Boot to Gecko: more than open web, open source

By now, most tech sites have talked about Boot to Gecko, following MWC announcement and demos, and how it’s based on standards from the open web to build the entire user interface.

One thing I would like to stress is that more than being tied to the open web, Boot to Gecko is also open source at its core. If you want to build Boot to Gecko today and use it on your phone, you can. Sure, you may have some difficulties if your phone is not a Galaxy S2, but I’m pretty sure the community at large (XDA and others) will soon have a solution for a lot of other phones or if you are skilled enough, you can do it yourself. And that is the great strength of Boot to Gecko’s open source nature.

And that strength is also a major difference with Android. Android is open source, but it also is developed behind closed doors. Boot to Gecko code has been available on github for months. Android 5.0 Jelly Bean, which is expected for the end of the year, has been in development at Google for months too. Want to test it? Want to see the source code? Want to participate? Well, you’ll have to wait for it to be shipped on an actual phone, since Google doesn’t release the source code until then.

2012-02-29 11:11:33+0200

p.m.o

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2 Responses to “Boot to Gecko: more than open web, open source”

  1. Screwtape Says:

    It’s all very well to say “B2G is open, live on Github” *now*, but what about in a year or two when B2G has a brand-name and a reputation? As I understand it, one of the reasons Android is closed is because Google don’t want hardware manufacturers grabbing some buggy, nightly build, shipping it to a hundred million customers, and giving Android a bad name. Alternatively, what happens if a manufacturer approaches Mozilla and says “we’d love to ship B2G on a hundred million devices, but (a) it’ll need some rearchitecting, and (b) we’d like to work with you under NDA so our competitors don’t get wind of what we’re up to”?

    Sure, *you’re* not the guy who makes those decisions, and Mozilla already has experience defending Firefox against impersonators and uncaring distributors… I’m a little worried that a free and open platform just might not be physically possible in today’s telecommunications industry. If it is possible, Mozilla’s definitely the organisation to make it happen, and I wish you all the best.

    Just… I’m not letting myself get my hopes up just yet.

  2. Loco Says:

    How about the hardware? That’s the biggest problem people have with Android devices. It’s a pain to replace the default software system.

    Mozilla based devices will not be any different.

    This a desperate attempt of Mozilla to stay relevant by adopting the same strategy of Google. But i don’t see how your system is any different than Android, WebOS, Tizen, Meego, Mer, and an host of other systems, including those that will appear based on Gnome and KDE as Hardware continue to improved so fast.

    Smartphones and Tablet already processing power to easily replace an averaged Desktop or Laptop.

    Then, why not a full blown OS?

    Just look Asus Transformer line of Tablets to see how powerful they be.

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