As for Single-Sign-On, Persona can already take care of that, today, for virtually any domain / browser combo. You can help out on that, too: https://github.com/mozilla/browserid
The future will be even better if the Tent and Diaspora folks make it easy for their servers to also function as Identity Providers for Persona's protocol. FWIW, it seems like there's interest on both sides to make this happen.
(edited to remove slangy word "rumblings")
what do you base this on? Current mobile market certainly doesn't support your thesis.
Developing native apps today means accepting guidelines
and restrictions that potentially limits what services
can be developed, and how they should look.
Firefox OS aims to extend the freedom of the internet
into the mobile ecosystem, by allowing anyone to easily
create a web app at the same time that they create a web page.
Mozilla can make sure these sorts of APIs are supported across desktop Firefox, Firefox for Android, and Firefox OS, but we're not trying to do this alone -- the goal is for open, inter-operable standards to win.
They certainly think plenty of people are smart enough to contribute (though that was a nice ad-hominen attack on the Android team).
Open-washing. Now there is a great phrase. As if there was a "one true definition" of open, and Android was abusing it.
Could you let me know who controls this definition?
I've been contributing to open source and free software projects for 14+ years now, and they all have had different levels of openness. So I guess half of them were just "open washing"?
It's really great that you can speak about this as if there was general agreement in the community on what it means for a project to be open. Instead, from where I sit, there are different people who think it means different things.
In 2012, development in public is so normal that I think it's completely fair to call Android less open than it could be. It's great that you can get the source code for Android's point releases (sometimes... 3.0 was completely closed-source, because Google said the code was too messy). But a code dump a couple times a year is not fully in the spirit of open source.
 http://www.usenix.org/event/usenix99/full_papers/cranor_f/cr... (pdf)
What differs is whats "open" to you. For my tastes, Android is not open enough to be "_the_ open mobile OS", it is still developed by a corporate entity that could (potentially) decide to not release the next Android release.
For Firefox OS, all development, even before the launch of the OS happens in the open. If the engineering team decides to change something, it is immediately visible. I can see the cards they play. With Android, I cannot. Thats a different level.
Still, thats a very personal thing and only of interest for people that want to integrate with a platform and have certain expectations. I wouldn't start a fight over it, although I will immediately buy a Firefox OS device for philosophical reasons only :), with Android, I did not.
Mozilla Corporation has been growing -- I think it's around ~700 paid folks right now -- but that's still very, very small compared to the number of people employed by its peer organizations at Apple, Microsoft, and Google.
But that's irrelevant, because the Mozilla project, emphatically, is not the Corporation. Mozilla didn't change the world by having the most money, or hiring the most engineers. It changed the world through the contributions of the world. By being born of the open source movement, and recognizing the potential of an open web. Insofar as Mozilla exists at all, it exists to support you, and the open web. Consider getting involved: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/contribute/
1. The corporation will still owe a fiduciary duty to it's shareholders, it's just that it's shareholders are a non-profit. Being a cynical lawyer, while this may be good enough for some people, I'm still cynical. I've seen plenty of non-profits, even in the open source world, go bad. Hell I've helped fund/start non-profits with completely altruistic purposes, like Mozilla does (IE "Helping to open government data and standardize it", or "Provide a completely free non-advertising/non-tracking search engine for non-profit volunteer opportunities"), and seen them go bad and do evil things, despite the best intentions of all the engineers working for them. So while I agree Mozilla is in a better position than most, the idea that simply being owned/responsible to a non-profit makes it "better" is, well, wrong, in my opinion. They go bad just as easily.
2. I used to be involved in some auxillary mozilla projects (bugzilla, etc).
I stopped, because of the politics and development policies.
This was 6-7 years ago (maybe longer, i'm getting old), i'm sure things have changed for the better.
I didn't write that I don't want a corporate entity, I want a fully open product.
But while we're at it: Google is a corporate entity that did decide to keep development closed and showed their willingness to delay source code releases multiple times.
Mozilla (be it company or not) showed the willingness to keep everything in full open from the moment they announced the project.
This comes down to a question of governance.
> They certainly think plenty of people are smart enough to contribute (though that was a nice ad-hominen attack on the Android team).
It came out in the Oracle trial that Google didn't include Sun in the development of Android because they didn't think they were smart enough to contribute anything.
Clearly Android is less open than some OSes, but I don't agree it was open sourced just for PR. There is also a huge benefit in that many other parties have picked up Android as the basis for their products, which would not happen if it were not open source. For example, the kindle, nook, various chinese-market devices, etc.
There isn't always a big benefit to that, Google doesn't directly make money from the kindle to my knowledge. But (1) it prevents another OS from being used in those places and getting a foothold in the market, and (2) it creates a large potential ecosystem of developers and apps, even if things don't just work across that entire ecosystem, they are much closer to doing so than say between Android and Blackberry OS. If versions of Android dominate the market, Google is in a great position to benefit from that, even if "official Android" is just part of that.
That strategy has been a huge success over the last few years. Much more useful than any PR benefits.
I can't really talk about the Oracle trial, but i don't believe that is accurate.
Beyond that, Mozilla's also submitting all of these new APIs for standardization, so that any app you build that uses them could potentially function in all browsers.
I understand they are submitting them for standardization, but do you really think Apple is going to implement a standard which competes with their app store?
If the APIs are useful, and make it through the W3C, then I'd be surprised if they didn't show up in Webkit, and thus on iOS and Android. The Vibration API made it in, after all: https://bugs.webkit.org/show_bug.cgi?id=72010
Also what has been done to make sure they can update any handset running Firefox OS independent of the manufactures and service providers?
I believe an alternative mobile ecosystem not centrally controlled like iOS and Android, but rather with a standardised core and fragmentation / innovation on top is a very exciting model. It's working great for the web, why is mobile fundamentally any different? It beats having to program every application three times from scratch to reach a full market.
How are you going to counteract the interests of Apple/Google and other established players, who are going to hold onto their turf with all the power the network effect will give them?
The biggest missing piece of the puzzle is a webapp store that enables distribution, promotion, and monetization. And you don't even need a native app for this, as the "webapp store" could just as easily be a web page, thereby surpassing e.g. Apple's and Google's 30% cut (what are they going to do, block the web page?).
It's a long shot, but if Mozilla can pull it off it would be a huge leap for openness and consumer choice.
I think you meant 'bypassing'.
I know for a fact that this can be attempted in iOS. I bought a Chinese iPad 2, and it has google.com blocked.
If web standards now are getting performant and expressive enough to compete with dedicated, close-to-the-metal, technology stacks on mobile then the altruistic incentives of the web ecosystem might be enough. The incumbents have their incentives less aligned with users.
I'm not convinced Google will crush attempts at making the web a first class citizen on phones. After having pushed and developed the web for so long I think they already see it as their turf.
Truly open might be messy and a little scary for some people but it means that diversity and open access can thrive.
Android only goes part way towards this idea while still trying to maintain control and influence over several key (money making) parts (I don't blame them). This hybrid approach to being open however doesn't sit well with all users.
Instead of spending time making apps you spend time porting.
Each modified version also has its own proprietary market.
My question is, how will Firefox OS prevent this same problem with a 100% open system
All in all we are very happy with Jekyll (and looking forward to development picking up on it now).