Web Real-Time Communication API - The Next Step
When Ericsson Labs launched the Web Real-Time Communication API in May 2011, it was the first implementation of PeerConnection, MediaStream and getUserMedia() as then proposed by WHATWG, and it provided developers with a first taste of WebRTC. The world had to wait for several months until we saw the first implementation in a commercial browser early this year, and even though we gradually spent less and less time improving what we have, our implementation was, for a long time, the most advanced with support for multiple PeerConnections on the same page from the start, to give one example.
Standardization of WebRTC has since moved to W3C and IETF and the discussions are still ongoing regarding the design of the APIs, particularly the PeerConnection API. Individuals from a wide range of organizations, with different backgrounds, take part in the discussions, often with strong opinions. Here, your feedback has been most valuable and we have always stood by the ideas in the original proposal of a reasonably simple API that is also sufficiently capable of interworking with existing communication systems.
As the standardization continues, more time has been spent ensuring a good API in W3C and working out the intricate details of the protocols underneath in IETF, and less time maintaining and updating our implementation. Due to this, we have decided to stop supporting this Ericsson Labs API (it was never our ambition to develop our own browser). Our modified WebKitGTK+ engine will still be available for download but we will no longer release new versions of it.
Much of the speed of development of our the implementation was due to the flexibility and greatness of the multimedia framework GStreamer, on which it is based. Therefore, we are happy to announce today that we have enabled and authorized Collabora Ltd., open source experts and the maintainers of GStreamer, to take relevant parts our implementation and further improve them in an effort to bring WebRTC to the WebKitGTK+ port. Collabora is very active in the WebKit project (with reviewers in their organization) and can likely upstream swiftly.
The WebRTC story does not end here for Ericsson Labs. We will continue to work on standardization to ensure the best possible WebRTC APIs for the Web, and we will continue to contribute to WebKit. To us, much of the openness and what is revolutionary with WebRTC is the low barrier of entry. The idea that anyone equipped with a web browser and a text editor creating the communication services of tomorrow is mind boggling.
Thank you for your support and please continue to send us feedback!
-- The WebRTC team at Ericsson Labs