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From: Andreas Gal <g...@mozilla.com>
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Subject: Booting to the Web
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2011 08:49:17 -0700
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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.

We also need a hill to take, in order to scope and focus our efforts.  =
Recently we saw the pdf.js [http://github.com/andreasgal/pdf.js/] =
project expose small gaps that needed filling in order for "HTML5" to be =
a superset of PDF.  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=92re calling "Boot to Gecko" =
[http://wiki.mozilla.org/B2G] (B2G) to pursue the goal of building a =
complete, standalone operating system for the open web.  It=92s going to =
require work in a number of areas.

* 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.

We will do this work in the open, we will release the source =
[http://github.com/andreasgal/B2G] 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.

This project is in its infancy; some pieces of it are only captured in =
our heads today, others aren=92t fully explored.  We=92re talking about =
it now because we want expertise from all over Mozilla -- and from =
people who aren=92t yet part of Mozilla -- to inform and build the =
project we=92re outlining here.

brendan, cjones, gal, shaver=

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From: Ian Bicking <ianbick...@gmail.com>
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Subject: Re: Booting to the Web
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Given this, thoughts about, or reactions, or possible work with to
Webian OS? (http://webian.org/ - built on Chromeless)

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From: Ian McKellar <ian.mckel...@rd.io>
Newsgroups: mozilla.dev.platform
Subject: Re: Booting to the Web
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On Jul 25, 8:49=A0am, Andreas Gal <g...@mozilla.com> wrote:
> * New web APIs: build prototype APIs for exposing device and OS capabilit=
ies to content (Telephony, SMS, Camera, USB, Bluetooth, NFC, etc.)

Yay that's awesome!

> * Booting: prototype a low-level substrate for an Android-compatible devi=
ce;

Why not boot to a more conventional Linux stack? Android brings a lot
of baggage that's useful for building a mobile phone running J*va apps
but does less for bringing up a Gecko. Surely a straight-forward Linux
w/ X would be a simpler, more open way to implement a Gecko-OS.

Ian

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Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2011 13:22:10 -0400
Subject: Re: Booting to the Web
From: Mike Shaver <mike.sha...@gmail.com>
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On Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 12:56 PM, Ian Bicking <ianbick...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Given this, thoughts about, or reactions, or possible work with to
> Webian OS? (http://webian.org/ - built on Chromeless)

As with ChromeOS and other such projects, we'll be looking all over
the place for both inspiration and collaboration.  We're really
focused on the handheld/tablet/mobile experience for this work, and it
looks like Webian is more aiming at the desktop.  It will great if
we're both successful!

Webian's experiences in building APIs for system services seem like a
great place to collaborate, too.

Mike

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Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2011 13:27:30 -0400
Subject: Re: Booting to the Web
From: Mike Shaver <mike.sha...@gmail.com>
To: Ian McKellar <ian.mckel...@rd.io>
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On Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 1:19 PM, Ian McKellar <ian.mckel...@rd.io> wrote:
> Why not boot to a more conventional Linux stack? Android brings a lot
> of baggage that's useful for building a mobile phone running J*va apps
> but does less for bringing up a Gecko. Surely a straight-forward Linux
> w/ X would be a simpler, more open way to implement a Gecko-OS.

We intend to use as little of Android as possible, in fact.  Really,
we want to use the kernel + drivers, plus libc and ancillary stuff.
It's not likely that we'll use the Android Java-wrapped graphics APIs,
for example.  It's nice to start from something that's known to boot
and have access to all the devices we want to expose.  Maybe that's
not the right direction, though, so if someone wants to explore
another direction that'd be just fine.

Our experiences with performance and hardware acceleration on X
haven't been great, and it's a pretty heavyweight component to bring
in.  Are there good drivers for the hardware found in current phones
and tablets?

Mike

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From: Fabrice =?iso-8859-1?b?RGVzcuk=?= <fabr...@mozilla.com>
Subject: Re: Booting to the Web
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On Mon, 25 Jul 2011 13:27:30 -0400, Mike Shaver wrote:

> We intend to use as little of Android as possible, in fact.  Really, we
> want to use the kernel + drivers, plus libc and ancillary stuff. It's
> not likely that we'll use the Android Java-wrapped graphics APIs, for
> example.  It's nice to start from something that's known to boot and
> have access to all the devices we want to expose.  Maybe that's not the
> right direction, though, so if someone wants to explore another
> direction that'd be just fine.

 That's a great and ambitious goal, and in a shorter time frame I'm 
exploring a less disruptive option:
Set fennec to run as your android homescreen, with the homescreen itself 
implemented as a web app, using a couple of additional APIs :
- The openwebapps API (https://developer.mozilla.org/en/OpenWebApps/
The_JavaScript_API)
- An API to list/launch native android apps (based a cleaned up version 
of http://dev.w3.org/2009/dap/app-launcher/)

 With this we can get android users to transition to a web-based solution 
with not much risk : no need to change your ROM for instance.

 Fabrice

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On Mon, 2011-07-25 at 08:49 -0700, Andreas Gal wrote:
> To that end, we propose a project we‚€™re calling "Boot to Gecko" 
> [http://wiki.mozilla.org/B2G] (B2G) to pursue the goal of building a complete, 
> standalone operating system for the open web.

I'm very happy and excited to see this. Awesome! Thank you!

> * Booting: prototype a low-level substrate for an Android-compatible device;

Just curious: Did you evaluate Meego kernel & Wayland in comparison to
Android kernel & Android graphics? Does Android win on driver
availability/quality alone or also on pure technical merit?

What do webOS and Chrome OS use for graphics? Do they ship X or
something that's not X, not Wayland and not the Android graphics layer?

-- 
Henri Sivonen
hsivo...@iki.fi
http://hsivonen.iki.fi/

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Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2011 15:18:50 -0400
Subject: Re: Booting to the Web
From: Mike Shaver <mike.sha...@gmail.com>
To: Henri Sivonen <hsivo...@iki.fi>
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On Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 3:14 PM, Henri Sivonen <hsivo...@iki.fi> wrote:
> Just curious: Did you evaluate Meego kernel & Wayland in comparison to
> Android kernel & Android graphics? Does Android win on driver
> availability/quality alone or also on pure technical merit?

We'll evaluate them, but for right now we want to take advantage of
the work we've already done (and are doing) on Android, and the ease
of getting devices that are known to work.  Specifically, we're
looking at Tegra 2 devices because they have hardware acceleration of
open audio/video formats, and they match what we've got automated
testing running on.

> What do webOS and Chrome OS use for graphics?

I'm not sure -- I don't believe that the graphics stack for ChromeOS
is open, but I might just have missed it browsing the code.  No idea
about WebOS either.

If people want to help identify other good OS/device combinations,
though, that would be welcome.  For now we're going to be doing just
enough work to get to booting to Gecko and then focus higher up the
stack to write the system services (dialer, camera app, etc.) as
locally-cached web applications.

Mike

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From: Robin Berjon <ro...@berjon.com>
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Hi Fabrice,

On Jul 25, 2011, at 19:47 , Fabrice Desr=E9 wrote:
> - An API to list/launch native android apps (based a cleaned up =
version=20
> of http://dev.w3.org/2009/dap/app-launcher/)

I really don't think that using the App Launcher draft as any manner or =
form of starting point is a good idea. The DAP group has it in its CVS =
because it is inherited from the APIs that were submitted to it in the =
beginning, but it's since been abandoned and IMHO for very good reason. =
I don't think that a cleaned up version will get you anywhere =
interesting, you need a completely different design.

The problem with the App Launcher API is that there is pretty much no =
way of making it safe for Web use without making it useless. At the more =
powerful end of this spectrum you can enumerate installed executables =
(how that works is in itself an issue, not to mention how you filter it =
for privacy) and can then run them. I don't think that there is any kind =
of user interface that will make that functionality safe to run from the =
Web. At the other end of the spectrum you can have methods like "launch =
the music player with this". These are typically best served by media =
types and URI schemes.

Of course you could do something like that if the goal were not to make =
the APIs in B2G not be Web-safe. But I don't see the value in this, and =
from reading between the lines I think that the idea is that all of the =
B2G stack be built with Web APIs. Any monkey with enough time can wrap =
every lib on the system with js-ctypes but I don't see much value in =
that. What's hard (and interesting) is to make it work for the Web. =
That's why DAP dropped App Launcher in favour of an Intents/Introducer =
approach.

That's not to say that I don't see value in your proposal of having a =
runtime that can be used on top of an OS rather than requiring a =
complete replacement. I could well be missing something but I see no =
reason why the project couldn't have a minimal OS that's just enough to =
launch the runtime, which in turn could also run elsewhere. But either =
way there's a bit of code to write before such refinements :)

--=20
Robin Berjon - http://berjon.com/ - @robinberjon

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Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2011 17:46:51 -0400
Subject: Re: Booting to the Web
From: Mike Shaver <mike.sha...@gmail.com>
To: Robin Berjon <ro...@berjon.com>
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On Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 5:36 PM, Robin Berjon <ro...@berjon.com> wrote:
> Hi Fabrice,
>
> On Jul 25, 2011, at 19:47 , Fabrice Desr=E9 wrote:
>> - An API to list/launch native android apps (based a cleaned up version
>> of http://dev.w3.org/2009/dap/app-launcher/)

Android apps won't likely run on this system once we're done stripping
it down, any more than Linux applications run on Android, so the
launcher isn't likely to be useful even independent of Robin's
well-articulated concerns.

> That's not to say that I don't see value in your proposal of having a run=
time that can be used on top of an OS rather than requiring a complete repl=
acement. I could well be missing something but I see no reason why the proj=
ect couldn't have a minimal OS that's just enough to launch the runtime, wh=
ich in turn could also run elsewhere.

Whatever we run on top of, we have to bind all these various
capabilities, and many operating systems don't currently expose enough
for us to, f.e., write a dialer app.  We'll want to validate against
multiple operating systems in time, but we have to start somewhere,
ideally where we can hack our way around current limitations in the
lower-level stack.

> But either way there's a bit of code to write before such refinements :)

And how!  Please help!

Mike

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Subject: Re: Booting to the Web
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As a huge Android supporter i dont see why you find the need to do
this.

Android is already a great mobile O.S. that is open source.

It may run native apps but i see no problem with that. Plus, it has a
great browser that is always getting better with each release so it
supports the HTML5 web apps that mozilla (and also google) likes.

If Mozilla wants to support open source and the web in mobile devices
you should better work as much as possible on the Android version of
Firefox instead of trying to create a whole new O.S.

There is no need for another O.S. if you can build a great Firefox app
for an existing open source O.S. that is already out on the market and
growing faster than the closed systems like apple's and microsoft's.

You may think that i may be saying this because i love Android but
there is much logic and reason in my words.

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On Jul 25, 2011, at 5:28 PM, Nick Dafo wrote:

> As a huge Android supporter i dont see why you find the need to do
> this.
>=20
> Android is already a great mobile O.S. that is open source.

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. I would love to boot my custom Android build on my =
Galaxy Tab 10", but no luck, Google refuses to release the source.

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.

Andreas

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From: Zendrael <zendr...@gmail.com>
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Subject: B2G - Meet LeafWeb and Netwix to help you!
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2011 07:24:24 -0700 (PDT)
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Hi!

I am developing the LeafWeb ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2gQcbdHkuU
) and Netwix ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ww1taiLP-k ) systems
since a few years ago and now I believe that I can contribute to the
B2G project. I can give you more explanations about how the system
works and how it let the web interface interact with the O.S. parts if
you want.

And how about starting from the OpenMoko O.S.? I think it could be
more useful than Android. Or even NetBSD as the core of the final
system.

Best Regards


Zendrael
www.zendrael.com.br

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Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2011 10:45:22 -0400
Subject: Re: Booting to the Web
From: Mike Shaver <mike.sha...@gmail.com>
To: Nick Dafo <nickdafomob...@gmail.com>
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On Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 8:28 PM, Nick Dafo <nickdafomob...@gmail.com> wrote:
> As a huge Android supporter i dont see why you find the need to do
> this.

You are not the only one to ask this (implied) question, so I
apologize for not making it clearer in the original post.

> If Mozilla wants to support open source and the web in mobile devices
> you should better work as much as possible on the Android version of
> Firefox instead of trying to create a whole new O.S.

We are certainly going to continue with Firefox on Android.  It's
improving all the time, and in pretty exciting ways.  That's one of
the reasons that we're starting our explorations on Android, in fact.

We don't feel that we can integrate as deeply as we want on stock
Android, for purposes of this project's goals.  We don't want to have
a browser next to the apps, we want to have the apps built with the
web platform, including the system apps like the launcher and the
dialer and SMS app and even the app manager/market itself.

We hope that the resulting APIs and capabilities make their way into
all browsers on all platforms, because they will dramatically increase
the reach of the web; we'll certainly be proposing the successful ones
for standardization, and for in-development feedback.

Mike

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Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2011 15:32:01 +0000
Subject: Re: Booting to the Web
From: ya knygar <kny...@gmail.com>
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> And how about starting from the OpenMoko O.S.? I think it could be
> more useful than Android. Or even NetBSD as the core of the final
> system.

+1 i have proposed http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/SHR
there are misleading info, i think,
that there aren't FLOSS mobile systems
that could compete easily, that's why Android
is here, and it's best and "real" among these "academic"
projects,
i think it's not true, i think Android is pre-installed
(in some - almost firmwared)
on every second mobile by other reasons :)

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Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2011 11:34:08 -0400
Subject: Re: Booting to the Web
From: Mike Shaver <mike.sha...@gmail.com>
To: ya knygar <kny...@gmail.com>
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On Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 11:32 AM, ya knygar <kny...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> And how about starting from the OpenMoko O.S.? I think it could be
>> more useful than Android. Or even NetBSD as the core of the final
>> system.
>
> +1 i have proposed http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/SHR

Please see my post in this thread about OS selection.  Experimental
results for bringing up capable systems on available hardware are
welcome, but abstract advocacy isn't helpful at this stage.

Thanks,

Mike

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Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2011 15:57:25 +0000
Subject: Re: Booting to the Web
From: ya knygar <kny...@gmail.com>
To: Mike Shaver <mike.sha...@gmail.com>, dev-platf...@lists.mozilla.org
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> Please see my post in this thread about OS selection.  Experimental
> results for bringing up capable systems on available hardware are
> welcome, but abstract advocacy isn't helpful at this stage.



I have just read (again) all your posts on topic,
and - still - can't understand how i can help more on Experimental results-
for B2G in current situation..

You'v said
> It's great that you have specific
> desires, and useful for you to contribute to scratching them, but this
> thread is about B2G and not what else Mozilla could be doing.

I think - underlying kernel and platform of B2G so it have  started and
would be mentioned in Mass Media like a Mozilla OS (no, really)
is important enough to
start a separate topic about such an essential aspects,

 would you create one?

if people from B2G team would describe:

what existing OS's you have evaluated for use in B2G
with detail analyze if there where, any -

so we - who talk about existing mobile OS's to build from:
could discuss and help - starting from what You as a Mozilla
OS team have, not from the scratch and own, separate, project.?

Thanks in advance.

On Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 3:34 PM, Mike Shaver <mike.sha...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 11:32 AM, ya knygar <kny...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> And how about starting from the OpenMoko O.S.? I think it could be
>>> more useful than Android. Or even NetBSD as the core of the final
>>> system.
>>
>> +1 i have proposed http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/SHR
>
> Please see my post in this thread about OS selection. =C2=A0Experimental
> results for bringing up capable systems on available hardware are
> welcome, but abstract advocacy isn't helpful at this stage.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Mike
>

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Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2011 13:42:54 -0400
Subject: Re: Booting to the Web
From: Mike Shaver <mike.sha...@gmail.com>
To: ya knygar <kny...@gmail.com>
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On Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 11:57 AM, ya knygar <kny...@gmail.com> wrote:
> and - still - can't understand how i can help more on Experimental results-
> for B2G in current situation..

It's quite possible that you can't, in which case you could wait until
it's possible -- until you can fork something workingish and play with
it, or until you know how hard it is to bring up these other OSes on
modern commodity hardware.  The abstract advocacy isn't any more
useful just because you don't yet have data to provide!

> what existing OS's you have evaluated for use in B2G
> with detail analyze if there where, any -

Assume that there was very little, because our needs (as enumerated a
couple times) are met by this selection.  At this stage of
development, we need "sufficient", not "optimal".  The underlying
kernel is just about the least important aspect of this project, even
if it's something we need early on: how we approach the new APIs,
application interaction model, security model (!), etc. are much more
important.

> so we - who talk about existing mobile OS's to build from:
> could discuss and help - starting from what You as a Mozilla
> OS team have, not from the scratch and own, separate, project.?

My advice is to wait until someone gets something up on one OS -- the
few of us working on B2G now are going to start from Android; a
sideline into starting from ChromeOS might be interesting as well,
since it's a much more open stack -- and then we (incl you) will know
more about what we need, and there'll be something to compare to.

Mike

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Subject: Re: Booting to the Web
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From: David Illsley <da...@illsley.org>
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Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2011 19:44:19 +0100
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Sounds like fun. How radical (or not) do you see it being? i.e. Is the =
first goal to get a bunch of apps with squareish icons on a grid?=20
David

On 25 Jul 2011, at 16:49, Andreas Gal wrote:

>=20
> 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.
>=20
> We also need a hill to take, in order to scope and focus our efforts.  =
Recently we saw the pdf.js [http://github.com/andreasgal/pdf.js/] =
project expose small gaps that needed filling in order for "HTML5" to be =
a superset of PDF.  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.
>=20
> To that end, we propose a project we=92re calling "Boot to Gecko" =
[http://wiki.mozilla.org/B2G] (B2G) to pursue the goal of building a =
complete, standalone operating system for the open web.  It=92s going to =
require work in a number of areas.
>=20
> * 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.
>=20
> We will do this work in the open, we will release the source =
[http://github.com/andreasgal/B2G] 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.
>=20
> This project is in its infancy; some pieces of it are only captured in =
our heads today, others aren=92t fully explored.  We=92re talking about =
it now because we want expertise from all over Mozilla -- and from =
people who aren=92t yet part of Mozilla -- to inform and build the =
project we=92re outlining here.
>=20
> brendan, cjones, gal, shaver
> _______________________________________________
> dev-platform mailing list
> dev-platf...@lists.mozilla.org
> https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-platform

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Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2011 18:13:41 -0400
From: Chris Jones <cjo...@mozilla.com>
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Subject: Re: Booting to the Web
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The goals of the B2G project are lower level, adding new APIs to the web 
platform and realizing them on a standalone OS on real hardware.  Time 
will tell what the impact of B2G (if any) is.

Cheers,
Chris

On 07/26/2011 02:44 PM, David Illsley wrote:
> Sounds like fun. How radical (or not) do you see it being? i.e. Is the first goal to 
> get a bunch of apps with squareish icons on a grid?
> David
>
> On 25 Jul 2011, at 16:49, Andreas Gal wrote:
>
>>
>> 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.
>>
>> We also need a hill to take, in order to scope and focus our efforts.  Recently 
>> we saw the pdf.js [http://github.com/andreasgal/pdf.js/] project expose small gaps 
>> that needed filling in order for "HTML5" to be a superset of PDF.  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" 
>> [http://wiki.mozilla.org/B2G] (B2G) 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.
>>
>> * 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.
>>
>> We will do this work in the open, we will release the source 
>> [http://github.com/andreasgal/B2G] 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.
>>
>> This project is in its infancy; some pieces of it are only captured in our 
>> heads today, others aren’t fully explored.  We’re talking about it now because 
>> we want expertise from all over Mozilla -- and from people who aren’t yet part 
>> of Mozilla -- to inform and build the project we’re outlining here.
>>
>> brendan, cjones, gal, shaver
>> _______________________________________________
>> dev-platform mailing list
>> dev-platf...@lists.mozilla.org
>> https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-platform
>

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