Mozilla

Mozilla joins the W3C DAP – WebAPI progress

When we originally introduced our work on WebAPI, we got a number of questions where a particular question was the most frequently asked. Now, four months later, we wanted to follow up with what has been happening since.

The question people asked was about the relation between Mozilla WebAPI and W3C DAP, what our stance on DAP is and if we were just creating another standards body. From the get go, we declared our commitment and intent to contribute to existing standards.

Mozilla has a long history working with W3C and continues to be a member in several W3C working groups. However, at the time we had concerns about some of the work happening in DAP. Since then, DAP has focused their efforts on technologies appropriate for implementation in web browsers and so we’ve have decided that it’s worth joining that working group. Our developers Jonas Sicking and Mounir Lamouri have now joined DAP to ease the collaboration and contribution.

What this means in practice is that we test and develop things, and when we feel that it is ready, or even suitable, to become a standard and continue to evolve, we submit it to W3C. Like most companies, we need to evaluate, examine and prototype different ideas all the time, but what might be different about us is that our process is open to the world to see, ask about and also contribute to.

Even before this, we have submitted the Battery API and the Vibration API to DAP, which are both pretty far along in standardization. We look forward to continue to do so with APIs as they get mature enough.

If you are interested in following or taking part of the work with our different APIs, feel more than welcome to follow any of these channels:

Please also ask any questions you might have in the comments here, and we’ll do our best to reply to them.

9 comments

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  1. ItsLeeOwen wrote on January 31st, 2012 at 08:48:

    Please start using & contributing to Webkit. Let go of gecko.

    1. Robert Nyman wrote on January 31st, 2012 at 09:59:

      First, this blog post, and the WebAPI initative, is about bringing powerful API’s to all web browsers and devices out there, and it’s not something Gecko-specific.

      Second, Erunno linked to a long and good explanation. Basically, Mozilla believes in competition and giving people options. These options has lead to a fast and successful development for web browsers, something that everyone gains from.

      Back when Internet Explorer was the web browser out there with 95% market share, it would have been easy to cave and just develop for that one. But we didn’t, and brought another perspective to the table.

      And when WebKit started being developed, you could have easily argued for them to contribute to Gecko instead. But we didn’t, since more options are good, spurs competition and leads to better results.

    2. David Bruant wrote on January 31st, 2012 at 12:17:

      A lot of people are suggesting the switch from Gecko to WebKit. Instead of just saying “switch!” to Mozilla (which doesn’t lead anywhere closer to the goal you would like to see achieved), what about taking some time to analysis the problem such a transition would be. What about starting the work (and blog about your findings)?

      If you (and other people who want to see the transition happening) can prove that it can lead to a better browser at a reasonable cost, your findings would certainly get heard by Mozilla.

  2. Erunno wrote on January 31st, 2012 at 09:41:

    Enlighten yourself:

    http://www.quora.com/Mozilla-Firefox/Will-Firefox-ever-drop-its-Gecko-layout-engine-to-adopt-WebKit

  3. skierpage wrote on January 31st, 2012 at 18:28:

    Good news.

    And speaking of standards (so many to choose from!), what about the “Wholesale Applications Community (WAC), an alliance of telecommunications companies committed to building an open applications platform.” Supposedly the Intel-Samsung-(not Nokia) Tizen “software platform supported by leading mobile operators, device manufacturers, and silicon suppliers for multiple device categories, including smartphones, tablets, netbooks, in-vehicle infotainment devices, smart TVs, and more” is based around WAC and HTML5.

    WAC’s specifications (http://www.wacapps.net/specifications lists Camera, Filesystem, Messaging, Contacts) seem to overlap with https://wiki.mozilla.org/WebAPI and http://www.w3.org/2009/dap/

  4. Daniel Davis wrote on January 31st, 2012 at 19:23:

    Seriously, all browser vendors should use WebKit? A single project/organisation should dictate everyone’s browsing experience? I don’t think so. Supporting more than one rendering engine may be extra work for web designers/developers (and I’ve felt that pain many times) but this is tiny compared to the enormous number of web users who benefit from freedom of choice and technical advances fuelled by competition. The pros of avoiding a monopoly far, far outweigh the cons.

    1. Robert Nyman wrote on February 1st, 2012 at 02:41:

      Thanks, I personally completely agree.

  5. Olivier wrote on January 31st, 2012 at 21:16:

    It’s great to see the Mozilla experts joining forces with W3C. Do you also have contacts with WAC, or are they completely isolated ?

  6. pd wrote on February 1st, 2012 at 23:20:

    Competition is good, a plethora of it is bad, just see the whole Linux debacle. As a web developer we’ve never had it worse with essentially at least four (IE7/8, IE9, Gecko, Webkit) browsers to support where it was just two (IE, Gecko) and that very much sucks!

    Whilst I’d be happy for WebKit to overtake and even eradicate IE, I personally do not want to have to develop for three disparate browsers, it’s just too much! It’s not like two browsers are essentially the same in the way they render content. One could reasonably expect Fx and Chrome to render similarly in that they are both modern browsers who’ve always had standards support close to their hearts (when it suits them!). Even IE9 you could probably throw in that bunch. Then it would just be ‘modern’ vs old (IE7/8). That is not the case though. Inevitably when developing I find that no combination of browsers will behave in the same manner. More often than not, what works in everything else will be buggy in Chrome however sometimes Chrome and Fx are pals but IE7/8 is not! There’s just very little rhyme and reason!

    I’ll tolerate the current browser ‘competition’ because Mozilla is too misguided to surpass 30% share. Therefore we needed Google to come to the party. Now that we have 50% though, there’s still IE sitting there with is menagerie of versions taking up the other 50% Microsoft will not get rid of IE8 easily since whilst they eventually plan to kill 6 and 7, XP will preserve 8 because Microsoft bastards are using IE to force upgrades of your OS! Ridiculous.

    Now don’t even mention the often-referred-to but never-seen-in-the-usage-stats red O browser. Who cares a toss about that? As for Safari, as the name implies, that is a very dangerous experience to try.

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