An Open Web App Store

jsullivan

227

Web developers are expressing interest in an app store model for the Web that would enable them to get paid for their efforts without having to abandon Web development in exchange for proprietary silos, each with their own programming language and SDK, variable and sometimes opaque review processes, and limited reach.

Supporting the needs of Web developers in their efforts to develop websites and apps that aren’t bound to a specific browser and work across the Web is core to Mozilla’s public benefit mission.

And so we’ve been actively exploring what an Open Web App Store would need to look like to ensure the long-term health and vitality of the Web as an incredibly open and accessible platform for innovation.

What does it mean to be an Open Web App Store? As a starting point, we are proposing a set of high-level principles.

An Open Web App Store should:

  • exclusively host web applications based upon HTML5, CSS, Javascript and other widely-implemented open standards in modern web browsers — to avoid interoperability, portability and lock-in issues
  • ensure that discovery, distribution and fulfillment works across all modern browsers, wherever they run (including on mobile devices)
  • set forth editorial, security and quality review guidelines and processes that are transparent and provide for a level playing field
  • respect individual privacy by not profiling and tracking individual user behavior beyond what’s strictly necessary for distribution and fulfillment
  • be open and accessible to all app producers and app consumers

Let’s start the discussion.  What do you think is important?

227 responses

  1. Tiago Sá wrote on :

    I’m not sure I understand the issue. Are web developers (probably Flash programmers) worried that HML5 and CSS3 will run them out of business?

    Oh! The shortsightedness!!!

    It’s true that if we can “view source” of all client side web apps we’ll have more people simply copying what’s there for the taking (which is awesome, so shut up!), while with Flash we really couldn’t do that on a regular basis. But it’s also true, and, most importantly, this comes at the same time, or shortly after, that server side technology will gain importance, and the complexity of web development will increase a lot. Not because it’s harder to program with the new open technologies, but because, thanks to the widespread distribution of the web applications’ source code, websites will start to be more and more complex, faster and faster, and the demand for better and improved websites will increase a lot.

    So instead of being worried that people might “steal” (oh NOOOOOO!!!) your crappy flash app, you should start worrying that if you don’t start “stealing” yourself, you WILL lag behind and you will be left in the desert, not knowing how to keep up with the web, and not being able to make a living out of web design.

    Nothing is changing for professional developers, in the end. It’s only the users and small-time developers that are benefited with this whole affair.

  2. Endyl wrote on :

    It makes some sense, because the internet with a search engine doesn’t actually ensures quality.

    A store with strictly reviewed items might help some people. Of course not the ones who are geniuses, because they can make their fortune but the bit more ordinary developers who might only need a little help, exposure.
    And certainly “open” helps our race too as a whole. Knowledge can not and should not be kept secret. It’s here for everyone of us. Some will never understand it but some might give back much more than he/she took.

    I like the idea!

    Just to make a real response and answer the question, I basically agree with the points you listed.
    I would add continously reviewing existing content, because as technology develops some code becomes “waste”. I suppose it’s obvious, but I think it’s also necessary to express.

  3. Chris wrote on :

    What problem are you trying to solve with an App Store? Is it discovery? – if so, I would argue social networks and search engines are a better solution than an app store. Is it editorial controls? – if so, I would argue an independent review site, perhaps via Drumbeat, would be better. Is it payments? – if so, I would argue integrating payments into the browser itself, as per Firefox Account Manager, would be better.

    The most important part of the open web is not HTML, CSS or Javascript, it’s the URL. Giving everything a URL accessible to browsers, feed readers, crawlers, etc is the best guarantee against a walled garden. But if everything in an app store has it’s own URL, isn’t it just a collection of websites?

  4. Eugene wrote on :

    Everyone and their mother are trying to copy Apple’s AppStore idea. I would understand Google and Microsoft trying to do it, but Mozilla??? Yes, I am aware that being able to easily browse through the web apps and being able to search and find a web app instead of a website or a windows/macos/linux program is very good usability wise, but an AppStore isn’t the only solution. The web itself is distributed, so why not in the spirit of the web have a catalogue of web apps instead of a store? The developers can host their apps themselves, on their own servers, and the users can use different catalogues to browse and search for web apps.

  5. TooTallSid wrote on :

    Since mobile devices are evolving to be the preferred payment platform, security is essential. The Apple App Store has a mechanism to vet, deploy and revoke apps. Whatever an open store looked like, some mechanism to achieve the same functionality is needed. There can be multiple stores but they all need to inspect apps for malware and have a way to track and revoke them.

    As Michael Barrett, PayPal, once observed, if you don’t want malware on your computer, don’t click any links in your email. He said this tongue in cheek, knowing that not clicking links is not practical. But it would solve the problem If I want to run an app on my iPhone, I have to get it from Apple. That helps me feel safe.

    The security model in PCs and Macs is broken. Period. So far, the iPhone is holding up, but I find it hard to believe that there isn’t some malware lurking in one or more of the 200,000+ apps available for it. However, Apple can disable any one of them, very quickly.

    So again, let’s copy this deployment model and make it more for a multivendor marketplace, much like we have many pharmacy’s that dispense potentially dangerous drugs. (“Canadian” pharmacy’s, too?! :O). It will be some combination of technology and business practices.

  6. Pingback from Google Chrome Getting App Store (Maybe Mozilla, Too?) | Google Adsense on ::

    [...] Mozilla may be considering jumping on the bandwagon, too (via). Right now, they’re just reviewing the underlying principles of an “open web [...]

  7. Pingback from enumID — Blog — Google Chrome Getting App Store (Maybe Mozilla, Too?) on ::

    [...] Mozilla may be considering jumping on the bandwagon, too (via). Right now, they’re just reviewing the underlying principles of an “open web [...]

  8. Pingback from FB Telephone Services — Blog — Google Chrome Getting App Store (Maybe Mozilla, Too?) on ::

    [...] Mozilla may be considering jumping on the bandwagon, too (via). Right now, they’re just reviewing the underlying principles of an “open web [...]

  9. Pingback from Amazon Blogger Widgets | The Blogging Expert on ::

    [...] An Open Web App Store :: The Mozilla Blog [...]

  10. Pingback from Blogger Tutorial – How to Start Blogging with Blogger | The Blogging Expert on ::

    [...] An Open Web App Store :: The Mozilla Blog [...]

  11. Pingback from Q&A: Can somebody help me identify this bar that appears on Blogs? | The Blogging Expert on ::

    [...] A&#1495 Open Web App Store :: T&#1211&#1077 Mozilla Blog [...]

  12. Pingback from How to create a blog with Blogger | The Blogging Expert on ::

    [...] A&#1495 Open Web App Store :: T&#1211&#1077 Mozilla Blog [...]

  13. Pingback from Can Fasting Reset Hormone Issues #571 on ::

    [...] An Open Web App Store :: The Mozilla Blog [...]

  14. Pingback from Blackberry Bold Top 3 Free Themes | The Blogging Expert on ::

    [...] A&#1495 Open Web App Store :: T&#1211&#1077 Mozilla Blog [...]

  15. Pingback from Mozilla Ponders an "Open" Web App Store (Implying that Google Chrome’s Store Isn’t?) | SKZYİZ on ::

    [...] post on the Mozilla blog yesterday has the company, makers of the Firefox Web browser, pondering the creation of an [...]

  16. Pingback from Can anyone help me get traffic to my blog? | Web Traffic Siphon on ::

    [...] An Open Web App Store :: Th&#1077 Mozilla Blog [...]

  17. Pingback from How to get FREE money making online… | Urgent Money on ::

    [...] An Open Web App Store :: Th&#1077 Mozilla Blog [...]

  18. Pingback from How do I give my blog on blogger a pimped out title? | The Blogging Expert on ::

    [...] A&#1495 Open Web App Store :: T&#1211&#1077 Mozilla Blog [...]

  19. Pingback from Google Chrome Getting App Store (Maybe Mozilla, Too?) | webmarketingexperts.com.au | webmarketingexperts.com.au | on ::

    [...] Mozilla may be considering jumping on the bandwagon, too (via). Right now, they’re just reviewing the underlying principles of an “open web [...]

  20. Pingback from Are web hosting and blog hosting two different things? | Effective Affiliate Strategies on ::

    [...] An Open Web App Store :: The Mozilla Blog [...]

  21. Pingback from acuario on ::

    [...] An Open Web App Store :: The Mozilla Blog [...]

  22. wildcat wrote on :

    Like my boss said, the hardest thing in world is to found how much a service worth. Open Web App Store, imho, is to measure demand of a service at various levels of its price. It should function as exchange of service, that gives sellers the detailed information about demand and value on _similiar_ services. It’ll be very helpful, if the factor analysis were produced by OWAS to show us how a specific feature, price, quality of service or linking were affected (will affect) the demand.

  23. Pingback from Q&A: I don’t know how to change theme for blog in yahoo360????? | The Blogging Expert on ::

    [...] A&#1495 Open Web App Store :: T&#1211&#1077 Mozilla Blog [...]

  24. Pingback from Townhome with Open Floor Plan | Skiing Leisure Knowledge on ::

    [...] An Open Web App Store :: The Mozilla Blog [...]

  25. Pingback from What are your hobbies? | on ::

    [...] An Open Web App Store :: Th&#1077 Mozilla Blog [...]

  26. Pingback from What are some good international web design blogs? | Effective Affiliate Strategies on ::

    [...] An Open Web App Store :: The Mozilla Blog [...]

  27. Pingback from TG SEO » Google Chrome Getting App Store (Maybe Mozilla, Too?) on ::

    [...] Mozilla may be considering jumping on the bandwagon, too (via). Right now, they’re just reviewing the underlying principles of an “open web [...]

  28. Pingback from Google Chrome Getting App Store (Maybe Mozilla, Too?) | Services For Seo on ::

    [...] Mozilla may be considering jumping on the bandwagon, too (via). Right now, they’re just reviewing the underlying principles of an “open web [...]

  29. Croatia wrote on ::

    Hi, i use firefox few years, hi is the best but now i must use windows explorer bacuse new firefoxs not good, when i wanna open web site i have some message like this: “Server certificate not jet valid” and i cant settings flash player in firefox, if i wanna see flash movie must open win explorer…. pls repair forefox or will lose users. Ty!

  30. Pingback from 101 Unexpected Uses for a Wedding Dress | dress up bolg on ::

    [...] An Open Web App Store :: The Mozilla Blog [...]

  31. Pingback from Technikwürze 168 – Google I/O » Technikwürze – Web Standards Podcast on ::

    [...] diskutiert hingegen einen offenen [...]

  32. Pingback from Just Browsing » Prism and the Open Web Store on ::

    [...] 5:04 pm Responding to Google’s announcement last week of a Chrome Web Store, Jay Sullivan asks on the Mozilla Blog for ideas about an alternative Open Web App Store. This is something that [...]

  33. heywood wrote on :

    ..ahm, we already have an open web app store—it’s called the Internet?

  34. radio vida wrote on ::

    Awesome great idea … go app store!

  35. Anonymous wrote on :

    Chris @ 2:43: For competition.

    Also having Mozilla invested in something like this is good, they’re aims like privacy is more than you can say about Google, Apple or Microsoft and especially Facebook.

  36. Pingback from Links 26/5/2010: Fedora 13 Celebrations | Techrights on ::

    [...] An Open Web App Store [...]

  37. Pingback from An Open Web App Store « Son of Byte & Web Design & Development on ::

    [...] More: An Open Web App Store [...]

  38. jacob wrote on :

    if this is what i think it is then you just read my mind.

    the only real problem is that professional developers (probably people that used to publish in flash) will bitch about the source being so easy to steal. after all, they make money from the games they are making.

    It would be nice with some way of rating, having favourites and stuff like that. though the problem with that is that it would be easy for the apps to steal your credentials. maybe placing them in frames would do the trick.(i have no idea)

  39. Pingback from How can i get google pagerank for my blog ? | Web Traffic Siphon on ::

    [...] An Open Web App Store :: Th&#1077 Mozilla Blog [...]

  40. Pingback from Mozilla man blasts Apple and Google for HTML5 abuse | Portable Gadget on ::

    [...] SDK, variable and sometimes opaque review processes, and limited reach,” Sullivan said in a blog post.”Supporting the needs of Web developers in their efforts to develop websites and apps that [...]

  41. Pingback from web development firm | We Build your Store Front Sign on the Web on ::

    [...] An Open Web App Store :: The Mozilla Blog [...]

  42. Pingback from Mozilla sonda il terreno per un Open App Store - The New Blog Times on ::

    [...] Mozilla i primi segnali sono emersi a maggio scorso quando Jay Sullivan, VP della casa, aveva annunciato l’idea e precisato che avrebbe in ogni caso dovuto basarsi su “tutto open”: [...]

  43. Pingback from Can Mozilla Deliver an Open App Store? | grazee.com on ::

    [...] vice president, Jay Sullivan, also laid out the principles of an open app store in a blog post last May. The first principle, Sullivan argued, is that an open app store must host only [...]

  44. Pingback from Mozilla planned to open an app store soon! : Tech Epitome on ::

    [...] Web App Store ensures the following which was released as principles of an open app store in a blog post by the vice president of Mozilla Jay Sullivan: is based on HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, and other open [...]

  45. Pingback from Rattle » Introducing the Holiday Calculator App on ::

    [...] changing in future. Google has announced a Chrome Web Store, which looks promising, and Mozilla are starting to think about this [...]

  46. Raymond wrote on ::

    Their are a great number of programs that can download loaded that are open source. The problem is that not all of them are produced by ethical individuals. Many contain spy ware, as well as viruses. A App Store would hopeful allow you to get clean programs.

  47. Ken from VisionWeb Design wrote on ::

    I’m all in favor of the idea, but it is going to be difficult to implement, what with the iPhone still not even supporting Flash. I think we need to make developing products that run on both Apple and Windows platforms possible before anything else.

  48. Ben the ‘Web Development Man’ wrote on ::

    I think this is a great idea in principle, but i’m not convinced that it would hold enough of an advantage for the common user. In apple’s case, the app store, purportedly, is there to ensuring a consistent quality of service across its devices. With the plethora of internet browsers out there, is it even feasible to think that we can apply the same approach to a ‘web’ based store?

    Keen to see how this evolves though.

  49. Pingback from How we got here: Web App Stores « occasionally useful on ::

    [...] recent sudden popularity in web "app stores" is taking off with a rate normally associated with fads, but in some [...]

  50. Pingback from Mozilla Labs Vaguely Announces Web-Based Gaming Initiative | bruno trani dot info on ::

    [...] a relatively seamless way to distribute and charge for web apps (and games). Mozilla has previously discussed the possibility of creating an Open Web App Store (in other words, one that isn’t controlled [...]

More comments:1 2 3 5