Mozilla mocks up possible Firefox successors in idea factory

Logo Mozilla FirefoxMozilla Labs this week took steps to open up its idea factory to wider outside input, asking for community help to develop the next big ideas that might power future browsers. Like any good research lab, the goal is not an immediate product but a set of innovative ideas that can be played with and debated without the pressure of an immediate implementation.

Mozilla Labs' "concepts" can consist of three parts: ideas, mockups, or prototypes. The idea of throwing open the lab to more voices was all about hearing from... new voices (surprise!), so Mozilla wants to make sure that plenty of people can contribute, even if they can't hack code.

"You don??™t have to be a software engineer to get involved, and you don??™t have to program," says the announcement. "Everyone is welcome to participate. We??™re particularly interested in engaging with designers who have not typically been involved with open-source projects. And we??™re biasing towards broad participation, not finished implementations."

Ideas are simple text descriptions of a new concept. They're meant to be thrown out by anyone, then talked about and possibly taken to the next level, which is the mockup. Mockups turn ideas into pictures or video clips that illustrate how the idea might look and operate in practice. Finally, prototypes are fully interactive implementations of ideas, though they may not be "fully functional or pretty."

To illustrate the process, Mozilla commissioned three videos from UI designers, each showing possible ideas for browser development. While the "Bookmarking & History Concept" and "Mobile Concept" are both quite cool, the "Aurora" idea from Adaptive Path is certainly the most radical potential change to the browser's look and feel. Each concept is highly visual and therefore difficult to explain in words, but all three are worth a look.

For now, "contributing" a concept is something of a nebulous process. According to Mozilla, users should just "use your favorite method of sharing an concept with the world. If it??™s an idea, blog about it. If it??™s a mockup, put it on Flickr. If it??™s a prototype, host it on your web site." The organization promises more structure is coming soon, however.

Mozilla wants to encourage outside innovation in other ways, too, including contests like the recent "Extend Firefox 3" challenge. The contest, which will give away a Macbook Air and other prizes any day now, seeks to recognize the best third-party extensions to Firefox 3.

While Firefox 3-specific contests are directly related to the browser, the broader call for "concepts" is not. The ideas developed could easily be gleaned by rivals, but Mozilla isn't worried. One of the odd benefits of being an open-source developer is that you don't need to be (and can't be) as secretive as most in-house commercial development.

While the concepts shown so far may never see release, they do provide more evidence of how the revitalized Mozilla has been driving browser innovation in the last few years. And not all of that innovation comes from Mozilla itself??”AT&T has used the Mozilla codebase as the foundation for its experimental Pogo browser, which seems to be working through visual ideas that are at least superficially similar to some of Mozilla's concepts.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Firefox, Mozilla

Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
Your comment:

Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party

Last news

Galaxy Note10 really is built around a 6.7-inch display
You may still be able to download your content
Facebook, Messenger and Instagram are all going away
Minimize apps to a floating, always-on-top bubble
Japan Display has been providing LCDs for the iPhone XR, the only LCD model in Apple’s 2018 line-up
The 2001 operating system has reached its lowest share level
The entire TSMC 5nm design infrastructure is available now from TSMC
The smartphone uses a Snapdragon 660 processor running Android 9 Pie
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 / 2
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /

News Archive



Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (16)