Mike Shaver, Mozilla’s VP of Engineering, announced today that Mozilla has awarded a $100,000 to the Wikimedia Foundation (owner of Wikipedia) to support the continuing development and improvement of Ogg Theora, the open source, royalty-free video format.
The upcoming Firefox 3.1 (now approaching Beta 3) will be the first Firefox release to implement the <audio> and <video> tags with native support for the Ogg Theora codec.
While the Theora codec has proved to be an efficient video encoding format it is still a rarity among the huge amounts of video content produced which is currently dominated by Adobe’s Flash proprietary video format.
“This grant will be used to support development of improved Theora encoders and more powerful playback libraries. These improvements will benefit future versions of Firefox, and anyone else who supports open video on the web.”, said Mike’s post.
I am pretty glad to see Mozilla extending its reach and role as a force for the open web to the producer side, easing the task of creating open content.
Mozilla has awarded similar grants in the past aimed to improve open web video accessibility. Another $100,000 grant was awarded to the Participatory Culture Foundation to support the open source Miro video player, now approaching version 2.