Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 8th Sep 2012 02:09 UTC, submitted by MOS6510
Mozilla & Gecko clones "The smartphones going into the world's next two billion pairs of hands may not belong to either Google or Apple, but to Mozilla. The Mozilla Foundation, which oversees open source software projects like the Firefox Web browser, expects to release a mobile operating system for smartphones early next year. Its target market is Latin America, then the rest of the developing world, where smartphones from Apple and Google are still too expensive for most people." Let's hope so, because at the rate things are currently going, we'll end up with like 90% Android, 9% iOS, and 1% other stuff. Who wants that?
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Who wants that?
by tanishaj on Sat 8th Sep 2012 03:51 UTC
tanishaj
Member since:
2010-12-22

As long as Android is Open Source and can be customized, I am fine with it.

Other projects can always address any short-comings and broad application compatibility is a good thing.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Who wants that?
by feydun on Sat 8th Sep 2012 05:30 UTC in reply to "Who wants that?"
feydun Member since:
2012-02-27

But if we could also see something different from Mozilla, maybe even something from WebOS and Meego/Tizen, then it would be more fun watching Microsoft trying to pretend that it owns the IP to all these platforms.

At the moment it just threatens Android-distributing companies, hinting broadly that it has a bunch of other applicable patents other than the few that it's only prepared to specify under NDA, and that if they just pay up it'll charge them a reasonable fee, again under NDA, and of course that it has the cash for expensive litigation.

Of course as each new company signs up for this protection racket it becomes more convincing. However if this bullying gets spread more thinly across a wider range of systems, eventually someone will call the bluff, or else Microsoft will have to claim such wide applicability of their IP that it will also apply to Apple products, and then we can buy some popcorn and watch the show.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Who wants that?
by cyrilleberger on Sat 8th Sep 2012 05:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Who wants that?"
cyrilleberger Member since:
2006-02-01

But if we could also see something different from Mozilla, maybe even something from WebOS and Meego/Tizen, then it would be more fun watching Microsoft trying to pretend that it owns the IP to all these platforms.


Considering they have been hammering companies with the FAT patent that mostly concern the linux kernel, they won't have any problem to attack other platforms.

If they haven't done it so far, it is just because those platform are pennyless.

Of course as each new company signs up for this protection racket it becomes more convincing. However if this bullying gets spread more thinly across a wider range of systems, eventually someone will call the bluff, or else Microsoft will have to claim such wide applicability of their IP that it will also apply to Apple products, and then we can buy some popcorn and watch the show.


You can make some saving on the popcorn, Apple and MS have a cross-patents deal.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Who wants that?
by feydun on Sat 8th Sep 2012 23:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Who wants that?"
feydun Member since:
2012-02-27

CyrilleBerger: I'm aware of those points, but my hypothetical argument still stands. I mean that hard core patent infringement covering all platforms would be harder for microsoft, and if it went insanely general (which is perfectly possible) it would bring it into conflict with apple.

I know that the alternative platforms are off the radar, including even bada, but they can't accuse android of infringing something and then ignore another platform doing the same thing.
On the other hand...
http://www.osnews.com/story/26322/Apple_vs_DRI_the_i_other_i_look-a...

The apple-microsoft agreement relates to design patents, ie soft not hard technology, and even then with a non-copying proviso which basically means that they have an agreement not to troll each other but can sue for genuine infringement.

The VFAT stuff is not such a big deal, for a start because the last of the android-relevant patents on that will have expired a year from now, and because these are just "tasters" that microsoft opens its negotiations (threats) with. They also threaten a very large number of relevant patents which may not be relevant but expensive to prove that. I can only remember microsoft using VFAT to sue TomTom, because they knew they would cave in, and more recently motorola, because they needed something that they stood a chance of succeeding with and they were prepared to use one of their expiring trumps.

Edited 2012-09-08 23:38 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Who wants that?
by bassbeast on Sat 8th Sep 2012 11:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Who wants that?"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

I hate to break the news to ya, but Android DOES infringe, and so does Linux. How do I know? Because the US patent office has been handing out insanely vague patents and more importantly upholding them, that's how.

You really do have to give MS credit, they played the game VERY well. they filed pile after pile of patents, and they knew the one company who might have more in mobile was Apple so they signed a cross licensing agreement with them that took them out of the game. Made great sense for Apple as well because MS has always been a low margin high volume seller, which is a market Apple doesn't care about, and both Apple and MS want Android to DIAF, since both sell products while Google sells eyeballs.

But as we saw with the FAT patents they can stick it to any bunch at any time, FOSS or not, because they literally have mountains of patents and the competition don't. Why do you think Google won't indemnify those that use Android? because MS would love a crack at Google's big fat wallet and with as many patents as they have they could easily get a half dozen or more to stick.

So like 'em or hate 'em give them credit, they've set it up so no matter whose product is on the phone they STILL get paid.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Who wants that?
by sparkyERTW on Mon 10th Sep 2012 14:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Who wants that?"
sparkyERTW Member since:
2010-06-09

I hate to break the news to ya, but Android DOES infringe, and so does Linux. How do I know? Because the US patent office has been handing out insanely vague patents and more importantly upholding them, that's how.


No, you don't know; you're making an assumption based on deductive logic. A reasonable and likely accurate assumption nonetheless, but still an assumption (and let me point out I'm not saying this stuff to berate you, I'm just setting up a point).

This is a big part of the problem; towering giants like Microsoft are allowed to throw around claims of infringement without having to provide any substantial evidence. Somehow this is perfectly fine. If I made the public statement "LG microwaves are shown to give babies cancer" without a shred of evidence, LG could sue me for libel. Yet MS/Apple claiming thievery is perfectly acceptable as long as they point to a mountainous landscape of paperwork behind them and say, "See all that? Clearly we have it in there somewhere... 'it' being the thing we're claiming you stole... which we're not going to name."

How crap like this doesn't fall under libel, extortion, etc., I have no idea.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Who wants that?
by bassbeast on Mon 10th Sep 2012 23:46 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Who wants that?"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

You are talking about a company with a minimum of 30,000+ patents, the way they've been filing if they have less than 200,000 on file I'd be amazed. Now when you look at the numbers and also look at how horribly vague the USPTO has allowed patents to be for the last 20+ years?

Your argument is like saying "Well just because you have a quad 50 cal with 10,000 rounds doesn't mean I can't walk across the street without you hitting me" which theoretically may be true...theoretically. But if I was your family I'd be picking out the casket and if you go up against a company the size of MS with a patent warchest from hell? Well i hope you have a seriously fat wallet friend, because you'd have better odds of winning the powerball than getting out of there scott free, just ask TomTom.

Reply Score: 2

Tizen vs FF
by swift11 on Sat 8th Sep 2012 13:41 UTC in reply to "Who wants that?"
swift11 Member since:
2012-08-23

Both Tizen and FF OS run HTML5 apps without a browser, but Tizen (= Linux + WebKit) supports multi-core CPUs.

Edited 2012-09-08 13:44 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Radio
by Radio on Sat 8th Sep 2012 08:59 UTC
Radio
Member since:
2009-06-20

Who wants that?
... Pareto?

I am trying not to be too pessimistic, but those of us who want variety are running against the laws of nature.

Reply Score: 2

I want an open system that makes sense
by kragil on Sat 8th Sep 2012 09:41 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

I am not happy with Androids "through over the wall" FOSS nature, but the software stack makes a lot more sense than something HTML5 based.

A truely FOSS Android would be way better than some "my carrier hosts my apps"-FirefoxOS.

In a perfect world a FOSS Meego would have won though :-(

Meego(Mer) > CyanogenMod Android > FirefoxOS = Android > WebOS > IOS > BlackberryWhatever > Bada > Windows Mobile > Windows Phone (sorry, I hate animated tiles .. makes me long for something like Flashbock/Adblock)

Reply Score: 4

bouhko Member since:
2010-06-24

Also, what I don't understand is that having everything in HTML5/js is likely to be heavier (in term of CPU/RAM) than Android's Java stack or iOS's objective C.

How does this help building a cheap phone ?

Reply Score: 4

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Compiled JS bytecode is just as fast as compiled Java bytecode. Only ObjC has the slight edge for native speed.

I don't know much of it, but I hear that there's efforts to make JS front-end to Clang/LLVM, which would mean the ability to compile JavaScript to native code on par with any other source language.

Reply Score: 3

kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

Hmm stick to the truth, that might be true for AOT (ahead of time) compiled JS, but you'd have to modify your JS code slightly to make that happen. Highly dynamic languages like JS don't compile very well. FirefoxOS will not run anything like that. It will run Mozillas JS engine and it nowhere near as fast as compiled C or just in time compiled Java. Cold hard truth.

Reply Score: 4

some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

Compiled JS bytecode is just as fast as compiled Java bytecode

[Citation needed].

Java is statically typed and the bytecode takes advantage of that. Also, Android uses Dalvik, which has a completely different bytecode, designed for faster interpretation. E.g. it's register-based rather than stack-based.
Not that bytecode interpretation speed matters much, as both Dalvik and Gecko have JITs. But it's a lot easier to make Java code go fast than it's for JS code.

Reply Score: 4

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Lmao. Hell no.

Reply Score: 3

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

having everything in HTML5/js is likely to be heavier (in term of CPU/RAM) than Android's Java stack or iOS's objective C.
How does this help building a cheap phone ?

It doesn't.

But Mozilla has a long-time disconnect with what the mobile needs are. Remember, they already had two abortive attempts at mobile browser ...each time basically shrugged and said "oh well, we'll just wait for more powerful hardware" - meanwhile, Opera and Webkit took over, providing good experience on the typical hardware that was available (and that class of hardware will likely still get more dominating - most of the 5+ billion mobile subscribers use very basic phones, majority of those who upgrade don't move to top smartphones)

In the coming years, inexpensive Chinese Androids will also provide that good experience, they are already pumped into developing world in great numbers.

Also, most of those 5+ billion mobile subscribers are on prepaid and rather frugal with data, they likely DON'T WANT WEBAPPS (OTOH, local or at most RSS-style Android apps could fit more, I guess)

Reply Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Look into Replicant OS?

And BTW, the cherished variant of Meego, what shipped with N9, wasn't really FOSS... (it was basically like WebOS, before open-sourcing of its framework)

Reply Score: 2

HTML5 and freedom
by swift11 on Sat 8th Sep 2012 10:43 UTC
swift11
Member since:
2012-08-23

A good article about HTML5 and freedom imo:
http://mashable.com/2012/09/05/grooveshark-html5-player/

Reply Score: 2

Comment by stabbyjones
by stabbyjones on Sat 8th Sep 2012 10:49 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

I'll buy one over android as long as the hardware is competitive with mid range android devices.

Really looking forward to seeing these come out.

Reply Score: 2

...
by Hiev on Sat 8th Sep 2012 14:58 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

I'm down for this phone, count me in as a customer as soon it gets released, as much I like the Speria Mini I own the battery life is ridiculous.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ...
by some1 on Sat 8th Sep 2012 15:00 UTC in reply to "..."
some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

Why do you think battery life will be any better?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: ...
by Hiev on Sat 8th Sep 2012 15:23 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

Nothing, I'm just explaining the reason I'm switching my phone, and, if the battery life of Firefox OS is bad, then, I'll go for a Nokia (no Windows Phone), where the battery is better.

And honestly, I'm very tempted to go for a $15 dollars phone, cause I'm sick of smart phones battery life in general.

Edited 2012-09-08 15:31 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: ...
by zima on Sat 15th Sep 2012 22:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

You might also grab some S40 phone for example - with Opera Mini, or j2me apps in general, S40 phones give some smartphone characteristics for occasions when that might be needed (actually, Nokia S40 is really more of a smartphone than iPhone in its first year, if we would try to follow anything resembling a rigorous definition) - but still generally great battery life & sturdy.

And lower-end S40 models not that much more expensive than $15 (many of the cheaper models are top handsets in http://www.opera.com/smw/archive/ country stats in 2012/07, 06, 2011/11)

Reply Score: 2

Isn't it wrong?
by jefro on Sat 8th Sep 2012 16:16 UTC
jefro
Member since:
2007-04-13

Isn't it morally wrong to sell junk to developing countries that don't have fresh water, proper sanitation and adequate nutrition? Not sure anyone needs a cell phone either.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Isn't it wrong?
by Hiev on Sat 8th Sep 2012 16:27 UTC in reply to "Isn't it wrong?"
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

What phone do you have?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Isn't it wrong?
by BrianH on Sat 8th Sep 2012 18:31 UTC in reply to "Isn't it wrong?"
BrianH Member since:
2005-07-06

In the developing world they tend to not have access to wired phones or internet, due to the costs involved with stringing those wires, so most communication with the outside world is through cell phones. Getting themselves out of poverty usually requires participating in the world economy, and that requires communication with the rest of the world. Cell phones are a luxury when you have access to other means of communication, but a necessity when you don't.

So yes, it's moral to get them the means to improve their own lives, and even more so if it can be done cheaply. Even a single cell phone can help raise an entire village out of poverty.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Isn't it wrong?
by CapEnt on Sat 8th Sep 2012 21:03 UTC in reply to "Isn't it wrong?"
CapEnt Member since:
2005-12-18

Well, "developing countries" is a quite wide category of countries, some of them very close to become developed.

I'm sure that the target demographic of that smartphone lives on countries that did at least the basic on sanitation and education.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Isn't it wrong?
by Soulbender on Sun 9th Sep 2012 11:59 UTC in reply to "Isn't it wrong?"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Isn't it morally wrong to sell junk to developing countries that don't have fresh water, proper sanitation and adequate nutrition?


Yes but that has no relevance to this topic. Unless you mean to say that it's wrong for Apple, Samsung, Nokia etc to sell their phones in developing countries.

Not sure anyone needs a cell phone either.


It's cheaper and easier to get a pre-paid cellphone than a post-paid land line in most developing countries.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Isn't it wrong?
by zima on Sat 15th Sep 2012 22:33 UTC in reply to "Isn't it wrong?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

It's morally wrong to utter generalisations and tell other what they should or shouldn't do based on your ignorance of outside world.

There are many not-very-prosperous countries where nonetheless basic needs are mostly met. And who are you to tell others what they "need"? People in developed places readily see advantages and adopt mobile phones, no other tech has seen such rapid uptake ( http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/.a/6a00e0097e337c88330176171e... also 2012/07, 06, 03 in http://www.opera.com/smw/archive/ ); now they want more than basic handsets (though their replacements will most likely come with Android, not Firefox OS...).
Plus, "we" will be hardly selling inexpensive handsets to them - made in China, barely any intermediaries.

Edited 2012-09-15 22:37 UTC

Reply Score: 2