Mozilla's chief lizard wrangler meshes mobile and desktop via web

  • Chicago (IL) - Mitchell Baker, chairwoman of the open-source organization Mozilla, offers her view of 2010 by stating that the web and open standards are key drivers in bringing desktop and mobile worlds together. Putting her money where her mouth is, Baker promised mobile and desktop Firefox versions would bridge the two worlds unlike anything in the browsing market before. She also reaffirmed her organization's commitment to make user-generated data easily manageable and portable in an online world, urging web application developers to take notice.

    Mozilla's chief wrangler, Mitchell Baker, has posted a final set of Mozilla's goals for 2010 that throw more light on a previously published draft which has roughly set Mozilla's pace for next two years. Just to remind everyone, now four months old the draft put mobile Firefox version on the map and stated the need for Mozilla to take the lead in controlling users' data, deepening its role on the Internet and increase Firefox market share.

    A quick check today reveals that Mozilla has drawn several steps closer to fulfilling at least two of the four stated goals: Fennec has seen two public alpha releases which focus on performance and extensions platform, while desktop Firefox climbed above a 21 percent web usage share - mainly at the expense of Microsoft's Internet Explorer which fell bellow 69 percent web usage share, taking two out of every three users that IE surrendered.

    In an updated set of 2010 goals posted online last week, Baker offered a finalized agenda - one focused around "reinforcing Firefox's role as a driver of innovation, choice and great user experience," in addition to bridging mobile and desktop worlds through the combined power of the web and open standards. Baker also renewed Mozilla's aim to promote portability of user-generated content, while nodding at the cloud-based computing where computing power is delivered to the desktop over the Internet - arguing that the web is becoming "the primary development environment for applications."

    Speaking of user-generated content and data, Baker said Mozilla will continue promoting the creation of open content with a special focus on data portability, hybrid social enterprises, shared decision-making and individual control. She acknowledged that the explosion of user-generated content amplifies the need to make this content "safer, more useful and more manageable," urging developers of web applications to take notice because users expect that the content they create online and data associated with them be accessible, manageable, shareable and easily moved from one place to another.

    Mozilla's chairwoman has also stressed that mobile Firefox (dubbed Fennec, scheduled for 2010) will showcase the power of the web as a development platform by making sure that emerging web standards are used across desktop and mobile worlds and all devices - instead of separating mobile-specific from "web" standards.

    As TG Daily noted before, Fennec taps the same Mozilla-based plug-in architecture found in desktop Firefox, meaning developers can make their extensions compatible across both desktop and mobile Firefox versions with minimal code changes (typically just to address differences in screen sizes and user interfaces, leaving most of the underlying logic intact). This approach, the first ever in the browsing market, will enable users to personalize their environment and browsing experience with the same set of extensions on their Firefox desktop and their mobile devices running Fennec.