The "WebRTC / RTCWEB initiative" is an extremely exciting industry initiative that will allow "real-time communications" (ex. voice, video, chat) between web browsers without requiring Flash or Java browser plugins.
Essentially, the initiative is all about baking real-time communications into the fabric of the Web!
Imagine just going to a web browser on a desktop or mobile device and clicking a link in a web browser to start speaking and communicating with people. Using HTML5 and new VoIP technologies being standardized in the W3C and the IETF, this effort has the potential to be extremely disruptive and open up all sorts of innovation from developers and organizations.
To understand more, you may want to start with my article, How WebRTC Will Fundamentally Disrupt Telecom (and Change The Internet).
If you have 48 minutes, this April 2012 interview of Cullen Jennings, chair of the IETF RTCWEB working group, provides an excellent background into what is going on. Erik Lagerway, the interview host, provided a list of the type of questions covered in the interview:
Cullen also prepared a focused presentation that steps through WebRTC/RTCWEB that comes in at 39 minutes:
If you don't have that time, or just want to dive into links, there are several pieces to the WebRTC / RTCWEB initiative.
First, there are two complementary standardization efforts underway:
- IETF "RTCWEB" Working Group - focusing on the protocols used for communication
- Overview Internet Draft ( <- START HERE! )
- List of other Internet Drafts
- rtcweb public mailing list (and visible archive - WARNING: the list gets a LOT of traffic!)
- W3C "WebRTC" Working Group - focusing on the APIs used by web browsers to control the communication
- WebRTC 1.0 Working Draft
- WebRTC wiki
- "public-webrtc" mailing list (subscription link and public archives on that page)
Second, Google released an amazing amount of open source code coming out of their purchase of GIPS that is enabling developers to work on WebRTC implementations. The code and other info is available at:
There are a number of places beyond the mailing lists above where WebRTC is being discussed in social networks and other sites, including:
- Google+: WebRTC Community and a second WebRTC Community
- Facebook: Web-RTC-Web Group
WebRTC is a popular topic right now and is being written about in many places. I've written a number of my own posts about WebRTC/RTCWEB and I've been particularly impressed by the regular posts by Tsahi Levent-Levi on the topic of WebRTC. He's been writing a great series of posts and also recording interviews with a number of people and companies in the field.
My friends Alan Johnston and Dan Burnett have published a book/ebook, "WebRTC: APIs and RTCWEB Protocols of the HTML5 Real-Time Web", that provides excellent information for developers.
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