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on Thursday, 04 August 2011

Is that a cloud in your pocket .... Mozilla develop Boot to Gecko (B2G)

Like an excited child at Christmas, I ripped open the packaging of my new Android smartphone and was a bit disappointed by the tiny package I found ... but what a world it opened up to me!  Having played around for a couple of months I can definitely see the future in slim clients using web-based clients - which is exaclty what Mozilla are proposing in the way of an open-source lightweight mobile operating system quirkily named Boot to Gecko (B2G).

While you may have a mini computer in your pocket, that might not always be the case in the future.  Allow yourself to imagine the potential if everything you did on your phone ran 'in the cloud' via web-based apps which you could access anywhere, from any phone.

Dropped your phone down the loo?  No problem, just borrow a friends, log in, and you're up and running!  Chromebooks brought this functionality to laptops and I believe that the Mozilla project known currently as Boot to Gecko (B2G) might bring this kind of concept to the world of mobile communications.

Clearly there will be strong resistance to such a move from the likes of Apple and Microsoft as software will no longer be tied to a particular device - perhaps now is the time to start getting your head around html5 and web technologies in readiness!

It is rumoured that Mozilla intend to draw on the slightly bloated Android OS loosely based on Linux for inspiration, but slim it down significantly.  At least this would provide them with a starting point which works and is pretty well tested.  The other plus is that Mozilla will be releasing their source code all at once, to everyone, rather than in stages ala Google.

It will be interesting to see, from a web designers perspective, whether web designers will become app developers when this kind of technology comes into being!

Note: No gekcos were harmed in the writing of this article.


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