July, 2013

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Start Testing With First Implementation of IETF HTTP/2.0 Draft from MS Open Tech


    Further to our recent Blog on the first HTTP/2.0 implementable draft from the IETF, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. (MS Open Tech) is releasing an HTTP/2.0 server prototype based on the implementable draft. This is the first in a series of experimental implementations of HTTP/2.0 that will enhance the performance of the web.

    This implementation of HTTP/2.0 is based on the recent version 4 implementable draft and has been created on a new Microsoft open source C#-based web stack - Katana server. The prototype supports header compression (draft-ietf-httpbis-header-compression-01), HTTP/2.0 features such as stream multiplexing, and negotiation mechanisms such as ALPN and HTTP upgrade, as well as the ability to establish direct HTTP/2.0 connections. It does not yet implement server push or flow control. Apart from the server component, this prototype also includes a test command line client that makes HTTP/2.0 protocol requests to the server.

    To enable the community to try out this implementation of HTTP/2.0, we have also published endpoints (note these require HTTP/2.0 client included in source):

    http://http2katanatest.cloudapp.net:8080/ - HTTP endpoint.
    https://http2katanatest.cloudapp.net:8443/ - HTTPS endpoint using ALPN.

    These endpoints will only work with an HTTP/2.0-enabled browser or client, and host static pages that represent common websites, based on examples from the Internet Explorer Test Drive site.

    As communicated in our previous Blog, participants in the IETF HTTP working group have committed to a wide range of implementations. MS Open Tech is actively engaged and prototyping further HTTP/2.0 implementations based on the Katana project. Early interoperability testing is planned for the third interim face-to-face IETF meeting in August. We encourage you to start trying out the first implementation of HTTP/2.0 from MS Open Tech today – feel free to test using the endpoints listed above or download the code and try out your static websites on the Katana server.

    Parashuram Narasimhan

    Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    New CU-RTC-Web Prototype from MS Open Tech Demonstrates WebRTC Video Support Without SDP Offer/Answer


    Supporting ORCA, a new W3C Community Group for WebRTC

    Today, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., (MS Open Tech) is publishing a new prototype implementation of CU-RTC-Web on HTML5Labs that continues our exploration of alternatives to the SDP Offer/Answer approach. The CU-RTC-Web approach is based on two basic principles: that JavaScript APIs for realtime communications should not be based on passing under-specified SDP blobs and should not require implementation of the SDP Offer/Answer state machine. These principles, first articulated in the original CU-RTC-Web proposal have continued as basic tenets within our prototyping efforts, which have demonstrated the practicality of the approach with running code.

    This prototype demonstrates how to support H.264/AVC video without SDP, by building the appropriate JavaScript code and without introducing any changes in the specification. Previous prototypes of CU-RTC-Web included demonstrations of cross-platform interoperability (voice interop between Chrome on a Mac and IE10 on Windows) and roaming between cellular and Wi-Fi connections. Because CU-RTC-Web is a contribution to the ongoing standardization process, it does not represent a planned feature of any Microsoft product, and the prototypes should not be used for the development of commercial products.

    As experience with the WebRTC APIs has accumulated, more and more developers posting on the IETF and W3C mailing lists are reporting that their attempts to develop WebRTC applications have been impeded by the underspecified complexities of SDP and the unwieldy Offer/Answer model. As a result, several participants collaborated on an internet draft WebRTC JavaScript Object API Rationale that critiques the SDP Offer/Answer approach to a WebRTC API and outlines the rationale for an alternative API. Erik Lagerway of HookFlash has also provided a well-crafted Blog post on the issues – WebRTC JS Object API Model.

    At MS Open Tech, we are excited to see this work toward an “ObjectRTC” API. ObjectRTC and CU-RTC-Web share the same principles (e.g. no SDP Offer/Answer) and we look forward to a public discussion of how to synthesize the best ideas from both proposals. Pursuing multiple interoperability experiments such as CU-RTC-Web and ObjectRTC is how standardization works at its best. If you wish to participate in the discussion, an ObjectRTC Community Group (CG) has been established at the W3C - ORCA.

    The recent vibrant and open discussion as well as availability of an open source repository for the development of an alternative JavaScript API represents a major step forward for the real-time communications developer community and the principles of the open web. As these developments evolve, MS Open Tech will continue its prototyping efforts, which may in future be based on a constructive synthesis emerging from the Working Group or Community Group activities.

    As with our previous release, we hope that publishing this latest working prototype in HTML5Labs provides guidance in the following areas:

    • Clarify the CU-RTC-Web proposal with working code, so as to provide details on how the API could be used to solve real-world use cases in an interoperable way.
    • Encourage others to develop comparable interoperable example code for their proposals.
    • Seek developer feedback on how the CU-RTC-Web addresses interoperability challenges in Real Time Communications.
    • Provide a source of ideas for how to resolve open issues with the current draft API as the CU-RTC-Web proposal is cleaner and simpler.

    This is a great time for the community to come together to evaluate the draft specs to make sure they’re understandable, interoperable and implementable, and synthesize ideas to enable them to work together. We encourage you to engage with one or more of the discussions in IETF and W3C, such as ORCA CG, and we offer this new prototype to contribute to that discussion with running code. The latest CU-RTC-Web prototype can be downloaded from HTML5Labs. We look forward to receiving your feedback: please comment on this post or send us a message once you have tried out the prototype, and stay tuned for even more to come.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Microsoft Open Technologies and Azul Systems® to Partner on an OpenJDK™ Build for Windows Azure


    New OpenJDK-based offering will be free and open source, with contributions back to the community

    O'Reilly OSCON, PORTLAND, Ore. – July 24, 2013 – Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. (MS Open Tech), a subsidiary of Microsoft Corp. dedicated to bridging Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies, and Azul Systems®, the award-winning leader in Java runtime scalability, announced today at the O’Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) that they are partnering on a Windows distribution build of the community-driven open source Java™ implementation, known as OpenJDK™, for Windows Server on the Windows Azure platform.

    As part of this partnership, Azul Systems will build, certify and distribute a compliant OpenJDK-based distribution meeting the Java SE specification for use with Windows Server environments on Azure. The new OpenJDK-based offering will be freely distributed and licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2) with the Classpath Exception.

    Open source is now a key building block for enterprise IT strategies. Customers also require choice in where and how they deploy new and existing Java applications. Through this partnership the global community of Java developers gain access to open source Java on the Windows Azure cloud. It will also serve the growing number of Java applications that both small and medium businesses and global enterprises depend on to run their businesses.

    Scott Sellers, Azul Systems president and CEO, said, “This initiative is all about bringing Java to the masses in the cloud. We will be providing a fully open and unconstrained Java environment — with open choice of third-party stacks — for developers and essential applications deployed on Windows Azure.”

    Jean Paoli, president of MS Open Tech said, “Microsoft Open Technologies and our Azul Systems partner are motivated by a common goal to make the world of mixed IT environments work better together for customers. This partnership will enable developers and IT professionals to ensure their mission-critical apps deploy and run smoothly on Windows Azure, using the open source Java environment they prefer. With Azul Systems rich Java heritage and strong customer track record,  partnering was a natural decision.”

    A June 14, 2013, Forrester Research report, titled: “The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Public Cloud Platforms, Q2 2013,” states “Microsoft’s strategy for Windows Azure is very strong for two reasons … creating a single platform spanning many clouds is achievable, valuable, and a natural act for Microsoft. … Microsoft’s openness to other platforms, languages, databases, development environments, and tools is genuine and virtually assures Windows Azure’s relevance as technology evolves.”

    With the support of Azul Systems and MS Open Tech, customers will be assured of a high-quality foundation for their Java implementations while leveraging the latest advancements in OpenJDK. The OpenJDK project is supported by a vibrant open source community, and Azul Systems is committed to updating and maintaining its OpenJDK-based offering for Windows Azure, supporting current and future versions of both Java and Windows Server. Deploying Java applications on Windows Azure will be further simplified through the existing open source MS Open Tech Windows Azure for Eclipse Plugin with Java.

    The new Azul Systems offering will be available later this year. For more information and updates about the new product or the MS Open Tech and Azul Systems partnership, subscribe to the MS Open Tech Blog. Customers and partners of Microsoft and Azul are also invited to contact Azul at AzureInfo@azulsystems.com for additional information about Azul’s Early Access Program.

    About Azul Systems
    Azul Systems (Azul) is an award-winning provider of Java runtimes for the enterprise. Based in Sunnyvale, California, Azul has been delivering Java solutions for more than 10 years with deep domain knowledge in Java runtimes, elastic memory, Pauseless Garbage Collection, and runtime resource monitoring. Azul is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Java Community ProcessSM (JCP) and has licenses to the OpenJDK Community Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK). Azul's enterprise products enable organizations to simplify their Java-based operations while achieving lower average latencies, improved scalability, greater response time consistency and dramatically improved operating costs. For additional information, visit: http://www.azulsystems.com.

    About Microsoft Open Technologies
    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. (MS Open Tech), is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft dedicated to advancing the company’s investment in openness including interoperability, open standards and open source. MS Open Tech is focused on providing our customers with even greater choice and opportunity to bridge Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies together in heterogeneous environments, because we’re convinced that openness is good for our customers, good for the community and good for our business. For additional information on MS Open Tech, visit www.msopentech.com.

    # # #

    All other product and service names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective companies.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    MS Open Tech early contributor to open source dash.js community to accelerate advanced video streaming through MPEG-DASH standard


    MPEG-DASH is key to the future of online video as it is the latest ISO standard for Internet streaming. Over 75% of surveyed European broadcasters are planning to adopt the standard by the middle of 2014. To accelerate this new media technology, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. (MS Open Tech) recently contributed code on a new open source project called dash.js that will deliver an MPEG-DASH video player for Internet Explorer 11, and other browsers.

    In June, at the //BUILD/ conference, Netflix demonstrated MPEG-DASH playback in Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) without any browser plugins. IE11 was also shown playing MPEG-DASH content using dash.js JavaScript player. This marked a significant step forward in facilitating cross platform content streaming since it removes the need to develop proprietary plugins for each platform. Using the dash.js code developers can more easily build browser based MPEG-DASH players in order to directly address broadcasters concerns about a lack of MPEG-DASH players.

    MS Open Tech contributions

    Dash.js is an early stage community project, initiated by members of the DASH-IF, to build a cross-platform video player that is compliant with the DASH-AVC/264 Implementation Guidelines. In the latest release of dash.js, our work focused on features that stabilize the player and its ability to stream content in browsers that support Media Source Extensions (MSE), a W3C specification that allows JavaScript to generate media streams for playback.

    As a part of this work, the essential on demand video streaming operations such as seek, play and pause have been refactored to address potential incompatibilities between different browser implementations. We have also put considerable effort into improving the development process through the provision of a better test infrastructure. This makes it easier for third parties to participate in the project in order to further enhance the player.

    Building the developer ecosystem

    MS Open Tech contributions, when combined with the work of other community members, has enabled plugin free video streaming in IE11 and other browsers supporting MSE and we look forward to continuing to play our part in delivering on the promise of MPEG-DASH. To be one of the first to experience the future of Internet video install the Windows 8.1 preview and take a look at dash.js project. Your feedback is important to us and as part of the dash.js project community we welcome all forms of input.

    Kirk Shoop, Senior Software Development Engineer
    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

    Ross Gardler, Senior Technical Evangelist
    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Developers and Citizens Can Now Harness the Power of More Open Data with CKAN and Windows Azure


    Open data is becoming increasingly important for governments and public research. Based on the openness and interoperability of the Windows Azure platform, open data technologies are enabling more open data to be available in the cloud. CKAN (Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network) is one of the most popular open data platforms in use by Governments, universities and enterprises around the globe. Here at Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. we are pleased to see open source platforms such as CKAN taking advantage of the scalability, flexibility, openness and interoperability features of Windows Azure.

    Deploy CKAN in the Cloud using VM Depot and Windows Azure

    CKAN is an open source, web-based data management system that makes data accessible by providing tools to streamline publishing, sharing, finding and using data. CKAN is aimed at data publishers (national and regional governments, universities, companies and organizations) wanting to make their data open and available. The CKAN project is maintained by the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN) and implementations are commonly used as a public platform for various government data catalogues, such as the UK's http://data.gov.uk and US http://data.gov. Indeed, the UK Meteorological Office (Met Office) is using the capabilities of CKAN and Windows Azure to host their weather data archives and make the data broadly available via http://data.gov.uk/metoffice-data-archive.

    Developers wishing to deploy a CKAN installation in the cloud can now do so using the CKAN images available on VM Depot. Microsoft Public Sector and Microsoft Open Tech has partnered with OKFN who have provided CKAN Version 2 as an Ubuntu VM running on Windows Azure. There are two methods to install CKAN on Azure using the images available on VM Depot: through the management interface and using the command line tool. For a step-by-step guide to deploying CKAN on Windows Azure, see the CKAN Wiki.

    CKAN and Azure in Yokohama City

    Yokohama City, which is the largest city in Japan, recently published its Yokohama Open Data Solution using CKAN running with Windows Azure and supported by the Japan Linked Open Data Initiative. This is the first implementation in Japan of CKAN and Windows Azure for a local open data catalogue. As well as Japanese, the catalogue is available in several languages, including English – see more here http://data.yokohamaopendata.jp/en/.

    Windows Azure and OData

    Data that is hosted on Windows Azure can also be published using the Windows Azure Marketplace which utilizes the OData open data protocol. For example, because the Windows Azure Marketplace provides support for OData, citizens and developers can easily analyze the aforementioned UK National Weather data using an OData feed which allows the use of tools such as PowerPivot within Excel. This provides unprecedented access to powerful meteorological data including hourly, daily, and five-day forecasts - see the Microsoft in Government Blog Big Weather, Big Data, and That Little Device You Carry for further details on how this data is being used. Based on a collaboration between Citrix, IBM, Microsoft, Progress Software, SAP AG, WSO2, and others, we recently announced that the OASIS OData Technical Committee initiated a public review of OData v4.0 which is expected to become an OASIS Standard in 2013.

    These open data initiatives add to the many open data projects based on Windows Azure. Together they facilitate openness and transparency in public data. This work provides an extremely solid foundation upon which open data services can be built. When coupled with our work on cross platform client side tooling, developers are provided with an environment in which new and exciting opportunities are revealed. We look forward to working with you as we strive to open yet more data.

    Ross Gardler, Senior Technical Evangelist
    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

    Mark Gayler, Senior Technical Evangelist
    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    The Developer’s Dilemma: How Do You Reach a New Audience without Spending Hours Recoding?



    One of the greatest challenges of today’s developer is to develop lasting code that works across multiple platforms and devices. Because ultimately as creators, don’t we all want everyone (and anyone) to be able to access and appreciate our hard work? Writers want their books read. Singers want their songs heard. Developers want….well, you get the idea.

    Open source technologies are one of the solutions enabling developers to extend their reach reusing their skills and code as communities contribute adding support for new platforms all the time. Windows has always been a great playground for developer communities and many open source technologies already support Windows devices.

    clip_image002The Enyo team is a great example of how communities are considering all modern platforms to allow developers to concentrate on innovation and broaden their reach to many devices leveraging their existing skills and code. From the get go, they have considered and rapidly supported all the major mobile platforms including Windows Store apps and Windows Phone apps. The Confero app demonstrates how a dev can reach more customers with the same app on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry and the Web.

    To further help developers have their code work seamlessly across platforms, Microsoft Open Technologies (MS Open Tech) has been working with many open source communities to add to the list of frameworks and tools developers can use to build Windows Store and Windows Phone apps.

    Whether you are a web developer coding with jQuery or other JavaScript frameworks and tools, or a C++ developer using Cinder, OpenCV, Cocos2DX, Ogre3D, Bullet, Box2D you can now use these frameworks and libraries, and reuse your code to port your existing applications or create new apps for Windows devices.

    Below we’ve broken down by developer the tools and resources MS Open Tech contributed to bring to Windows devices to help you introduce your applications to whole new audiences!


    For C++ and Gaming Developers

    Do you use C++ for game and graphics development, favoring its native access to hardware acceleration? MS Open Tech has worked closely with various open source communities to contribute code to popular C++ frameworks optimizing them for Windows devices.

    • Cinder, a growing programming library for creative coding in C++ and used for design engineering has just been brought to Windows Store apps by MS Open Tech
    • Cocos2DX and Ogre3D which already supported Windows Phone 8, now fully support Windows Store apps. Porting a Cocos2D or Ogre3D game to Windows devices is now as simple as a copy paste of your code into a Visual Studio project for Windows Store or for Windows Phone.
    • Box2D and Bullet are other great gaming libraries joining the Windows Store apps party!
    • OpenCV, popular computer vision and machine learning framework, can now be used in Windows Store applications as well.

    For Web Developers

    Since Web technologies started to be used to build apps for devices, MS Open Tech has engaged with open source communities such as PhoneGap or jQuery Mobile to make Web developers life easier in their new ventures. From cross platform development tools, to HTML5/JavaScript frameworks, and development tools, we contributed to enable lots of open source technologies on Windows devices that let Web developers build apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 without wasting hours learning a new platform.

    jQuery now fully supports WinRT (the Windows Runtime, powering Windows Store apps), allowing web developers to build Windows 8 apps reusing their existing code and skills. As a direct result from this work, web developers can also use other frameworks that are based on jQuery, such as Backbone.js, Knockout, CanvasJS, RequireJS to build Windows Store apps. You can learn more about what it took to make jQuery support WinRT on this Nettuts tutorial.

    Developers who use HTML5 to build cross platforms apps for iOS and Android with tools such as Apache Cordova (aka PhoneGap) can easily port their apps to Windows Store and Windows Phone Store as Apache Cordova fully supports both platforms. If you want to learn more about the MS Open Tech’s partnership with Apache Cordova, join us at PhoneGap day in Portland at the end of the week.!

    Many HTML5/JS mobile frameworks come with themes for Windows Phone 8 that were created with MS Open Tech’s technical support. jQuery Mobile, Sencha Touch, Dojo, Enyo fully support Internet Explorer 10 and the WebBrowser control used to encapsulate web code in native apps on Windows Phone, in the exact same way as Android or iOS.

    And don’t forget weinre on Internet Explorer 10 for remote debugging of HTML5 pages and SQLite for data storage – both work seamlessly with Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.

    Cloud-Based Services for Mobile Developers

    Lucky for us, the Windows Azure team is only a few minutes away by bus or car, and we have worked closely with this team to make robust and flexible mobile services available for developers to build apps that scale on all major platforms so you can focus on innovation, instead of constantly reinventing the wheel.

    Specifically, we built the Android SDK for Windows Azure Mobile Services to complement the support for Windows Store apps, Windows Phone, iOS and HTML5. Giving Android developers access to a range of advanced cloud-based services for storage authentication and notifications.

    We also contributed the Android SDK for the Windows Azure Notifications Hub which lets you broadcast push notifications to millions of devices across platforms from almost any backend hosted in Windows Azure. Last but not least, MS Open Tech created a Backbone adapter for Windows Azure Mobile Data Service, letting you seamlessly sync your data with the cloud using your usual favorite Backbone APIs.

    What’s next?

    All of these projects are ongoing, and we at MS Open Tech are always adding new ones to extend the list of technologies open source communities are bringing to Windows devices. Also, if your favorite open source framework doesn’t work on Windows Store apps or Windows Phone apps, let us know emailing us.

    You will also find that Windows and Visual Studio offer plenty of tools and programs to help you libraries and frameworks support Windows. Jason Olson, Program Manager in the Windows team presented a great session at the last //build/ event about technologies like NuGet, Visual Studio Extensions, and programs such as http://services.windowsstore.com. Check out the webcast on channel 9.

    You can find more detailed resources on developing apps for Windows devices as an open source developer visiting the MS Open Tech’s website. You will learn things such as how to get started with Windows apps development, how to develop for Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 on a Mac or what were our contributions to these frameworks to make them work seamlessly on Windows devices.

    Now go get your Cocos2D based game or other open source based app run on Windows 8 and/or Windows Phone 8, and let us know how it works!

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    New open source releases: Reactive Extensions (Rx) libraries for Python and Ruby


    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc is releasing two new open source libraries for Reactive Extensions (Rx) today that support Python and Ruby.

    Rx is a programming model that allows developers to use a common interface on multiple platforms to interact with diverse data sources and formats, such as stock quotes, Tweets, real-time events, streaming data, and Web services. Developers can use Rx to create observable sequences, and applications can subscribe to these sequences and receive asynchronous notifications as new data arrives. Rx was open-sourced by MS Open Tech in November, 2012, and since then has become an important component behind the scenes in several high-availability, including NetFlix and GitHub.

    Developers direct an Observer interface to observe (subscribe to) a data source, which is called an Observable Interface in Rx. The Observer Interface waits for and then reacts to pushed data until it is sent a signal from the Observable Interface that there is no more data to react to. An Observable interface maintains a list of dependent Observer interfaces and notifies them automatically of any state changes. Employing such a model is useful for performance and reliability in many scenarios, especially in UI-heavy client environments in which the UI thread is blocked while waiting for events.

    Rx is available for different platforms such as .NET, JavaScript, C/C++, and Windows Phone frameworks, and as of today, Ruby and Python as well. You can download the libraries, as well as learn about their prerequisites at the Rx MSDN Developer Center.

    You can find the projects on CodePlex: Rx for Ruby is available here, and Rx for Python is available here. Try them out and please share feedback!  This is our initial effort for both Ruby and Python and we are looking forward to working actively with the Ruby and Python communities to make sure that implementing Rx is as easy and flexible as possible. You can leave comments here, or start a discussion on CodePlex for Ruby or Python.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Start Prototyping With the First Implementable Draft of HTTP/2.0 from the IETF Standards Community


    I am excited to share that the long awaited first HTTP/2.0 implementable draft has been published by the IETF HTTP Working Group at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). This is the first in a series of experimental implementations of HTTP/2.0 that will enhance the performance of the web.

    This draft is a direct outcome from the First Interim Meeting in Tokyo in January - “The most important outcome of the interim meeting in Tokyo was the recommendation to create a HTTP/2.0 ’Implementation Draft Specification’ based on the set of features that have achieved rough consensus in the HTTPBIS working group at this time. The intent is to converge on the details using the IETF HTTPBIS mailing list and then implement and validate the subsequent implementation draft. And then repeat the process based on our experience and new understanding – as Mark Nottingham (IETF HTTPBIS chair) has clarified:

    “Note that we are NOT yet firmly choosing any particular path; rather, we're working on proposals in code as well as text, based upon discussion to date. As such, we're likely to have several such implementation drafts that progressively refine the approach we're taking. I.e., we don't have to agree that the above is what we want HTTP/2.0 to look like -- only that it's interesting to make these changes now, so that we can test them.”

    I am also pleased to announce that Microsoft has made its necessary patents that cover the current draft available under royalty-free terms.

    Participants in the HTTP working group have committed to a wide range of implementations. Microsoft Open Tech is actively engaged and prototyping a HTTP/2 server based on the Katana project. Early interoperability testing is planned for the third interim face-to-face meeting in August.

    I encourage the community to openly and actively review the implementable draft and start implementing today.

    HTTP/2 Second Interim Meeting

    To converge on the remaining issues blocking the first implementable HTTP/2.0 draft, the IETF HTTPBIS working group held its second interim face-to-face meeting on 6/13-6/14 at the Twitter offices in San Francisco. I attended with representatives from Microsoft, Gabriel Montenegro and Rob Trace.

    As captured in the minutes, there was an open and lively discussion of the issues and rough consensus to adopt an updated header compression proposal. Mark Nottingham, the HTTPBIS chair, summarized the meeting outcomes on the mailing list for wider review.

    To accelerate the development of HTTP/2.0 prototypes, I shared the news that Microsoft Open Technologies proposed to contribute our implementation of Application Layer Protocol Negotiation (ALPN) to the OpenSSL community. ALPN is required to support HTTP/2 secure negotiation. More details are available here.

    Looking Ahead for the HTTP/2.0 Standardization Work

    The working group is meeting on a frequent schedule to make progress on HTTP/2.0

    • IETF 87, July 28 – August 2 in Berlin, Germany
    • Third interim HTTP/2.0 meeting, August 5 – August 7 hosted by Adobe in Hamburg, Germany
    • Proposed Fourth interim HTTP/2.0 meeting, October 30 – November 1 hosted by Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. (with participation from Microsoft product groups) in Bellevue, WA
    • IETF 88, November 3 – November 8 in Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Representatives from Microsoft Corporation and Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. plan on participating in these meetings and encourage the community to also attend and become more involved in defining the next generation of HTTP at the IETF. And remember, you can start prototyping the first implementable draft of HTTP/2.0 from the IETF standards community today.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    More W3C Pointer Events Implementations with Dojo and IE11


    The W3C Pointer Events emerging standard continues to gain traction, advancing support for interoperable mouse, touch, and pen interactions across the web. Further to our previous Blog where we highlighted the work the Dojo team are doing with Pointer Events, we can now confirm an implementation of Pointer Events has now been added to the patch list for Dojo Toolkit 2.0.

    Pointer Events makes it easier to support a variety of browsers and devices by saving Web developers from writing unique code for each input type. The specification has earned positive feedback from the developer community -- many are already embracing it as a unified model for cross-browser multi-modal input.

    In our previous Blog on W3C Pointer Events, we highlighted feedback shared by members of the jQuery, Cordova, and Dojo communities. The team at Nokia are also excited about progress with the Pointer Events standardization work as Nokia's Art Barstow, Chair of the W3C's Pointer Events Working Group noted:

    Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, jQuery, Opera and Nokia are among the industry members working on the Pointer Events standard in the W3C's Pointer Events Working Group. Pointer Events is designed to handle hardware-agnostic multi user inputs input from devices like a mouse, pen, or touchscreen and we are pleased to see it achieve Candidate Recommendation status in W3C. Pointer Events is a great way for developers to enable better user interaction with the mobile Web and we are excited to see the various implementations around the Web that are already underway. Web developers can start coding with Pointer Events today and we look forward to further progress with the standard and adoption within the Web community.

    Pointer Events at //Build 2013

    During the recent //Build 2013 event, Jacob Rossi of the Internet Explorer (IE) team presented Lighting Your Site Up on Windows 8.1 which included guidance on how Web developers can use the capabilities of Pointer Events to make web sites ‘shine’ across many devices such as touch/mouse/pen, high resolution screens, and screen sizes from phones to desktops, taking advantage of sensors and other hardware innovations. The Internet Explorer 11 Preview implementation has been updated from Internet Explorer 10 to include the latest Candidate Recommendation specification for W3C Pointer Events - see Pointer Events updates in the IE11 Developer Guide for further details.

    As we continue to work with the vibrant Web community, we look forward to seeing even more Pointer Events support across a growing number of JavaScript libraries and frameworks – there’s more to come! To learn more about using and implementing Pointer Events, feel free to check out and contribute to the Pointer Events Wiki on Web Platform Docs which includes community generated polyfills, tests, demos, and tutorials, or join the discussion at #PointerEvents. Point. Click. Touch.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    The Windows Azure Toolkit for Eclipse, July 2013 Preview is ready!


    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., has released a new update to the Windows Azure Toolkit for Eclipse. The July 2013 Preview includes a number of enhancements that make it easier for Eclipse developers to work with Windows Azure.

    July 2013 Enhancements

    For the July release, we’ve added an auto option for the Windows Azure Storage account selection in the JDK and server deployment configurations. This enables you to postpone the selection of a specific Windows Azure Storage account until you publish the deployment using the Publish to Windows Azure dialog. The Windows Azure Storage account you select in the Publish Wizard is used when you’re ready to publish. This is an enhancement to the automatic upload of a chosen JDK and App Server to Windows Azure storage that was enabled in the May 2013 release.  See the updated Creating a Hello World Application for Windows Azure in Eclipse tutorial for more details.

    Starting with this release, it’s also possible to deploy a complete cloud application to a new Windows Azure storage account within Eclipse. A key part of this capability is the addition of the New button in the Add Storage Account dialog, which creates a new Windows Azure Storage account without having to leave the Eclipse UI. More information here.

    We’ve also added new features for larger deployments. One often requested feature is the ability to specify a local storage resource as the deployment destination for your JDK and application server, in case your deployment may be too large to be contained in the default approot folder, as is sometimes the case with larger JBoss and JDK v1.7 deployments. More information on large deployments can be found here.  Another handy new feature for large deployments is our support for the new high-memory A6 and A7 Windows Azure Virtual Machines

    We also added new options for Service Endpoints. With the users of Windows Azure by 21Vianet, China in mind in particular, there is also now a way to select the service endpoints of the Windows Azure cloud you target. Service endpoint options for this release are the global Windows Azure platform, the Windows Azure by 21Vianet, China, or a private Windows Azure platform. For more information, see Windows Azure Service Endpoints. Here’s how the Endpoint selection looks in the new release:


    There is also an update to the Windows Azure Libraries for Java Package, based on version 0.4.4 of the Microsoft Windows Azure Client API. This package contains the latest SDK distribution and their open-source dependencies as an Eclipse library. Add this library to the build path of your project (not the Windows Azure project) and all relevant Windows Azure API libraries will be automatically referenced and included in your WAR file.

    Getting the Plugin

    Here are the complete instructions to download and install the Windows Azure Plugin for Eclipse with Java, as well as updated documentation.

    As always, let us know how the latest release works for you and how you like the new features! To send feedback or questions, just use MSDN Forums or Stack Overflow.

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