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  1. Mozilla at conferences – June edition

    Welcome to a quick round-up of what Mozillians have been talking about at events in and around June.

    Campus Party Guadalajara

  2. Frédéric Harper spoke at Devoxx UK about “Getting the best out of your design with responsive web design
  3. Robert Nyman spoke at JSCamp Romania about “Five stages of development (slidesvideo)”
  4. David Baron spoke at CSS Day about “Efficient CSS Animations (slideshowall slides)
  5. Chris Heilmann visited Campus Party Mexico to deliver the keynote “The Future of the Open Web (video, slides)”. There were also various talks by local Mozillians.
  6. Nick Desaulniers spoke at HTML5DevConf about “Raw WebGL (video)” whilst Chris Heilmann delivered the “Write less, achieve meh (notes)” keynote.
  7. Soledad Penadés covered an inordinate amount of amazing things at Goto Amsterdam in her “Invest in the future: build for the web! (notes and screencast)” talk.
  8. Open Source Bridge in Portland had a whole bunch of Mozillians presenting (the site also has lots of notes of what happened where and when and is worth visiting):
  9. Dale Harvey attended Scotch on the Rocks and talked about “The offline Web (slidesvideo)” and took part in the panel discussion on “When is Enough Enough (video)
  10. Campus Party Guadalajara

    If you want to know where we will present, check the Where is Mozilla? page. If you are interested in getting a Mozilla presenter for your event, why not tell us about it?

  11. Firefox OS App Workshop Prague

    Update:This event will be rescheduled for Autumn 2014. We are designing the workshop with a new regional focus and aim to re-open the invitation request form with a confirmed date and venue before the summer starts. Please stay tuned here on the Hacks blog.

    Back in March, Mozilla tech evangelist Frédéric Harper visited Prague in the Czech Republic and gave a talk at the local Prague JavaScript meetup. His presentation, Empower Mobile Web Developers With JavaScript and WebAPI introduced a roomful of Czech JavaScripters to Firefox OS, Open Web Apps, and our recent integration with Apache Cordova and Adobe PhoneGap. PhoneGap/Cordova developers who’ve built native apps for other platforms and stores can now port PhoneGap-built apps to Firefox OS.

    Just as sure as the coming of summer, Firefox OS is coming to the Czech Republic in 2014, and Fred and friends are heading back to Prague to host a full-day, invitation-only Firefox OS App Workshop on Saturday, June 28. There will be phones! All participants will receive a developer device to test and demo their apps, and to keep for future app development. For free.

    Requirements: Show us your app

    REQUIRED: To qualify for this free hands-on, technical workshop, you must be able to show us a published HTML5 app that you’re porting to Firefox OS or a working Firefox OS app in progress. Show us a link to your existing app or to working code for the app you’re building.

    Apply now for the Prague App Workshop, June 28, 2014.


    NOTE: If you do not provide relevant links to working app code we will not be able to consider your application. Firefox Marketplace currently offers plenty of tic-tac-toe games, sliding puzzles, calculators, and to-do list apps. We love to be impressed by new, original, and locally relevant apps, for work and play.

    In the Czech Republic, we need apps that are in Czech. And if you want to extend the reach of your app by translating it to other languages, we have a pilot localization program to help you.

    What to expect

    This workshop is open to individual developers and teams of up to 4 people. The workshop begins with a technical introduction in English in the morning; the rest of the time is for coding and testing your app using the App Manager that’s built in Firefox Developer Tools. Bring laptops and devices.

    At the close of the day, there will be demos of all the apps in progress. After demos, we’ll all go to dinner. Mozilla will provide food and drink throughout the day of the workshop, but travel and lodging arrangements are up to you. And after the workshop, we will stay in touch while you complete your apps and submit them to Firefox Marketplace.


    If you don’t have a Firefox OS app in progress, here are some resources to help you get started. There’s never been a better time:

  12. Wanted: Awesome HTML5 app ports for Firefox OS & the Open Web

    A bit of background

    In 2013, Mozilla and our partners launched Firefox OS in fourteen markets. We released three Firefox OS smartphone models and a Geeksphone developer preview device. Our Developer Relations team hosted eight invite-only workshops for app developers around the world: Mountain View, London, Madrid, Bogota, Warsaw, Porto Alegre, Guadalajara, and Budapest. This year, Firefox OS will launch on more devices in more countries around the world. We continue to grow Firefox Marketplace with new and engaging HTML5 apps that run on Firefox OS devices.

    Through our Phones for Apps program, we’ve shipped hundreds of Geeksphones to app developers around the world. Developers like you ported existing HTML5 apps to Firefox OS, and got to keep the developer preview devices we sent. Huge thanks to hundreds of these pioneers in scores of countries who delivered apps to Firefox Marketplace!

    What’s new: Phones for Cordova/PhoneGap ports

    This year we’re focused on finding the very best apps — apps that deliver great experiences and local relevance to Firefox OS users. For HTML5 app developers, powerful cross-platform tools make it easier to build apps for native platforms and to access native device APIs. This week we introduced the Firefox OS Cordova 3.4 integration, which makes it possible to release Cordova apps on the Firefox OS platform. While this is an ongoing project, significant functionality is available now with the 3.4 release of Apache Cordova. Yesterday’s post describes how to use these new capabilities to port your existing app or apps.

    If you’ve already built apps with Cordova/PhoneGap this is a unique opportunity to port your apps quickly and easily. We’ve heard from developers who successfully migrated PhoneGap apps to Firefox OS over a weekend — taking hours, not weeks or months. And we know there are great PhoneGap apps out there. For this reason, the third phase of our popular and successful Phones for Apps program will focus exclusively on app “porters” with currently popular and well-rated Cordova/PhoneGap apps. (NOTE: HTML5 applications can be packaged as native apps via the framework and made available for installation. Cordova is the underlying software in the Adobe product PhoneGap.)

    Who should apply


    If you’re a Cordova/PhoneGap developer with published HTML5 apps on any platform, we invite you to participate in the Phones for Cordova/PhoneGap Apps program. Show us your well-rated listed app and if it’s a fit for Firefox Marketplace, we’ll ship you a developer device and help you through the process of getting your app into the Firefox Marketplace. Here’s how it works:

    • Apply here: Phones for Cordova/PhoneGap Ports application.
    • All submissions will be reviewed as they are received. We’ll let you know if your application is accepted.
    • Once you commit to porting your app, we’ll send you a device.

    Upcoming Firefox OS workshops & hack events

    In addition to our online Phones for Cordova/PhoneGap Ports program, we plan to host a limited number of invitation-only Firefox OS App Workshops in new locales. We’re excited to announce a workshop in the beautiful city of Prague in the Czech Republic, date to be set next quarter. The enrollment form is open and we are accepting applications from qualified HTML5 developers.

    REQUIRED: You must have a Firefox OS app in progress or a published HTML5 app that you’re porting to Firefox OS. Show us a link to your existing app or to working code for the app you’re building. If you don’t provide relevant links to working app code we will not consider your application.

    Apply now for the Prague App Workshop.

    What if you don’t live near Prague in the Czech Republic? Don’t worry! We plan to offer several other app workshops this year and we’ll announce them here.


    Whether you’re just getting started or you’ve already built apps for Firefox OS, there are many hackathons, App Days, and other events hosted or sponsored by Mozillians and happening around the world where you can participate and learn. Find out about community-driven Firefox events hosted by Mozilla Reps as well as talks and events that include Mozilla participants across the planet.

  13. New Firefox OS App Workshops & Other Updates

    Here in the virtual headquarters of Mozilla’s geo-distributed tech evangelism team, we always have bags packed and traveling shoes on. Today we’re happy to announce a couple of new Firefox OS App Workshops for web developers: we’ll be in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Saturday, October 26, and we’ll be in Budapest, Hungary, on Saturday, November 23.

    Who should apply

    Remember, these are full-day hands-on technical workshops for developers who are already working on building or porting mobile apps for Firefox Marketplace. You must apply to participate and we will give a preference to developers who can show us a Firefox OS app in progress or a listed HTML5 web app that’s ready to port. Try to arrive at the Workshop with app code already running in the Firefox Simulator.


    At the workshop, you’ll spend the day working on your app with help from our team, with breaks for meals and snacks. Our first activity will show you how to send your app from the Simulator to the Geeksphone Keon Firefox OS Developer Preview device. At the end of the day, there’s a chance to demo the app you’re working on. After the workshop, the Geeksphone is yours to keep, to complete your Firefox OS app and continue to use. Our goal is to help you finish your first app and see it listed in Firefox Marketplace. We’re especially interested in apps built in your language, for people in your location.

    Firefox OS App Workshop, October 26, Guadalajara, MX: Apply here.

    Firefox OS App Workshop, November 23, Budapest, HU: Apply here.

    How to prepare

    Getting started with Open Web Apps – why and how will help you get started. Once you’ve installed the Firefox OS Simulator, and spent a little time reading the documentation, there are many other useful articles about Firefox OS on the Hacks blog. On the Mozilla Developer Network, you’ll find abundant documentation for app developers.


    Update: Phones for app ports

    Thanks to everyone who applied for our Phones for app ports program. Submissions to this program are now closed. We share your enthusiasm and look forward to seeing all your apps listed in Marketplace. We hope to finish reviewing all submissions this week, so please be patient just a little bit longer if you haven’t heard from us. Please note: If your proposal is not accepted, you will not receive a notification.

    If your proposal is selected, you will receive an acceptance email from Mozilla, followed by a notification from the shipper with more information. Once your phone is shipped and your app is in progress, someone on our team will contact you and be available if you need help to get your app done and listed. We are probably a week or two behind on shipping phones, so again, please bear with us. In some countries, we are working through some specific shipping issues. Thanks everyone for your patience. We regret that we can’t respond to every email inquiry.

    Special kudos to those app developers who’ve already received phones and gotten their apps ported and listed in Marketplace. We are super-proud of you and we know there are more of you every day. Together we can build the open mobile web. Thank you!

  14. Mozilla goes to Washington

    Last month, Mozilla Foundation employee Jess Klein was honored by the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy as a Champion of Change for her work with Rockaway Help in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

    Before the White House event, Mozilla sponsored a Civic Hackers’ Happy Hour in DC at Here’s an excerpt about the event from the Code for Tulsa write-up.

    Mozilla Civic Hackers’ Happy Hour

    We arrived at canvas around noon to arrange all the catering and set everything up. We met fellow civic hackers from Austin to Chicago, Minneapolis to Miami, Oakland to DC, and everywhere in between – hackers and officials representing Code for America, Sunlight Foundation, E-Democracy, United States CTO, Census Bureau, NASA, FEMA, USDA and many others.

    By 8pm we had about 100 people, so we had a few quick presentations – I spoke about Mozilla, Kevin Curry spoke about the Code for America Brigade program, and Garret Miller spoke about Mapbox. Everyone mingled and we learned about some great civic projects going on like the Smart Chicago Collaborative, in Minneapolis, and Keep Austin Fed. We had made a congratulatory card for Jennifer Pahlka, founder of Code for America and recently-appointed Deputy CTO of the US. Everyone had a chance to sign the card, and then… Jennifer showed up! So we presented the card to her in person!

    In my presentation about Mozilla, I discussed how I’ve come to realize that openness, innovation, and opportunity on the web is at the heart of developers improving their communities.

    Cities that think like the web

    In 2011, I found Mozilla Foundation Executive Director Mark Surman’s City of Toronto 2.0 Web Summit presentation from 2008 – A city that thinks like the web.

    Mark tells the story that seems obvious to us now – Mozilla believed that participation could create a better internet, and the tiny non-profit with a global community of volunteers forced open a monopoly browser market with standards and protocols that have created the largest communication platform in the history of the world.

    If openness and participation created a better web, could it create better cities? Mark says yes. After a couple of years hacking my city, I completely agree.

    Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

    I first started civic hacking in 2011 when our Tulsa Web Devs group took it upon ourselves to put Tulsa Transit on Google Maps. At the time, we knew nothing about transit, and only a little about Google Maps. In a few short hack days with web resources, we taught ourselves everything we needed to convert route shapefiles and schedule csv files into a valid GTFS feed.

    Tulsa Transit GTFS Prototype

    As soon as I saw the prototype working, I was hooked on civic hacking. It was the same feeling I had when I received my first patch for my first open-source project. In a way, my personal journey – from proprietary enterprise software development, to SourceForge, to Mozilla and Code for Tulsa – reflects trends in open technology: open source disrupted proprietary software and brought forth the open web, the open web brought forth open government and civic hacking.

    In Tulsa, we’ve gone on to create civic APIs and apps for citizens, planning organizations, Tulsa Library, Tulsa Fire Department, and the Oklahoma Urban Search & Rescue task forces. Because we build on the web, all our apps are available to every citizen, regardless of device or platform. I jokingly ask, “If we created our Fire Department app for iPhones, would Android users just watch their house burn down?”

    Innovation can come from anywhere

    Here’s the thing – we are just one group (but maybe the best group!) of civic hackers … in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The web enables anyone with a text editor to make these things and deliver them directly to anyone with a web browser. Morgamic says it best in “What do you want the web to be?

    The future of the web won’t be decided by corporations, governments, or shareholders. It will be chosen by people like you and me – passionate individuals with great ideas, who won’t take no for an answer, who won’t settle.

    Having worked with and for corporations, shareholders, and now governments, I know just how true this statement is. On the web, Google’s latest billion-dollar project and Code for Tulsa’s $35 raspberry pi hack are both a single link – a single click. The web platform is the only platform designed to include everyone at an equal level of access.

    Serving the greater good

    Mozilla’s mission is to promote openness, innovation, and opportunity on the web. It’s a lofty goal; sometimes it’s hard to see what that looks like “on the ground.” At our happy hour, I saw it: designers, engineers, programmers, entrepreneurs – hackers experimenting and making amazing things for the betterment of their communities.

  15. Announcing Firefox OS App Workshops

    Madrid, Bogotá, Warsaw & Beyond

    blaze_your_fxosFirefox OS phones will be available to consumers in several countries this summer, and they will be looking for great apps to install from Firefox Marketplace. If you know how to build mobile app experiences with HTML5 and JavaScript, we’re looking for you—especially if you’d like to develop apps in Spanish, Polish or Portuguese! If you’re fast and focused, this is the time to take first-mover advantage.

    Our first three hands-on technical workshops for skilled web app developers take place in Madrid, Spain, on Saturday, April 20; in Bogotá, Colombia on Saturday, May 18; and in Warsaw, Poland on Saturday, June 1. We hope to announce more workshops in more locales later in the season.

    You must apply to attend: We’ll ask you to show us your JavaScript expertise and/or past experience building web apps and working with web APIs.

    Who Should Apply

    We’re looking for small teams or solo developers with solid ideas and strong web development skills. If you’ve already built a successful PhoneGap, Chrome, webOS, Blackberry WebWorks app, or other open web app for mobile or desktop, we’d love to work with you on migrating your existing app or building a new one. Mozilla engineers and tech evangelists will help participants complete an app or port an existing one to the Firefox OS phone and into the Firefox Marketplace.

    Please apply now if you’d like to attend any of these workshops. We’ll be reviewing applications as they come in, with a focus on our first locations. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.


    What We’ll Offer

    • A great place to hack.
    • Hands-on help from Firefox OS developers.
    • Food, drink and demos. And t-shirts, of course.
    • More code, less talk.
    • Firefox OS Developer Preview phones, really!

    How to Prepare

    There’s more than one way to start building Firefox apps. Here are a few resources to get you started:

    Firefox OS Workshop application form.

  16. Firefox OS App Days: It's a Wrap!

    Over the last few weeks, Mozilla sponsored a worldwide series of hack days for developers to learn about creating apps for Firefox OS. Dubbed “Firefox OS App Days,” the events took place in more than 25 locales around the world, starting on 19 January in Mountain View, California and ending on 2 February in Berlin, Germany. The events were organized with the support of our Mozilla Reps, the Mozilla community and Firefox OS partners Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom in Africa, Asia, Europe, New Zealand, as well as North and South America.


    Hacking at a Firefox OS App Day

    2,500 New Developers for Firefox OS

    Our goals were to educate developers around the world about Firefox OS and open web apps and inspire them to start building apps for the Firefox Marketplace.

    We engaged with over 2,500 developers worldwide. Hundreds of apps were demonstrated at the events, and many of them have already been submitted to the Marketplace. Some of the apps developed include:

    • Bessa – An image editor for Firefox OS, demonstrated in Berlin
    • Web Sliding Puzzle – a sliding puzzle game made from the Firefox OS App Days logo, demonstrated in Paris by Mathieu Pillard
    • Ash’s Rising – a strategy game, demonstrated in Toronto
    • Travel Saver – a local travel app, demonstrated in Warsaw
    • FoxKehCalc – a Fox-themed calculator, demonstrated in Tokyo

    In addition to apps, we saw over two million impressions of the #firefoxosappdays hashtag on Twitter, and hundreds of photos from the events were posted on Flickr, Facebook and other social media sites.

    Sample of Apps Developed at Firefox OS App Days

    Sample of Apps Developed at Firefox OS App Days

    Going Forward

    Thanks to everyone who participated in the App Days, and if you haven’t submitted your app to the Marketplace yet, please do so as soon as you can. If you have a website or github repo hosting your app or a post about your App Day experience, please add your links to the comments below. We’d love to hear from you and check out your apps in progress. If you missed the events, or there wasn’t one in your area, stay tuned — our Mozilla Reps team plans to enable more in the near future.

    And if you are just hearing about Firefox OS, and want to get started developing apps on your own, the Developer Hub, the Hacks Blog and the Mozilla Developer Network are excellent places to start. To stay in touch with upcoming App Days, developer phone releases, and app development news, subscribe to our monthly Firefox Apps & Hacks newsletter.

  17. Join Us for Firefox OS App Days

    Firefox OS App DaysIf you’re a developer interested in web technologies, I’d like to invite you to participate in Firefox OS App Days, a worldwide set of 20+ hack days organized by Mozilla to help you get started developing apps for Firefox OS.

    At each App Day event, you’ll have the opportunity to learn, hack and celebrate Firefox OS, Mozilla’s open source operating system for the mobile web. Technologists and developers from Mozilla will present tools and technology built to extend and support the Web platform, including mobile Web APIs to access device hardware features such as the accelerometer. We’ll also show you how to use the browser-based Firefox OS Simulator to view and test mobile apps on the desktop.

    Firefox OS App Days are a chance to kick start creation of apps for the Firefox Marketplace, and represent a great opportunity to build new apps or optimize existing HTML5 apps for Firefox OS, as well as demo your projects to an audience of peers, tech leaders and innovators.

    We’re exciting to be working with our Mozilla Reps, who are helping organize these events, and with our partners Deutsche Telecom and Telefónica, who are supporting a number of them across the world.

    We look forward to seeing you there!

    Event Details

    The agenda for these all-day events will be customized for each locale and venue, but a typical schedule might include:

    • 08:30 – 09:30 Registration. Light breakfast.
    • 09:30 – 11:30 Firefox OS, Firefox Marketplace & Mozilla Apps Ecosystem.
    • 11:30 – 12:00 Video. Q&A.
    • 12:00 – 13:00 Lunch
    • 13:00 – 17:00 App hacking.
    • 17:30 – 19:00 Demos & party.

    Signing Up

    Firefox OS App Days launch on 19 January and continue through 2 February, with the majority of the events taking place on 26 January. This wiki page has a master list of all the events and their registration forms, from Sao Paulo to Warsaw to Nairobi to Wellington — and many more. Find the App Day nearest you and register. (N.B. Venue capacities vary, but most are limited to 100 attendees so don’t delay.)

    Getting Ready

    Plan on bringing your Linux, Mac or Windows development machine and an idea for an app you’d like to develop for the Firefox Marketplace. If you have an Android device, bring it along, too. You can see the Firefox Marketplace in action on the Aurora version of Firefox for Android.

    If you want to get started before the event, review the material below and bring an HTML5 app that you’ve begun and want to continue, get feedback on or recruit co-developers for.

  18. Selling HTML5 to a consulting company

    I just spent a weekend in a resort in Mallorca. I was invited by an IT consultancy from Frankfurt to join them at their off-site and give a two hour (re)introduction to HTML5.

    The audience and the challenge

    The consultancy is very successful in what they do and are very much a Java / native code shop. Their clients are insurance companies, banks and the like which means the topic of HTML5 came up only peripherally in their discussions. With more and more clients looking for iPad apps and other demands for cross-platform solutions they wanted to know more about HTML5, what is possible and what can be done.

    This sounded like a great opportunity to go out of my comfort zone and see how good my skills as an advocate for web technology are. Ever the optimist, I also considered this a great opportunity to inspire in a field in which IT is used to make a difference to the lives of a lot of people. So I said yes.

    The presentation

    Without any preparation (there was no time), without knowing who the audience will be (turns out it was the whole company, including non-technical employees and some contractors) and being asked to deliver the talk in German I found myself in front of a room with about 70 people, set up my computer (which failed to do so the first time, it will go to the farm of old computers soon), happily realised that the WIFI worked and went right into it.

    Instead of talking about HTML5 in isolation, I thought it best to show off the web as a development platform and the advancements that happened in the last few years that may not be known. Turns out this was exactly what was needed and I’ve had a lot of 1:1 conversations later on with people who want to seriously give HTML5 a go. Their idea is converting some of the tools used now in the company to move from Java and fixed-size, Photoshop driven interfaces to more flexible solutions using HTML5 and JavaScript. Score, I’d say.

    What I’ve done

    Seeing that it was more or less an open 2.5 hours show and tell with questions from the audience I have no notes. So here is a list of the things I showed and mentioned which had quite some impact and the techniques how I presented them.

    Laying the groundwork

    I started by explaining the need for HTML5 (document to app transition) and that with a unified and defined HTML parser, we finally have a level playing field across browsers. I explained that a face to face comparison of HTML5 apps and native apps is not fair as the performance of browsers and webviews is hindered in many cases by hardware and the OS. Which means that browers can not use the same resources native code can which of course is a difference in performance. That said, web apps can be more nimble and update much easier than native ones.

    In the spirit of pre-emptive writing I also took the Mark Zuckerberg quote from TechCrunch disrupt a few weeks ago and explained that he didn’t say that HTML5 was a mistake but that the way they approached it was. I also pointed out his quote stating that Facebook’s number of mobile web users are more than the ones of Android and iOS combined.


    I think the most impactful part of the presentation was that I didn’t prepare any slides but used the browser to show everything to the audience. I used Mozilla Thimble to show live code and the immediate impact of my changes. I used the developer tools in Firefox and Chrome to show how to change a live site and try out some of the new technology in existing pages instead of showing demos that are impressive but don’t apply to the audience.

    Platform demos

    All in all my aim was to show that HTML5 is an interesting thing to bet on as it is part of the web ecosystem. This means instead of starting with code I showed:

    • Collaborative editing using online editors
    • GitHub as a place to get code, meet other developers and submit fixes
    • Developer tools of browsers to show that now we can test and fix things outside of a code first, deploy, find bug development cycle
    • MDN as a resource for demos and documentation
    • to test on browsers and operating system you don’t have

    Technology demos

    The technology demos were simple, but I got lots of good feedback on them as I kept them relevant.

    • Introducing HTML5 form elements and showing that simply adding a number attribute and a required attribute means that this field will always be a number and users can not send the form (in the browser) without satisfactorily having filled the field. This means there is no need for writing client-side validation any longer which is a big headache for non-JavaScript enthusiasts.
    • Adding a video element in the page, playing it with a right-click, adding the controls attribute to add controls and adding a CSS transformation (rotation for example) to prove that video is just another page element in a HTML5 world.
    • Showing a simple example on how to use MediaQueries to do responsive designs and showing the Responsive Mode in the Firefox developer tools
    • Showing a simple hover state in CSS and adding a transition to prove that these days you can make things look smooth very simply without having to add another JavaScript
    • Showing how to progressively enhance a simple HTML document using some CSS transitions to make it look much more engaging.
    • Showing the simplicity of local storage (using the 123done task list example) and explaining how AppCache and manifest files can turn a web page into a locally cached app.
    • Showing how easy it is to plot something in the page using Canvas and explaining that canvas using drag and drop can also allow for image cropping and thumbnail generation.
    • Showing that file uploaders can be much more convenient for the end users these days with the Flickr image uploader as an example
    • Showing how to make a video interact with web content using Mozilla Popcorn – explaining that this could be used for interactive training materials

    Near future gazing

    As requested by the audience I also showcased some of the near-future parts of web tech:

    • The toycam demo explaining that it uses WebRTC which can be used to get video input and manipulate it using WebGL live in the browser. I also pointed out that WebRTC is not limited to that but could be used for all kind of other data streaming tasks
    • Firefox OS, how it is architected and why we do it
    • Mozilla’s Web APIs and how they are used in Firefox OS (showing the FFOS desktop build, playing with the dialer and showing that even they keytones are created using JavaScript)
    • Explaining Persona and how it allows you to simply verify users on the web without having to ask for a username and password
    • Showing off the Banabread demo and explaining how it was done by converting C++ code using Emscripten
    • Showing the Mozilla App store preview and how an HTML5 app can be installed natively and run from the Application folder and full-screen

    Your turn

    All in all I have to say this was thoroughly enjoyable and I got out of it with a sense of satisfaction of having narrowed the gap between the webdesign world and the world of corporate IT a bit more. Give it a go, too, I am sure you’ll enjoy it.

  19. Push the Web Further at Hackanooga

    If you enjoy pushing the limits of the open web platform, we want you to join us September 14-16 in The Gig City (Chattanooga, Tennessee) for a weekend of good food, good friends, and—most importantly—a unique opportunity to play on a citywide, 1 gigabit per second network.

    What happens when you hack with WebGL, WebRTC, Websockets and video—the coolest, newest open web technologies—on a network 200 times faster than the typical residential internet connection? What kinds of apps become possible?

    Travel grants

    If you’re already sold, head on over and apply. We’re awarding a number of grants for you to hang and hack in the American south. Your flight, meals, and accommodation will be paid for. And you’ll leave having made something cool—something only possible on a gigabit network.

    Just take 5 minutes to fill out this form, and we’ll get back to you by August 21st.

    If you need some convincing, read on.

    No more constraints

    If you’ve ever written software for mobile or web, you know all about constraints.

    Sometimes those constraints are plain as day. You can’t do heavy computation on a mobile device, because they’re relatively slow and you’ll quickly drain the battery. Apps written for mobile should be lean.

    Sometimes the constraints are more implicit. They’re just baked into your understanding of how development works.

    In a web app, you have a client and server. The connectivity between client and server is scarce, so you want to minimize the data traveling across the network. You don’t want your users sitting around waiting for an app to load, or for a video to buffer. Apps written for web should be frugal with data transfer.

    But if all of your users are on fast networks—think 100Mbps to 1Gbps—these sorts of constraints start to matter less.

    On a superfast network, it doesn’t really matter where the data lives in the network. It can travel so fast that it’s virtually instantaneous. It can travel faster than your computer can write the data to your hard drive.

    On a superfast network, it also doesn’t matter where the computation happens. It’s already the case with cloud computing that the very computation-heavy tasks and storage take place remotely. Your computer is just a thin client to the network. Think about what that would mean on a gigabit network—your entire operating system, identity and filesystem could be rapidly accessed from anywhere on the network.

    Real-time crunching of very heavy data could happen anywhere on the network. Anything, really—could happen anywhere, on the network.

    Hacking for public benefit

    OK, so what? New paradigms are fun to think about, but none of this matters until it has an impact on real people.

    That’s what US Ignite is all about—showing what kinds of apps are only possible on gigabit networks. Demonstrating that if the U.S. becomes more competitive in broadband & networks, people will be happier, healthier and more well informed.

    On the ideas front, we have a massive brainstorm underway around the question of “what’s possible with gigabit networks.”

    And on the coding front, we’ve already held the first Ignite hack days in San Francisco, with some interesting results. Hackanooga is already gearing up to be a blast.

    How it will work

    We have room for 80 participants. This is not a spectator sport—everyone who attends must contribute to coding, designing, and testing real prototype applications.

    Between now and the event, we’ll work together to form teams around specific app ideas. We’ll try to pick app ideas on which we can make substantial progress over the course of the weekend. If you want to work on a specific type of problem, or a specific technology, let us know.

    We’ll prepare your team as much as possible, rounding up resources, shoring up expertise, and connecting you with local institutions as appropriate.

    When you arrive, you’ll meet the whole Hackanooga class of 2012; eat, drink and be merry. Then, we’ll get out of your way so you can make.

    You’ll have access to wired, 1Gbps connectivity, local cloud infrastructure, and lots of coffee. We’ll show off all the results at the end.

    Work from this weekend can evolve to become submissions in the Mozilla Ignite apps challenge, with nearly $500k in awards for your prototype apps. It’s a great way to meet team members & partner institutions to get a head start on the challenge.

    Apply now!

    We’ll be flying around 10 participants from all over to attend Hackanooga. If you’re interested, apply here!

    Not only is Chattanooga an awesome place to visit, but you’ll be charting a far-out future for the web, pushing today’s technologies on tomorrow’s networks.

    If you have any questions, shoot us an email at ignite AT mozillafoundation DOT org, and make sure to follow @mozillaignite for the latest news.