Mozilla plans for a mobile OS

by Debbie Clarke

The creators of Firefox are beginning development on a project which they are calling Boot to Gecko or B2G.

As the name suggests, B2G is a mobile OS for devices such as tablets and smartphones which is based on Gecko, the rendering engine which drives Firefox and Mozilla’s email programme Thunderbird. The aim is to create an open web OS which will run web apps without the need for a browser, therefore eliminating the need for OS specific apps.

Although part of the projects development will incorporate lower levels of the Android operating systems coding, much of the coding will be freshly written to enable compatibility with existing hardware. The plan is that all code development will be undertaken openly and shared as soon as it is written; as Gal explained the project should be carried out ”the way we think open source should be done”. The reason behind this open publicising of the project was to find experts who could become contributors to the project.

The project was announced by Mozilla researcher Andreas Gal on the Mozilla discussion forum. Of the project, Gal said it would be “a complete, standalone operating system for the open web” and its main goal he described as “breaking the stranglehold of proprietary technologies over the mobile device world”.

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