Is “Open” Still Enough?

Reacting to new threats and old prejudices

Is “Open” Still Enough? Reacting to new threats and old prejudices

firefox phone

Preaching to the choir

Choir Photo by Dave Parker

I'm a web guy…

Gateway to adventure

I work for Mozilla…


We're 15 this year!

Birthday Dino

Historic things happened

  • 1998: Release of the Netscape browser suite source code
  • First mission drafted (Netscape code is free, contributors will work on it, full disclosure and credit)
  • Bugzilla, Chimera, Cocoazilla, Fizzilla, Galeon, Kmeleon
  • 2002: Mozilla 1.0, Firebird, Phoenix (as per charter)
  • 2003: Mozilla Foundation - release of the Mozilla Manifesto: openness, innovation, and opportunity are key to the continued health of the Internet
  • 2004: Firefox 1.0 (100 million downloads)

History of Mozilla

The why of Mozilla

  • People should be able to consume the web on their terms
  • Technology should not be dictated by a corporate agenda
  • Access to the web should not be limited to a certain platform
  • People should not have to be products to communicate online
  • Software should support as many platforms as possible

Built-in reach…

This is for everyone

Open Source = protection

  • You can't kill an open source project
  • You can't buy out an open source project
  • You can't hide in the open (better code)
  • The community and the users decide when a product is not interesting any longer

Showing the workaround

bypassing a gate

And now?

Mozilla Webmaker


Open source is very common…

Barrack Obama Octocat

Open source needs simplicity…

Linux Guitar hero

Getting open source-ish…

Hazmat minifig

Ta-Dah source

Ta-Dah! Photo by Harald Hoyer

Pasture source


No magical community

Look who's playing!

Adobe brackets

Adobe Brackets

A new battleground

Clinton inauguration vs Obama inauguration

The mobile (web)consumption

people with smartphones

A competitive, closed market

Apple, Samsung and Nokia


Psycho horror

Fragmention = choice

lots of different devices

A strange market

For smartphones in particular, the traditional metrics are confusing. Android has 70% market share, but Apple is taking 70% of the profit. Google, meanwhile, is not benefiting from Android’s market share dominance as much as Samsung, which recorded $4 billion in profit from its cellphone and telecom business in Q4 2012. In the same quarter, Google made less—$2.89 billion—from all its businesses combined. And when it comes to selling actual smartphones, the only two companies making any money are Apple and Samsung.

It started well…

iPhone without an SDK

An old, old idea…

Our enormously productive economy … demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals…

Victor Lebow, Journal of Retailing, 1955

Victor Lebow on Wikipedia - Detailed article and original paper

An old, old idea…

…that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption … we need things consumed, burned up, replaced and discarded at an ever-accelerating rate.

Victor Lebow, Journal of Retailing, 1955

Planned or built-in obsolescence

Instilling in the buyer the desire to own something a little newer, a little better, a little sooner than is necessary.

Clifford Brooks Stevens, 1954

Planned Obsolescence on Wikipedia

HTML5 into the background
  • Native platforms have tighter control
  • It is easier to make older phones obsolete
  • You can built and own functionality without standardising
  • Mobile browsers are hardware-bound and block HTML5 access to hardware

That doesn't fly with Mozilla…

Pouting dog

Firefox for Android

Firefox for Android

Boot to Gecko

Boot to Gecko architecture

Boot to Gecko

Boot to Gecko

Infrastructure needs (1)

connection caps

Infrastructure needs (2)

credit cards Photo by Philipp Taylor

Mobile World Congress 2013

Mobile World Congress

The star of the show

Firefox phone

Explaining Firefox OS

Explaining Firefox OS

Demo time

You want some of that?

Pawing Puppy

Developer Hub

Developer Hub

Firefox OS Developer Hub

Nothing wasted

recycling bins Photo by Intel Free Press

Apps run on Android

Foxkeh loves android

Conversion of HTML5 to native code


How we made open work

  • Find the biggest need that closed can't fill
  • Partner with the right people, make them part of the solution
  • Think of the whole ecosystem
  • Share and allow for re-use


that's all firefox