One of the many cool things that Firefox 3.5 will bring is Open Video. What is it? It's native video in the browser using the HTML 5 video element, combined with the non-proprietary Ogg Theora codec. This means that now video is able to become a first class citizen on the Web (it's native, you don't have to resort to an external plug-in) and thanks to Ogg Theora, you can play video using free software, without paying a fee for using a patent-encumbered format subject to royalties.

This is very cool news, but the skeptics will certainly complain that we're facing a chicken and egg situation: Browser vendors won't put Ogg Theora in their products until there is significant content in this format, while video publishers won't use the format until enough browsers support it.

Well, we're doing our part at Mozilla, and thanks to the upcoming Firefox 3.5 release, we should soon see close to 300 million people with an Ogg Theora-enabled browser.

But what about content? That's the real scoop for today! is publishing 300'000 of its most popular videos in Ogg Theora, using the HTML 5 video element. This comes on top of very cool Websites such as Wikipedia and Internet Archive, who are doing similar things.

Of course, Open Video is not yet mainstream, but we have a beginning of an egg, and a young chicken ;-) . The future is brighter than ever for Open video! I'd like to personally thank Sébastien Adgnot, Web developer at Dailymotion for calling me after he had read an article on my blog about Open Video. This is how it all got started! Also a great thanks to the Dailymotion exec team, including Sylvain Brosset, for supporting this idea that looked a bit funky at first sight. Hat tip to Chris Blizzard (just because I can ;-) and Paul Rouget for helping with most of the tech stuff behind the scene...

A few links if you want to learn more about this: