Decentralized Web Standard by W3C

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This Could be Big: Decentralized Web Standard Under Development by W3C

By Marshall Kirkpatrick / May 5, 2011

Imagine a web where our browsers connected directly to each other to do voice, video, media sharing and run applications, using P2P and real-time APIs, rather than going through centralized servers that controlled traffic and permissions. That’s a potent idea and if implemented properly could future-proof a part of the web from authoritarian crack-downs, disruptions by disasters and more. It could also establish a permanent lawless zone of connected devices with no central place to stop anyone from doing anything in particular.

It just so happens that something like that may now be under development in the most official of venues. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) announced today the formation of a new Web Real-Time Communications Working Group to define client-side APIs to enable Real-Time Communications in Web browsers, without the need for server-side implementation. The Group is chaired by engineers from Google and Ericsson. It sounds like Opera Unite to me (see video below), but democratized across all browsers. It sounds like it could be a very big deal.