Mozilla Prepares Its Own Web-Based Operating System
Phoronix: Mozilla Prepares Its Own Web-Based Operating System
Mozilla has announced today they're effectively working on the development of their own operating system. Mozilla "Boot To Gecko" is basically a Gecko-based competitor to Google's Chrome OS operating system. "Mozilla believes that the web can displace proprietary, single-vendor stacks for application development. To make open web technologies a better basis for future applications on mobile and desktop alike, we need to keep pushing the envelope of the web to include --- and in places exceed --- the capabilities of the competing stacks in question."..
Firefox OS? Cute.
I still think these web-centered OSes are at least 5 or 10 years too early. The simple fact is that there aren't enough useful "web apps" out there for you to really do everything that you can normally do with a traditional desktop operating system. And the surprising thing I've come to notice is that, although we are seeing a huge explosion of apps becoming available for Android and iOS, these apps are not web apps -- that is, developers still appear to prefer writing apps to target a platform, rather than the generic web. Part of it may be because of the improved device access you get; part of it may be due to the performance factor; and part of it may be due to force of habit and what people are familiar with.
Basically, if you look at popular (and less-popular) applications on desktop Linux, Windows, OS X, and even Android and iOS smartphones, 80% of the time you just can't get an equivalent app by visiting a URL in your web browser. It just isn't there. Maybe it'll never be.
In a lot of ways this is simply re-inventing the wheel. Some simple tasks such as email and social media work well on the internet because they work hand in hand. More complex software such as OS and it's associated software will take much longer to converse. As much as google like to think they have bright idea's, they don't always catch on. Though the problem here is more likely the reliance on reliable and faster internet. Web-apps have automatic reliance on web connectivity. That simple requirement is enough to break the base line defence on such a constitution.
Phones maybe yes, but not the bulky home PC.... At the rate phones are advancing, they will most definitely be competitive on mobile platforms.... Though in comparison, a silver bullet for the desktop is a big NO.
Look at steam for instance. Let's assume you have 150 games and applications installed via steam. That could easily be 500GB of data. Try re-downloading and re-installing that over a mobile network... Not going to happen. Not for a long while yet.
Mozilla shouldn't fear the Chrome OS, it's a toy neither devs nor the industry is moving to, nor is it needed. The net is not the computer, the net is the net, Sun Microsystems learned it the hard way.
WP7 is dead, not even Nokia has the steam to revive it, Blackberry is dying quickly. Face it Mozilla, it's either iOS or Android, no ifs buts or maybes, just let it go, even Microsoft will let it go sooner or later (and just keep collecting royalties from Android and Linux in general).
yeah, the web based app/os/computer silly euphoria has been a bubble that hasn't burst completely since the dot net era.
Originally Posted by b15hop
The interest in native apps baffles me. As a developer I'd much rather develop an "app" that works across all phones, all desktops, all tablets than have to learn a different language and toolkit for each device. The number of cases where access to the native hardware matters is small. I suspect the real reason why "apps" are popular is developers can charge for them.
Native apps on the android and iOS are just a stepping stone towards completely removing "native" and moving everything into the cloud. Even today the only native apps I have on my desktop are Chrome, VLC and Steam. Netflix is decreasing my need for VLC. And Steam has signed a deal with OnLive so you can bet that one day I won't need a native Steam client to play my games. A few years off, yes. Inevitable, yes.
Mozilla isn't waiting for the sun to set on native apps, they are helping set the playing field.
I seriously doubt you only have those 3. Installing steam implies you also installed at least one game, otherwise there's not much point having steam. As for Netflix, there's a big reason I don't want everything going to the web. I'd like to be able to watch my movies, type my documents etc in my country. The way things are going, most stuff will be inaccessible from outside America.
Originally Posted by leif81
What web app have you created lately that replaces a native app? Even a simple app like a file browser requires lots of system-level apis like posix IO, file attributes, file type/description, access to env vars, (multi threaded) file transfer, you name it.
Originally Posted by leif81
Folks who talk for serious about the web apps about to replace the native ones are imo those haven't tried replacing a few such apps.
Last edited by cl333r; 07-25-2011 at 08:57 PM.
I don't know about that. Depends on the network. Last month I used over 250 GB of data (thank goodness for unlimited data) tethered to the phone.
Originally Posted by b15hop
Out of the 200,000 apps in the android market they're all file browsers? No, many are simple trivia games, travel information, weather, recipe books, etc.
Originally Posted by cl333r
BTW, HTML5 has a file system API.