“If you want to change the world, you should ship some software”
This little pearl of wisdom was delivered to me by my fellow Mozillian Chris Blizzard while I was interviewing him for a video. The recent adoption of our popcorn.js library by Arte, one of Europe’s most respected broadcasters, is making me agree.
Popcorn.js is a project of Web Made Movies, Mozilla’s open video lab. It came out of a frustration with the way filmmakers and media publishers were hosting their videos on the web. In most cases, we were seeing “TV in a webpage”, a block of proprietary code that was built on technologies that sidestepped the web’s “view source” ethic and didn’t actually interact with the rest of the page. While sites like YouTube have seen a fantastic surge of users and content over the last several years, the video itself has been a “black box” that the rest of the web page couldn’t understand. As a result, video and the rest of the web have never truly merged.
When Arte began noticing popcorn.js, they wondered if this work could be a good fit for some of their programming. They turned to the seasoned developers at Upian, who were able to pull our open source code from Github, and today we’re immensely proud to announce that the web versions of Notre Poison Quotidien have been augmented and remixed using popcorn.js.
As you can see on the beautiful pages they have put together, this content is an ideal use case for popcorn.js. Producers are often at a loss for how to deliver the reams of associated material that surround their content – well, thanks to the open technologies that make the web, now we can do that!
My colleague David Humphrey, whose students at Seneca College’s Center for Development of Open Technology are in fact among the core authors of the technology, expressed to me how happy he is to see the technology being adopted “in the wild”. “This is how we’ll make popcorn even better. Let’s see how people use it and learn from that”, he remarked in a recent discussion online. In collaboration with great partners like Arte, our growing community at Web Made Movies is changing the world of web video, a little bit of software at a time.