Rating: Background information on former Boot to Gecko project
On July 25th 2011, Dr Andreas Gal, director of research with the Mozilla Corporation, announced on the mozilla.dev.platform mailing list a project to “pursue the goal of building a complete, standalone operating system for the open web” in order to “find the gaps that keep web developers from being able to build apps that are – in every way – the equals of native apps built for the iPhone, Android, and WP7.” The announcement identified these work areas: – new web APIs to expose device and OS capabilities such as telephony and camera, a privilege model to safely expose these to web pages, applications to prove these capabilities, and low-level code to boot an Android-compatible device.
According to Ars Technica, “Mozilla says that B2G is motivated by a desire to demonstrate that the standards-based open web has the potential to be a competitive alternative to the existing single-vendor application development stacks offered by the dominant mobile operating systems.”
Demonstration in conjunction with Telefónica
At Mobile World Congress 2012, Mozilla and Telefónica announced that the Spanish telecommunications provider intended to deliver ‘open Web devices’ in 2012 based on HTML5 and these APIs. Mozilla also announced support for the project from Adobe and Qualcomm, and that Deutsche Telekom’s Innovation Labs will join the project. Mozilla demonstrated a ‘sneak preview’ of the software and apps running on Samsung Galaxy S II phones (completely replacing their normal Android OS). As the user interface is entirely written in HTML5 browser code, a Mozilla employee later put it on a web page, where some of it runs in up-to-date browsers.
Open web technologies stack
The initial development work involves the following software layers
Linux kernel (with some modifications made by AOSP and vendors) :-
Platform-independent system applications (lock screen, phone dialing & phone messaging, a view of installed applications, etc.) written in HTML5; the user interface of these is codenamed ‘Gaia’.
Platform-independent HTML5 web applications.
More information available from http://www.firefoxos.info/