Mozilla has announced today Boot to Gecko, a new project that aims to deliver a mobile operating system for the open web. The goal: to help remove barriers that prevent web developers to create applications as powerful (performance and reach-wise) as native applications.
Mozilla is not starting from zero. It will pick the lower layers of Android, those closer to the hardware, and build presentation and application layers on top of it.
So why not go Android all the way if it already has all the necessary layers? Because as Andreas Gal, a project member, explains: “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. ”
Mozilla will do real open source, ” in the open, we will release the source 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.”, reads the short project wiki page.
This sounds like a very large project, and a true challenge for today’s larger and faster Mozilla as it keeps extending its reach following its mission to promote the Internet’s innovation and choice.