Linux users have always been happy with the sheer amount of choice available to them. When the mobile sector is considered, yes, it does lack in the field of choice when compared to the thousands of distros available for the desktop. Well, mobile users, its time for a treat. Mozilla Foundation’s Boot 2 Gecko project is said to be finalized by Q2 2012.
So, what is Boot 2 Gecko anyway?
Mozilla aptly calls it, “Boot to Gecko (B2G) is an early-stage, exploratory project with the goal of building a complete, standalone operating system for the open Web. It is not a product offering, but if successful, could form the basis for one.”
They aim to defragment the fragmented mobile world with their OS, which sits on top of HTML5 and android. In the scenario of patent wars going on, Mozilla said they will not use Java or Dalvik thus keeping the patent demons away. Have a look at wiki.mozilla.org/B2G to see what mozilla says about B2G.
Another mobile platform? Oh, man!
Be happy developers, B2G is not designed to be another platform. It is actually a project to extend what developers can do with the web, especially on mobile devices. Even apps like phone dialers can be created with HTML5, B2G aims at bringing the web to the palm of your hand so that the web developers are no less than those developing OS-specific stacks. B2G is not intended for applications that will only run on B2G or Firefox, but on any device with HTML5 capabilities, including desktops. After Adobe shut down Flash for mobile devices admitting that HTML5 is the future, it seems Mozilla was far ahead from the beginning, eh?
I don’t get it, so how is B2G helping mobiles differently than HTML5?
You might be wondering, “With HTML5, CSS3, ES5 out there, why exactly do I need B2G?”. Well, here’s the answer, B2G will provide extended device capabilities like Bluetooth and SMS, richer filesystem interaction and a way to tie up these apps together, on top of the unimaginable power of HTML5. It aims to bring improved capabilities for the web platform, so that open web apps can run on any mobile browser regardless of device or platform. Mozilla says, “ That’s an important difference between what we’re doing and proprietary mobile stacks today: we don’t want a competitive advantage for Mozilla, we want a competitive advantage for the Web. “. Mozilla claims B2G will help web developers develop apps which were the cup of tea for OS-specific developers.
Well, where’s all the code?
Mozilla said it will publish B2G’s code as it is developed for developers to contribute. Mozilla is taking the lower levels of code from Google’s Android OS, building a custom User Interface and an application stack based around Firefox’s HTML rendering engine “Gecko”.
How does it look like?
For now, at its early stage of development, B2G’s UI Gaia has not yet been selected a specific look. Ideas about new Uis are constantly popping up at its User Interface page. Have a look at wiki.mozilla.org/B2G/UI if you like.
What exactly do they want?
Quoting Mozilla , “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.”