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Firefox OS Will Win Big With Developers - Mozilla

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the netcraft-reports-xul-is-dying-or-something dept.

Firefox 229

judgecorp writes "Mozilla's mobile operating system Firefox OS will win overwhelming support from developers because it dropped XUL in favour of HTML5, says the head of Mozilla Europe in an interview. Firefox OS is more open than iOS and Android, and 75 percent of apps are already written in HTML5."

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Uh huh... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40678565)

This just in: Mozilla employee tells us that Mozilla product will be a huge hit!

Why don't we wait until it comes out before making such claims?

Article Summary... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40678599)

Mozilla! Fuck Yeah! FTW HTML5!

Kick Ass!

Re:Article Summary... (4, Funny)

game kid (805301) | more than 2 years ago | (#40678793)

Or, "Everyone uses HTML5, right? So if we just gut our UI code and write it in HTML5 and tout its HTML5 use enough times on HTML5 news sites and our HTML5 wiki-thing, then we'll get lots of HTML5 fans to use our HTML5 OS. HTML5 HTML5!!!!! *continues to yell 'HTML5' and 'Beefcake' with decreasing coherence*"

Re:Article Summary... (3, Funny)

aix tom (902140) | more than 2 years ago | (#40678843)

They are still on HTML5? Shouldn't they by now be on at least HTML23 to get ahead of Google?

Re:Article Summary... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40678865)

HTML23 was soooo 30 minutes ago. Firefox 143 has HTML25.

Oops writing this post took long enough that we are now on Firefox 150.

Re:Article Summary... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679321)

HTML5 is the last HTML. From here on, all changes will be integrated into HTML5. HTML5 is a process, not a fixed set of specifications. I don't think I'm kidding.

Re:Article Summary... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679567)

"I don't think I'm kidding."

So... who would know for sure?

Re:Article Summary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679709)

You tell me.

Re:Uh huh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679597)

My question is can they afford the litigation costs of producing a mobile OS in the current legal landscape (er minefield as the case may be)?

This sounds awfully familiar. (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 2 years ago | (#40678605)

Firefox OS? Didn't Netscape try to do that with Communicator 4 and fail horribly?

-uso.

Re:This sounds awfully familiar. (4, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#40678991)

Firefox OS? Didn't Netscape try to do that with Communicator 4 and fail horribly?

No and yes.

Re:This sounds awfully familiar. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679781)

Firefox OS? Didn't Netscape try to do that with Communicator 4 and fail horribly?

No and yes.

Ah, thanks. That clears things up.

Re:This sounds awfully familiar. (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679319)

No. The point of Firefox "OS" is to use the web browser to run software out of the cloud (the internet). Netscape Communicator didn't do anything like that.

Also I wouldn't call Netscape's integration of email, web, groups, composer into one package a failure. It still lives on as Mozilla seaMonkey. The browser from Opera also offers the all-in-one experience. Both have been successful over the last 10+ years.

Re:This sounds awfully familiar. (1)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 2 years ago | (#40680007)

That's not what he meant. He was talking of Mozilla's integration of Java, JavaScript, and XUL to create a platform for executing applications, that are not dependent on the underlying OS.

No, it won't (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40678611)

Actually it won't.

Developers will look towards the jobs which earn money, meaning the popular platforms like iOS and Android. To even think Firefox OS will in any way take a reasonable portion of the marketshare is a complete and utter joke.

Mozilla missed the mobile boat 2 years ago. Hear that mozilla? It's the sound of a fog horn in the distance, get swimming(which is what they're doing right now).

They should refocus their efforts or they're going to drown.

Re:No, it won't (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679141)

I think they were told the same thing about developing a browser when internet explorer owned the market.

Re:No, it won't (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679437)

Firefox isn't meant to replace iOS or Android (as you would know if you read mozilla's website). It's simply an option for users to run their software *inside* the browser using HTML5, rather than a separate app.

Re:No, it won't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679511)

Firefox isn't meant to replace iOS or Android (as you would know if you read mozilla's website). It's simply an option for users to run their software *inside* the browser using HTML5, rather than a separate app.

Actually, it is. Firefox OS (neé Boot2Gecko) is a complete operating system, running on the Linux kernel and using device drivers written for android (and others written in Javascript).

*All* apps, even the dailer and SMS apps, are written in HTML5.

Re:No, it won't (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679599)

>>>Firefox OS (neé Boot2Gecko) is a complete operating system

I have an anonymous coward saying one thing, and Mozilla saying something else. I think I'll side with Mozilla and ignore the Asshole Coward: "Q: Will this be yet another platform for developers to code for?

"A: No; the project is extending what developers can do with the Web, especially in the context of mobile devices, and to do so in a way that leads to interoperable standards. Just as with HTML5, ES5, CSS3 and other Web technology it will reach different browsers and operating systems at different times, but the pace of Web platform development gives us confidence that good Web technology can reach a lot of people pretty quickly.

"We don't want this work to lead to applications that only run atop one platform, or only run in Firefox. That's an important difference between what we're doing and proprietary mobile stacks today: we don't seek a competitive advantage for Mozilla, we seek a competitive advantage for the Web." http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/b2g/ [mozilla.org]

Re:No, it won't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679717)

Well, you're not quite reading carefully enough.

Firefox OS *is* an operating system: "What is Boot to Gecko? Boot to Gecko (B2G) is a project with the goal of building a complete, standalone *operating system* for the Web" - https://wiki.mozilla.org/B2G/FAQ

Firefox OS is the operating system, the Web is the *platform*. i.e. Open Wab Apps (hopefully) won't just run on Firefox OS, they'll run anywhere.

So, yes, Firefox OS replaces Android and iOS on the phone. But OWAs won't only run on FirefoxOS (if the other vendors implement the WebAPIs).

Happy?

Implement WebAPIs and lose native app revenue (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679979)

But OWAs won't only run on FirefoxOS (if the other vendors implement the WebAPIs).

I don't see Apple fully implementing the WebAPIs and losing the $300* per developer per year revenue stream plus 30% take from App Store sales. It's in Apple's rent-seeking interest to require use of a native app (even if made with PhoneGap) in order to access an iDevice's microphone or camera.

* Breakdown available on request, based on this article [slashdot.org] .

Re:No, it won't (1)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679683)

Google "boot to gecko"

Re:No, it won't (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679477)

Developers will look towards the jobs which earn money, meaning the popular platforms like iOS and Android. To even think Firefox OS will in any way take a reasonable portion of the marketshare is a complete and utter joke.

A lot of apps are written in HTML5 and then converted - using tools like PhoneGap - to apps for iOS and Android, so there's already a huge developer base writing apps with these tools.

I can definitely imagine devs writing an Open Web App and then using one of these native wrappers to package it up for the other operating systems.

Re:No, it won't (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679715)

Mozilla will keep on staying afloat so long as its competitors suck, which, at the time being, they do.

Their main competition right now is Chrome which offers users next to no customization. Opera is still... Opera. And IE, well, is getting better but isn't anywhere near as functional as Firefox/Chrome/Opera.

Re:No, it won't (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679981)

A lot of apps on iOS and Android are already built with HTML5. Making them available on Firefox OS should their for be easy.

I think that is what Mozilla is saying.

Xul was fun but yeah its dead (1)

detain (687995) | more than 2 years ago | (#40678619)

XUL was lots of fun to work with. There was some pretty easy to develop with tools out there for quickly designing interfaces, but then the javascript still took forever and was a pain to work with. Things like Jquery have made pretty HTML interfaces easy to produce and its definitly going to be the way to go over XUL. RIP XUL

Re:Xul was fun but yeah its dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40678919)

XUL = AOL's answer to VisualBasic

Re:Xul was fun but yeah its dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679179)

What on earth does XUL have to do with FirefoxOS?

Re:Xul was fun but yeah its dead (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679205)

RTFA

Re:Xul was fun but yeah its dead (1)

msclrhd (1211086) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679679)

Or even RTF summary,

phones? idk...but a cheap tablet for schools... (4, Interesting)

malelder (414533) | more than 2 years ago | (#40678633)

while I'm not sold on the idea that we need another phone OS, I would think the combination of a cheap tablet with an HTML5 based OS on it is a decent alternative to laptops and netbooks for elementary education purposes. Books, interactive exercises, and word-processing abilities all in one. Allow a school to run their own Google Office-style server to keep things local...could be neat (:

Re:phones? idk...but a cheap tablet for schools... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40678799)

You might be right about the need for a cheap computing device for education. Although I think it's more in the applications being written from the ground up on a modern device moreso than anything else. Not so much the implimentation (except where it applies to making the technology underneath less relevent and HTML5 does that).

What this potential does though is give us a more usable freedom friendly phone. The problem is the phones themselves will probably not be all that truly freedom friendly. Thye need manufacturers to design phones using chipsets that have free software driverss/specifications/firmware available. This isn't possible to the fullest extent. The modem won't be freedom friendly with the current rules governing GSM. Although there may be a way to abstract it and still make it freedom friendly to a degree.

There is also the fact phones today are spying on us. This is partially due to the modems although a proper design can fix this to a degree.

What we need is a reciever-only chip that does not require the modem to be on. All this chip would do is listen for incoming calls. When a call was detected for the phone it would turn the modem on (upon the user accepting the call). The phone thus could not be used as a tracking device anymore than a payphone could be that was combined with voice detection (to identify callers) technology. Taking this a step further you would integrate VoIP (SIP) and set the modem to be data only. Thus calls going out wouldn't be attached to the provider. You could then pass the SIP through something like Tor. Tor itself would probably not work except that any phone company which sold enough units could probably fund such a project with sufficent dollars that enough servers were setup to handle the call volume (and therefore the idea could work).

Re:phones? idk...but a cheap tablet for schools... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679053)

We dont need another smartphone OS, we need only one.

Why?

Because Steve Said So.

Re:phones? idk...but a cheap tablet for schools... (2, Informative)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679549)

>>>while I'm not sold on the idea that we need another phone OS

A lot of people seem to think Mozilla is trying to replace or compete with iOS and Android. Not the case. QUOTE: "The Firefox OS for mobile devices is built on Mozillaâ(TM)s 'Boot to Gecko project' which unlocks many of the current limitations of web development on mobile, allowing HTML5 applications to access the underlying capabilities of a phone, previously only available to native applications..... Due to the optimization of the platform for entry-level smartphones and the removal of unnecessary middleware layers, mobile operators will have the ability to offer richer experiences at a range of price points including at the low end of the smartphone price range, helping to drive adoption across developing markets."

"We believe the Web is the platform. Ideally, the technology pioneered or refined in the Boot to Gecko project will make its way into all mobile browsers, so that enhanced Web applications can be great regardless of operating system or device...... This is not going to be yet another platform for developers to code for. The project is extending what developers can do with the Web, especially in the context of mobile devices, and to do so in a way that leads to interoperable standards.

"Just as with HTML5, ES5, CSS3 and other Web technology it will reach different browsers and operating systems at different times, but the pace of Web platform development gives us confidence that good Web technology can reach a lot of people pretty quickly. We donâ(TM)t want this work to lead to applications that only run atop one platform, or only run in Firefox. Thatâ(TM)s an important difference between what weâ(TM)re doing and proprietary mobile stacks today: we donâ(TM)t seek a competitive advantage for Mozilla, we seek a competitive advantage for the Web."

http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/b2g/ [mozilla.org]

Best of luck (seriously) (4, Interesting)

Qwavel (733416) | more than 2 years ago | (#40678635)

It is going to be really tough for Mozilla to make headway with their own mobile OS. Palm, Nokia, RIM, etc. have all failed in spite of enormous efforts, and the only ones that have succeeded now have complete ecosystems built around their devices.

So, I believe that the chances of Firefox OS succeeding are really slim.

And this is coming from someone who believes that Mozilla saved the Web, and who runs firefox on their phone (which is part of the problem - I already have mobile firefox).

Re:Best of luck (seriously) (4, Interesting)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40678751)

Palm

Carrier manhandling (never trust those bastards) and getting snapped up by HP were the biggest contributors to their fall.

Nokia, RIM

Unrepentant managerial incompetence. Hell, Nokia had a winner in the N9 but their internal practices kept it from seeing the light of day early enough to actually be of use.

the only ones that have succeeded now have complete ecosystems built around their devices.

But the presence of those "ecosystems" does not preclude competitors. Nor do they mean that no one else should try. This is probably the worst argument I've seen, if anything it gives even more reason to hate ecosystems as they seem more adept at inhibiting competition and user choice than anything else.

I believe that the chances of Firefox OS succeeding are really slim.

Depends on the market they go into. Success doesn't mean that they drastically displace iOS or Android, only that sales of devices running the platform are profitable. Profitability means that there's opportunity to grow.

On top of that, if you focus on regions using GSM that don't have their handset choices constrained by the regional carriers you have a far better chance than in backwards markets like the US.

Re:Best of luck (seriously) (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 2 years ago | (#40678797)

Handset sales are already unprofitable for anyone but Apple and Samsung. What does Fitefix bring to the table?

Re:Best of luck (seriously) (1)

anon mouse-cow-aard (443646) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679417)

uh... not caring if it is profitable? Support from all the carriers who feel that the use of their network entitles them to a share of the app store pie, after seeing their potted plants (weren't big enough to get to walled garden status) wre not compelling, they can see that if they work together, perhaps they will share more of the pie than Apple or Google do.

Specially Android (2)

DrYak (748999) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679719)

the only ones that have succeeded now have complete ecosystems built around their devices.

But the presence of those "ecosystems" does not preclude competitors. Nor do they mean that no one else should try.

Specially given that one of the two ecosystem - Android's/Google's - is rather open (due to that phone aren't Google core business - keyword searching is their core technology and they monetize it by leveraging it to serves ads. Anything else they produce is ancillary to that. Developing phone OS and corresponding ecosystem is not a main busness target for Google. It's only a side activity which has the advantage of bringing more people online and thus expanding the number of people they can serve ads to).
Android Apps have been already running on other systems (on the QNX powering some blackberry, on the standard GNU/Linux at some canonical experiences, etc.) and Firefox has been running on Android phones too.

That could also be the point of entry, an overlapping echo system. (Initially, people running Firefox App on Android, and having both access to android apps and newly developped HTML5/Javascript apps. Once the second ecosystem is big enough, non geeks could be interested in a boot-to-gecko phone).

On top of that, if you focus on regions using GSM that don't have their handset choices constrained by the regional carriers you have a far better chance than in backwards markets like the US.

Welcome in Europe.

Re:Best of luck (seriously) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40678911)

People said this about Google when they launched their mobile platform, but it has survived.

Re:Best of luck (seriously) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40678955)

That's because it had big players backing it whereas FirefoxOS has a couple of small regional telecoms.

Re:Best of luck (seriously) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679573)

Telephonica is not a "small regional telecom", they're huge.

Re:Best of luck (seriously) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40678949)

You blasphemer! Don't you know that they are the one true? They annointed? The Blessed? Damn be to the heathens who like complacent conformity to stability and usability!

And WebOS failed because? (3, Informative)

mystikkman (1487801) | more than 2 years ago | (#40678639)

WebOS also promised that you can write apps in HTML/JS and look at what happened to the Touchpad when it took on the iPad.

Developers flock to the platforms with most users, ease of development is only a small factor because the alternatives like iOS, Android and WP have reasonable dev environments. If the market was owned by Blackberry, he would have a point, since it's just TERRIBLE for development.

Re:And WebOS failed because? (1)

terbeaux (2579575) | more than 2 years ago | (#40678747)

The source for WebOS is available under an open source license: http://opensource.palm.com/packages.html [palm.com] WebOS did not fail. Palm failed to successfully market its products for 20 years. Mozilla can make a lot of headway quickly by using WebOS as a base. With Mozilla's community clout and business position I would not be surprised to see devices running Firefox OS in a year or two.

Re:And WebOS failed because? (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679541)

Mozilla using WebKit? It will be a cold day in hell when that happens.

Re:And WebOS failed because? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679049)

This.

Besides, they're not the only ones pitching HTML5 as a dev platform for mobile. Win8 also does that, and it has far more mature development tools to back that.

Re:And WebOS failed because? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679063)

The Touchpad failed because it was too expensive. It is/was an awesome device and OS but if you're plunking down an iPad amount of cash, which do you think people are going to go for? I mean the choice is between something awesome but new, which might be better and something crappy but already established and ingrained in popular culture. People take the path of least resistance. Only money would have changed their mind. The fire sale proved it had a nearly limitless market for the right price (yeah, they could not have sold it for those prices but they could have sold it closer to their actual cost instead of artificially jacking it up to meet the other players in the market).

Re:And WebOS failed because? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679401)

I bought 3 TouchPads during the fire sale. Having them for almost a year now, I can tell you from experience that anyone who paid an iPad amount of cash for it is probably kicking themselves in the head right now. As is typical with of everything with the HP logo, quality control was likely non-existent. Anyone that follows the progress of Android on the TouchPad is likely also aware of the ridiculous number of TouchPad owners that have had to send their TouchPad back to HP for repair due to hardware and manufacturing defects.

There's room for a #3 mobile OS (2)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 2 years ago | (#40678649)

iOS and Android have big enough flaws that if another group finds that magic bullet, they can win big. The design problem is they have to come at from the approach of competing against and with the big boys and not just making a mobile OS that works. There are plenty of failed OS projects out already that "work."

Re:There's room for a #3 mobile OS (2)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679461)

I'm not so sure about that.

The market is more or less settled. The things that have won the users over are positives and there's not so many negatives that users will want to change. Even if developers absolutely love developing for FirefoxOS, there won't likely be a market for it. FirefoxOS is about 4 years late to the party.

On the other hand, if FirefoxOS can be a replacement for Android while using all of the same hardware drivers of Android, there might be a chance it could exist as a geek-elite/hacker's OS which might find its way into devices which phone makers might experiment with.

And it won't matter how good it is or will be. That's not how the market works.

Personally I see that as a step backwards. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40678657)

XUL is actually really nicely done. Much better than that mess HTML5, that is for sure.
XUL is one of the better things Mozilla have made. This saddens me more.

I was hoping it would get adopted as menu interfaces for web apps in the now-future, but it never did.
If only they pushed it a little harder.

RIP XUL. RIP.

Hope they enjoy shitty performance (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40678675)

HTML5, while faster than previous incarnations of HTML+JS, is still massively slower than native applications. I predict a very sluggish experience.

Re:Hope they enjoy shitty performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679355)

When web workers are sorted out, things will surely get better.
Those things are pretty damn nice and allow for such a massive performance increase instead of the main thread getting clogged up.
And in particular, this is going to be brilliant for games. I've already tested it out on even a small thing and it goes stupidly faster.

The main problem right now is child and shared workers. They are a little dodgy at the moment.
But the current bog standard one works right now.

The annoying part about workers, however, is you can't send DOM data. The moment you do, 10 kinds of heart attack.
Of course, with a well structured system, you wouldn't end up with this annoyance.
I think there was some thing recently going on about testing out a new feature for making the moving of data between worker and main trivial, so cannot wait for that.

I still think we need some compiled support, though.
Something similar to Native Client but it allows direct communication with the page. So sort of like a sandboxed plugin system that is pretty seamless.
If that can happen, things will really get better. That is the best of both worlds, the ultimate goal.
Unless some major breakthrough happens that allows near-native speeds in interpreters, this would need to happen for ultimate efficiency.

Re:Hope they enjoy shitty performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679407)

And yet your web workers go stupidly slower than my native application using threading and native vector OPs of the CPU.

75 Percent (3, Insightful)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 2 years ago | (#40678687)

75 percent of apps are already written in HTML5

OK, maybe. But what percentage of good apps are written in HTML5?

Re:75 Percent (3, Insightful)

goruka (1721094) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679795)

Exactly my thoughts. To be more specific, writing non-retardedly simple games is a feat with html5 due to slow performance and huge memory consumption.
Even in Android Java is often bypassed in favor of NDK for complex projects and portability reasons, where you want to use C/C++ or your own, more fittin, scripting language such as Lua or Python.
Mozilla developers seem to have very strong ideals of a world where the only programming language is HTML5 and the only platform is the web, and I remember there was a lot of hype about that philosophy a few years ago, but app stores with native apps have clearly shown the future is somewhere else. Even Google has aknolwedged that in Chrome by allowing Native Client..

Go for it (3, Funny)

DJ Jones (997846) | more than 2 years ago | (#40678697)

Firefox already uses more memory than any OS I own so what the hell, go for it. Maybe Windows 8 can become a light-weight browser that runs on top of it.

Re:Go for it (4, Interesting)

asa (33102) | more than 2 years ago | (#40678885)

Firefox has better memory management than any other popular browser. If you aren't seeing that, then you aren't on the latest Firefox version or you've got some horribly leaky add-ons installed. (The add-on problem is fixed in Firefox 15 Beta and will be available in 6 weeks.)

Re:Go for it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40678999)

Asa Butthurt is here to white knight for his company's increasingly irrelevant browser. Next stop, less marketshare than Opera!

Re:Go for it (0)

Raistlin77 (754120) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679491)

Firefox has better memory management than any other popular browser. If you aren't seeing that, then you aren't on the latest Firefox version or you've got some horribly leaky add-ons installed. (The add-on problem is fixed in Firefox 15 Beta and will be available in 6 weeks.)

Considering Firefox is one of the most horribly leaky add-ons anyone could install into Windows, I guess you're right.

I only keep Firefox installed anymore to remind me of why I'm using Chrome. When Chrome starts acting up, I fire up Firefox and visit a couple websites just to refresh my memory.

Re:Go for it (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679537)

I'm running 13.0.1 with a limited amount of addons... mostly adblock and noscript, but also RIP and firebug... right now, Firefox is using 2.6GB.... which is a huge improvement over previous versions. But then again, I have over 200 tabs open... :) I know... it's obscene. But I prefer tabs to bookmarks. Sometimes I close tabs after I save them to bookmarks and some things live exclusively in bookmarks like my banking and stuff. But for basic digging around and searching topics, multiple tabs rule my world. Information is simply more available that way.

And the more Firefox improves, the easier it is to behave the way I do. :) Thanks, Firefox, for being an enabler of my bad habits.

Also, thanks for being a project not motivated by commercial interests which would seek to exploit my behavior and other data.

Re:Go for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679831)

Try out the TabGroups Manager plug-in. It lets you create tabs of your tabs. You can have all your tabs opened and categorized within a parent tab (only one level of nesting). You can suspend (stays on the tab bar) or hibernate (moved off-screen into a drop-down menu) your high-level tab groups. Doing so 'closes' those tabs and takes them out of active memory.

I've never understood bookmarking. Managing bookmarks is a completely different interface compared to tabs. If I want to manage my tabs, I use tabs. It's simple and doesn't require a mental context change.

As for Firefox having better memory management than other browsers, I disagree. Firefox hides it's memory issues by unloading and reloading content as you move between tabs. That's getting around the issues not solving them. Say I want to open 50 articles (in addition to whatever else I had open) to read on a long trip without net access (yeah, not all of us use data plans - way too expensive and the companies suck). I can read around 10-15 of the articles, but by the time I try to access the other articles/tabs Firefox has forgotten their data and can't reload it due to no internet connection. It's a real headache.

Re:Go for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679829)

But it really hasn't. Really. Used memory isn't all there is to good memory management.

In my case, I use both Chrome and FF regularly.
I will ignore Opera and IE since I haven't bothered using either of those in a long time. (But Opera is already godlike in memory efficiency, everyone knows this, IE is better these days)
I typically keep these browsers open for stupid amounts of time, months, sometimes around 2 and even 3.
I regularly need to restart FF, however, because it gets stupidly sluggish after a while. Things locking up, activity tickers all over, the usual.
Starting at around 300-400k, it ends up hitting 2gigs after about 2 weeks and sticks around that until I restart it or it crashes. (which also happens quite often)
In the case of Chrome, it stays stable because it regularly cleans up memory. And by that I mean within the same processes, not separate ones. (and sometimes it will even kill a tab outright if it feels there is something not right with its memory)
My extensions in both are mainly tab management, scripting, styling and downloading.
I also visit flash-heavy sites on both of them fairly frequently. In fact, at the moment I have 7 and 8 flash tabs open in Chrome and FF resp.

If I can't keep a system suspended / hibernated over time, that is going to annoy the hell out of me.
But THAT as an OS?? These are worrying numbers already.
Not going to deny that FF is massively better than it was in earlier versions, but it has a very long way to go until I'd even classify it as an efficient memory manager.
There is some massive problem somewhere in it.
It was also there when I had no extensions on both of them. (in fact, I had 2 on Chrome, both tab-accessors, so they added stuff to each tab too)

Re:Go for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679413)

Firefox's memory usage has been reduced dramatically, it's no longer the memory hog it once was.

Re:Go for it (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679543)

Firefox's memory usage has been reduced dramatically, it's no longer the memory hog it once was.

I'm pretty sure the first time I heard someone make that claim was with Firefox 3.x

Re:Go for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679627)

Read up on Mozilla's "MemShrink" project.

A bad experience is hard to shake, but Firefox *really* isn't the memory hog it used to be, and the next couple of releases will also kill off a lot of problems with addone leaking memory.

We can be like Google, too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40678707)

Good fucking God, Mozillia is nothing but a bunch of copycat Google fanbois now.

They even copycatted Google's release numbering scheme.

Yeah, that'll fool 'em all.

Firefo 14 will encrypt searches (4, Informative)

SternisheFan (2529412) | more than 2 years ago | (#40678721)

"With Firefox 14, Mozilla will automatically encrypt searches conducted via Google's search engine in the browser's location bar, search box, or the right-click menu. The idea is to "protect your data from potentially prying eyes, like network administrators when you use public or shared WiFi networks," Mozilla said in a blog post. At this point, Google is the only search engine that will support encrypted searches, "but we look forward to supporting additional search engines with this feature in the future," Mozilla said." (From the PC Mag article) http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2407263,00.asp [pcmag.com]

Re:Firefo 14 will encrypt searches (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679077)

And how, exactly, do they propose protecting against man-in-the-middle attacks? My employer is currently reading all gmail I access from work, even when accessed via https.

Re:Firefo 14 will encrypt searches (1)

lederhosen (612610) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679223)

certificates I guess, my employer does not read my gmail by redirecting https.

Re:Firefo 14 will encrypt searches (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679255)

They don't. They just do what they did since FF4 - pose for spotlight and pretend to be doing something novel when they blatantly copy yet another add-on functionality, and do it horribly.

If you are using the last firefox that actually was decent and want a much better version of this functionality, search for "https everywhere" addon.

Um... what? (2)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679379)

How is your employer able to do that, exactly? Doesn't your browser give you a big "OMG DONT DO THIS" warning every time you try to connect due to the certificate error?

Re:Um... what? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679621)

By installing the certificate for their proxy on all their desktops, so it's seen as a certificate to trust.

Re:Um... what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679789)

Different AC here, but that is actually not that uncommon. There are a ton of gateways that decrypt TLS, scan it and then encrypt it with their own certificate. And there are no warnings because the employer's IT people trust that certificate on all computers.

Innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40678737)

Finally! Something new in the world of mobile operating systems.

http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/wp-content/gallery/firefox-os-phone/07-firefox-os-mobile-icones.jpg

And I'm hearing that it will win overwhelming developer support (among users of desktop Linux)!

Re:Innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40678833)

It's javascript. Good luck, but I'll take my strongly typed code.

Saturated market (1)

BumpyCarrot (775949) | more than 2 years ago | (#40678765)

Because playing for third place is really working out for MS. I honestly don't see what's going to attract users to Yet Another Mobile Platform.

YAMP has auto-attract mode enabled. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679271)

Mark my words, YAMP will blitz the mobile device market!

Web apps are so old school (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40678779)

Why would I develop for a browser when I can produce an app for Android or iOS instead which will meet all requirements? A single codebase (more or less) catering to each of the platforms strengths that doesn't need to worry about browser inconsistencies and/or HTML5 implementations (esp. with video/audio) - or, should I say, less cost than having to support HTML5. Perhaps if Flash had remained a viable alternative, then that may have been a possible argument in its favour, but with HTML5, I'm quite unimpressed - slow animations, browser extensions, limited scripting language - and the fact that web apps seem to be trying to be native apps anyway (jQuery mobile) doesn't help. Might as well go native.

*facepalm* (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#40678789)

Assuming your platform will "win big with programmers" is silly. Programmers will work with whatever you give them, and combine it with whatever they know. And no two programmers will have the same approach. Thinking you know what programmers want is like believing you know what women want. As if every woman (like every programmer) would be a cookie cutter copy of the other.

There are only a select few things I've found that programmers esteem and have in common, and it all has very little to do with programming per-se. They are patient. They often have the ability to hyper-focus for hours or (in extreme cases) days on a specific problem, going without food, water, sleep, social contact... in fact, interrupting them may get something chucked at your head. Prolonged and intense programming over a period of days or weeks can result in epic logic failures in their daily life -- "Hey hun, can you go to the store and if they have bread, pick up some eggs?" Programmer comes home with just eggs. They can and sometimes do become obsessed with details of a project (not just computer projects... ANY kind of project) and totally lose track of everything else; time, space, the fact that the house around them is on fire, that the girlfriend (cough, hi) is threatening to bean them if they don't come to bed and cuddle them, etc. Programmers are also endlessly fascinated with a difficult to define quality I call "Niftiness". If something is nifty, they will be drawn to it like a moth to fire. However, what is nifty to one is completely mundane to another... and "Niftiness" is a time-sensitive thing... it degrades rapidly with time.

You'll note that nowhere in there did I mention anything resembling a computer, or anything about programming itself. Programming attracts a particular kind of person; It is not the result of a particular way of doing something.

*yawn* (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 2 years ago | (#40678841)

Developers go to where the customers are, no matter how good an OS may be.
Just look how long it's taken for them to start taking Android seriously.

HTML5 sucks (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40678963)

too processor and ram heavy
good luck trying to toss that at people

Hmm, good luck (1)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | more than 2 years ago | (#40678971)

WebOS was HTML5, that didn't light a fire with developers. I don't see any tablet maker outside of maybe Samsung with more pull than HP, so the issues with hardware will be even worse.

iOS used to be webapps only, until people realized that touchscreens and HTML weren't a good match. I'm not sure if HTML5 is so much of a leap to make them that much better. I still prefer Mail.app to GMail and GMail uses some of the cleverest HTML ive seen. Even on a phone which guarantees a network card, you can't guarantee a network presence 100% of the time. Local storage will be interesting.

Good luck.

I Welcome FirefoxOS (3, Interesting)

corychristison (951993) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679003)

I think Mozilla is absolutely insane coming in to the market so late, but I welcome the competition. As others have pointed out, I am not sure how well it will go over as a Phone OS, but I can absolutely see it as a hobbyist OS. It would be great on tablets, set top boxes (or flash the firmware on your Smart TV), Raspberry Pi.

I already have a few idea's I could use it for. Small personal projects, mostly based around a Raspberry Pi. I use and like Android but FirefoxOS would be better suited from what I have read so far.

I do web development for a living. The idea of HTML5 apps excites me as it is a system I know very well.

Huge win if they come out with an easy to install distro for Raspberry Pi.

FirefoxOS won't run on Raspberry Pi. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679309)

What on earth made you think anything with "Firefox" in the name would run on a device with only 256MB of RAM?

Haven't they learned anything? (1)

Dynamoo (527749) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679019)

Haven't they learned anything? You shouldn't be able to control device fundamentals from the browser, it's a complete security nightmare [mobilegazette.com] . Modern OS and browser designs try to sandbox the browser from the underlying architecture with good reason. Remember ActiveX? That was a security disaster. Java is the modern equivalent, I probably patch it more often that I use it. If the Firefox OS ever takes off then the weak security model will probably ensure that it crashes down to earth.

Re:Haven't they learned anything? (1)

msclrhd (1211086) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679773)

What it likely means is things like providing JavaScript APIs for multi-touch, orientation and accelerometer queries, audio reading/writing, etc.

Jumping into the same abyss (2)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679039)

as ChromeOS did. People still aren't interested in dumbing down their devices to a mere terminal.

Security and Efficiency (2)

DrJimbo (594231) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679103)

This sounds like a fantastic project. I really hope they succeed. My two main concerns are security and efficiency. Firefox really seems to be a resource hog on my desktop system. They need to make drastic improvements in efficiency in order to compete in the mobile market. Sure, I have a lot of FF windows and tabs open but sometimes I have to nuke FF because it is consuming a lot of CPU while it seems to be doing nothing.

My other concern is security. FTFA:

Applications can for example, be installed directly from a website, without going through the Marketplace. There will be several application stores and applications can be submitted for free.

I sure hope they put a lot of thought and effort into security otherwise it is going to be malware central. I think they are going to need to provide the option of only running digitally signed apps. As long as the user/owner has control of which keys they are going to trust then this won't impinge on the end-user/owner's freedom.

It would also be really good if there was some way for trusted key-holder to disable apps remotely for cases where an app that contains malware gets accidentally accepted. Again, user/owners would have to be able to opt-in to this feature. There also needs to be a way to lock the phones down so a business can have control over what apps are allowed on the phones they give out to their employees. IOW, control should be in the hands of the owner, not the user. If I lend my phone to someone, I don't want them to be able to install apps.

Just because the OS is Free as in Freedom should not mean that all contributors are automatically trusted. ISTM it is important to give user/owners the option of using a web of trust from the get-go. As long as the end user/owner has control over which keys are trusted and whether keys are used at all will keep this security feature from impinging on the Freedom of the device.

Firefox OS Is Just What I Need (3, Funny)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679149)

Finally -- an OS that CAN'T PLAY MP3's. I'm sure it will be very popular.
Mozilla is floundering hard -- maybe they should just go away.

Re:Firefox OS Is Just What I Need (1)

msclrhd (1211086) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679803)

Actually, it will (https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=759945) along with AAC and H.264 via libstagefright.

This could be the exact opposite of Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679189)

Most Android users complain about not getting major OS upgrades for their existing hardware.

With Firefox OS, every user will have 37 major OS upgrades forced on them every month!

So they fixed FireFox then? (0)

JohnFen (1641097) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679195)

I guess that they made FireFox stop sucking? Then please stop keeping the good desktop version a secret and let me use that instead of the ever-increasingly-crappy versions they've been giving us. I won't bother installing it on my phone until they can at least do that.

Big LOL (1)

Dracos (107777) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679339)

Until Firefox OS gets installed at the factory by handset makers, no one will care. It'll enjoy the same dead-cat thump that Meebo/Maebo did.

Now we have another organization betting the (a) farm on HTML5, which in and of itself if flawed/broken. Even worse is that Mozilla dumped their better and richer XUL for it.

I'd rather see Gecko+XUL turned into a desktop environment to compete with GTK+, KDE, and the like. But that's the smart thing to do, which means Mozilla will never do it.

Driver and firmware blobs? (1)

andrew3 (2250992) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679385)

Will Firefox OS have driver and firmware blobs like almost every other smartphone? If so, I won't be buying.

difference to tizen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679387)

So tizen is also focusing on HTML5. Wheres the difference?

look at firefox (0)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 2 years ago | (#40679391)

Seriously, how can I take their OS seriously when they cant even write an browser that doesn't keep locking up/crashing.

GUI Widgets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679609)

It is nice to have a good variety of quality pre-built widgets when building a user interface. HTML doesn't really provide this. You could conceivably design your own widgets with Javascript and the Canvas or Javascript and SVG, or use a library built on top of Canvas or SVG. The problem here is that there are hundreds of projects trying to do this and nothing at all resembling a standard set of widgets. Also has WebSockets been standardized yet or is there still the open security bug holding it back? Long polling seems like such a hack.

Re:GUI Widgets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40679635)

I guess you can also try to build Widgets with DOM. Ultimately, you run into a problem though where the DOM doesn't provide everything you want, and the Canvas doesn't provide the text layout power of HTML.
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