Linked by fran on Tue 26th Jul 2011 21:45 UTC
Mozilla & Gecko clones "Mozilla today announced Boot to Gecko , a very ambitious project that aims to create a 'complete, standalone operating system for the open web'. This project's goal is to develop what seems like a ChromeOS-like operating system where all the apps are based on HTML5."
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So basically...
by roar on Tue 26th Jul 2011 22:27 UTC
roar
Member since:
2009-12-26

So basically just a webOS clone but with Gecko instead of WebKit ?

Reply Score: 2

RE: So basically...
by kenji on Wed 27th Jul 2011 00:03 UTC in reply to "So basically..."
kenji Member since:
2009-04-08

No, a chromeOS clone with the android kernel. Besides it would be nice to have a webOS clone that was open source and could run on a netbook.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: So basically...
by Elv13 on Wed 27th Jul 2011 00:35 UTC in reply to "RE: So basically..."
Elv13 Member since:
2006-06-12

I think Palm had an x86 build of WebOS. WebOS is mostly open source, it's Linux with SDL. I think only a few libraries are proprietary. Of course, they are the most important ones, but still.

It is much more compatible with Linux than Android so you could add drivers and swap libraries with newer versions.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: So basically...
by Radio on Wed 27th Jul 2011 06:57 UTC in reply to "RE: So basically..."
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

It is not much for netbooks rather than for smartphones.

I see that mistake everywhere: the comparison with ChromeOS makes people think it is made for netbooks.

In fact, there is already an experimental OS equivalent to ChromeOS at Mozilla, it is called Webian Shell. B2G is the same idea as ChromeOS/Webian, but for smartphones.

Reply Score: 2

RE: So basically...
by Tom9729 on Wed 27th Jul 2011 00:10 UTC in reply to "So basically..."
Tom9729 Member since:
2008-12-09

Read the mailing list discussion for more information.

The most amusing part is that they basically want to fork Android (for the OEM hardware support), remove the userland stuff, and drop Mozilla on top.

How many mobile OSs do we really need? Off the top of my head: Android, Meego, Maemo (dead), WebOS are all based on Linux. Then we have iOS of course, Bada from Samsung, WP7 from you-know-who, Symbian (dead), Blackberry (dead), and whatever strange thing RIM might cook up with QNX.

From what I understand, Moz's reasoning is that none of those systems are really open; even Android is pretty much developed behind closed doors to keep manufacturers and service providers happy.

The main question on my mind is that even if the OS truly _is_ OSS, what good is it if you can't load it on to your device? How is making another OS going to improve this?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: So basically...
by _xmv on Wed 27th Jul 2011 03:03 UTC in reply to "RE: So basically..."
_xmv Member since:
2008-12-09

at even if the OS truly _is_ OSS, what good is it if you can't load it on to your device? How is making another OS going to improve this?

actually meego is pretty open source. i think what they want is to have a free (as in freedom, beer, and more) alternative os running on HTML/JS in case this stuff takes off (windows8 is based on that, webos is based on that, chromeos is based on that, so far)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: So basically...
by Radio on Wed 27th Jul 2011 07:20 UTC in reply to "RE: So basically..."
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

How many mobile OSs do we really need?
That (rhetorical) question is pointless for what is, for now, an experiment.

Now, if I try to answer your question seriously:

-Monoculture is bad, for security as well as for progress (imagine if Apple died or ditched OSX, like so many argued because "we don't need it"...)

-the smartphone market may not be like the PC market: we will not see all platforms but one or two disappear.
http://www.asymco.com/2011/07/06/the-post-pc-era-will-be-a-multi-pl...
Sorry for the developpers.

-Which means that lazy developpers are better writing web apps; even if they want afterwards to turn their work into a native app, they often can encapsulate it inside a java/C#/objective-C/etc. container.
(Of course, I am completely at odds with the weak, stretched argument exposed here: http://mattgemmell.com/2011/07/22/apps-vs-the-web/ )

-Ergo, B2G is THE reference platform of the future. This is not only a question of open-source zealotism. There is far more sense and strategy into it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: So basically...
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 27th Jul 2011 18:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So basically..."
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14


-Ergo, B2G is THE reference platform of the future. This is not only a question of open-source zealotism. There is far more sense and strategy into it.


The reference platform of the future? You mean the reference platform of the future that no one uses because its not installed by any device manufacturers, but is still the lowest common denominator of all smart phones, or would be except for the differences between the mozilla and webkit rendering engines?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: So basically...
by Radio on Wed 27th Jul 2011 20:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So basically..."
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

What are you going to do of your Galaxy S or iPhone4 in two year's time, when it won't have been updated for a long time? Ditch it?

B2G sounds like a good alternative ROM to install, far less complicated than maintaining a custom Android AOSP build (if Google does not cut access to the code source, anyway). Well, except for the iPhone4 whose non-removable battery will be fried by then.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: So basically...
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 27th Jul 2011 22:31 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: So basically..."
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

What am I going to do? Install a android ROM and play with it.

What are my non techy friends going to do? Trade it in? Give it to a younger sibling? Almost anything other than install a different ROM on it. Even if they did, that wouldn't make that ROM a reference platform.

Also, not sure why a Mozilla based ROM ( which no no has seen) would be less complicated than an Android one. But using one would require the user to ditch all of their previous apps.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: So basically...
by dragos.pop on Wed 27th Jul 2011 10:05 UTC in reply to "RE: So basically..."
dragos.pop Member since:
2010-01-08

Read the mailing list discussion for more information.

The most amusing part is that they basically want to fork Android (for the OEM hardware support), remove the userland stuff, and drop Mozilla on top.

How many mobile OSs do we really need? Off the top of my head: Android, Meego, Maemo (dead), WebOS are all based on Linux. Then we have iOS of course, Bada from Samsung, WP7 from you-know-who, Symbian (dead), Blackberry (dead), and whatever strange thing RIM might cook up with QNX.

From what I understand, Moz's reasoning is that none of those systems are really open; even Android is pretty much developed behind closed doors to keep manufacturers and service providers happy.

The main question on my mind is that even if the OS truly _is_ OSS, what good is it if you can't load it on to your device? How is making another OS going to improve this?


Maybe there are a lot. But:
From the list above I would cut all dead ones and also Bada because it is targeting low and medium smartphones, not the high end ones.

What mozzila wants is a kind of chrome for smartphones.
WebOS supports HTML very well, but not in a standard way.
If mozzila has success with this, the API might be taken by other mobile OS. Web OS could use it and android might integrate it in WebKit. Also blackberry is opened to use API from other OS.
This means that if I am right, there will be one API for developing small apps and widgets on more platforms.
Complex apps, like games and complex GPS apps will remain platform specific.

Reply Score: 1

Why?
by LouisBarman on Tue 26th Jul 2011 22:59 UTC
LouisBarman
Member since:
2010-06-06

Reply Score: 2

RE: Why?
by kenji on Wed 27th Jul 2011 00:05 UTC in reply to "Why?"
kenji Member since:
2009-04-08

Some people don't trust Google.

An open source web based OS not controlled by Google is the target.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Why?
by LouisBarman on Wed 27th Jul 2011 07:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Why?"
LouisBarman Member since:
2010-06-06

... when there is iOS, Android, Phone 7, webOS, Blackberry QNX + plus all the legacy mobile OS's.

Hum, let me think - - with so much choice in the market are any manufacturers really go to put this on a phone? Not really a good time to launch a new mobile OS is it?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Why?
by Pro-Competition on Wed 27th Jul 2011 14:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why?"
Pro-Competition Member since:
2007-08-20

Here is a link to another article that addresses this question: http://mozillalinks.org/2011/07/mozilla-boot-to-gecko-project-aims-...

In a nutshell, it will be 100% open source, unlike the corporate alternatives.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Why?
by kenji on Wed 27th Jul 2011 15:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why?"
kenji Member since:
2009-04-08

... when there is iOS, Android, Phone 7, webOS, Blackberry QNX + plus all the legacy mobile OS's.

Hum, let me think - - with so much choice in the market are any manufacturers really go to put this on a phone? Not really a good time to launch a new mobile OS is it?

...and none are open source.

I get your point about entering a crowded market but everyone benefits from competition and choice. If this could prove to be a drop in replacement for android (with android app compatibility) then I think there would be a market for it. It would be mostly a geek thing but a market none the less.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Why?
by Not2Sure on Wed 27th Jul 2011 23:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why?"
Not2Sure Member since:
2009-12-07

Well when you consider the size of the potential market relative to the development costs there is probably room for a profitable niche OS offering.

Bada does pretty well in certain markets for example and is just part of Samsungs offerings obviously. I could see a niche for some exotic OS on some interesting platform, but then again I also bought a Nokia N900 ;)

Reply Score: 1

Interesting
by kiri82 on Tue 26th Jul 2011 23:34 UTC
kiri82
Member since:
2011-07-26

This may be interesting. I would like to test it out.

Reply Score: 1

Has been done before but for the PC
by John Blink on Wed 27th Jul 2011 00:09 UTC
John Blink
Member since:
2005-10-11

Does anybody remember the company that tried to do this, within the last 10 years.

I remember it, OSNEWS covered it.

These new "news" topics are making it hard to "google".

I wanted to load up the website in http://wayback.archive.org/web/

Edit:
Found it.
http://www.osnews.com/story/928/OEone_HomeBase_Offers_Computing_Sim...

Edited 2011-07-27 00:11 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Tom9729 Member since:
2008-12-09

Perhaps you mean eyeOS?

edit: whoops, nevermind :-)

Edited 2011-07-27 00:13 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Meh
by Not2Sure on Wed 27th Jul 2011 03:44 UTC
Not2Sure
Member since:
2009-12-07

I have never really understood the drive to use HTML/JS for user interfaces or "browsers is the OS" platforms. We did it because that's what we needed to do get on as many screens as possible, which is not the issue in mobile/smartphone development.

I know alot of unemployed web people are looking for work but.. talk about your impedance mismatch. Just my $0.02.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Meh
by fran on Wed 27th Jul 2011 16:53 UTC in reply to "Meh"
fran Member since:
2010-08-06

Not according to Stanford..Computer science 101 is now taught in Javascript.
http://www.stanford.edu/class/cs101/

Javascript is the future.

Javascript, HTML5, CSS3 and php for database driven function makes magic in the hands of a pro. Writing your javascript application in Coffeescript is fast and enjoyable.

Want to write of full blown enterprise server side application. No probs use Node.js and enjoy superfast cloud applications.
Use Ruby or Clojure no probs..there is interpreters that rewrite your code to javascript.

Clojure to Javascript
http://www.infoq.com/news/2011/07/clojurescript

The programming is full of language snubbery.
Good Javascript and HTML5 programmers will only rise.

Still unsure about Javascript's capability.
Read Javascript a definitive guide by David Flanagan.
All 1018 pages of it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Meh
by Tom9729 on Wed 27th Jul 2011 19:49 UTC in reply to "Meh"
Tom9729 Member since:
2008-12-09

The idea is that an HTML5 app is very portable, and the barrier to entry is low. All you really need to get started is a web browser and a text editor. Contrast that to iOS where you need OS X, Xcode, and a developers license; or Android where you need the ADK and generally a real device (the emulator is not very good).

It's also not very hard to create a quick native wrapper for your HTML5 app, and several solutions already exist (eg. Phonegap) that expose native APIs via Javascript.

Of course you're still at the mercy of whatever parts of HTML5 the mobile browsers support, which I think is one of Mozilla's really valid points here.

Reply Score: 1