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WebOS on Firefox OS devices?
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Old 07/03/2012, 08:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Has anyone else found the Firefox OS devices (formerly "boot to Gecko") an intriguing possible home for WebOSOS? One would expect the Gecko devices to be as easy to root as WebOS is. Is anyone more knowledgeable about how easy it would be for Gecko apps & drivers (particularly phone & radios) to be used by WebOS?

Apparently Sprint is at least paying lip service to the idea, although that may just be to negotiate better prices from other vendors, so those of us still hanging on (My $75 Pre2 arrives soon to be Frankened) could have some upgrade path.
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Old 07/05/2012, 03:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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We don't have any details on the devices yet so who knows what's possible.

On the other hand: Firefox OS is open source so in theory it should be possible to get it ported to webOS devices.
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Old 07/05/2012, 09:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Firefox OS relies on their Gecko rendering engine, whereas webOS relies on the Webkit engine. Fundamentally incompatible even though the low-level systems are both Linux.

That's the problem. It'd be like saying, "Hey, Firefox, if you want to be on the PC you're gonna have to use Internet Explorer's rendering engine (Trident)!"

Nope.
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Old 07/05/2012, 10:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dignitary View Post
Firefox OS relies on their Gecko rendering engine, whereas webOS relies on the Webkit engine. Fundamentally incompatible even though the low-level systems are both Linux.

That's the problem. It'd be like saying, "Hey, Firefox, if you want to be on the PC you're gonna have to use Internet Explorer's rendering engine (Trident)!"

Nope.
HTML 5 apps should work properly regardless of rendering engine. That's the whole point and promise of the web as an application platform.

It's the applicationcalls to the hardware that become an issue. But if Open webOS implemented hooks for mozilla's WebAPI (which has been submitted to wc3 for standardization) to handle the calls to the hardware, I don't see why those HTML 5 apps couldn't run.
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Old 07/05/2012, 11:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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No, I agree. But implementing the WebAPI in Webkit, much less in full, isn't possible yet because it's neither complete nor has it submitted the full specification (outside of a few APIs) to the W3C DAP Group. It's coming through piecemeal.

Webkit would be forced to implement a non-standardized API layer that Mozilla effectively controls in large part, and the nightlies folks aren't generally too keen about that until it's an actual comprehensive draft specification rather than the bits and pieces that aren't even blessed by the W3C yet.

Once enough parts are standardized over the next few years, that's when you'll see Webkit get fully on board. It's not going to happen overnight by any stretch of the imagination; we're talking months and years for widespread adoption, and Mozilla, having built it, essentially has the keys to the innovation at the moment being the ones developing the initial specification--and then contributing it to the larger community after they finish including each part into B2G.
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Old 07/05/2012, 11:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jcerwinske View Post
HTML 5 apps should work properly regardless of rendering engine. That's the whole point and promise of the web as an application platform.
FTFY. That's what the standards-compliance people have said about HTML since the late 90s, and as you know, this has never, ever been the case. HTML5's been no different, especially if you look at the magical case of WebSQL (which Webkit once supported, webOS still uses, but everyone ditched because nobody could agree on its standardization).

http://www.w3.org/TR/webdatabase/

It wasn't technically part of the HTML5 specification, but close enough to count since most prominent folks still considered it a concurrent relative to HTML5 Web Storage (http://www.w3.org/TR/2009/WD-webstorage-20091222/), which is part of the spec.
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Old 07/14/2012, 07:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I was actually thinking at a lower level, like device drivers. Mobile hardware is notorious for closed source, undistributable drivers. Without drivers for modems, radios, cameras, and displays, WebOS is dead in the water. If gecko uses a linux-variant that is compatible with the WebOS Linux variant, we can use the drivers that ship with the devices.. If not...dead in the water.
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