Mozilla and Mobile: proposed goals

2 views
Skip to first unread message

Mitchell Baker

unread,
Sep 17, 2008, 2:05:32 PM9/17/08
to

I'm cross-posting to .governance as well. That's the ideal place for
follow-up, though I'll read anything that shows up here as well. I'll
also be hanging out in #2010goals as much as I can for the next few weeks.

I've proposed a set of product and technology goals for Mozilla for
2010. (http://blog.lizardwrangler.com/2008/09/11/proposed-2010-goals/)
One of these goals is about the mobile space. It's below. I believe
that the two very high level goals I proposed for mobile are
uncontroversial in themselves. If that's not the case then please
speak up asap.

"3. Mobile

* have an effective product in the mobile market
* demonstrate that “mobile” is part of one, unified, open web"

Gerv has suggested we talk about what an "effective product" means. Is
that a market share number? Some degree of mindshare? Proof that
Firefox on mobile devices is as exciting as Firefox on the desktop? Are
users the key, or innovation, or speed, or mindshare?

As to the second part of the goal Stuart notes that we'll need to think
about how content is created for devices with different characteristics
than a desktop machine, and how this affects our idea of one web. How
should we approach this?

What do you think is necessary for an "effective product" on mobile
devices? And how should we think about maintaining one web? Free-flow
thoughts are welcome -- what's the picture you'd like to see?

(Some thoughts from summit attendees can be found here. I asked people
to put their thoughts on sticky notes and attach them to the various
goals. So these are stitched together in any way.)

Mitchell

jigarshah

unread,
Sep 19, 2008, 5:26:26 AM9/19/08
to
Regarding "have an effective product in the mobile market", What
market you are targeting ? 810 phones share how much of market space ?
(Why 810 was selected in first place ? Because already it was
experimented with Mozilla ?) What mobile device people mainly use for
accessing internet ? Which OS really significant ?

Here in India almost all people carry a mobile phone. Here mobile
market share is much higher than PC or Laptop. I see people scarping
on orkut with those numeric keypads and really small joystick. I
really see a huge opportunity for MoCo with mobile here. Only issue is
it does not have one significant device market like iPhone.

Couldn't we select some platform which is already prominent or some
platform which can bring some new people on the desk ? (May be
android ? I know they already have one browser)

I think most important part will be content handling. Don't as
developers to rewrite for mobiles. Instead provide tools where they
can access same content in a mobile friendly way. (e.g. Giving
bookmark organizer to numeric keypad mobile will be not work. May be a
magnifier addon would work)

Zak Greant

unread,
Sep 19, 2008, 5:29:26 AM9/19/08
to
Hi Mitchell, Greetings All!

On Sep 17, 11:05 am, Mitchell Baker <mitch...@mozilla.com> wrote:
...


> Gerv has suggested we talk about what an "effective product" means.  Is
> that a market share number?  Some degree of mindshare?  Proof that
> Firefox on mobile devices is as exciting as Firefox on the desktop?  Are
> users the key, or innovation, or speed, or mindshare?

I think that we need to more closely define who we want to serve and
what makes the browser effective for them.

Groups we might aim to serve include:
* users in the developing world who need a robust, localized browser
that runs well on their mobile devices

* developers who need a stable x-platform mobile browser that they can
trust to develop products with and deploy products on. In this space
we should think about past lessons, such as how Firebug's amazing
usefulness helped make Firefox the browser of choice for web
developers during the development process - and how this meant that
Firefox users started getting a dramatically better web experience
because of it.

Once we know who we really want to serve and what they need, then we
can get a better handle on what makes the browser effective and should
know what metrics help us know if we've being effective.

> As to the second part of the goal Stuart notes that we'll need to think
> about how content is created for devices with different characteristics
> than a desktop machine, and how this affects our idea of one web.    How
> should we approach this?

One related aspect is how key the mobile device and browser is to a
person's experience of the net. If you have a cell phone, a desktop
computer and a laptop, then the cell phone probably isn't the
cornerstone of your online experience. If you only have a cell phone,
then everything hinges on what the device and browser can do for you.
If a person uses the net via a mobile device to participate in
business, civic, cultural and family affairs we should consider that
this device is likely the most important piece of communication
technology in that person's life. This implies that people will need
to author content on their phone - simply because they don't have any
other tool to do so.

Cheers!
--zak

Robert Kaiser

unread,
Sep 19, 2008, 8:13:23 AM9/19/08
to
jigarshah wrote:
> Regarding "have an effective product in the mobile market", What
> market you are targeting ? 810 phones share how much of market space ?
> (Why 810 was selected in first place ? Because already it was
> experimented with Mozilla ?) What mobile device people mainly use for
> accessing internet ? Which OS really significant ?

Note that I'm only some community member, I'm nobody really doing the
decisions, but here's what I seem to remember about your questions:

1) N810 is no phone, it's a dedicated "Internet tablet" that connects to
the net via WLAN or Bluetooth+Phone, just for clarity.

2) That was chosen as the first platform to get our stuff running on
because it's the easiest target - we're almost there already. We know
it's not a device that has very significant market share, but as it's
open to any software and built on Linux, it's good for a first try to
play with getting us ready for any mobile market.

3) Work is underway for other mobile platforms, i.e. Windows Mobile and
even Symbian, but we know we are much farer away from having something
that actually works there, and while that work is progressing the
N810/Linux work on the other hand allows us to already have something to
play with and to improve things like performance and UI which will work
the same for other platforms, as the vast majority of our code is
cross-platform.

4) What mobile device people are really using for accessing the Internet
varies hugely between world regions and even time. While time is a
factor that plays in our hands, giving more processing power and memory
to mobile devices while we at the same time reduce the amount of CPU and
memory we need, it will be hard to target all devices people use at once
- though having a community like ours helping and working on it can help
a lot. The more common devices are surely in our vision, but need more
work - if you can help there, I'm sure our mobile developers will love it.

5) What OS is really significant can just not be answered. When looking
at worldwide numbers, which vary a lot regionally, at least all of
Symbian, Windows Mobile and Linux variants have larger significance. As
the Mozilla platform already works on desktop Linux and desktop Windows,
and some mobile Linux variants have significant similarities to desktop
Linux, using one of those (maemo as running on N810) as entry point was
the most easy variant to get something going. Other mobile Linux
variants, like Qtopia-based devices, will already be harder, same for
Windows mobile. The hardest is probably Symbian, as we don't have the
Mozilla platform running on any similar system yet - that's why I'd
expect that you will see working mobile applications from Mozilla
running on mobile devices oin exactly that order - unless someone (you?)
comes up with a herculean effort and puts in a lot of work on, say, a
Symbian port.

As I said, those are just things I gathered as a community member, I
can't speak for the Mozilla Foundation or Corporation, just for myself
and what I saw and see the wider Mozilla community doing.

Robert Kaiser

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages