ZDNet Japan Builder Techday: Open API & Beyond - 3) Mozilla - Innovation and the Open Web

Chris Beard - Mozilla Community Worldwide Third up was Chris Beard - VP of Products at Mozilla Corp.  He explained the structure of Mozilla, and the mission of the Mozilla Foundation to deliver value to the web - rather than just to shareholders.  He talked about the the Mozilla community worldwide, and then about Mozilla Labs and Mozilla Messaging.

Mozilla Messaging is the organisation set up to support the future development of Thunderbird and related efforts.  Version 3.0 is coming up with an improved extensibility framework, calendar integration and improved search.  My addition to that list would definitely be non-sucky IMAP support - I have problems with their threading model, where a deleted message stays active for a random few seconds before disappearing, causing navigation issues, especially a problem if you are deleting several messages.

Mozilla Labs is Mozilla's centre of thought leading for the future of the web.  Their mission is to generate ideas, and quickly develop and release products aroudn these ideas.  Their current prototype - "Weave" - is an attempt to break up the various parts of the web experience, and make them interchangable, and move some of them to the cloud.  Bookmarks, History, Customisation and Identity are separated out, as are the underlying technical elements - Rendering, Javascript, Networking, Graphics, Parsing, Persistence, Messaging and Sync. 

Weave is still at 0.1 alpha release, and how all this modularity plays out is yet to be seen, but it does represent a challenging new paradigm, extending the extensibility - if you like - hinted at by the traditional browser construct of engine plus chrome that we have seen in Gecko, Trident, WebKit, etc.

But by opening up all these elements, developers will be able to incorporate them in other web experiences - not just browsers.  Users will be able to have similar experiences in other web-enabled applications.


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