follow me on twitter

follow me on twitter.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Developing and deploying a FirefoxOS application

At the MozillaCamp2012 in Warsaw I came upon the x-tag implementation of Mozilla. Eager to try some x-tags and the Mozilla implementation I started a first FirefoxOS application. While I currently have no hardware device on which I can run b2g applications, we can find other ways.

While having a hardware device is essential to develop and test an application, it is a nice asset of a platform to have other ways to run an application. While developing a FirefoxOS application, the turnaround can be extremely quick for a great part of the app. When e.g. it comes to fiddle around with the UI to make it beautiful and shiny it's a bless to be able to simply reload the app in a browser and having all the beloved development tools available for debugging, adjusting styles and the like. Once it fits after a dozen or so development cycles, it can be deployed and tested on the device again.

For FirefoxOS aka b2g aka boot2gecko applications there are many ways to be run while development:
While reloading the app in the browser is the fastest, browsers lacks decent support for Web APIs so far. Anyway, having these three ways available boosts development in many regards.

Possible productive deployment platforms are:
  • a mobile phone device running FirefoxOS (not commercially available yet)
  • a mobile tablet device  running FirefoxOS (same as phone)
  • a sandboxed browser (Web API support required)
  • a desktop application (e.g. deployed via FirefoxAurora)
All ways have their own appeal and taken them all together with a single app is great.

Mozilla provides a product line demonstrating the ability of doing this right now. As it is fully based on standards or standard proposal it is more than a proprietary FirefoxOS or Mozilla application. It's a convincing proposal on how web application technology can be leveraged on every platform with a similar degree of integration into the hosting device or platform as native counterparts or even run directly on a mobile and web enabled linux kernel like b2g. There might be never a full "write-once, run-everywhere" for high-class, high-fidelity apps, but given support for standardized, installable HTML5 apps on desktop and mobile is a great asset, pushing competitors further in many regards.

See this YouTube video with the screencast on how I deployed and run an web application in a web browser, the firefoxOS phone device emulator and deployed as a desktop application on OSX:

No comments:

Post a Comment