Mozilla has revealed its plans to turn the Gecko engine into an open source operating system that is aimed to work on smartphones and tablets.
The new project is called Boot to Gecko (B2G), and its source code will be released to users “in real time,” wrote Mozilla researcher andreas Gal in a forum post. Gecko is the engine that powers the Firefox web browser and the email client Thunderbird. While Google’s Android mobile OS is open source, its main development work does not become available to the public until after Google approves it publication, which is usually a month after.
“We will do this work in the open, we will release the source in real-time, we will take all successful additions to an appropriate standards group, and we 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,” said Gal.
When Gal was asked about the importance of the new Gecko mobile OS, as the world already has an open source mobile OS like Google’s Android, the researcher responds, “Android is not open source in the sense of ‘open technology.’ Android APIs are proprietary Google sauce, not broadly accepted and adopted open web standards. At some point Android used to be at least ‘available source’ where Google would publish secretly / internally developed source code / technology after the fact as products ship, but even those times seem to be over now.” Gal also said that she would love to boot his custom Android OS to his Galaxy Tab 10, but no luck as “Google refuses to release the source.”
The project is still in its early days of development, so we’ll have to wait a little longer for Mozilla to release some updates.
via: Electric Pig