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Where Is Firefox OS?

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the there's-no-pleasing-some-people dept.

Firefox 288

adeelarshad82 writes "Microsoft's very simple yet graceful concept raises a very big question. The way Microsoft is planning out Windows 8, developers will be able to write one HTML 5 app which will run across every Windows 8 form factor, from desktops to laptops, to ARM netbooks and tablets. Given the concept, if you remove the operating system — or at least make it transparent enough that the browser becomes the platform — then suddenly every piece of software works across every piece of hardware which raises the question that why Mozilla hasn't considered a Firefox OS?"

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Easy. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507024)

There's no Firefox OS because Firefox and Gecko are slow pieces of shit.

Re:Easy. (2)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507636)

slow pieces of shit.

Well, that's no excuse. That didn't stop Windows Vista from being considered and released.

Q: Why hasn't Mozilla considered a Firefox OS? (5, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507028)

A: Because it's a dumb idea.

Re:Q: Why hasn't Mozilla considered a Firefox OS? (2)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507102)

[sarcasm]I can't wait for the day that the OS is a browser and everything runs in either flash, javascript, or some proprietary plugin that is plagued with memory leaks.[/sarcasm]

Re:Q: Why hasn't Mozilla considered a Firefox OS? (2)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507108)

I'm torn on that one - on the one hand I want to say that an extra layer of abstraction, wasting memory and cycles itself only to interpret code on the fly rather than taking the time to compile and optimise once per platform and be done with it, is a terrible idea. Particularly when it's designed to help move code to diverse, often lower power devices.

On the other hand, most high-end phones now have as much processing capability and memory as a decent desktop did a decade ago, yet many of our day-to-day computing tasks haven't changed drastically in ten years - maybe letting the power make up for the bloat isn't such a bad idea, when it's not so useful for anything else. Sure, there'll always be space for highly optimised code that makes use of every cycle, but (as much as I hate to say this) perhaps we're wrong to demand 'elegant' when 'simple' is good enough for a lot of tasks...

Re:Q: Why hasn't Mozilla considered a Firefox OS? (4, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507286)

It's like using a desktop computer just so you can remotely eject the CD tray and knock over a cup of water to water your plants while you're on vacation.

Yes, you COULD do that, but it's wasteful and unnecessary. And last I checked, wasteful and unnecessary weren't the hallmarks of a "simple" design.

Re:Q: Why hasn't Mozilla considered a Firefox OS? (2)

RobbieThe1st (1977364) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507682)

Thanks to bios boot-at-specified-time, and OS shutdown-at-specified-time, this could actually be perfectly plausible. :P

Re:Q: Why hasn't Mozilla considered a Firefox OS? (1, Funny)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507612)

I always thought that "elegant" and "simple" were nearly synonymous. The reason code isn't elegant is, some people don't understand their tools, others don't understand machines, others don't understand the programs they are trying to write, and yet others are just plain lazy.

I mean, if developers can't even be bothered to go back and remove their comments from the code they've written before releasing the code, that is just plain LAZY!! Why load a 12 MB executable into memory, when removing the cruft would reduce it to 9, or maybe even 6 MB?

And, obviously, if they can't be bothered to remove COMMENTS, then they certainly haven't bothered to monitor memory usage, data flow, or anything else. Memory leaks? Why bother - memory is cheap, right? Besides - everyone runs Windows, and everyone reboots* every morning, noon, and evening - no one is going to leak very much memory in a few hours, right?

*forgot that I finally updated my kernel last week - my uptime isn't anything to brag about right now, lol!
19:05:03 up 8 days, 15:45, 2 users, load average: 2.01, 1.57, 1.47

Re:Q: Why hasn't Mozilla considered a Firefox OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507706)

Um... you're kidding about the comments, right?

Re:Q: Why hasn't Mozilla considered a Firefox OS? (3, Funny)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507796)

No, he's not. I've seen his code.

Re:Q: Why hasn't Mozilla considered a Firefox OS? (3, Funny)

n3xg3n (994581) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507918)

You mean you don't allocate memory to store your comments as strings?

Re:Q: Why hasn't Mozilla considered a Firefox OS? (1)

GCsoftware (68281) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507794)

I don't know what the hell kind of compiler you're using to generate these crufty executables, but GCC produces the exact same binaries for source with comments vs source code without.

Or am I missing a joke here?

Re:Q: Why hasn't Mozilla considered a Firefox OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507830)

So that is why so much uncommented code exists! This guy has been removing them all as an *optimization*

Re:Q: Why hasn't Mozilla considered a Firefox OS? (1)

werewolf1031 (869837) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507816)

As I understand it, comments are only retained in interpreted-code applications, but are ignored/removed when compiling an executable because the code is being 'translated' to lower-level machine language in the compiling process. So, there would be no point of removing comments from the source in the latter case, in fact it would present a project-management nightmare to have source code with zero comments when you (or, especially, someone else) has to dig in to the original source to make changes later on down the road.

Re:Q: Why hasn't Mozilla considered a Firefox OS? (3, Funny)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507352)

"Firefox would be a great operating system, if only it had a decent web browser"

Re:Q: Why hasn't Mozilla considered a Firefox OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507382)

But also, it sounds no different besides the marketing.

Because firefox is shit? (0, Troll)

Bizzeh (851225) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507032)

i know im going to get marked as a troll for this, but i dont care.. its true, mozilla themselves said that firefox is shit (slashdot story in the last 12 months, not sure of link or title)

Re:Because firefox is shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507094)

I thought the concept came up during the 90's (yep, last century) and MS sort of sealed Netscape's fate. Why are we bringing it up again, don't you want to try out the free laptop from Google to see what the cloud is all about?

Include me out ...

Re:Because firefox is shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507402)

Yeah, it was exactly Netscape's long-range plan. Of course MS couldn't tolerate their OS business being rendered irrelevant, and they couldn't beat Netscape with a better version, so they just bogged Netscape down in the browser wars until the whole thing went away.

Of course, all the good reasons for it are still around (and there are some, though I don't think it's a good idea overall), and since it was trumped on business grounds, not tech, it should surprise no-one that various entities, including MS and Google, are trying it again. MS's beatdown of little-guy Netscape doesn't really say anything about behemoth Google's chances of success, and there's room for Mozilla (and anyone else) to survive with some coat-tail surfing.

Oh, and if it truly means true cross-platform (OS and arch) apps that run anywhere, I'm more than willing to take the hit f a bloated memory-leaking runtime. What I fear (along with every other sane mind) is that we'll accept the bloated runtime, and then too late see that only the most circumspectly crafted apps can avoid dependencies on some platform-specific library that can't be duplicated elsewhere (e.g. the situation with .NET/mono right now...), whether from incomplete specifications or patents -- worst of both worlds.

Re:Because firefox is shit? (2)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507648)

MS's beatdown of little-guy Netscape doesn't really say anything about behemoth Google's chances of success, and there's room for Mozilla (and anyone else) to survive with some coat-tail surfing.

Except Google isn't gunning for market share, and I believe they're still one of the larger sources of direct funding for the Mozilla Foundation. Google just wants advancement. Before Chrome came along, every browser's javascript engine was absolute shit. Slow and crappy and slow and slow. V8 kickstarted everybody's interest in Javascript (as Javascript is what really makes Google run) and now everybody is much faster than the first release of Chrome, which gives Google plenty of room to make bigger, better browser applications. They didn't want to beat everybody, they just wanted to scare everybody and say "Look, speed is important to people. Do you see how fast our market share is growing? You had better pick up the pace or you will become irrelevant as quickly as our new browser renders Google Maps Satellite View."

It worked.

And today Microsoft still holds the majority of the browser market share, but most of that comes from enterprise and people who either prefer IE (those people DO exist, believe it or not) or people who just don't care to deviate from the default (which is also just fine).

Re:Because firefox is shit? (1)

SpongeBob Hitler (1848328) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507128)

Actually, feature-wise, Firefox is a nice browser. The problem is that it's slower than the molasses in January.

Re:Because firefox is shit? (1)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507264)

Which country and where in that country? January in Australia is fairly different than January in Canada, and January in Canada is fairly different depending which side of the country you're on.

Re:Because firefox is shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507632)

Just a guess, but I would say the country in which that particular idiom originated from. Or are you referring to which country Firefox is slow in? In that case, I would say all of them.

Re:Because firefox is shit? (2)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507676)

January in Canada is fairly different depending which side of the country you're on.

Seasons are opposite across the equator, sir. When it's Winter on one side of Canada, it's Winter on the other. The only difference is that Southern Canada might be i-cant-feel-my-face cold while Northern Canada is holy-shit-i-think-my-balls-just-froze-off cold.

Re:Because firefox is shit? (1)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 3 years ago | (#36508052)

Seasons are opposite across the equator, sir. When it's Winter on one side of Canada, it's Winter on the other. The only difference is that Southern Canada might be i-cant-feel-my-face cold while Northern Canada is holy-shit-i-think-my-balls-just-froze-off cold.

While what is called winter occurs at the same time of year across Canada, Halifax and Vancouver, for example, experience a very different version of it.

I believe that was the point the OP was making.

Re:Because firefox is shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507408)

With crutches!

Fine with me. (2)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507050)

It's fine with me Mozilla isn't doing a "Firefox OS". They can focus more of their efforts on the core Firefox product. Besides, Google is doing a good enough job already with a browser-based OS if you ask me.

I think they mean "library", not "OS" (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507208)

Why can't HTML app development be a standard library, compatible with all OS's? Well it can - the trouble comes in making the standard be compatible wth the implementations. Making it no longer a standard, and no longer able to run many apps. There's lots of libraries in that situation. Anything that became standardized across platforms would work.

Re:I think they mean "library", not "OS" (1)

Drinking Bleach (975757) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507428)

WebKit seems to be becoming that rather quickly. Chromium/Chrome seems to be the only except that refuses to use a system-wide libwebkit and instead uses its own.

Re:Fine with me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507222)

Not only that, but the dream of "then suddenly every piece of software works across every piece of hardware" is just that - a dream. In the brave new word, I can see MS welcoming Firefox while Apple kicks it out of the walled garden.

Re:Fine with me. (3, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507368)

Besides, Google is doing a good enough job already with a browser-based OS if you ask me.

Then they do it in secret labs, cause there's no such thing out in the wild. If you mean ChromeOS, that's not a browser-based OS, but a locked down Gentoo Linux that runs on a locked down file system, running a locked down display manager that runs a locked down Window manager that runs a (you guessed it: locked down) version of the Chrome browser inside it. The browser is four steps away from being an OS -- it's just another app -- the main app, but still just an app.

Having the browser be the OS is by all means possible - if the browser contains a kernel, file system, drivers and everything else needed. But what would the point be?

wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507054)

So, it was Microsoft that invented ChromeOS! Who knew?

Of course we shouldn't worry, since once Apple finally comes around in a few years, they will make everybody believe that Apple invented it all!

Because its a stupid idea (5, Insightful)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507068)

The 'browser as an OS' concept is still stupid.

I could draw it out and make it sound pretty, but its stupid nonetheless. Once you've made the browser so big that it encompasses all possible generic operating system needs, it is too bloated and someone else makes a smaller faster better browser.

Operating systems and browsers are two different things.

Now as a work environment, say a desktop interface, browsers have potential, and that's what most people mean, but even there, the security problems of dividing up what is local data and what is remote, what should be executable and what shouldn't becomes a nightmare that is easier to handle when avoided completely.

HTML5 isn't the best way to write any application; that's why almost everyone else who's made an HTML based platform has moved to a native one after the fact. Does HTML need the features necessary to write generic applications? Certainly not. The overloading of protocols (everything as HTTP) and formats (everything as HTML/CSS) is just short sighted laziness.

Please make it stop.

Re:Because its a stupid idea (4, Funny)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507118)

Once you've made the browser so big that it encompasses all possible generic operating system needs, it is too bloated and someone else makes a smaller faster better browser.

Now there's a thought.. Mozilla can wait until everyone else gets all bloated, then they can launch a new project to create a fast, lightweight standalone browser without all the bloat of their current offering.

Re:Because its a stupid idea (2)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507238)

Chrome was the tiny fast lightweight browser yesterday. I wonder who's next.

Re:Because its a stupid idea (2)

AaxelB (1034884) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507334)

A bit of a whoosh there: Firefox was the tiny fast lightweight browser last week [wikipedia.org] (that's the joke), before Chrome became the tiny fast lightweight browser browser yesterday. As for tomorrow, well, it'll probably be on a smartphone :)

Re:Because its a stupid idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507504)

And they can call it... uh, BIRD-ON-FIRE, or something like that.

Restrictions on third-party executables (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507216)

Does HTML need the features necessary to write generic applications? Certainly not.

The HTML platform does include one killer feature: the JavaScript sandbox partly circumvents restrictions on third-party executables imposed by a device manufacturer or by the administrator of a computer that other people use. For example, Slashdot recently ran an article about a form of "3DS homebrew" [slashdot.org] consisting of JavaScript applications run in the Nintendo 3DS handheld video game system's NetFront web browser, which acts as an end-run around Nintendo's long-standing policy against software development in a home environment [wikipedia.org] .

Why!? (2)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507374)

And you couldn't do the exact same thing with native code because...?

Re:Because its a stupid idea (1)

PenisLands (930247) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507348)

Hah hah hah, you're right on it, Mr BabCOCK. I couldn't have put it better myself.

Re:Because its a stupid idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507442)

Once you've made the browser so big that it encompasses all possible generic operating system needs, it is too bloated and someone else makes a smaller faster better browser.

Except when the standard has been made so big that it encompasses all possible generic operating system needs, and the smaller faster browser can't load any websites because they've all been programmed to use ajax, cookies, canvas, facebook sessions, and scripting libraries that rewrite their own language for what an img src tag used to do.

WEBIAN! (1)

ylt (1809598) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507084)

Isn't webian going in that direction?

Because it's dumb (1)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507096)

Mozilla make a browser, that runs on an OS. Why would they want to start making the OS as well?

Because they remember what happened to Netscape (1)

Insanity Defense (1232008) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507100)

Because they remember what happened to Netscape. They probably also assume that Microsoft HTML 5 will be incompatible with real HTML 5 or that this is just about as likely to see release on time as WinFS.

They have (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507124)

but they didn't follow through. Mozilla's idea of replacing the OS was the same as everybody else's: Create a portable runtime for apps on top of an OS, because writing an actual OS is hard. Mozilla calls their runtime Prism, Adobe calls theirs Air, and so on.

here it is: (1)

mugurel (1424497) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507146)

http://webian.org/ [webian.org] at least, they're moving towards it.

The whole point of Firefox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507150)

Was to be a standalone browser, unlike the then-flaghip Mozilla browser/email client/news reader/etc.

People liked it better that way, so it became the flagship product.

They dont need to. There is one. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507158)

Its called linux. all firefox needs, is to bundle an acceptable linux kernel together with an installer and firefox.

Re:They dont need to. There is one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507622)

Yes, and, hopefully, they don't misplace, commas in their, sourcecode. /shatner

Why? (0)

DogDude (805747) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507166)

Why? Because they haven't gotten Firefox working all that well yet. They're 10 years behind on some bugs. Hopefully somebody organizing realizes that they need to try to do one thing well, at least first, before trying to do a bunch of other stuff half-assed.

Overheard somewhere (1)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507230)

Why? Because they haven't gotten Firefox working all that well yet. They're 10 years behind on some bugs. Hopefully somebody organizing realizes that they need to try to do one thing well, at least first, before trying to do a bunch of other stuff half-assed.

Can't remember where I ran across this, but it suits:

Always remember, intentions aside, two half-asseds make an ass-whole.

Cheers,

Re:Why? (2)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507336)

Name one other open-source browser developed by an open community process not funded by a corporation that doesn't have some sort of lag on fixing some bugs.

I'm not a FOSS evangelist, but for the resources they have it's not out of the bounds of expectations in my book.

Firefox OS is right here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507170)

http://webian.org/shell/

Why stop there? (1)

NoKaOi (1415755) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507178)

I mean, Firefox isn't an OS, so if they're gonna do something completely different, why stop there? How about a Firefox branded computer running on a Firefox CPU? Of course, that has to be powered by electricity, so how about Firefox electrical generators running on Firefox coal or Firefox oil?

Hello from 2007 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507182)

Give me a break, THIS is the first Google result [slashdot.org] for "Mozilla Desktop Environment".

Grace Concept? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507186)

What is a "grace concept"? Did you mean "graceful"? "grave"? "great"?

What's graceful about force-fullscreening a web browser to display a bunch of pastel-colored rectangles instead of a windowing system?

Re:Grace Concept? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507246)

I'm glad I'm not the only one who was confused by this.

Why doesn't /. offer to help non-native English speakers with their posts? If I made an error in something I wrote in French for publication, I'd appreciate help in correcting it lest I look more clueless than I am.

Linux with Firefox Kiosk (2)

PineHall (206441) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507188)

Does a Linux kiosk OS count? How about Webconverger [webconverger.org] ? It is a Debian derivative kiosk that uses Firefox.

They're a... (1)

mr_lizard13 (882373) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507192)

One trick pony.

Granted, they do that trick very well, but they lack the resource to manage much more.

Re:They're a... (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507456)

Thunderbird is a decent mail client, or at least better than most of the alternatives.

Re:They're a... (1)

kbrosnan (880121) | more than 3 years ago | (#36508068)

One trick pony that produces code that other applications use as a foundation. NSS, Spidermonkey, XULrunner, NSPR, Bugzilla...

Funds open source groups developing code for accessibility, teaching web standards, creating open standards...

Sigh... (4, Insightful)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507198)

Just install a very lightweight linux distro. Install firefox on it. Set it to full screen mode.

Done. No need to reinvent the wheel.

Re:Sigh... (2)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507356)

Sshhhh.... reinventing the wheel is what we in IT get paid for, half the time!

Re:Sigh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507882)

And slashdot for the other half.

Amen.

IceWeasel OS or Seamonkey OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507202)

both sound better..

I'm waiting for Spaceballs OS.

Re:IceWeasel OS or Seamonkey OS (1)

Trilkin (2042026) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507588)

...which will just go from suck to blow...

Re:IceWeasel OS or Seamonkey OS (1)

user32.ExitWindowsEx (250475) | more than 3 years ago | (#36508064)

And the only possible password will be 12345

Well if they want to then talk to me first. (1)

John Sokol (109591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507210)

I am working on building out the Amorphous OS, (you can Google it) Firefox or something like it would be a big part of it's functionality.

>The 'browser as an OS' concept is still stupid.
Yes, we already have browsers,

A Cloud based OS and blurring the lines between OS executable binaries and HTML though isn't a stupid idea.

I've already given a talk at BAFUG, and am preparing presentations and design docs for each subsystem.

Netscape had this plan at the beginning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507240)

I think it is what XUL was all about. It just never caught on. No one build apps using XUL.

My poor hardware budget... (1, Funny)

shish (588640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507248)

why Mozilla hasn't considered a Firefox OS?

I heard you like buying paying for terabytes of RAM, so I stuck a firefox in your firefox so you can bloat while you bloat...

The way forward. (2)

mark_elf (2009518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507288)

Great idea. Then they can make an OS web app that runs on the browser, basically a windows add-on for firefox. That way you can upload your OS in the cloud and just stream it over 3G to all your devices whenever you need it. A side benefit would be that Microsoft would finally get paid for all the pirated software people have stolen from them over the years.

Firefox isn't an OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507314)

Firefox isn't an OS? Then what the he'll have I been dual-booting with all these years?!

No, seriously, Firefox takes up so much memory that to do things like stream movies, I have to make sure I have no other apps running. Part of that is Flash's fault, sure, but still, when the system goes for 0M free to 1.25 GB free just by closing Firefox, there's an issue somewhere.

Also, isn't XULRunner essentially a "Firefox OS"? Or could be used as one?

They don't want to? (3, Interesting)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507328)

Because then they'd have to deal with all the hardware support and driver incompatibility bullshit that Microsoft and Apple and the Linux crew have to deal with. Not everybody wants to code at the metal level.

I have a brilliant idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507330)

What if we just simply write html5 compliant web apps, so they run everywhere regardless operating systems or browsers????

Huh ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507346)

".. then suddenly every piece of software works across every piece of hardware .."

LOL

Dream on ..

I thought this is Slashdot, not Financial Times or some other bozo site.

I just want a browser (5, Insightful)

Windwraith (932426) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507364)

Am I the only one who just wants a browser?
Sure, I like stuff like javascript games (I am a game dev so the topic inherently catches my attention) and some webapps, but I am certainly not willing to give my browser that much importance.
For me the centerpiece of the OS is the file manager and the tools to do my tasks. I don't want to have to depend on just a browser or webapps that don't have local code to run from your physical computer. We know the cloud is not 100% reliable (sure, it's not 100% unreliable either, but until there's no choice but to use it, I want to use that choice).

Gnome 3 already relies on Mozilla libraries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507366)

Gnome Shell already relies upon Mozilla JavaScript libraries via the gjs bindings. Combine that with CSS-like GTK+ themes and you've already got the better half of a "web desktop".

HTML? Really? (3, Insightful)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507390)

MS is really talking about using HTML as the best way to port code between the different versions of Windows 8? That is at least 4 different kinds of fail.

Re:HTML? Really? (3, Informative)

Mia'cova (691309) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507688)

No... they're saying "hey all you web developers out there, you can make apps for us now too without having to learn anything new! Now whip together your facebook/amazon/ebay website app ports in 1/10th the time it takes you to do so on iphone/ipad!"

The browser is not the OS... (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507392)

It is a GUI framework that sits on top of application frameworks, that sits on top of device abstraction layers, that sits on top of the kernel... Just because you stop wrapping the GUI being presented by the browser with it's own GUI doesn't mean that the browser is suddenly the OS. Just because all you as*hats see is a GUI doesn't mean you're 99% of the way to having an operating system once you've cobbled one together. You HTML5/Javascript people are creating a mess just as bad as what the IT marketing departments did the with stupid "Cloud." (TM)

They already are; Slashdot reported on it... (3, Interesting)

Mekabyte (678689) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507420)

just two weeks ago [slashdot.org] . Webian Shell [mozillalabs.com] on top of Linux sounds a lot like Chrome OS to me...

Have you used firefox recently it's all ready a OS (1, Interesting)

vosester (1163269) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507424)

That's why its fucked in my eyes.
Mozilla or extension developers have strayed to far for the main concept of small tool that help to full blown lunacy.
The other day I came across fireSSH that's right a an SSH client inside a browser!
As a network security guy I felt like going to a field where there is no technology or civilization for hundreds of miles, taking a deep breath and scream every obscenity under the sun. There is just no hope for some people.

Why bother? (1)

Targon (17348) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507464)

The big issue when it comes to OS design is the API, and if it can possibly be an improvement over what is currently out there. Think about it, it's all about making an API for programmers to code for that will be better in some way, shape, or form compared to what else is out there. For phones, you see Android, WebOS, iOS, and the list goes on. Some use Linux under the API, so what API would be better? How many attempts will there be to slap a new API on top of Linux, call it a new OS, and then watch as no one bothers to code for it?

Mozilla doesn't need to make a new OS with what is already out there. Then again, we don't need other operating systems that are based on web technologies, since by nature, the majority of the API code is the source of whatever limitations there will be. A better OS would be something that is designed to be VERY VERY low profile with very little overhead, and then make sure the design always stays lean and mean. If something is going to be optional, then make sure the OS does not get weighed down by forcing that item to be active. Now, most people don't think about it, but Linux is really a kernel with the GNU setup on top of it to provide those basic OS features. Now, take a Linux kernel, and replace the GNU stuff with something that is GUI based and REALLY REALLY tight, without the bloat that comes from standardized libraries that have 20 functions that do the same thing. Re-invent the wheel with all the modern stuff put in there, but without all the bloat and legacy stuff that comes from needing to make things compatible. New OS means you need new code anyway, so why not start off REALLY clean?

And that is why Mozilla won't do it, because the amount of effort needed to make a really NEW OS that does away with all that legacy garbage that slows everything down is very high.

What is more reliable, safe, fast, ubiquitous,.. ? (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507470)

your PC in c++ ? your PC in javascript ? your connexion to the interwebs ? the cloud's servers ?

You've got your answer !

Re:What is more reliable, safe, fast, ubiquitous,. (1)

phreakazoas (2242858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507750)

Well, to be fair the actual core functionality, including the browser would be still written in whatever c variant the various parts are written in. Really linux + window manager + desktop setup they choose + the browser. The name is really a misnomer; it is really more of an OS with stripped-down functionality with chrome being the centre with web apps on top. Your point about native code is true though; no matter how hard you try, writing photoshop in javascript just isn't feasible, or any app with advanced functionality. I'm not saying this not knowing Javascript and HTML, but I'm saying this knowing its speed(I've had to do work speeding up portions of code for optimization, writing web apps, etc for years) and your comparing centiseconds to nanoseconds. Also HTML is a layout manager that seems to lack a lot of the things common to desktop applications, which has lead to hacks around it, but they aren't pretty. I haven't checked out HTML 5 yet, as it doesn't work on everything yet. Plus HTML and CSS in particular are really a mess when you get to cross-platform issues. It would be a big step backwards.

Mozilla is libre OSS (3, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507476)

IMHO, Mozilla was created to leverage the assets of Netscape to prevent a world in which proprietary MS protocals controlled the web. There was no business model in which Mozilla had to be the market share leader. There was no need to play games in which users had to be lured to give up personal data. A cross platform browser allowed users freedom to choose a machine that suited them and then run an appropriate Mozilla variant. I myself use Camino.

MS needs a browser based OS to maintain market share in the world of sub-$500 internet devices. We have seen these fail, and everyone is saying lack of mobile broadband is going to kill them, but these are going to be targeted at home user with WiFi that want inexpensive machines that can move around the house. The benefit is going to be reliability, and MS want to take users away from Apple in this lucrative market and return them to MS.

Likewise Google has to have a mobile OS to continue to collect information. The mobile OS is prefect for Google because everything a user does is recorded, track, mined, and sold. Google already has significant market share, so, as we see, the internet devices are being sold at a healthy profit, and the benefit to the user are free applications after the fact. This gives MS hope as it can often intimidate manufacturers to sell at a less healthy profit in return for marketing support that will create the volume that MS wants.

So we have one company that wants a WebOS to keep it office franchise alive, another that wants to keep the advertising money flowing. Where would mozzila be? They have no market share concerns, they have no free apps, and there is no open hardware platform for a table or internet computer. So one can buy an expensive laptop, pay the internet tax, and then install this great Mozilla OS. We have seen how well this works for Linux. Or one can buy the allegedly open Android or Chrome tablet and install Mozilla. What is the point? Chrome is not a bad OS.

As we have seen on the iPhone, software developers don't want to develop for the web browser. They want native Apps. The machine needs to do both, unless one is in the business of locking in users like MS or Google.

Re:Mozilla is libre OSS (2)

yarnosh (2055818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507878)

MS needs a browser based OS to maintain market share in the world of sub-$500 internet devices.

That makes no sense at all. Microsoft needs to continue lock people into things like .NET to maintain market share. If everything goes browser based, there's no reason for anyone to pay for Windows... even a WebOS version. The only way it would work is if they make their "web apps" incompatible with other browser. But then, what's the point? You might as well just invent a better technology besides HTTP/HTML that will give you good thin client functinality without all the drawbacks of the browser.

Likewise Google has to have a mobile OS to continue to collect information.

This much is true.

Chrome is not a bad OS.

It isn't really "good" either.

"The Browser Is the OS" (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507484)

Because they invented the concept and had already rejected it?

silly assumptions. (2)

asa (33102) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507528)

"which raises the question that why Mozilla hasn't considered a Firefox OS?"

Mozilla has considered a Firefox OS and decided against it.

Aside from it being stupid... (1)

greymond (539980) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507532)

Using Google Chrome as an example, the Chromebooks serve a small niche of users who only do specific tasks. Real OS's like OS X, Windows and Linux provide the ability of satisfying all user types to do any task.

Besides, explain to me how a Firefoxbook/pad would be able to compete with a Chromebook when it'd take several hours to boot after grandma accidentally let FF install 100 different useless add-ons.

huh? (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507616)

Can someone summarize this article for me? I can't open the link because firefox has been constantly locking up on me since the last release.

Scope Creep! (1)

trghpy (259589) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507662)

The Firefox project is to make a good web browser and not get side tracked.

You want a firefox OS? Install Linux Bios with firefox and log into an EyeOS server. Done.

The fact that Google couldn't think of a name to differentiate Chrome OS disappoints me.

Chromium (1)

defaria (741527) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507716)

That's what Chromium is for!

Firefox OS? (1)

sudonim2 (2073156) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507726)

"Why Mozilla hasn't considered a Firefox OS?" They did. It's called "Google Chrome". Seriously, Google hired large numbers of people from Mozilla a few years back. They still work with Mozilla while simultaneously working for Google. Chrome is built on a base of Firefox. Chrome OS is the Chrome browser layered over a custom build of Linux. It's this reality that Microsoft is moving against with this development. Microsoft is playing catch-up, not leading the way.

What's the difference? (2)

yarnosh (2055818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507778)

What would a "Firefox OS" do that running FIrefox fullscreen won't? If you want to make your web browser your only application, DON'T RUN ANY OTHER PROGRAMS. Jesus Christ people, there's nothing innovative or novel about a system that will only run a web browser. It is a crippled system and a stupid idea.

Re:What's the difference? (1)

localman (111171) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507974)

I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't understand why people are hyped up about stuff like this.

Proof that a browser based OS already exists (1)

Zeroedout (2036220) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507820)

*This* is a real browser based OS: http://michaelv.org/ [michaelv.org]

Authoritative answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36507914)

Because it's a stupid idea.
Next question.

t why Mozilla hasn't considered a Firefox OS?" (1)

mike.mondy (524326) | more than 3 years ago | (#36507926)

Why not combine the browser and the OS? Because people who do programming have been refining a model of how things should be done since the 60s that says the opposite. Call it "levels of abstraction", "modular programming", "interface driven", "black box programming", "information hiding", "object oriented", etc etc. They all call out for not jumbling everything together -- that's "spaghetti logic".

Java? (3, Interesting)

Loosifur (954968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36508038)

I remember back in the day, when I actually wanted to major in CS, Java came out. Yes, that long ago. And the big thing about Java was that you would be able to write code that was platform-independent, and just rely on a Java interpreter that would be released on any necessary platforms. Which is why everything is written in Java now...

I'm just saying, using a browser as a conveyance for some sort of universal HTML-based software market just seems like a new version of an old idea that didn't pan out in the first place.

Also, not to nitpick (well, yes to nitpick), but I think that part that says "suddenly every piece of software works..." needs a bit of filling out. Especially at the "suddenly" part.

Also also, Mozilla would be better off not trying to be the Gobot to Google's Transformer, if you see what I mean. That niche is already being filled by Google. Mozilla should focus on making a niche for Firefox, not making it an also-ran to Chrome OS. Full disclosure, I'm not a fan of Firefox since Chrome came out, and since I put Opera on my Droid. But, there must be some area where Firefox excels, because it has a solid base of users. They should exploit and enhance that area.

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