Ericsson Research has today announced that it is releasing its web browser Bowser and the underlying framework OpenWebRTC as free and open source. The intention is to further quicken the pace of innovation in the WebRTC community by providing developers with more choice and flexibility.
WebRTC provides a very simple way to build real-time voice, video and data applications. It consists of a set of API's and protocols that are being standardized within the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).
OpenWebRTC is built on the belief that the WebRTC standard will transcend the pure browser environment and that native apps, implementing the same protocols and API's, will become an important part of the WebRTC ecosystem. This is especially true on mobile platforms where native app distribution is often preferred over pure web apps.
Stefan Ålund, Research Manager at Ericsson Research, says: "Ever since releasing Bowser to the public in 2012 we have been asked to share our implementation. Today, we are not only releasing Bowser but also the underlying cross-platform WebRTC framework that we have developed and used internally at Ericsson Research over the last few years. "
Ericsson Research is heavily involved in the standardization of WebRTC, and has been developing prototype implementations of the standard ever since its inception. Having at least two independent, interoperable implementations of a standard is that both IETF and W3C requires as part of the standards process.
Ålund continues: "The WebRTC standard is still evolving and developers are finding news ways of using the technology every day. Our engineers have built OpenWebRTC in a way that makes it super-simple to modify and extend, leaving room for even more experimentation with API's and new features."
Bowser is not only released as Open Source, but has also been submitted to the Apple App Store and will be available as a free download. Future versions of Bowser will be developed in the open - incorporating changes made by the community.
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