Tag Archives: Google

Mozilla’s WebAPI & B2G: more good zen

Mozilla, creators of popular free open source software (such as Firefox web browser and Thunderbird e-mail client), are working on two new projects aimed at uniting the way we access some of the various internet applications out there. WebAPI is intended to make Web-based applications compete better with native apps. B2G (Boot to Gecko) is being developed as a complete, standalone operating system for the open Web with attention on mobile devices.

Developers today need to create apps for many platforms (Apple iOS, Google Android, Blackberry, Symbian, Windows Phone). Mozilla wants to simplify that by offering the alternate choice of creating one ‘WebApp’ instead. This would be access thru the browser with basic HTML5 code. They would interact with a phone’s dialer, address book, contacts list, and camera. Two other companies have been developing similar technology, Opera and Adobe. WebAPI is part of W3C’s Augmented Reality Community Group, and complies with the development and further W3C standardization of open API’s. Web programming is expanding fast due to: JavaScript’s performance, mobile device browser capabilities and internet 3G & 4G speeds, and cloud computing.

B2G is competing with Google Chrome OS a bit, but they are also both efforts at making advanced apps (not only basic) run smoothly on the Web. Both OS are trying to use Android’s “intents”, which allows an App to grab something from another App, like YouTubeApp pulling a video from the phone’s gallery. B2G will uniquely boot from Android drivers, and be released in “real-time,” new features added immediately, making a rapid release cycle. Mozilla has many challenges ahead (especially security and data usage), but it seems to going in a positive direction. Even Microsoft (who may lose market share with WebApps) is developing browser IE10 to be WebApp friendly. That must be a good sign.