Surprisingly, Mozilla has managed to find a way to support the proprietary H.264 video codec in Firefox and still respect its open source community and tradition, thanks to Cisco open-sourcing H.264. It is also a leading force in the standardization of WebRTC and managed to mostly get its way there as well, so far.
But the group isn't stopping here, it's looking ahead, at the next-generation video codec that, according to Mozilla, is neither Google's VP9 nor H.265, H.264's successor.
Mozilla has assembled a crack team of video compression experts and has started work on Daala, a new video standard that aims to be better than both VP9 and H.265.
What's more, Daala will be completely open source and royalty free, the truly perfect video codec that the web deserves.
"We are developing Daala, a fully open next generation codec. Daala is still under development, but our goal is to leapfrog H.265 and VP9, building a codec that will be both higher-quality and free of encumberances," Mozilla CTO Brendan Eich announced.
"Mozilla has assembled an engineering dream team to develop Daala, including Jean-Marc Valin, co-inventor of Opus, the new standard for audio encoding; Theora project lead Tim Terriberry; and recently Xiph co-founders Jack Moffitt, author of Icecast; and Monty Montgomery, the author of Ogg Vorbis," he explained.
It's still in its early days of course, as it will be a few years before Daala is in good enough shape to actually be used in a real-world application. That is assuming that everything goes well, which is far from a guarantee in such an ambitious project, especially one that wants to stay open.
So far, Mozilla has the support of Cisco, with which it has cooperated on the new open source H.264, for the future video codec. In the meantime though, Firefox and Mozilla will support both VP8 and H.264 as well as possibly VP9 and maybe even H.265.