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Mozilla Firefox Operating Systems

Mozilla Launches Firefox OS 3.0 Simulator 75

Posted by samzenpus
from the try-it-out dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla on Thursday announced the release of Firefox OS Simulator 3.0, polishing all the features in the preview release as well as making a few more improvements. You can download version 3.0 now for Windows, Mac, and Linux from Mozilla Add-Ons. The following features included in the simulator are now functionally stable, according to Mozilla:
  • Push to Device
  • Rotation simulation
  • Basic geolocation API simulation
  • Manifest validation
  • Stability fixes for installation and updates to apps
  • Newer versions of the Firefox rendering engine and Gaia (the UI for Firefox OS)."
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Mozilla Launches Firefox OS 3.0 Simulator

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  • ... why the world needs another mobile OS. I imagine they have good reasons, but I read /., I even read Planet Mozilla occasionally, I support Mozilla's overall mission, and I still have no idea.

    Perhaps a tagline or a some consistent, widespread marketing message would help.

    • by SolitaryMan (538416) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @07:25PM (#43615661) Homepage Journal

      So that we can have truly Free mobile OS?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Android and WebOS are both fully open source, free mobile operating systems.
        • by epyT-R (613989) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @09:03PM (#43616363)

          android is riddled with closed binaries for drivers and shell environments. the shells are one thing as they can be replaced, but the drivers truly hamper maintenance and development on hardware.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Funny, I can download complete source code and assets for Android, compile it and run it on my phone.

            The default Android shell is open source and is probably the best to use compared to vendor proprietary shells. Which drivers aren't open source specifically?

          • by exomondo (1725132)

            android is riddled with closed binaries for drivers and shell environments. the shells are one thing as they can be replaced, but the drivers truly hamper maintenance and development on hardware.

            And why does Firefox OS use the Android kernel? For compatibility with those same closed drivers! FFOS is just as riddled with closed source binaries and you won't prevent OEMs from differentiating by applying closed-source shells just like they do with Android.

          • by spacepimp (664856)
            It would be a near impossibility for hardware/chipset/radio manufacturers to release open source drivers for their hardware (at least in America). It hampers the ability to upgrade these devices at your your discretion and hands it over to the manufacturers, and OEM's and carriers. The same driver issues have hobbled Linux adoption and sometimes feasibility for years. The alternative would be to never release anything and let only the closed source people who could care less about open own the whole mobil
        • by petman (619526) on Friday May 03, 2013 @05:00AM (#43618225)
          There's Android and there's Android.

          1. There's the version of Android maintained by the AOSP that is fully open source.

          2. Then there's the version of Android that Google releases exclusively for its Nexus line of devices. Although it contains some codes common with the open source, AOSP, codes, it also contains some closed source features like Photosphere. Note that Photosphere is not merely an additional application, but Google is marketing is as a part of Android 4.2 released for the Nexus devices. Since Photosphere is closed source, thus this version of Android cannot be said to be open source.

          So, if someone says that Android is open source, he's correct. But if someone else says Android is not open source, he's also correct. They're just talking about different Androids.
          • by iampiti (1059688)
            Could that be the reason that Photosphere is not in the Galaxy s4 despite the fact it has Android 4.2? Or maybe is Samsung trying to distance themselves from Android. It seems Android wasn't even mentioned in the s4 presentation
      • The parent isn't informative, it's incorrect.

        • I just had a thought... I wonder if the OP is so indoctrinated that he/she can't understand how Android, an open source operating system, could be the dominant market leader, as if it's so successful that it must be proprietary or closed.

      • "Open" isn't a selling point to anything more than a tiny sliver of the population. Few people care about "Open", let alone about splitting hairs between how open Android is versus Firefox. It's just not a selling point that is going to garner any momentum. The vast majority are happy with iOS which isn't open, but is easy to develop on and easy for developers to make money on. If Firefox is going to do well, its going to need to have something more interesting going for it than "More open than Android".
    • by SuilAmhain (2819677) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @07:26PM (#43615665)

      It's fairly obvious what they are hoping to do. Same bloody thing they did to the web.

      Try this tagline for size:

      "Hi we are Mozilla and we aim to knock down walled gardens and remove the need to whore every last bit of your privacy just so you can call your mother every now and then"

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 02, 2013 @07:32PM (#43615705)

      Mozilla have an interest in expanding the open web ecosystem. Webkit has a monopoly on mobile (very few mobile devs test on anything more than Android/iOS native browsers), and apps compete directly with web technology for users (Android/iOS rely on non-web or proprietary frameworks).

      Now it could be said that people need the proprietary or non-web platforms to accomplish tasks, but remember that asm.js and webgl and many other technologies are coming to Firefox OS. There's always an argument for not changing, and there's always an argument for legacy, but encouraging open standards and web tech for users is an important goal for Mozilla.

      For users: Because Firefox OS targets lower-spec mobiles than iOS/Android so it will be cheaper (indeed, Mozilla aren't targetting conventional markets).

      For developers: because it uses web technology everywhere (it's like every app is a Phonegap/Cordova app) it will be easier for most developers.

      https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Mozilla/Firefox_OS/Introduction

      • by exomondo (1725132)

        Webkit has a monopoly on mobile

        Soon it will be Webkit and Blink, of course you can have Gecko on Android devices as well. Tools like asm.js, mandreel and emscripten are equally valuable across existing platforms as they will be on Firefox OS. So that's all well and good and it's a neat idea but the question remains: what is the benefit (to the user) of Firefox OS over Android (or anything else)? Why will it be any different to webOS?

    • by war4peace (1628283) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @07:45PM (#43615789)

      Because competition is good. Drives prices down, features up and forces cross-scrutiny.

    • Why shouldn't we? iOS doesn't cater to the less fortunate in society and it's a closed garden.

      Android is a mess, it's insecure, it's developed by a data hungry advertiser and it isn't offering a real alternative for app developers. Android also offers very little for hardware companies. If you're not Samsung then you're fighting over scraps and probably in financial dire straits.

      So I do think it's needed and it relies on web so it's not exactly creating vendor lock-in.
    • by Millennium (2451)

      The reason the world needs another mobile OS is the people making the current ones. Apple wants my money, Google wants my data, and Microsoft wants my patience, and frankly, I'm not inclined to give them these things. That leaves me out in the cold unless another mobile OS comes along.

      • by spacepimp (664856)
        Completely incorrect. Apple/Microsoft and Google all want your money and data and patience. Data is in many ways more valuable than money. FYI AOSP code is open source pull out the parts you don't like and make the OS suit your purposes. There are many ROMs out there that are doing somethign similar Cyanogen to an extent and or replicant. The world doesn't need an armchair RMS, nor do they owe it to do the work for you since you are completely unwilling to offer effort, time or money or data to make what
  • by pbjones (315127)

    battery life is too good.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 02, 2013 @07:38PM (#43615747)
    Unless they have HOSTS file support and a built-in 64-bit html5 HOSTS file editor, I won't use it.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Does it run emacs?

  • Nokia, Nokia, why hast thou forsaken me?

  • Does all the apps need to be HTML5, or can I write apps in C/C++ too, like Android's NDK?

    • by caspy7 (117545) on Friday May 03, 2013 @12:22AM (#43617389)

      FxOS only runs open web standards (HTML, CSS, JS, etc.) - C/C++ not being one of them.
      Any web apps should then be able to run on Android (via Firefox) and in the future Chrome OS, Ubuntu Touch, etc. I say "in the future" because I don't know that everyone has yet settled on an app packaging standard.
      If Firefox OS included C code in apps, among other implications, those apps would not be usable everywhere.

      Currently though, C/C++ code can be compiled via Emscripten to asm.js, a Javascript subset. It will run in any browser, but Firefox is including an optimized module for asm code which gets closer to native compiled speeds than previously seen. It looks as though Chrome may be including their own asm module as well.

      • by doti (966971)

        Thanks for the information.

        I get the cross-platform point of being web-only, but it's still sad if it won't be able to run native code as well.

        I'm about to rewrite my photo management software (currently written in Perl/SDL) so it can be more portable, particularly to Android tablets; and, even more importantly, future-proof. I haven't yet settled for the new language, but C (or C++, if possible) would be the preferred one. (Actually, I would prefer D, but it's not widely supported.)

  • Since Mozilla has embaked upon the quick-turnaround development cycle for FireFox, the browser has become less and less useful for my needs.

    .
    More and more websites have stopped working properly.

    More and more plug-ins have stopped working.

    Since version 18, http proxying has become very problematic, to the point that it is no longer a working function of Firefox.

    So I will ask a question that I have asked previously, what is the benefit to me of the accelerated Firefox development cycle if there are mo

  • This simulator doesn't seem to simulate very well. I installed a couple apps, and wasn't able to interact with them as if it were a phone.

    Though the native apps seem to work alright, and it feels like a modern phone to me.
  • And here I thought for a second that Mozilla was offering a download of a simulator for their 3.0 version of Firefox.

    I believe 3.5 was the last version that added a feature I actually wanted...and that was just the new tab button on the tab bar, which I've since stopped using anyway.

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