Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 27th Feb 2012 12:22 UTC
Mozilla & Gecko clones And even more news from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Mozilla has announced a partnership with Telefonica and Qualcomm, which will bring Mozilla's Boot to Gecko HTML5-based mobile interface to devices later his year. This is a huge boon for the fully open source environment.
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God...
by CapEnt on Mon 27th Feb 2012 12:56 UTC
CapEnt
Member since:
2005-12-18

Another smartphone platform?!

Ok, diversity is good and all, but this is going a bit too far. These things are showing up and dying faster than a eye can blink.

Reply Score: 1

RE: God...
by Kroc on Mon 27th Feb 2012 13:52 UTC in reply to "God..."
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

No, _the_ smartphone platform. The 'Web is the only platform that works on all smartphones, doesn't require approval and doesn't require waiting for updates to be pushed out.

Reply Score: 8

RE: God...
by kragil on Mon 27th Feb 2012 14:02 UTC in reply to "God..."
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

Well, _I_ think they think they cannot establish a third "ecosystem" besides Android and IOS (even MS has sofar failed miserably) so they bet on the only platform that is the lowest common denominator, the web. Tizen and to a lesser extent Open WebOS are doing the same.

I am not sure it will work. JS+DOM+Web rendering engines are not suited for low end devices IMO. In hindsight an open phone based on the enlightenment stack would have been the most promising solution, but I guess nobody was willing to put in the effort to build a Iphone-like experience based on EFL a few years ago. Or they bet on GTK or proprietary shit, which just wasn't good enough.
Nowadays Qt(5) is probably the best solution for an open phone that people actually want to use. Just give people a really open N9 and just be amazed with what they would be able to do.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: God...
by _xmv on Tue 28th Feb 2012 05:05 UTC in reply to "RE: God..."
_xmv Member since:
2008-12-09

Actually B2G runs faster than Android and uses a third of the memory or so with the same apps loaded. I think its pretty good on that front.

I prefer Qml too, but, gotta give these guys credit, B2G seems pretty good.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: God...
by kragil on Tue 28th Feb 2012 14:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: God..."
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

"Same apps" is more than vague. I guess those apps are not Angry Birds and Zombiebooth, right?
Sure twitter, facebook and web mail need less resource when they are just web pages, but when real processing needs to be done JS still sucks donkey balls.
So what are "the same apps"?

Reply Score: 4

RE: God...
by Lennie on Mon 27th Feb 2012 20:14 UTC in reply to "God..."
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

It is more like bringing an existing platform (the web) to the smartphone and making the native programming API/languages:

"[...]We don't want B2G to lead to applications that only run atop B2G, or only run in Firefox. That's an important difference between what we're doing and proprietary mobile stacks today: we don't want a competitive advantage for Mozilla, we want a competitive advantage for the Web."

Reply Score: 3

Comment by lucas_maximus
by lucas_maximus on Mon 27th Feb 2012 13:08 UTC
lucas_maximus
Member since:
2009-08-18

Telephonica has legendarily bad customer service here in Spain.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Comment by lucas_maximus
by Athlander on Mon 27th Feb 2012 14:28 UTC in reply to "Comment by lucas_maximus"
Athlander Member since:
2008-03-10

True. They also have a nice list of fines for all manner of bad practices. After being fined €152 million by the European Commission in 2007, Neelie Kroes (who was European Union competition commissioner at the time), said Telefonica's activities in the broadband market "harmed Spanish consumers, Spanish businesses and the Spanish economy as a whole, and by extension Europe's economy". (I don't think they have paid the fine, as the last I heard the Spanish governmentis backing their appeal against the decision.)

Tread warily.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by lucas_maximus on Mon 27th Feb 2012 15:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by lucas_maximus"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I've only just moved to spain, and they have pretty much a monopoly over Spain. Everyone English Spanish speaker I currently spoken to hasn't had anything good to say about them.

Edited 2012-02-27 15:23 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by dariapra on Mon 27th Feb 2012 17:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by lucas_maximus"
dariapra Member since:
2012-02-27

Written from Spain by a Spaniard.

Monopoly? Yes and no. I am tired of Telefónica and my Internet connection and cellular phone service are not provided by Telefónica.

On the other hand, there are many places of Spain where the only available services are those offered by Telefónica... but this happens just because other companies refuse to offer them in those areas, since they are no profitable (mountains, low population).

'Legendarily bad customer service'? Yes, but not worse than Vodafone or Orange, which I have also suffered.

Edited 2012-02-27 17:03 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by sicofante on Mon 27th Feb 2012 17:11 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by lucas_maximus"
sicofante Member since:
2009-07-08

"there are many places of Spain where the only available services are those offered by Telefónica"

That's required by law. They are the dominant operator. Also, they became a corporation after being the state monopoly and that was part of the deal. They just can't stop providing those services. If they could, they would.

Sure Vodafone or Orange have a bad customer service. As a matter of fact, there's no such thing as a good customer service in Spanish telephony, but this news has nothing to do with B2C, but B2B. This is not about Telefónica dealing with their customers directly (which is plain abuse ordinarily). It's about Telefónica sponsoring a very interesting project. As I said before, hopefully they're just pouring money into it, not providing any technical advice or direct participation.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by dariapra on Mon 27th Feb 2012 22:08 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by lucas_maximus"
dariapra Member since:
2012-02-27

Of course, 'servicio universal' is required by law (LGTel, 2003)... but the same law also oblied the rest of the companies to pay to Telefónica its part of the provided 'servicio universal'. And, surprise, in many cases they were not willing to do it (http://bit.ly/AAkXJr).

I am not a fan of Telefónica, but the other companies operating in Spain are not better than the former monopoly.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by lucas_maximus
by sicofante on Mon 27th Feb 2012 17:05 UTC in reply to "Comment by lucas_maximus"
sicofante Member since:
2009-07-08

(Another Spaniard here.)

Not just that, but I haven't seen Telefónica ever creating a good software project or even a working website (their customers area is a nightmare). It's like all they touch becomes shitware. Hopefully, they're only pouring money into the Mozilla Foundation and not "helping" with their own engineers.

I do believe the web will be THE platform for mobile. It will probably be also the platform for consumer laptops and tablets. The desktop will be "relegated" to professional use.

Edited 2012-02-27 17:13 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by dariapra on Mon 27th Feb 2012 22:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by lucas_maximus"
dariapra Member since:
2012-02-27

(Another Spaniard here.)

Not just that, but I haven't seen Telefónica ever creating a good software project or even a working website (their customers area is a nightmare). It's like all they touch becomes shitware. Hopefully, they're only pouring money into the Mozilla Foundation and not "helping" with their own engineers.


I am afraid that you need glasses or replacing the pair you already use.

Fact: according to the Wikipedia, Telefónica «is the third largest provider in the world» [1].

According to your words, I guess that Telefónica must have reached this position because a long series of lucky flukes. (Or you * do * get new glasses.)

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telef%C3%B3nica

Edited 2012-02-27 22:25 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by Athlander on Tue 28th Feb 2012 00:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by lucas_maximus"
Athlander Member since:
2008-03-10

Fact: according to the Wikipedia, Telefónica «is the third largest provider in the world» ... I guess that Telefónica must have reached this position because a long series of lucky flukes.


Okay, maybe they did get to be the third biggest telco in the world by being fabulous... but I'm sure a couple of acquisitions here and there played a part:

1990, bought Compañía de Teléfonos de Chile when it was privatised
1990, bought EnTEL (Argentina) when it was privatised by the Argentine government
1994, bought EnTEL (Peru) when it was privatised by the Peruvian government
1998, bought Paysandú
1998, bought Telesp when the Brazilian government demerged and privatised Telebrás
2000, bought 26.5% stake in Tricom
2004, bought BellSouth (Otecel, Bellsouth Guatemala, Bellsouth Panama)
2005, bought Cesky Telecom (including its subsidiary Eurotel)
2006, bought O2
2006, bought 50% of Colombia Telecomunicaciones
2009, bought HanseNet from Telecom Italia
2009, agreement with China Unicom gave them a 9.7% stake
2010, bought Portugal Telecom's stake in Vivo, buying the rest of Vivo in 2011

this may not be 100% accurate - it's not always easy trying to follow the acquisition & merger trail of big companies. Telcos and energy companies seem to be the trickiest.

Edited 2012-02-28 00:04 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by zima on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 20:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by lucas_maximus"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Okay, maybe they did get to be the third biggest telco in the world by being fabulous... but I'm sure a couple of acquisitions here and there played a part:

And, if you look at the dates of most of these acquisitions, a big part of their subscribers (largely in ~developing countries after all), quite likely strong majority of mobile subscribers, were amassed by Telefónica after the purchases.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by zima on Sun 4th Mar 2012 05:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by lucas_maximus"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I do believe the web will be THE platform for mobile. It will probably be also the platform for consumer laptops and tablets. The desktop will be "relegated" to professional use.

So "relegated" to ~work, a place to do work, a "workplace" - except this word has an established meaning. Maybe we could call them... workstations?

And the devices using web... hm... by precedence of most basic software meant to remotely connect to servers - terminals?

Yup, you've heard it first here.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Mon 27th Feb 2012 17:19 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

Will these devices be hackable?

Reply Score: 2

Oh yes,
by deathshadow on Mon 27th Feb 2012 19:11 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

Because the fat, bloated, slow gecko rendering engine that can't even manage worthwhile hardware video acceleration and if you DARE to use any of the CSS3 blending effects results in scrolling more painful than windows 3.1 on a 386 is going to be SO desirable on a mobile device.

RIGHT.

Maybe instead of wasting time branching into platforms their codebase is completely unsuited to, they could spend some time fixing the various implementation bugs that are over a decade old? You know, like gaps in CSS2 that are teenagers? (like say... bugzilla 915?)

I'm getting a real laugh out of this nonsense of using browser engines and javascript as slower more bloated versions of ROM Basic from 30 years ago... because what low voltage low clock speed devices need is more layers of abstraction giving that 1ghz ARM the performance of 386/40 if you just got off your ass and used a *SHOCK* compiler.

Edited 2012-02-27 19:13 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Oh yes,
by Lennie on Mon 27th Feb 2012 20:22 UTC in reply to "Oh yes,"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

It doesn't really matter much if the project itself fails or not.

One of the goals is to specify more "HTML5" APIs.

This will help improve existing and develop new APIs before they are submitted to W3C.

Having the same API on, euh... Windows Metro ? as some mobile app is better than one seperate API per device/platform/vendor.

Edit: Which also helps moving away from Flash and Silverlight which aren't even available on all platforms. Things like webcam support, including p2p webcam support.

Edited 2012-02-27 20:28 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Oh yes,
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 28th Feb 2012 03:53 UTC in reply to "Oh yes,"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

more painful than windows 3.1 on a 386


Whoah. Just hold on a sec. I ran windows 3.1 on a 386, and it was good stuff man. I think you mean Windows 95 on a 486 ... SX. That was bad news.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Oh yes,
by MOS6510 on Tue 28th Feb 2012 09:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Oh yes,"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I have an IBM 486 running Windows 3.1 in our server room. I use it as a terminal to configure hardware. Not that I really need this computer to do that, but it's more fun.

It's quite a fast system.

And Windows 3.1 on a 386 wasn't bad either. Even Windows 3.0 on a 286 was pretty decent.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Oh yes,
by zima on Sat 3rd Mar 2012 20:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Oh yes,"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

My primary school got P100 16 MiB Win95, for 96-97 school year (all 5 of them ...for 13-15 person groups; not like it made much difference, because a) the curriculum was a bit silly b) even hardly followed; so those were mostly gaming machines for class ~rascals ...in all very much like religion lessons, when you could just do some homework and such, or - in high school - play cards ;) )

A bit later, thanks to reshuffling in the administration, one more was added: some 386 with 4 MiB (IIRC) and Win 3.1 - considerably less "popular" since, well, it was without any games (perhaps the lack of CD-ROM was stopping those who installed a collection on the other, perhaps they just didn't have any which work on 386 and/or thought to be worth anything)

And so, from the peaceful exploration of Win 3.1 on that 386, I seem to clearly remember a strong impression that its ~desktop felt as snappy, if not more, as P100 Win95 machines (but perhaps the impression on the latter was also impacted by often clogged - since actually used - ball mouses)

Too bad there really wasn't anything to do - no software, no documentation, no guru around, no network (not even between those machines); boring.
Oh well, at least I quickly realized that just deleting shortcuts to games is a show-stopper for ~rascals ;) (not like I was taking advantage or smth, having only C64 at home, I think even broken by then; and those were hypothetically school lessons after all)

Reply Score: 2

LOL
by TomF on Mon 27th Feb 2012 20:50 UTC
TomF
Member since:
2010-01-22

I dealt with telefonica for years due to my job - they are a laugh.. utterly incompetent, ignorant and frankly speaking: arrogant.

yet, I can guess easily why this is happening: they/spain cannot afford a single cent, hence they have to go with what is free and certain to be free of any lawsuits.

good for mozilla (me like) though - we need a more or less open option

TomUK

Reply Score: 1

RichterKuato
Member since:
2010-05-14

If (big if) the API's are adopted by the big smartphone platforms I'm sure many developers will take advantage of it. Several apps are just glorified bookmarks anyways.

I'm sure at least the managers of Tizen and Open WebOS will be interested in this. I imagine that Android 5 and Chrome OS may also support them.

Reply Score: 5

Comment by stabbyjones
by stabbyjones on Tue 28th Feb 2012 00:36 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

Fully open = day one purchase.

I'll jump from Android for this.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by stabbyjones
by shmerl on Tue 28th Feb 2012 03:28 UTC in reply to "Comment by stabbyjones"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

I hope "fully open" means there will be open drivers for these devices.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by stabbyjones
by stabbyjones on Tue 28th Feb 2012 04:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by stabbyjones"
stabbyjones Member since:
2008-04-15

I think so. With cyanogenmod for Android the hardware would need to be open to sway a lot of people.

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

if they do have open drivers, they'd be pretty nice android/web OS/Tizen devices too.

Maybe my next phone.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by dariapra
by dariapra on Tue 28th Feb 2012 01:45 UTC
dariapra
Member since:
2012-02-27

I find the low cost of the phones appealing. Currently I have a Nokia 1616, and I am happy with it provided what I paid: ~35 EUR.

I would like to have a smartphone, but I am not willing to pay 200 EUR (or more) for one of them. The iPhones are discarded, not only for its price but also because it is very closed nature.

Thus, I found this offering potentially interesting despite I dislike Gecko (months ago I left Firefox for Google Chrome). I wish that these phones are sold in Europe.

Reply Score: 2