said components, when implemented in a browser, “can be accessed through a JavaScript API, enabling developers to easily implement their own RTC web app”.

Mozilla’s article stated that Firefox supports “mozGetUserMedia, mozRTCPeerConnection and DataChannels” and has a “basic UI for mozGetUserMedia,” which it expects to be updating in the coming weeks. Currently, activating WebRTC involves enabling some preferences, after which point it’s possible to experiment with some demos on GitHub, including a Social API integration demo that enables you to text and video chat. Mozilla has asked users to submit bugs, in order for the support to be rapidly iterated on.

Although WebRTC is being gradually embraced by other browsers, including Opera and Chrome, it’s arguable integration into Firefox is perhaps even more important for the parent organisation. Mozilla is aiming to remain relevant in the mobile space, in part through its work on a web-standards-based operating system for smartphones, for which technologies like WebRTC will be essential.

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