Update on Firefox Marketplace

Rick Fant

4

Modern browsers based on open standards (like Firefox) enable developers to create amazing Web applications and websites. Mozilla is rapidly increasing the capabilities of the browser platform, which means developers can build more and more of their applications using Web technologies and we’ve been working hard to add more capabilities to the Web as a platform.

We first started working on building these capabilities into the Web and developing our own Firefox Marketplace last year. And, we have seen on the Web and particularly in mobile – Apps, those focused experiences are gaining massive adoption by consumers.

The future is mobile and we’ve made amazing progress with exposing Web APIs across platforms. We’re working to unlock the power of the Web on mobile, just as we did on desktop.

To this end, and based on what we have learned through our efforts to date, we’re now focusing our Marketplace offering. While we previously believed that desktop was the right initial first step to building out an HTML5 app ecosystem, we now believe that we need to pivot further and lead the way with mobile.

We’re not in any way changing our commitment to add features to Desktop as we still feel that Apps are as relevant on desktop as any other environment, but we do need to focus on mobile for the next few releases and as such you won’t see any changes in Desktop for a short period. As soon as mobile has caught up to desktop in features related to Apps we will refocus.

This means:

1) Mobile platforms will be the first target for our HTML5 apps, with desktop to follow providing the means for users to discover and manage their experience;

2) Initial platform targets are Firefox OS and Firefox for Android, with others to follow from our successes there.

We’re happy with the progress we’ve made and excited to share more soon about the next steps for the Web apps ecosystem and Firefox Marketplace. Stay tuned!

4 responses

  1. bill.c wrote on :

    Personally, a little disappointed. Understandably, mobile is the future for any platform. The decision makes complete sense, although you are moving into the same space as everyone else. My (personal) problem is I have been waiting for the next Yahoo Widgets or Dashboard platform. I believe the mobile experience is training everyday users to appreciate apps versus the ubiquitous web and a resurgence of laser focused desktop apps is forth coming. I would like to use Firefox SDK and marketplace to build these next generation applications using web technologies.

    Hopefully the desktop will see some love soon too.

    1. Rick Fant wrote on :

      Bill – thanks for posting your comment.

      The desktop will get some love soon; but as noted we need to do some catchup in mobile.

      As for Apps vs. the ubiquitous web. There is a lot of discussion about Apps native vs HTML5 and in my view as HTML5 matures on mobile and desktop it will erase the inherent benefits of native development. However, Apps are here to stay as a focused experience of existing web content/services – it’s the web packaged.

      Rick.

  2. tom jones wrote on :

    i found out that app permissions for XHR to any domain (not just my own) are not even planned for FirefoxOS 1.0! can that possibly be true?!?

    that leaves out about half the possible “useful” apps impossible on the FirefoxOS platform. no podcasting app? no any app that “downloads” stuff.. no 3rd party clients for any REST api, like evernote, dropbox, etc..

    please say it’s not true..

    1. Anant Narayanan wrote on ::

      Tom,

      You will indeed have the ability to make cross-domain XHRs, as long as you list it as a special permission in the app manifest (it is called “network-http”). You can find more information on that and other capabilities available to apps here: http://mozilla.github.com/webapps-spec/