Chris Blizzard on Mozilla

Chris Blizzard, now working at Mozilla and Linux integration, gave a most interesting talk, about Mozilla, and their new mobile initiatives. We managed to speak (but not nearly enough) about the mobile strategy afterwards (i.e. I think limiting it to the n810 or tablet like devices alone, seems myopic; phones are where its at), and I hope the conversation continues. Now for some quick notes.

–, is where products create motion. Been around for just over 10 years now
– Mozilla targets human beings (not developers)
– Focus on protecting open standards
“Creating Joy!” for users
– Avoid feature creep (this is the secret of add-ons) – control the product, and just say, go build an extension. It isn’t just about customising your experience, but its about keeping the core experience joyous and uncluttered.
– Fix real problems on the web (i.e. pop-up blocking)
500 contributors to Firefox 3, 75 Localization teams, 200 people, 11,000 patches, 165+ Million users, added +45 million users in the last 6 months, and doubled in the last year – these are impressive statistics (I for one, am impressed by their developer community)
– Who are we targeting? Read Seth Godin’s blog entry “Why downloading Firefox is like getting into college“. Also, Stephen O’Grady’s Blog “Ode to the Common Man
– Bring the full web to mobile. FF3 is where great technology for mobile exists.
Apple has reset the idea of what the Internet on a mobile should be, thanks to the iPhone. They’ve definitely opened up the market for mobile based browsers. Note, no reason to redesign your website for mobiles in the future…
– Fennec – mobile browser experience
– Performance numbers on the n810 – faster than MicroB and WebKit. Not even optimised for ARM (i.e. no atomic locking), but already at a headstart
– Fennec will support add-ons. Touch and keypad versions are coming soon… Keep in mind all this is just getting started
– Android includes WebKit as part of the base platform. Mozilla on Android? Not quite yet, since Google wants only Java based applications. No mention of native applications yet from Google.
– Not really considered Series 60 (it would be nice), no talk of PalmOS, there is some form of Windows Mobile version, but its not released
– Gecko is hard to embed, in comparison to WebKit. The technology needs to improve, so that the gap that WebKit has, doesn’t widen further

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  1. We’re not limiting ourselves to the N810 at all. It’s just a good test platform that all of us can use. We’ll be on phones and we’re definitely targeting a bunch of different targets. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

  2. Just some other clarifications as well:

    1. We’re looking pretty hard at S60 right now but it’s not clear if we’ll do it yet. It’s a huge platform and I think that we’ll have some discussions with Nokia about if and when we should do it.

    2. We’re going to fix he embedding gap with WebKit. I had a meeting on Friday with a bunch of other hackers who want to work on it. And we’ve got a huge latent demand for this kind of thing. Watch my blog for more information on this. I’ll be putting something up in the next few days.

  3. Also, we totally target developers. In fact, that’s one of our core audiences and why we have such excellent web compatibility.

  4. byte says:

    Hey Chris!

    Yeah, I know, the notes were taken before we talked :) It would make sense to see things on Series 60, but one wonders how long more this will be around as a platform that Nokia themselves want to use?

    The embedding gap with WebKit will be useful. I like the explanation you gave on memory usage and the myths behind it ;)

    I think to clarify the tragetting developers vs. users, Firefox/Thunderbird definitely targets users and its ease of use…

    BTW, if you posted up your slides, the notes would be a lot more “coherent”, as I wrote them up as there were slides (while you were talking)

    Hope you had a good flight home, and we definitely should talk more about Fennec and the mobile web. The mobile web, is generally *very hot* in Asia-Pacific (in fact, if you take your cues from Japan, or Hong Kong, it realistically is the web nowadays)

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