WebRTC: A Turning Point for the Web?

Dr. Li Li


Recently, W3C and IETF joined forces to develop a new set of Web standards and protocols to enable real-time communications between web browsers. Major browser vendors, including Google, Mozilla and Microsoft, and some telecommunication companies, such as Cisco and Ericsson, are behind it. If done right, WebRTC combined with HTML5, could change the landscape of telecommunication industry as well as how we use the Web. This talk will give a brief introduction to the architecture of WebRTC, showing that it is a departure from client-server based Web architecture in several ways. These departures give us an opportunity to reexamine the architecture of the Web, especially the roles of HTML and web browser, from a historical perspective. We argue that HTML, one of the center pieces of the Web, and the way we (mis)treat web browsers as applications, may be creating functional and performance bottlenecks of the Web.