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Mozilla Handing Out Free Firefox OS Developer Phones To Bolster App Marketplace

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the planting-the-seeds-of-openness dept.

Mozilla 53

MojoKid writes "Is the world really ready to shift from native apps to HTML5 Web apps? Probably not, at least not in North America yet, but developing nations may see it differently. That's the hope with Firefox OS, a web-based operating system that's (in theory) a lot more open. Of course, one needs only look at Microsoft's battle to get Windows Phone into a place of competition to realize that gaining market share is no easy task, which is why Mozilla will soon be handing out Firefox OS developer phones in order to bolster that. The company's goal is to get app builders to build for Firefox OS, so Mozilla is sending out free Preview handsets for folks to tinker with."

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goog territory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43700399)

very soon, when it gets some traction, goog will hav its presence with the ominous search box

Re:goog territory (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about a year and a half ago | (#43700803)

very soon, when it gets some traction, goog will hav its presence with the ominous search box

More importantly, will we have the ability to prevent IMEI from accompanying cookies, and the ability to remove cookies selectively? Ideally, the various Firefox add-ins which automate deletion would be installable, such as BetterPrivacy, DoNotTrackMe, Facebook Blocker, and Self-Destructing Cookies and so forth; not just the ad blockers like AdBlock Plus and its ilk. Ideally, these add-ins for the Firefox browser would work at the phone level for Firefox OS, not merely for a single browser. The Google search box need not be such a bad thing, if you don't allow cookies (and can prevent IMEI and suchlike from accompanying cookies).

Maybe the Flashblock plugin would not be needed, if the Firefox phone also does not support Adobe's Flash abomination.

Re:goog territory (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about a year and a half ago | (#43702091)

Never heard of IMEI in cookies, is that in IOS, Android, others? What is you use Firefox on Android or some other browser?, and why can applications read IMEI in the first place.
Honest question, I don't have a smartphone. Can a website read that IMEI, store it themselves and then give it to a three-letter-agency or a local dictatorship's secret police?

But do they fit in my rectum? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43700415)

are they suitable for carrying in my rectum?

Re:But do they fit in my rectum? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43701091)

are they suitable for carrying in my rectum?

With as stretched out as your rectum is you could carry a baseball bat and a phone in there. Dude you make the goatse receiver look tight.

Sort of. It is called.... (0)

niftymitch (1625721) | about a year and a half ago | (#43700437)

Is the world ready to move...? Sort of!

It is called windows 8.

Win8 is full of JavaScript and it is designed to hold more as best I can tell.

Recall the litigation between Microsoft and Netscape. Well MS has done the same trick just not tied to a browser.

JavaScript is a POS in many ways but the modern versions with JIT and sandbox wrapper and security model may be sufficient.

I just wish a better language had been called on for the task.

Re:Sort of. It is called.... (3, Insightful)

davydagger (2566757) | about a year and a half ago | (#43700471)

why don't they just use python for the high level stuff. Its a great stable, fun, easy to program, powerful language.

heck its already cross platform, it runs on windows, osx and linux, with native support for just about all interfaces and toolkits.

LOL...Python (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43700507)

Yes...let's use the cripple the project with the shittiest language currently in existence.

We are still wasting time cleansing projects of mountains of shit Perl code thanks to teenage dumbfucks ten years ago babbling about Perl being "a great stable, fun, easy to program, powerful language"

Re:LOL...Python (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year and a half ago | (#43700573)

Do you know of any other languages that start with a "P"?
Something like "Python" perhaps?

Re:LOL...Python (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#43700593)

Great, let's choose the least performant language, with code that can be mangled into failure by copy and paste problems. That would be a great idea.

Javascript ain't perfect. But what is?

Re:LOL...Python (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43700783)

Assembly language.

Re:LOL...Python (1, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | about a year and a half ago | (#43700921)

code that can be mangled into failure by copy and paste problems.

That's a feature to prevent terrible copy-paste programmers from soiling the community. As it's apparent, it works.

By the way, languages aren't more or less "performant", there are just faster and slower implementations. Pypy is easily at the level of V8.

Re:LOL...Python (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#43701751)

By the way, languages aren't more or less "performant", there are just faster and slower implementations. Pypy is easily at the level of V8.

Oh good. One incomplete implementation that only works on x86 and x86-64 (the architectures where performance matters least, since you tend to have so much of it in modern machines) is easily at the level of a can of spiced tomato juice. You really showed me.

Re:LOL...Python (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43701291)

Javascript ain't perfect. But what is?

Lisp.

Re:LOL...Python (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43702277)

+1

Re:LOL...Python (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about a year and a half ago | (#43701453)

Yes...let's use the cripple the project with the shittiest language currently in existence.

But enough about JavaScript...

Re:Sort of. It is called.... (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#43701041)

why don't they just use $_MY_FAVOURITE_LANGUAGE for the high level stuff. It's a great stable, fun, easy to program, powerful language.

And would that be Python 2.7.4, or Python 3.2.4, or Python 3.3.1?

Re:Sort of. It is called.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43701243)

Fanboys.

I don't know what's so great about Python. And I use it daily.

Re:Sort of. It is called.... (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year and a half ago | (#43701431)

I don't know what's so great about Python. And I use it daily.

Same here. A major drawback of javascript is lack of strong typing. Python is just as bad.
Javascript is better for snippets.
Python is better for scripts.
Neither is ideal for large, robust applications.

Re:Sort of. It is called.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43702267)

Probably the fact that it enforces style on you so beginning programmers get used to making the code look reasonably presentable.

I personally both loath and despise it because you shouldn't have to know a language in order to read it. My skills with C aren't particularly good, but I can follow properly written code without too much trouble. Python, OTOH, hides so much of the syntax in white space that it's hard to follow unless you know the language.

Re:Sort of. It is called.... (1)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about a year and a half ago | (#43702199)

why don't they just use python for the high level stuff. Its a great stable, fun, easy to program, powerful language.

heck its already cross platform, it runs on windows, osx and linux, with native support for just about all interfaces and toolkits.

Because Python != Java Script. I don't even know that Python runs in Firefox, but I could be wrong...

Linux on the hand-top (1)

IntentionalStance (1197099) | about a year and a half ago | (#43700491)

I'd love to see more diversity in this space but I think that Google is winning the battle. Chrome as a browser is pretty cool and Android as an OS is huge. I'd be surprised if Firefox can fight them off.

It's so cool to see how well Chrome works with (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43700551)

MathML [htmlpad.org]

Re:Linux on the hand-top (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43700627)

I'd love to see more diversity in this space, but BlackBerry is winning the battle. BlackBerries are pretty cool and Palm as an OS is huge. I'd be surprised if Apple can put up any fight.

Re:Linux on the hand-top (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43701077)

I can't even think about using Chrome until it can support using a large amount of tabs in a decent way -- when you can no longer read tab titles because it keeps squashing them up, then it becomes unusable. Chrome may do some things better, but Firefox still has the better browser IMO.

Re:Linux on the hand-top (1)

thatkid_2002 (1529917) | about a year and a half ago | (#43701171)

So, why is Google winning?

Good hardware support allowing any manufacturer to have a stab? Well FirefoxOS bases off Android so it has all that hardware support down pat - and the rest of the OS is similarly open. App support? Well which has more apps - the web or Android? So Firefox has this down-pat (porting existing web apps is trivial).

FirefoxOS is also choosing not to take Android head-on in the first-world market but rather edging in via poorer countries. So it's not so much fighting Android off rather than pushing Android aside.

I for one welcome FirefoxOS because it already supports CalDAV out of the box, and I expect CardDAV is not so far off. It already has pretty much everything I ask of a smart phone (though no word on Pebble support yet).

Re: Linux on the hand-top (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43701591)

Poorer countries? They're so far advanced in terms of technology adoption and creation that North America is almost laughable. Yes there's poverty, yet remember that western countries and Europe outsource their work to said poorer countries.

Firefox may be targeting those countries first to push adoption to western countries via the outsourced model. Something like - develop the capabilities offshore and then promote adoption since western countries outsource to 'poorer' nations anyway.

Re:Linux on the hand-top (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43702685)

Wow, I develop software for a living but I must be losing my geek edge because I have no idea what CalDAV or CardDAV or Pebble are. I just like to make calls or run my apps on my phone.

Windows Service (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | about a year and a half ago | (#43702003)

GTalk, Chrome all of them install Windows Services. Why does a browser or a chat application need a Service running all the time? I uninstalled both when I realized this.

Re:Windows Service (1)

Rob_Bryerton (606093) | about a year and a half ago | (#43702971)

GTalk, Chrome all of them install Windows Services. Why does a browser or a chat application need a Service running all the time?

I think the main reason is that there is no standard mechanism to provide automated updates in Windows, unless the software happens to come from Microsoft, so every app that provides that functionality typically installs a service to check for, download, and apply updates. Contrast w/Linux where you have package managers & repos, and OS X where there's Software update (for all Apple software and 3rd party wares purchased thru the App store) in addition to a 3rd party framework (can't think of the name ATM) that tons of applications use...

Re:Windows Service (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | about a year and a half ago | (#43703339)

I think the main reason is that there is no standard mechanism to provide automated updates in Windows, unless the software happens to come from Microsoft, so every app that provides that functionality typically installs a service to check for, download, and apply updates.

That's rubbish. Other than google products, I don't see any other products installing services to check for updates.

Firefox & Pidgin seem to manage well enough without installing services.

Re:Windows Service (1)

mirix (1649853) | about a year and a half ago | (#43706257)

Back when I quit using windows, adobe had one, even if you only had acrobat reader, IIRC.

Countless others that don't come to mind right now, though. Uh. java, for one.

Sorry, Mozilla. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43700515)

You guys were cool back in the days of IE6 and Windows XP, but you jumped the shark a long time ago. Your bloated FirePig browser isn't the darling it once was and now you're releasing another "me too" mobile phone platform. I'd much rather see you just fade out into obscurity than to watch your pathetic attempts at staying relevant. Just go away. You aren't needed anymore.

We forgive you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43700545)

and your suggestion is declined.

Re:Sorry, Mozilla. (4, Funny)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year and a half ago | (#43700687)

Now now Larry we talked about this - the irony of a Google exec posting anonymously will hurt the stock if the press gets wind of it.

Re:Sorry, Mozilla. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43700939)

Richard, we know you don't even use a web browser at all. You send mail to a demon which runs wget and mails the page back to you. Put down the keyboard, stop trolling, and pick up a razor. Careful now.

Re:Sorry, Mozilla. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43700845)

I applied for a free phone with a "great app idea" even though I have no intention of delivering said app to Firefox OS (maybe to Android). I'll take a free phone though. I'll wipe it and put Android on it.

Re:Sorry, Mozilla. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43702281)

Bloated? Firefox has the lowest memory utilization of any of the major browsers.

My biggest complaint is the organizational ADHD which leads them to not bother to finish anything.that they start. If they'd focus on their browser they wouldn't be hemorrhaging users the way that they are.

Well-intentioned, but not safe or trustworthy. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43700533)

Frankly, I have no faith at all in the security of HTML5.

Come back to me in 5 years when it has had enough cycles of exploitation and repairs, but today it's just in a state of "Let's bring back all the security problems of ActiveX and the first five years of Flash, but we'll pretend they're fine because it's an open language (though subject to implementation variances)."

sit on my LAP and I'll YO HO HO like a pirate (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43700751)

I want to piss on this phone

I want to lick it and piss on it

lick and piss lick and piss

LICK AND PISS DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND?

never touch my WOODEN LEG

the chair is against the wall

5090 4030 2050

Geeksphone consistently sold out (1)

kevin805 (84623) | about a year and a half ago | (#43700789)

This seems a bit unnecessary since there's enough demand to keep Geeksphone sold out.

Maybe those aren't getting into the hands of developers, but given that the phones are definitely sub-par for someone who just wants the latest and greatest, I would expect most are going to the people they are intended for.

Re:Geeksphone consistently sold out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43700831)

Sold out means nothing if you don't have actual numbers. How many Firefox OS has Geeksphone sold? 5, 50, 500, 500 mln?

Dons fire retardant suit, then says ... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43701069)

I for one plan to use it just because it's not Apple or Google.

Put simply:
I like the idea of not having Apple or Google know every little fucking thing about my life.
Where I am. What apps I use. Where I spend my money. What I browse. Who I call. Who I text. etc, etc.

Oh, I know I will be attacked by the Apple & Google zealots, which is why I'm posting anonymously despite being an avid Slashdot member for many, many years.

Some Q&A in anticipation:

1. But Apple & Google don't give a rats about an insignificant person
I don't give a toss -- I don't want to be a record in their database. It costs them nothing to record this information.

2. But your ISP / telco knows just as much information. If not more!
Not true, I often use a proxy.
As for my telco: they know my call / text history, perhaps the sites I browse when I browse on my phone, but nothing else. Email is over secure connection.

3. With a little effort, all this information can be gathered about you anyway
Fine, but why should I make it easy on them?

Ultimately, those who persecute me can continue to worship at the altar of Apple / Google. Just let me be.

Re:Dons fire retardant suit, then says ... (1)

thatkid_2002 (1529917) | about a year and a half ago | (#43701303)

You're not alone.

Though, I also like FirefoxOS on its own merit. It's a great idea and it has a great interface. I also refuse to spend over $250 on a phone so it's also great to have my budget catered for.

I really want a phone that gives me CalDAV and CardDAV out of the box with no app in-between (ala Android). I looked in the simulator and CalDAV is already there - just give it the URL, user name and password and Bob's your aunty. I would even help implement CardDAV support if I wasn't so busy with uni work. I haven't check out the email client yet.

On the subject of privacy: it's sad that people assume that if you want privacy you're a conspiracy nut or a criminal/terrorist.

Re:Dons fire retardant suit, then says ... (2)

corychristison (951993) | about a year and a half ago | (#43701967)

I'll ross my hat in the ring as well.

I currently use android, and that's pretty much out of necessity. They have the apps I need, its rooted and unlocked.

I really like the idea of FirefoxOS. I hope that when i do get my hands on it, it is as stable as my experience with android has been.

I am concidering picking up the Nexus 4. I hope that I can get FirefoxOS loade up on it.

Thanks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43701121)

Nice post

n/t (0)

TuringTest (533084) | about a year and a half ago | (#43701185)

Posting comment to undo wrong moderation.

Seen the community hype before... (3, Insightful)

cjjjer (530715) | about a year and a half ago | (#43701583)

Funny reading all these comments on how great FirefoxOS will be and how everyone will get access to sub $200 smartphones and how great it will be having an open phone, blah, blah, blah.

People were singing the praise when Google was doing the same thing and look how that turned out. Unless Mozilla or whoever is backing this endeavor can be like Apple and make/distribute their own hardware along with control the underlying OS and how it is bundled with the hardware it will fall the same way as Google did. Telco providers will just implement their own draconian limits on the device (with regards to updates/services) and you all will be no better than you were before.

Re:Seen the community hype before... (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#43701743)

Funny reading all these comments on how great FirefoxOS will be and how everyone will get access to sub $200 smartphones and how great it will be having an open phone, blah, blah, blah.

People were singing the praise when Google was doing the same thing and look how that turned out.

Yes, just look at how it turned out. I spent under $80 all told for an unlocked phone with a 32MB memory card, with a healthy developer community. I don't have to use it with google services at all. I guess FirefoxOS will be great, at least based on your example.

Re:Seen the community hype before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43702893)

Well, of course it was cheap. Something with a 32MB memory card must have been made a decade ago.

Re:Seen the community hype before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43705793)

...yeah, it turned out that google got a few companies to produce successful phones and then went on to dominate the phone OS market.

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