Mozilla Announces Platform-Independent App Store
Mozilla has released the latest version of the Firefox Add-on SDK. For those unfamiliar with the Add-on SDK, it is a toolkit designed to make it easy to create Firefox add-ons using web development languages and tools, and features a simplified API.
A marketplace with apps for a variety of platforms. That’s the vision of a new Mozilla Marketplace, announced Thursday by the non-profit maker of the Firefox browser.
‘Biggest Playing Field Imaginable’
“We are enabling the Web to be the marketplace, giving developers the opportunity to play on the biggest playing field imaginable,” said Mozilla Chief of Innovation Todd Simpson, in a statement. In Mozilla’s approach, the Web itself becomes the platform.
The “write once, deploy everywhere” vision has been tried more than once before, such as with Java-coded client applications and Web-based hosted applications. Mozilla said that its approach will provide open and flexible billing options, and that the use of Web standards will “massively reduce the cost of creating, versioning and maintaining applications.”
Both Apple and Google have been backers of HTML5 technologies, but have so far avoided creating a venue for apps to run on others’ platforms.
The Marketplace is one component of the new Mozilla Web App platform. It will be open for developers’ submissions at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week, and will be accessible to consumers and businesses later this year. Categories will include games, media, music, productivity and other areas.
The other two major components are proposed APIs, and a new identity system. The APIs will be submitted to the W3C standards body for approval, and the identity system is intended to tie apps to users, not to devices or platforms.