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Mozilla testing open web app ecosystem


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Developers can create web apps that work across desktop and mobile browsers

Mozilla has released details of a "web application ecosystem" aimed at allowing anyone to create apps for use across desktops and mobile devices.

The Open Web App Ecosystem proposes to allow apps to be developed using standard HTML, CSS and JavaScript web technologies.

Developers will be able to manage and launch apps using an App Dashboard, Mozilla explained in a blog post.

The apps will be designed to work on Firefox 3.6 and later, Firefox for mobile, Internet Explorer 8, Chrome 6, Safari 5, Opera 10 and WebKit mobile.

Mozilla is planning to offer support for paid apps using existing identity systems such as OpenID. Once purchased, an app will work across multiple desktop and mobile platforms and browsers without the need for repurchase.

The company has no intention of building a store or distributing apps at this time, and said that users will be offered apps through formal app stores or directly by web developers.

Web apps are becoming a commonly used class of applications often directly competing with native apps, according to Mozilla.

"Web apps offer similar features to native apps and are available through any modern web browser (desktop and mobile) from any place in the world," Mozilla said in an Open Web App Platform FAQ.

"App experiences are usually vertically integrated (e.g. iPhone/iTunes) with problems such as an opaque approval processes, lack of choice for developers, platform lock-in, high(er) development cost when going cross-platform, etc. Open Web Apps are fundamentally built upon the web infrastructure," the company said.

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