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back to article Mozilla picks JavaScript titan Eich to lead charge against 'Droid, iOS

JavaScript daddy and Mozilla chief technology officer Brendan Eich is taking over Firefox’s dive into mobile as the open-source shop hits an important juncture. He’s taking over as Mozilla fights for the hearts and minds of devs who might once have defaulted to Firefox, but are now being dazzled with open-source choices. As CTO …

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Trollface

Eich developed JavaScript for Netscape’s Navigator, for which we thank him

That's the royal 'we', right?

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Re: Eich developed JavaScript for Netscape’s Navigator, for which we thank him

I thank the author of NoScript a bit more.

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Devil

No surprise

stuck on a quarter of web surfers with the baton handed to Google’s Chrome.

If Google plastered ads for Firefox on everything, as they do with Chrome, I'm sure the market share would be higher.

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Unhappy

Re: No surprise

The latest is when Flash auto-updates. That'll give them about 80%.

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P_0

Oh dear. HTML 5 apps. That right there, be itself, could be the reason for an epic fail.

Not that HTML 5 is bad, but hordes of Java/Objective-C developers probably aren't going to reset their brains into HTML 5 mode. I think the HTML5 evangelists, who trumped up its abilities no end, have sold Firefox OS down the river.

They really need to stick the Dalvik VM on top of it, if it's technically and legally possible.

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Given that people had to reset their brains to switch to Android/IOS (Android may use Java, but the set of libraries is completely different, and not compatible with non-mobile Java, or indeed non-Android mobile Java), I'm not sure support one specifc language is any more a problem than every other mobile platform which does the same. And HTML5 is at least a good contender for something that truely is cross-platform, running on all mobile and non-mobile devices.

Even with mobile platforms supporting native code with other languages like C++, it seems that most people prefer to rewrite applications in the "officially approved" language and API.

Having said that, I think it would be a shame if Tizen and FirefoxOS don't support other languages at all, as this does make porting things an awful lot easier.

Compatibility with Android is more if a company wants to sell this as a successor to Android (e.g., it would be important for Samsung, if they ever want to switch from Android to Tizen as their flagship OS).

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P_0

Re: Java

Mozilla should definitely support Java as well as Javascript/HTML 5.

There are many Java devs out there and many of those android devs (Dalvik). So why not? It seems the obvious architectural decision. Support Java. Also support HTML 5.

I agree (see my post), but I can see why they wouldn't want to use Java, if it means compromising anything to Oracle. And using the Dalvik VM means being a knock-off of Android. It basically would be android. Plus I think Mozilla has been brainwashed by HTML5 gurus.

But they do need a "native" development platform somehow. Perhaps QT. But since Tizen are doing that, there wouldn't be much to distinguish Firefox OS from the competition.

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Boffin

Re: Java

Plus I think Mozilla has been brainwashed by HTML5 gurus

If it wasn't for Mozilla's righteous and relentless push for standards adherence by browser companies over the last decade we'd all still be writing crappy code that only works in IE5.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Java

Unfortunately java is now an attack vector.

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Re: Java

Plus I think Mozilla has been brainwashed by HTML5 gurus

Or they are the HTML5 gurus...

Mozilla are about standards and ideals, and generally hold to them with surprising (read: refreshing) tenacity. They're unlikely to want to build in anything that's even slightly proprietary, and from what I've seen of B2G in the past, it's a very open, standards-based system - exactly what I'd expect from Mozzy.

Besides, it's intended to run on even the lowest-powered smartphones. Adding abstraction layers and VMs doesn't exactly help with that.

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Meh

Re: Java

Nah, Java is a programming language.

Attackers have been targeting one particular Java Virtual Machine; Oracle's.

There are many different JVMs. Most mobile devices have one and NONE of them are Oracle's JVM.

Java, the programming language, is the stuff you type into and build using an Integrated Development Environment.

The JVM is the thing on the computer or device that runs the program and Oracle's JVM is the one with headlining vulnerabilities.

You are not alone in this misunderstanding. Most so-called on-line tech-journalists have no idea of what the difference between a Virtual Machine and a programming language, is.

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Council Of Boskone

Is he located on Jarnevon?

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FirefoxOS

Haven't googled yet, anyone know if they're planning a desktop version?

Only I've got a spare older desktop that would be great for testing that out...

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If I Made Smartphones

...or tablets, since a closed OS like Android or even iOS actually makes sense for a device that connects to the telephone network;

I'd offer one that could boot up into Tizen, Sailfish, Ubuntu for Smartphones, or the Firefox OS. Because I think that a tablet that is also a "real computer" is a very important product category, something that meets a real need... but that need won't be met if we have to wait for the market to pick a winner from such a crowded field.

The more likely result is that they'll all fail. They need, instead, to join forces.

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Anonymous Coward

We regularly hear that the app stores are the driving force behind mobile OS's.

Lovely phone, but no apps, ain't going to go down well.

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Anonymous Coward

exactly

Exactly. There is not enough room in the market or time in a development team's schedule to add another platform to their list. Company I worked for recently was making apps for Android, iOS, legacy BB, and hadn't even started designing apps for Win8, due to no time, not depth in the team to work on more platforms and management's decision to just concentrate on the two biggest markets. This OS would fly completely under the radar.

It's easy to say, "hire some HTML5 devs then", until you do the maths. It's just too big of a gamble for most small/medium sized development companies that aren't rolling in cash.

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Anonymous Coward

Eich!

The end of the beginning of the end and the beginning of the end of the end.

Methinks "be" embodies all that's wrong with Mozilla... a corporatesque management clique strutting around bugzilla wailing "IE parity" while crushing innovation with "wontfix". Ug. Must keep the bug numbers down!

Open projects, in particular, need energetic and enthusiastic management to inspire innovation and collaboration, not some quazi-balmer despots stamping on anyone who isn't readily beaten into compliance. I'm not sure that's a particularly wise tactic even in proprietary circles, when exercised on paid minions... but I KNOW it's cyanide to a "community" project... as Mozilla once was.

As far as I can tell (it's been a while but I don't think it has improved!), there's very little left to Mozilla other than those Google employs... and they'll all evaporate the moment Google tires of it's little IE wannabe.

RIP Netscape.

/exasperated rant

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