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Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Mozilla Works On Chrome-like Web OS

Mozilla has proposed a project called "Boot to Gecko" [] (B2G) to pursue the goal of building a standalone operating system for the open web.

"Mozilla believes that the web can displace proprietary, single-vendor stacks for application development. To make open web technologies a better basis for future applications on mobile and desktop alike, we need to keep pushing the envelope of the web to include --- and in places exceed --- the capabilities of the competing stacks in question," a group of Mozilla developers wrote on a new wiki page about the project.

"We want to take a bigger step now, and find the gaps that keep web developers from being able to build apps that are --- in every way --- the equals of native apps built for the iPhone, Android, and WP7."

The new project is going to require work in a number of areas, according to Mozilla's developers:

- New web APIs: build prototype APIs for exposing device and OS capabilities to content (Telephony, SMS, Camera, USB, Bluetooth, NFC, etc.)
- Privilege model: making sure that these new capabilities are safely exposed to pages and applications
- Booting: prototype a low-level substrate for an Android-compatible device
- Applications: choose and port or build apps to prove out and prioritize the power of the system.

The team will release the source [] in real-time, take all successful additions to an appropriate standards group, and will track changes that come out of that process.

"We aren't trying to have these native-grade apps just run on Firefox, we're trying to have them run on the web," the team said.

The goal appears similar to one that Google cited when it initially started work on Android.

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