I don't think the author recognizes that that would be a successful outcome for Mozilla; it'd mean that the web truly is the platform, and developers would be able to create an app using that platform and make it available to users on all the mobile OSes. That's cool!
Although I'm pretty sure we'd also like the phones and OS to be successful, of course. :P
From a few conversations with various bigwigs at Mozilla, they're definitely not worried about absolute market share. They see themselves as custodians of the web. As long as everything remains open and free, then they feel like they've succeeded.
It's quite simple: web developers will flock to build apps for it, because it's 100x easier than learning Objective C or Java etc.
Indeed, I could easily see Firefox OS becoming a "default" choice for low-end smartphone models, just because it would be so insanely easy to drop-in and customize. I mean, just hire a cheap front-end developer and "skin" your model's OS with just CSS in a matter of days. And from there, it can expand upmarket.
I'm not sure which is better honestly.
You can't be a good programmer if you are jumping from one technology to another too often. I would prefer
to use an app written in HTML/CSS/JS by experienced frontend developer than an app written in Java by someone who just read "Teach Yourself Java in 24 Hours (Covering Java 7 and Android)".
Is anyone so satisfied with their current smartphone OS that they won't bail immediately for something better? I didn't care for IOS, and the list of problems I have with Android is too long to recount here. But I love having a smartphone. It's become an indispensable tool, replacing several others. I just wish it wasn't so clunky and that I had more control over what it does. I'm intrigued by B2G and the (remote) possibility that I'll finally have the same freedom I enjoy with my traditional computing experience.
To me, to be "better" I need the same control. If B2G delivers that, then maybe.
That's the argument.
I object. Mozilla Firefox 1 came out in November of 2004. Apple Safari 1 came out in June of 2003. By then, WebKit had already been around for several years. In mobile, Mozilla's browsers play little to no role, nearly all mobile platforms use WebKit. In 2007, Mobile Safari was the first decent mobile web browser. It's silly to credit Mozilla with the advances of the mobile web.
“10 years ago, [...] no one would’ve guessed that today you could write a full-blown program with open web technologies and have it run equally well on dozens of different software platforms.”
Let's be honest, that's still not really the case. In the US, 40% of web usage comes from IE. About half of that comes from IE version 8 or lower . I wouldn't say that full-blown web apps run as well in IE8.
Yeah, WebKit is old, but it wasn't until Chrome came along that it actually made inroads in Windows browser share -- and let's face it, that was the platform that developers focused on for over a decade, until the recent smartphone/tablet revolution.
If this, is the case, then it won't be for long. I am strongly of the opinion that Firefox is, by a good way, the best mobile browser available (but of course not 'allowed' on iOS).
I think this is where the author contradicts his own argument. Do you know how many small businesses can be created on an open platform such as Firefox OS? It let's individuals and small development teams compete directly against Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, etc. It truly levels the playing field, in my view. Or at least, that's what I hope Firefox OS will be capable of.
As a developer and designer, I (for one) can't wait to try out Firefox OS. If it works well, I'll start using it more. And by all indications I've seen, it will probably work pretty well :)
It certainly doesn't have to turn out that way in this case, but for the sake of the open web and software, I would love to be able to look back at the title "Firefox OS doesn’t stand a chance" and laugh.
Where Firefox OS needs to get traction is with the networks, which is the first thing they've done. Anything which can be easily customised (and what could be easier than HTML+CSS+JS? will attract a lot of interest from them).
Lot of developers are already excited about this and there are a couple of large Carriers that have already announced their support. Apple or Google or MS could indeed "implement the same spec" (whatever that means) but that would prove to be a good thing.
Not worth reading.
HTML5 still early days so it's like a new games console, get some ok things but not alot of wow as people still finding there feet and what you can do and how best to do it. It's also using more CPU/resources than more lower level of approach's.
Now CPU's/resources get faster and cheaper and the bettery life moves on slowly. So eventualy you get a enviroment were you can run various levels of obfiscation to the raw tin and still give a good user experience.
PROS: HTML5 aint going away, can allow developers to more easily port your applications and as for having to do alot of effort into a development enviroment and IDE then 99% of that work is just done for you with a little documentation needed on your part pretty much
CONS: New, different, still being embraced and in many ways HTML5 is being is the WEB 2.0 promised years ago which ended up being part of the reason Nortel broke (they did some cool stuff ahead of it's time, too ahead sadly). But this time it is the right shoe and the right noise with the backing to work this time around. Though it is a resource overhead Android is a virtual machine so that is kinda already covered by hardware. It's just different for mobiles in many ways, but at the same time logical.
So the way I see it is that in many ways it can't fail, even if it dosn't become the next mobile enviroment, the way things are going it could become a virtual enviroment that runs on any mobile and in that be a sufo application-GUI that sits ontop of Android or IOS or the like. In many ways it helps converge desktop and mobile development and in a way that makes sence with were we are today. So in many ways I see it garanteed to do well, though maybe not as the envorment initialy entended, alot of good will come from it.
Now I'd love a phone that had a micro/dual boot OS in that it booted up in nanoseconds allowing me to do a simple make and recieve calls in a sudo micro-kernel approach and loaded up the fancy gubbins in the background on one of the many cores available to do such things. With this type of mobile OS, such things become alot more viable i feel and in that I look forward to the outcome.
Be nice if you cold just buy your phone and had a choice of the operating system as well, manufacturers pay attention, as for you then you could sell hardware and have another company sell the OS and make all the IP trolls have a harder time blocking hardware over a simple software issue in a OS. I realy wished they would. If you gave the OS away then that would also limit certain types of lawsuits fiscaly as well. Also be interesting when Samsung go we want to be able to sell IOS for our new mobile phone as a option to the free bada/android/mozilla/symbian.... options. Fun times ahead - hopefully.
Personally I hope it will become possible to run Firefox OS programs on IOS and Android, so that it is easy to write for both platforms but I guess Apple would prevent that as it would destroy one of the barriers to competition.
This could just be another one. So while it might not be possible to run them "natively", someone will surely come up with a library so distributing them on the Apple app store will become trivial.
this article is the best example. the author delivers no argument whatsoever to support his/her claim.
" If you imagine a smartphone-sized computer that automatically loads Firefox after boot-up, and the only apps you can run are web apps, then that’s a fairly good analogy of Firefox OS."
- no, this is not a good analogy. although the apps are indeed written in html/css/js they have access to low level apis, thus delivering the same capabilities as native apps currently do on ios/android.
"We weren’t at the meeting when Mozilla decided to make Boot 2 Gecko an actual smartphone OS, but I have a pretty good idea of how it probably went down"
- what follows is pure speculation and adds no value whatsoever to the whole undertaking of proving the article's claim.
"Today, if iOS falters, there are 10 other mobile operating systems that can step into breach"
- No, there wouldn't. Of all mobile operating systems today, there are only two that have a viable developer base, namely ios and android. No other platform has yet succeeded in attracting 3rd party developers to create useful and beautiful apps for its platform (maybe windows phone will step up it's game). So, obviously, the huge advantage of firefoxOS would be the simplicity to create apps for the thousands of talented and motivated web developers out there. How often to you encounter a headline on hacker news that reads "check out me weekend project x which i made because i was bored/wanted to learn some new technology/whatever"? This happens every day basically. Now imagine these people had the possibility to do "weekend projects" with the tools they already master but this time not for the web per sé but for a mobile platform? That is pretty damn exciting if you ask me.
"Firefox OS is a nice idea, but it’s predicated on open standards"
- but? BUT??? If anything, open standards is a good thing.
"Anyone can take Firefox OS’s additions to HTML5 and produce their own implementation [...] Google can simply implement the same specification in Chrome, Microsoft can implement it in IE10, and Apple can implement it in Safari"
- Yes, i can totally see it, Apple et all will give up their control over the app store and let people install apps from anywhere on the web with access to low level apis.
"Mozilla shouldn’t be disheartened, though"
- Certainly not. Especially after this kind of click bait crap.