Thursday, 13 September 2012

Firefox OS - new gen stuffs to know

Curtesy: Rawkes [Magical about Firefox OS]

Firefox OS screenshots

Firefox OS is a new mobile operating system developed by Mozilla's Boot to Gecko (B2G) project. It uses a Linux kernel and boots into a Gecko-based runtime engine, which lets users run applications developed entirely using HTML, JavaScript, and other open Web application APIs.

In short, Firefox OS is about taking the technologies behind the Web, like JavaScript, and using them to produce an entire mobile operating system. Just let that sink in for a moment — it's a mobile OS powered by JavaScript!

To do this, a slightly-customised version of Gecko (the engine behind Firefox) has been created that introduces the new JavaScript APIs necessary to create a phone-like experience. This includes things like WebTelephony to make phone calls, WebSMS to send text messages, and the Vibration API to, well, vibrate things.

But Firefox OS is much more than the latest Web technologies being used in crazy ways, as awesome as that is, it's also a combination of many other projects at Mozilla into a single vision — the Web as a platform. Some of these projects include our Open Web Apps initiative and Persona, our solution to identity and logins on the Web (formally known as BrowserID). It's absolutely fascinating to see so many different projects at Mozilla coalesce into a single, coherent vision.

The two major reasons for "why Firefox OS - another mobile OS again?" are that Firefox OS fills a gap in the mobile market, and that it provides an alternative to the current proprietary and restrictive mobile landscape. So cool right !!

Mozilla's mission since its outset in 1998, first as a software project and later as a foundation and company, has been to provide open technology that challenges a dominant corporate product.

Mozilla is attempting to replicate its success with Firefox, in which it stormed the browser market and showed users that there is an alternative, one that lets them be in control of how they use the Web

This time, it's the mobile Web that's threatened, not by Microsoft but by Apple and Google, the leading smartphone platforms. With their native apps, locked-down platforms, proprietary software stores, and capricious developer rules, Apple and Google are making Web technology less relevant.

On mobile, one of the main areas that needs improving is application portability…

For all the excitement around mobile apps, they seem a step backward in one respect: they tie users to a particular operating system and devices that support it. The Web, by contrast, evolved so that content is experienced much the same way on any hardware.
Mozilla, maker of the Firefox Web browser, is determined to make the same thing true for smartphones.

What Firefox OS aims to do here is to use the native everywhere-ness of the Web to provide a platform that allows applications to be enjoyed on a mobile device, a desktop computer, a tablet, or anywhere else that has access to a browser.

Read full article here.