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Weekly Status Report, W43/2011

Here's a short summary of Mozilla-related work I've done in weeks 43/2011 (October 24 - 30, 2011):

The landscape of accessing the web has changed a lot in the last years. What we call a "browser" isn't really what that words any more. Nicholas says "a web browser can be characterized as a JavaScript execution environment that happens to have some multimedia capabilities", and I'm trying to refer to Firefox being a "web application runtime" where I can nowadays. While it still happens to support browsing through classic web pages, most of its capabilities, innovations and our work are going into making real applications on the web work as smoothly as possible - and a number of websites people visit are more applications than simple documents nowadays, be it GMail, Facebook, even a number of news sources or other websites that under wraps run complex JavaScript code.
Now there's even stories going around about decoding video completely in JavaScript in a web page! And there's more, with us working on device APIs for the web and ultimately on run device UIs as web apps. This is really a different landscape than in 1998, when Mozilla started.
And even back then, some pioneers in this project had the futuristic vision that application UIs could be done with basically the same technologies as the web - just that HTML itself wasn't ready for it and they created XML-based XUL to do that job, coupled with slightly extended CSS and JS this became a very successful model, as all of the current Firefox, Thunderbird, SeaMonkey and other application UIs are running on that right now. Over the years, a lot of the experience we had doing that could be brought back into the CSS, ECMAScript and even HTML standards so that we are close (but not completely there yet) to driving first-class UI on top of the Open Web. A lot has changed for sure, more is to do there.
As I said last week though, I'm sad a lot of that is being abandoned for our Android versions in the future. I hope enough people in the community will maintain and develop a cross-platform markup-based UI so that we sustain the flexibility to have a mobile Firefox on different platforms than Android - and of course, I hope we'll develop standard HTML to fill the gaps to XUL in terms of UI design, so that B2G-based devices in our future will really rock.
With those two measures, we can make open technology on mobile devices have a chance - with Mozilla power heavily involved!

Entry written by KaiRo and posted on November 1st, 2011 16:14 | Tags: L10n, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Status | 2 comments | TrackBack



Tony Mechelynck

from Brussels, Belgium

KaiRo@Mandelbrot broken link
The link you gave for version 4 of the KaiRo@Mandelbrot addon (with .../addon/addon/... in the URL) is broken. The addon can be found here.
2011-11-03 02:27



Tony, thanks, corrected.
2011-11-03 13:24

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