Mozilla is to build an open source operating system for mobiles and tablets using the Gecko engine that powers its Firefox browser.
The Boot to Gecko project aims to promote the use of open web technologies so that developers can build better web applications for mobile devices, according to Andreas Gal, a researcher at Mozilla.
"To make open web technologies a better basis for future applications on mobile and desktop alike, we need to keep pushing the envelope of the web to include - and in places exceed - the capabilities of the competing stacks in question," Gal said in the Mozilla Developer forum.
"We want to take a bigger step now and find the gaps that keep web developers from being able to build apps that are - in every way - the equals of native apps built for the iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 7."
Gal noted that the project requires new web APIs to be built so that apps can make use of SMS, camera, Bluetooth and NFC functionality on smartphones.
Mozilla explained that it will not just build its 'native-upgrade apps' for Firefox, but enable them to run on the web.
Source code will be released in real time, and Mozilla is also looking to get the whole developer community involved in the project.
"This project is in its infancy; some pieces of it are only captured in our heads today, others aren't fully explored," Gal added.
"We're talking about it now because we want expertise from all over Mozilla - and from people who aren't yet part of Mozilla - to inform and build the project we're outlining here."
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