NON-PROFIT SOFTWARE OUTFIT Mozilla has revealed plans to build an open source mobile operating system (OS) codenamed Boot to Gecko (B2G).
The organisation builds one of the most popular web browsers in Firefox and is jumping into the mobile OS space. When B2G is complete it will compete with Android, IOS and Windows Phone 7.
Mozilla said, "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."
"To that end, we propose a project we're calling Boot to Gecko to pursue the goal of building a complete, standalone operating system for the open web. It's going to require work in a number of areas."
These areas include web application programming interfaces (APIs) for capabilities such as telephony, camera, USB and near field communications. A privilege model will ensure that these APIs are "safely exposed to pages and applications".
Mozilla also sees the need to prototype a low-level substrate for Android devices. Applications need to be chosen and ported or new ones built to test and prioritise the power of the system.
The project is in its very early stages still but nevertheless the ball is rolling and Mozilla is known for getting things done quickly, such as its rapid development versions of Firefox.
Mozilla is keen to keep things out in the open and Andreas Gal, a researcher at Mozilla said, "We want to do Boot to Gecko the way we think open source should be done. In the open, from day 1, for everyone to see and participate." µ