Developer Tools and the Open Web

Chris Beard

38

Today we’re announcing the formation of a new group that will focus on the research and development of developer tools for the open Web.

We believe that there’s tremendous opportunity for innovation in tools that increase developer productivity, enable compelling user experiences, and promote the use of open standards.

We’re also excited to announce that Dion Almaer and Ben Galbraith, co-founders of Ajaxian, the Ajax Experience, and long-time supporters of the open Web, have joined Mozilla full-time to lead this newly formed Developer Tools Lab.

We’re just getting started, so please stay tuned for further details and information on getting involved.

Everything is on the table, from services to software, and we’re looking forward to working with Web developers from around the world to create, experiment and play with new ideas!

38 responses

  1. sega wrote on :

    Please tacke of your system “master key” or give us possibility optional to fix it in case of(forgetten password)====>because it slow down the machine.
    Firefox is my favor but…?

  2. Yang Yang wrote on ::

    Well folks, I don’t think dudes at mozilla are just talking about another desktop IDE. My understanding is that they are working on a whole suites of tools for an ambient development environment including test suites such as for usability which has been little done before, both offline and online.

    One organization may have a lot of ongoing projects at the same time, but only 1 or 2 of them are going to spread themselves and be touching the world. Geeks are rare, mediocrity pervade. That’s why DW prevails for a good ten years.

    Just my 2 cents. Looking forward to what you are going to achieve.

  3. Ramesh.T.Rajpal wrote on :

    Mozilla Should Work on free Operating System (O.S)!

  4. Yves Van Goethem wrote on :

    @Ben Galbraith Ok let us now if you plan to do something in this direction, I’m really interested in following this kind of project :)

  5. Mark S wrote on :

    Ann, looks like what you’re looking for is Nvu (or Kompozer) here: http://nvu.com/
    A more advanced evolution is also in development.

  6. Johanna Oppelaar wrote on ::

    For years I have been using Mozilla composer to work on my website
    Now I am in the middle of altering my site and it is gone I have no Idea how to find the composer to work om my site and to send it in to space
    Ann

  7. Tom wrote on ::

    I’d say the more you keep tools in-browser and cross-browser the better. I’m a (love and hate) fan of Eclipse and everything, but I really think browser tools are best in the browser, especially going forward. Note also that it it’s a fuzzy thing, not all or nothing, but many subcomponents really should be browserizable.

  8. Mark S wrote on :

    I am really excited to see this development!

    A quick testimonial for my point:
    When I was in high school I took a basic class in Visual Basic. I’d had QBasic so I knew the language basics.
    I remember that it was great being able to whip up a program in a short amount of time, create windows, drop buttons and text boxes in them, and so forth. I could then run through it one step at a time and figure out where my errors were. When I was done I could build it to an executable and it would just work.

    I’m no programmer now and I know that creating something like this for web and/or Mozilla technologies would be difficult and in some ways impossible/untenable. But if developers and normal Joe Users have a similar tool – not some thing that they have to compile or follow multipart instructions to set things up – but a similar environment where they could pick up and go and create something without jumping through lots of hoops, we could see a much larger uptake in developing cool web applications and cool cross-platform mozilla-based applications as well as lowering the barrier such that less technical users could enter into creating applications.
    Back in the day, my computer teacher assigned me to build a calculator in VBasic. I did so with no problem and today (with a little review of Basic) could still do so. But today, I feel the barrier to doing this is much too great.

  9. JanD wrote on :

    If you cooperate with the Eclipse Project you should imho take a look at Aptana (www.aptana.com).
    It would be great to have something like this but with refactoring (also for css) and a stronger Firefox integration.

  10. Alan Bollinger wrote on ::

    I use jQuery as well. If you need input on UI and or web developer work flow… let me know.

  11. pd wrote on :

    Ben

    There are several GUI toolkits written in JS already, yes. I’m currently using one right now – jQuery UI, your own John Resig’s baby. As much as I have great man-love for Resig (I hope he feels it from all that way out here in au) and his jQuery, the jQuery UI leaves a lot to be desired. This is not a criticism of jQuery or it’s UI team. JS simply cannot provide the sort of GUI form controls that are needed. There is a desperate need for new native form controls now!

  12. Ben Galbraith wrote on :

    Lot of great comments, thanks guys.

    RE: Eclipse. We’ve been talking with the Eclipse Foundation and are quite keen to explore working closely together.

    @Jigar: No specific plans to work with these projects at this time.

    @Gijs: This is an early stage announcement with the intent of engaging those who wish to influence this effort from its inception, when it is most malleable. The trade-off is that direction has not yet congealed.

    @”Joe Sixpack”. We actually really like WebKit, Chrome, etc. I’ll leave the task of defining “open” to another forum. I actually quite like many of the proprietary tooling platforms out there, but I think we can innovate in many different categories across both open/closed platform boundaries.

    @Yves Van Goethem: We’re definitely considering something along those lines…

    @pd: We’re also considering this direction; a sort-of GUI toolkit for the Web (there are several projects going in this direction already).

  13. eko wrote on :

    nice to hear that!! i would like to see to near future

  14. pd wrote on :

    There is one single way to help developers:

    Make a better browser!

    For too long Mozilla is too busy focusing on bigger picture technology without a clear demonstrated need (yet) like SVG and canvas whilst ignoring fundamental flaws in the browser that make writing web applications very hard.

    Where are simple form controls that desktop developers take for granted?

    – Sliders
    – Colour pickers
    – Scrollable integer inputs (only recently added to XUL!)

    The list is long.

    Please don’t give me the excuse that all these things are wrapped up in the bullshit politics of standardisation or a lack of priority from Mozilla chiefs. That’s just not acceptable. These controls are shiteloads more important than CSS transofrms and the like.

    Web 2.0? MY ARSE!

    Try Web 0.4

    AKA Web HTML4!

    0.4 because it doesn’t provide this so-called application development platform everyone babbles on about, therefore it’s not even version 1 yet!

    Propaganda about how much Mozilla is supporting developers, how the line between desktop and web development is blurring and the Open Web. How about opening up the web as a genuine developer platform and stop pretending a single function like AJAX makes a developer platform (called “Web 2.0″).

  15. Yves Van Goethem wrote on :

    What about a free, cross-platform and open-source text-editor based on the approaches of TextMate and E-TextEditor ?
    I’m so interested in doing that … but I don’t really have the time to …

  16. Rick Graham wrote on :

    I’m very impressed with how well FFX and the other significant browsers are handling SVG, and what I can do with it. I’ts about time we had some real SVG happening. Entry level knowledge is pretty high, tools that deal with the dynamic aspects are sorely lacking. But, it’s a bit of a job, there are so many ways to do everything. I’m thinking that some disciplines need to develop here.

    SVG + XMLHttpRequest + DB = BIG FUN.

  17. Rick Marshall wrote on ::

    We (I) have been building a tool for building core applications delivered over the web for about 10 years now. (30 years really but there wasn’t a web back then)

    For a while I have been considering what the future of this technology should be and this might be the answer.

    If interested please feel free to contact me. We will be doing something with the technology, just looking for the right time and place.

  18. Joe Sixpack wrote on ::

    I am really tired of Mozilla and their “Open Web” bull.

    First the “created to promote openness, innovation and opportunity” advantage for Firefox 3 compared to Safari[1]. Come on! Yeah WebKit was created to promote “closedness, stagnation and hate”. WebKit, the same Open Source project beating the pants off Gecko with support for more CSS 3 and HTML 5 standards. Yeah thats not the Open Web™.

    Now this… “Developer Tools and the Open Web”. Come on! Someone define the Open Web™. What about the Closed Web®? Don’t they deserve developer tools? I guess one of the biggest Mozila proprietary technologies (XUL) lives on the Closed Web®.

    Get over it Mozila! Just because you are Open Source doesn’t make you righteous.

    [1] http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=5615825&postcount=16

  19. Alx wrote on :

    很好的想法, 目前除了Dreamweaver之外. 尚没有找到开源的好用的Web开发工具.

  20. Gijs wrote on ::

    So, if Firebug WG isn’t integrating with this, and you’re not sure about doing HTML development/composer/nvu/bluegriffon/komodo-style stuff, then what exactly *are* you going to do?
    (not trying to sound challenging, just a bit confused)

    Inspector? Venkman? CSS visual editing of already-existing documents? What should we be expecting?

  21. Andy Stannard wrote on ::

    Great news, very interested to see what direction this goes in. Their are some great open source tools and codeing environments out at the moment but I look forward to seeing what new ideas the team can bring to the table.

  22. Jigar Shah wrote on ::

    yeh…any plan to merge efforts from Open Komodo, Blue griffon ? Or same other Open source proj. Each one, creates one. None perfect for decades.

  23. Sadiq wrote on ::

    Wow thats a nice news guys… What else left for open web ?? Keep On rocking…

  24. Uli W. wrote on :

    Mozilla reinventing the IDE-wheel? There are already OpenSource foundation doing IDE-development. Hopfully Mozilla foundation does the right thing. Here’s an idea: how about Mozilla foundation becoming a strategic member of the Eclipse-foundation? Even Microsoft has joined the Eclipse foundation (kind of…) to support Silverlight-development. Mozilla-foundation…. please do the right thing!!

  25. Ajay wrote on ::

    ya that’s a really good move Microsoft is also setting up office labs and getting popularity

  26. JuggerNaut wrote on :

    I would definitely like to see Mozilla Composer brought up-to-date with Ajax programming being the killer app (in mind).

  27. Scott Damery wrote on ::

    I currently use dw8 but with a better css editor I will switch tomorrow to netbeans 6.5+ it has great php xhtml js editor functions but it is a little weak in the css editor compared to dw8 … I know in time it will be the default all I need IDE.

  28. Irakli Gozalishvili wrote on :

    Nice to hear, but I would say we still miss tools for xul development much more then for web development. There are a lot nice free & non free IDEs but no toll for xulrunner stuff like debugger (Venkman is too buggy) Anyway it’s nice to hear and at least maybe there will be nice javascript editor and writte nfully on javascript unlike komodo which uses scintilla

  29. Clochix wrote on ::

    @Alan, Dennis, anjan : the “coming soon” BlueGriffon ( http://bluegriffon.org/ ) is the son of Nvu and the grand-son of Composer. I think you can begin to say goodbye to Dreamweaver.

  30. Ben Galbraith wrote on :

    @Weston: Unclear about whether Firebug will merge with this new group.

    RE: HTML editor. We’ve been doing a lot of thinking in this space and are certainly considering doing something along these lines. At this point we’re in the making plans phase as Dion and I gradually ramp up.

    RE: XUL. Not sure on this yet. Our primary focus is on tools for the “Open Web”; XUL is a little out of that focus range, but at this stage, everything is on the table.

    Thanks for all the comments! Please keep the feedback coming.

  31. Chris Messina wrote on ::

    Excellent. This is definitely something that I’ve long believed that Mozilla needs to focus on in order to truly compete with the Adobes and Microsofts of the world.

  32. Raymond wrote on :

    Is this group just for web-standards tools. Like firebug / venkman / developer toolbar.. Or also for a html-editor like komodo or bluegriffon ?
    or maybe even something that will help with xul-development ??

  33. Jeff wrote on :

    Lets see some remote XUL support

  34. Alan Bollinger wrote on ::

    What gets me is that Dreamweaver is pretty much the same as it was in version 4. Now we are in version 9 with just some minor changes. I just don’t understand how Eclipse or others haven’t caught up.

  35. anjan bacchu wrote on ::

    Dreamweaver : +1. A lot of software Engineers don’t have free/open tools to do what dreamweaver can do. That tool should be available to Java developers, at the least.

  36. Dennis Przybyla wrote on ::

    I hope this includes a standalone version of composer, that includes form support.

  37. Alan Bollinger wrote on ::

    I needs something that can uproot Dreamweaver in everything from DOM to PHP/JavaScript intelitype to MySQL connectivity and rapid development.

  38. Weston Ruter wrote on ::

    Am I safe in assuming that the Firebug Working Group will be seconded to this new Developer Tools Group? It would be great to see Mozilla adopting the Firebug project and officially supporting it.