Any plans for a Mozilla-based OS?

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emery.d...@gmail.com

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Mar 16, 2007, 11:01:25 AM3/16/07
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It seems like a waste not to have an OS that is based primarily on the
Mozilla platform, after all, XUL is more than capable to act as the
standard GUI as-is. I would suggest using FreeBSD for the kernel. I
would also love to be a part of developing the shell. :)

Mike Beltzner

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Mar 16, 2007, 3:11:37 PM3/16/07
to emery.d...@gmail.com, dev.planning
I'm sure that others have opinions here, but to my mind the browser *is* an OS, with the application layer being AJAX patterned apps which can be run in online and offline state. So we're kind of already there.

All we need to do is tune the UI a little, but you can see bookmarks <-> shortcuts, history/cache/storage <-> file system, extensions <-> plugins/system helpers.

"The network is the computer," indeed!

cheers,
mike

Eddie-MacG3

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Mar 16, 2007, 6:58:38 PM3/16/07
to emery.d...@gmail.com
On Mar 16, 10:01 am, emery.denuc...@gmail.com wrote:
> It seems like a waste not to have an OS
> that is based primarily on the Mozilla platform, ...

- OS: PuppyOS
http://www.PuppyOS.com/

- Mozilla platform: SeaMonkey
http://www.Mozilla.org/projects/seamonkey/

Duly cross-posted to:
http://www.PuppyOS.net/forum/?Ideas
http://groups.Google.com/group/mozilla.dev.apps.seamonkey/topics

Thank you,
Eddie Maddox
SeaMonkey Surfer

emery.d...@gmail.com

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Mar 16, 2007, 7:58:48 PM3/16/07
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It's not an OS, but it is indeed a platform. Really it's middle-ware
that is ported to a number of OS's. On each OS it is implemented
differently, on top of or along side an existing native GUI, because
there isn't a Mozilla desktop. The thing is that XUL beats the socks
off of any other GUI (IMO), and it seems unfair for it not to have a
dedicated OS where it is the native GUI instead of just mimicking the
look n' feels of all these others. It wouldn't be a monumental task to
create a desktop with XUL. It would first be a matter of tying in the
things that are now currently borrowed from the native API, like find
file dialogs. Then we'd need to make a Mozilla-based graphical shell.
Doing what Gnome and KDE have done should not take nearly as much
effort because most of the work is already done. XUL is already an
incredibly powerful widget toolkit with all the works (widgets,
locales, skinning, etc...) built into it already.

emery.d...@gmail.com

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Mar 16, 2007, 8:16:43 PM3/16/07
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Oh, sorry, I think I misunderstood you Mike. Were you just saying that
creating a shell would be even less work because the browser can
already do most of what a shell can? In that case, yeah, I agree, the
browser could be integrated with the shell the same way that Explorer
is on Windows.

Mike Beltzner

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Mar 16, 2007, 8:24:21 PM3/16/07
to emery.d...@gmail.com, dev.planning
I don't see the advantage of being an OS as you describe it. Let the OSes deal with the pain of device drivers, memory allocation, filesystems, network interface layers and I/O. Let us work on improving the cross-platform layer that helps users get to their applications, online data, and friends, pushing the web forward.

cheers,
mike

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emery.d...@gmail.com

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Mar 16, 2007, 10:25:05 PM3/16/07
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> cheers,
> mike

I'm not suggesting dealing with any of that pain. That's all handled
by the kernel. I'm only suggesting competing with Gnome and KDE as
graphical desktops, because the Mozilla platform already does almost
all of what they do, and does it better. Currently we use familiar
skinning to match the look n' feel of these desktops so that it
*feels* native. Why shouldn't XUL *be* the native GUI? Furthermore,
because XUL is already so incredibly good at mimicking its would-be
competitors, that will be a huge reason for developers to use this
desktop as their main developing environment (the GTK+ and Qt ports
are dreadful). I think one of the main things stopping developers from
using XUL is because it has a reputation, wrong as it may be, for
being a memory hog, specifically because it [must] replicates a lot of
functionality already present in the native API and already occupying
memory (for good reason; relying on native widgets would be
impractical, and extremely limiting, i.e. wxWidgets). That would not
be an issue if Mozilla were the native API. In other words, one reason
for a Mozilla OS would be to get rid of the needless overhead that
another OS would add for running applications not built with Mozilla.
And because it would simply be a better desktop in general I think.
XUL makes beautiful interfaces.

There's also the advantage of being able to escape the GPL, and
instead use the MPL which I very much prefer.

Navin Sylvester

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Mar 17, 2007, 4:58:57 AM3/17/07
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Eddie-MacG3

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Mar 17, 2007, 5:28:36 PM3/17/07
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SymphonyOS
http://SymphonyOS.com/
"Unity, Beauty, Simplicity"

(Mezzo Desktop Environment, "desklet system")
http://shots.OSDir.com/slideshows/slideshow.php?release=644&slide=20
"Symphony OS 2006-05 Beta
Quick Links: boot, installation, desktop, taskbar, menu,
configuration."

SymphonyOS 2006-12 Now Available at LinuxTracker.org
http://Digg.com/linux_unix/SymphonyOS_2006_12_Now_Available_at_LinuxTracker_org
"LinuxTracker.org is pleased to announce the availability of
SymphonyOS 2006-12 on the linuxtracker bittorrent network. ..."

Symphony OS 2006-12 $9.99
http://On-Disk.com/product_info.php/products_id/192
"Unity, Beauty, Simplicity...
Symphony OS is a GNU/Linux based operating system
which uses it's own Mezzo desktop environment. ..."

Eddie

Eddie-MacG3

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Mar 17, 2007, 5:47:03 PM3/17/07
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On Mar 17, 4:28 pm, "Eddie-MacG3" <GreatnessG...@gmail.com> wrote:
> SymphonyOS
> http://SymphonyOS.com/
> "Unity, Beauty, Simplicity"
>
> (Mezzo Desktop Environment, "desklet system")

Mezzo uses Gecko, at least, IIRC. I'm not sure about XUL, etc.

The SymphonyOS project has had financial and other challenges the last
several months. Nevertheless, they did manage to get a release out
last December.

Eddie

Alex Faaborg

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Mar 17, 2007, 4:02:56 PM3/17/07
to belt...@mozilla.com, dev.planning, emery denuccio
I agree with Mike that we shouldn't get into dealing with drivers, filesystems, etc. But what if we took a linux distro like Knoppix that loads from a bootable CD (or Live CD), and modified it so that the only UI the user got after booting was Firefox. We would probably want to implement online profiles since there wouldn't be any storage, but it would be a cool way to quickly convert an old computer loaded with viruses and spyware into a secure and streamlined Web browsing machine. Maybe a labs project?

cheers,
-Alex


----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Beltzner" <belt...@mozilla.com>
To: "emery denuccio" <emery.d...@gmail.com>, "dev.planning" <dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org>
Sent: Friday, March 16, 2007 5:24:21 PM (GMT-0800) America/Los_Angeles
Subject: Re: Any plans for a Mozilla-based OS?

I don't see the advantage of being an OS as you describe it. Let the OSes deal with the pain of device drivers, memory allocation, filesystems, network interface layers and I/O. Let us work on improving the cross-platform layer that helps users get to their applications, online data, and friends, pushing the web forward.

cheers,
mike

_______________________________________________
dev-planning mailing list
dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org
https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-planning

Emery

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Mar 18, 2007, 9:27:03 AM3/18/07
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I'm only proposing that we make a desktop environment, the same thing
that KDE and Gnome, are. The only reason I mentioned a "Mozilla OS" is
because we'd probably also want to release distributions for one of
more specific kernels as a whole OS, including with it Firefox,
Thunderbird, and any other applications built with the Mozilla
platform available then. Currently there are plenty of kernels to put
a Mozilla desktop environment on.

Firefox isn't quite a shell on its own. It holds all of the
characteristics of an application, and it would not be so simple, or
quite make sense, to adapt it to a desktop. The best and easiest
solution would be to keep Firefox a browser, extend its use to
browsing the local file system as well, and make a seperate desktop
for managing applications (which includes opening directory views in
Firefox). This is similar to Explorer on Windows, except that Windows
has Explorer and Internet Explorer as seperate applications, even
though they are almost identical. The differences are minor, and I
think unnecessary. Microsoft decided to keep a small apparent gap
between the Web browser and the file browser, having the latter mostly
just exclude a few Web-specific toolbar buttons, like "home". Explorer
is also the desktop, including the taskbar, start menu, etc... I
believe Konqueror is a better example of a file/web browser as part of
the KDE desktop environment, but seperate from the rest of the shell.

All this leaves is to make a desktop, extend Firefox to display files
and folders better, and add features for file manipulation (move,
copy, delete, etc...) to Firefox (this is a much needed improvement,
that I suspect is probably already being done since Firefox currently
cannot do this with FTP either without an extension like FireFTP), and
fill in the few GUI elements from XUL that are currently taken from
the native GUI (top-level windows, file selector, basic text
rendering?).

Andrew McPherson

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Mar 20, 2007, 1:48:17 AM3/20/07
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> dev-plann...@lists.mozilla.orghttps://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-planning

Why not use a java web operating system, then port over what we really
need for boot from netbsd, so it'll run on anything?
Good idea, have been working on it for 5 years now.

Simon Paquet

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Mar 20, 2007, 5:30:07 AM3/20/07
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And on the seventh day emery.d...@gmail.com spoke:

Perfect, you guys made it to slashdot.

--> http://slashdot.org/articles/07/03/20/0048245.shtml

Now all the slashdot folks think, that Mozilla has gone totally mad :-(

So how about developing something, instead of discussing this? Do
something, come back in 6 months and show us what you've got.

EOD
Simon
--
Sunbird/Lightning Website Maintainer:
http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar
Sunbird/Lightning blog: http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/calendar

ola...@gmail.com

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Mar 20, 2007, 6:48:48 AM3/20/07
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You know that OEone tried doing that and it was really slow.
The code is here http://sourceforge.net/projects/pendesktop/
It needs to be updated to xulrunner and some things are
already integrated like the calendar.

If you could nail down why it's so slow it could speed up
firefox and thunderbird.

Olafur Arason

Gervase Markham

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Mar 20, 2007, 7:20:48 AM3/20/07
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emery.d...@gmail.com wrote:
> I'm not suggesting dealing with any of that pain. That's all handled
> by the kernel. I'm only suggesting competing with Gnome and KDE as
> graphical desktops, because the Mozilla platform already does almost
> all of what they do, and does it better.

You need to investigate the "Penzilla" (a terrible name IMO) project,
which may still be around. It was done by a company called OEOne a few
years ago. Unlike almost every other startup at the time, they had a
great product but terrible marketing.

Gerv

bid...@gmail.com

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Mar 20, 2007, 12:30:21 PM3/20/07
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On Mar 18, 8:27 am, "Emery" <emery.denuc...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm only proposing that we make a desktop environment, the same thing
> that KDE and Gnome, are. The only reason I mentioned a "Mozilla OS" is
> because we'd probably also want to release distributions for one of
> more specific kernels as a whole OS, including with it Firefox,
> Thunderbird, and any other applications built with the Mozilla
> platform available then. Currently there are plenty of kernels to put
> a Mozilla desktop environment on.

Be careful, in a few years they'll make you bundle IE with it...

Message has been deleted

pa...@eelink.net

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Mar 20, 2007, 1:27:18 PM3/20/07
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I recommend you all think long and hard about this. I am an Ubuntu
user on my T60 and I don't dual boot. I love the fact that Ubuntu is
like an appliance -- all the software (pretty much anyway) comes from
a few limited repositories and has been tailored to my system. Things
just work. When I add an app, I always go to the same place and when
I remove an app, it's gone as far as I know (even though the install
deb stays on the disk).

Just a thin slice of upside here are this:

1) It's stable.
2) It's a single app for maintaining the software on my system.
3) It reminds me of apple in 1990 in terms of ease and simplicity.
4) Gone are the disk churn and CPU burn with Windows virus checking
and cleanup.

If Mozilla were to undertake an OS, would they use the Apple model of
supporting limited hardware so they could ensure stabilility and
features?? Or, would they strip features and drivers in an attempt to
support a broad range of hardware? These are key decisions in any OS
approach. I wouldn't recommend Mozilla take this on but if they did,
supporting a limited hardware set but doing it well is an approach
that has merit as the alternative of supporting all the x86 universe
seems prohibitive in terms of scope. If there were an org to take on
an OS for a limited hardware set, Mozilla would be a great partner to
this org and that is probably the better way for this to happen.

I would rather both google and Mozilla stay out of the OS.

If Mozilla were to add a new direction, I would rather it be in voice
apps on smart phones. I would rather the Internet messaging and
communication focus Mozilla has now extend into voice and into smart
phones. If Mozilla is going to introduce a full OS and application
platform anywhere, I would recommend it be on a smart phone. Imagine
a Samsung SGH-i600 which is a quad band phone with WIFI that runs all
your cellular phone voice apps + runs Skype over wifi and cellular
internet + runs the VOIP app of your choice over WIFI. And is running
some brand of Linux/BSD so you can sync with your PC based on cron
jobs and on the fly and in the background. Nice. This product just
took a hunk of your cell phone bill away, gives you the ability to
make and take calls anywhere in the world where you can get wifi, and
can extend all the Mozilla application framework into the phone
space.

On top of all this is asterisk which has a role in my view if the
current PC and smart phone get on a common, open platform.

The phone has the branding and revenue potential of Firefox also which
not too many applications have.

This is where Mozilla should be looking in my view.

--

keith....@gmail.com

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Mar 20, 2007, 2:05:57 PM3/20/07
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I agree the cell phone direction appears to be more practical,
particularly with the upcoming google phone, but as mentioned above,
for a PC platform, a "Mubuntu-desktop" would be a great way to go.
Take advantage of the existing Ubuntu user base, and allow those same
users to try MozilaOS without a need for dual-boot. Ubuntu being a
popular Linux OS for non-computer people, and Mozilla being loved
across all platforms including windows and OSX, guru and not, a
Mubuntu-Desktop would be a fun, clean, and stable platform that would
blur the lines between peoples choices in OS, and get Mozilla users to
upgrade that which they are already used to.

Good luck with the project.

yosh...@gmail.com

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Mar 21, 2007, 4:01:21 AM3/21/07
to

have you seen symphony os? it's a linux desktop running on top of
gecko.
(look for some reviews on distrowatch.com)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_OS

Emery

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Mar 21, 2007, 9:09:04 AM3/21/07
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Thanks to everyone who informed me of the ongoing projects already
doing this. I think this is a good idea, and that it will be more
realistic in the future when we have enough apps made with the Mozilla
framework to individually rely on. For the time being I'm going to
concentrate on those apps, and try to get involved in the existing
projects (particularly Penzilla, because it supports the MPL, and I
oppose the fascist, progress-damming GPL)

I've learned something about Slashdot from this discussion, namely
it's complete lack of information. I, a single person who hasn't
contributed anything to Mozilla (yet), am referred to as the entire
collective Mozilla development team. This is just an idea I was
throwing out there to see if people thought it was a good, bad, or
already done. I'm not even going to get into the nonsensical comments
and arguments that followed that "article".

Thanks again!

Prasanna

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Mar 24, 2007, 1:59:19 AM3/24/07
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Yah, I do believe that XUL is capable in itself to be extended into an
OS... so why not?

jeromel...@gmail.com

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Apr 20, 2007, 1:57:31 PM4/20/07
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Well you guys could call it Icebird :)
... with a little penguin logo "à la" firefox & thunderbird logos.

Robert Kaiser

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Apr 20, 2007, 5:41:47 PM4/20/07
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jeromel...@gmail.com schrieb:

> Well you guys could call it Icebird :)
> ... with a little penguin logo "à la" firefox & thunderbird logos.

First, the (Sh)Ice-naming is Debian's way, so it should be their thing
to use. And then, given how useful that approach looks to many people
here, IceBerg would probably be a better name.

Robert Kaiser

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