Update on B2G OS for smartphones transition

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George Roter

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Feb 29, 2016, 6:52:17 PM2/29/16
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Dear Mozillians,


Upfront, my apology that this update is coming later than promised.


The purpose of this note is to give you an update on the transition of B2G OS for smartphones (which we’ve known as Firefox OS for smartphones) to a volunteer/contributor community owned, open source project.


Let me start with the action:

Please fill out this Doodle with your availability for the transition project kickoff meeting.


Context:

As you know, we are ending the development of Firefox OS for smartphones, which includes staff involvement in this project. However, we know that ending staff involvement abruptly would hurt Boot to Gecko (B2G) as an open source project.


I’ve watched from the sidelines as some of you have organized efforts to keep B2G for smartphones evolving as an open source project in the years ahead -- this is inspiring. Mozilla will invest some resources now that will support a transition process that sets your volunteer efforts up for success.


We are still working out the details -- and want non-staff input -- but we are planning for this investment to be approximately 5-10 staff members (exact details are still being worked out) for the next 4-5 months (again details to be worked through, with your input). Most of this effort would go toward reducing the complexity and ongoing maintenance costs of the B2G code base (more details below).


Volunteer community ownership:

The Connected Devices leadership team’s priority for this effort is ensuring non-staff ownership coming out of the transition period. As you all know, this means volunteer involvement right now!


I have taken on accountability for ensuring this “ownership” transition is done as well as possible within the resource and time constraints. For my own role, this means serving and facilitating a bigger team of staff and volunteers who can come together to make this happen.


From a brief analysis by staff, there are a number of important topics to be discussed and decisions to be made:

  1. Determining the relationship between the B2G OS for smartphones project and Mozilla moving forward

  2. Code transition specifics

  3. Governance

  4. Mentoring/get information to volunteer leaders/contributors

  5. Build and test infrastructure


This is a big set of topics already, and there may be more. Identifying these and making decisions will require staff and volunteers working together in the months ahead.


To get this started, I’m organizing an open B2G OS for smartphones transition kick-off meeting. If you’re interested in guiding this project in the months ahead, please fill out this Doodle with your availability for this meeting.


This meeting is open to anyone, and specifically designed for volunteer or staff community members who want to be involved in this transition period.


I will take on “chairing” this first meeting, and have the following topics in mind as agenda items:

  1. State of the code + code transition plan as it stands (staff leading conversation: Gregor Wagner or Fabrice Desré)

  2. Goals/areas of decision for the transition period

  3. Overall roadmap for transition, including specific timing

  4. Forming Working Group(s)


Let’s aim to keep this first meeting to ideally 60min and maximum 90min.


Please add any other topics to this email/Discourse thread, or ping me on IRC or Telegram at geroter.


Naming the project

Aside from the above, there is the issue of the name of the project. You’ll notice that I have been using B2G OS instead of Firefox OS in this note.


The current thinking by our brand team is to reserve the “Firefox” label for products that are actively being brought to market with users. This might include any new Connected Devices products -- they would only get the Firefox or Fox name once they were being marketed to potential users.


I’d like your feedback on this, but my recommendation would be to start calling this project B2G OS for smartphones right away (instead of Firefox OS), with the volunteer community leadership of the project figuring out later if there’s another more appropriate name.


Basic technical outline of the code transition work:

The goal of this plan is to reduce the gap between B2G and other Mozilla products (Firefox Desktop and Android) to limit the potential for breakage coming from platform changes, and to overall improve the webiness of B2G by removing apis that won't become web standards.


This effort spans several areas of the codebase:

  • deprecating packaged apps and security model

  • process model

  • low-level APIs

  • making Service Workers actually work


We’ll give more details of this on the kickoff call, and will publish a draft overall plan to the project wiki over the coming few days.



To finish, I look forward to working together on making B2G OS for smartphones a first class open source project owned by the community, built for the community and still very much advancing Mozilla’s values.


Onwards,

George

--
George Roter
Head of Core Contributors, Participation

irc: geroter  |  skype: geroter
Cell - Canada: 416.670.2401
Cell - USA: 650.485.0079

Vincent Cassé

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Mar 1, 2016, 3:35:36 AM3/1/16
to dev-...@lists.mozilla.org, George Roter
Hi George, Hi Mozilians,

That's a really good news and I'm really happy that Mozilla want to help community to maintain Firefox OS for smartphone. So, first : thanks a lot.
I think a lot of subject will be launched in the kickoff and I'm answered the doodle.

But, where will be the meeting? How to access to " Vidyo Room - TBD"?

Best regards,
Vincent

Le 01/03/16 00:52, George Roter a écrit :
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mte9...@gmail.com

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Mar 1, 2016, 6:17:57 AM3/1/16
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A good news for the future for smartphones but in few words "B2G OS" for smartphones will became a fork of Firefox OS that we know.
The good news is the improvement of the code base that is always a benefit!

Few questions:
For the marketplace what is the future in that new project?
For the foxfooders?
For the Firefox OS Participation Hub?

@Vincent: TBD means To Be Define so the url will change for the appointment date and in the link will explained how to install vidyo on you pc/mobile.

Luna Jernberg

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Mar 1, 2016, 6:21:46 AM3/1/16
to mte9...@gmail.com, George Roter, mozilla-...@lists.mozilla.org
Good news indeed put in the days i can next week in the doodle :)

Gabriele Svelto

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Mar 1, 2016, 7:49:29 AM3/1/16
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On 01/03/2016 12:17, mte9...@gmail.com wrote:
> For the marketplace what is the future in that new project?

We'll probably move to a model where any web page can be a Firefox OS
app (using standard Web manifests and ServiceWorkers for offline access)
thus removing the need of a marketplace and its inherent limitations.

Gabriele


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Greg Weng

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Mar 1, 2016, 8:02:44 AM3/1/16
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I think that what you mentioned is related to a proposal named TrustAuthority once posted by Thinker. There are lots of offline running page issues have been considered during the progress of such proposal, like how to make sure the usage of APIs can be verified as secure, and how to turn web pages to such offline "app" with one manifest on the server, and so on.

However, currently the major issue is it cannot be prioritized as platform work (yet; some people have concern about that). Therefore, for Gecko the idea cannot be realized without forking it. But maybe in the new project this is not an issue to do the similar thing.

Frederik Braun

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Mar 1, 2016, 9:24:01 AM3/1/16
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On 01.03.2016 09:34, Vincent Cassé wrote:
> But, where will be the meeting? How to access to " Vidyo Room - TBD?

Mozilla uses Vidyo for video-conferencing. You can install Vidyo through
https://v.mozilla.com/ or an app store (if using a phone or tablet ).

Julien Wajsberg

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Mar 2, 2016, 4:50:44 AM3/2/16
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Just a quick note that even if I won't be part of the transitioning team I'll be happy to review anything SMS-related.

I wish the team a great success and I'm looking forward to using B2G OS on my Z3C ;)
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George Roter

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Mar 3, 2016, 1:34:30 AM3/3/16
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Dear all,

The date that seems best given availability and not overlapping with the weekly project call (as someone pointed out to me that Monday does) is...

Thursday March 10th @ 18h30 UTC.

The location is Vidyo here:

(George Roter's Vidyo room if you want to search)

For those of you who aren't there, it will be recorded and you can watch later.

Regards,
George

George Roter

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Mar 9, 2016, 3:59:13 PM3/9/16
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Reminder, this meeting is tomorrow at 18h30 UTC --> join by going to the Vidyo room at this link:

Luna Jernberg

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Mar 17, 2016, 12:25:42 PM3/17/16
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Have time to watch now :)

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