“We Intend to Continue to Develop Devices with Firefox OS”, David Bryant (CTO of Mozilla)

Yes Mozilla It has managed to be familiar in consumer computing is to be the alternative to it, as is the case with your Firefox browser which the latest version we knew long ago. What is also alternative in a way is the festival held every year, the company still present its sixth edition. To Greenwich, in London, and surrounded by the River Thames the Mozilla people called us the past weekend in the MozFest 2015.

As said before, a festival that goes beyond the sample stands. In fact, it is not stands that found, no costumes, no cyclic speeches; in the MozFest we are dodging tables workshops, small conferences and some of the main representatives of the company. All this making up an atmosphere of community and with the objective of that attendees know about the company, both with regard to your corporation as its foundation and provide a space to be projects to the same environment can show, to meet and exchange ideas.
A nine-storey house

In the presentation of the event, led by Samuel E. Dyson (of the Mozilla Foundation), explained that the different sections of the MozFest sought to emulate more or less the structure of a home, though this was something particular and some sections were not fit very well in the domestic structure. These were distributed by plants and sections, among which we could find the library, kitchen, garage and some less “home” as the ground of journalism or science.

Although many know the side more technological and commercial company with products such as your Web browser or your operating system, in this event it was show that its essence, the web, has an application in fields such as education and humanitarian aid. In fact, it was quite common to see children participating in activities or doing them, as in the case of Micro.bit, an initiative that Mozilla takes place together with the BBC in some British schools and consisting of students can become familiar with web development and its application in electronics.
Firefox OS: the battery

A few months ago you had Mozilla abandoned the project of the smartphone for $25 since apparently not generated interest, according to Chris Beard, Mozilla CEO explained. It is also said to that henceforth they reenfocarían their efforts that provide an improvement in the user experience, above get a minimum price.

An idea that we saw reflected in every corner of that great “garage” of the festival. What you showed is the idea that the open web is the philosopher’s stone of the company and that when you translate your code to user experience applications range from robotics to toys through the Smart TV remote and, as not, smartphones. Most of the projects were based on Arduinos, Raspberrys and development from web programming (Javascript, CSS and HTML) languages, so that they could be controlled by a smartphone and the browser (no need for app).

And, apart from these projects, what we saw was the current state of Firefox OS. Much rain since that Geeksphone Keon which we tasted in 2013, and not only in terms of design, which has undergone quite a few changes. In this version we found ourselves with a non-too-customizable software and state quite premature, even taking into account that it was a product for developers.

Precisely the Fort of the current version of the system is that it allows the adaptation of Firefox OS to the letter from the developer, something that we could see both in basic handsets for developers (with very basic specifications such as 512 MB RAM) and phones Sony with Firefox OS carrying workers, where we could see greater fluidity. What we saw was that in this version achieves something closer the development on this platform, with features of utility as the fact to point out some of the code and that we see in the interface of the terminal element that affects.

They explained to us that this seeks to be a simple and open alternative so the developers launched their products without having to make adjustments to be free of proprietary technology. The Foundation: an interface that is a web application that is capable of launching other web applications, so that any existing web today can operate easily in Firefox OS at the same time.

On its future, and in concrete where looking for in the field of operating systems, the aim is not to replace the current or be direct competition, but be the solution for those companies that want an open system à la carte on their devices. Be an alternative more when a manufacturer raises is to opt for Cyanogen or Ubuntu for your hardware.

An objective that share another one of their products, Firefox OS Smart TV. Again, an operating system that is intended to be something simple and intuitive for the user, and above all more practical than the software that sometimes see the smart TV. It is the case of Panasonic, which at the moment is the only manufacturer that has launched a TV with this platform, something that saw months ago and which have been tested in the MozFest. They explained to us that it is easy to create apps and we saw a small demo of the navigation system, as well as how to customize the menu with apps and websites that are frequently used as a favourite.
David Bryant: “put the user in the first place”

Privacy is one of the cornerstones in the development of Mozilla products. We talked about it after the release 42 browser version, seeing that what today we know as private actually only navigation is the removal of part of the data that we leave on the history after visiting websites. And it was a topic he devoted various talks in the MozFest, speaking of this trace we leave and how we can avoid it to a greater degree with the permissions that you can manage in your browser.

The importance of privacy to the enterprise, as well as the rest of pillars, us was even clearer after the interview that we could make David Bryant, CTO of Mozilla, to which we could ask about this and other aspects of both the browser and the platform today.

Engadget: The last thing we have in memory in terms of devices is the smartphones from $25, do you have plans to launch new smartphones to the market?

David Bryant: Yes, yes there are. We intend to continue developing and bringing devices to market. We are currently in the first phase of the evolution of Firefox OS focused to grow the platform together with the manufacturers and business partners. We will see these new devices in the coming months and into new markets.

What the fate of this terminal client: developers, average user, emerging markets?

It’s really a ‘yes’ to these three sectors. We want to create a more complete experience: based on the web, the idea is to show the possibilities of the same developers and advise them, guide them, having clear up to what point can take advantage of the platform. Hence our slogan in the MozFest “hack your phone/web”; that you create new experiences that can be used and also to share with the community.

I.e. the platform give you possibilities both create and expand and finally share it with the community, both developers and end users. Launch a terminal is an opportunity for us to continue with the work, but also to involve even more developers. That these have more interfaces in your hands as well as providing all the options to also create the Web on a mobile device.

Where you see (or see the company) Firefox OS and where you see it / you see or you want / want to see in the future?

When we think about the future we do globally, taking into account both the web and devices, and we are very optimistic. Our evolution focuses in order to expand the possibilities to the user, helping to provide a space of safety when working on the web (in relation to privacy) and give that independence in terms of use who wish to make this and Mozilla as platform.

“We focus on getting confidence and security in the web user experience is the device that is, as well as the developers”

I.e., we focus on getting that confidence and security in the web user experience whatever device. As well as developers: for they seek this future “hackable” with possibilities for expansion through an open platform, also from any device. This is our overall vision for the future: putting the user first and provide that independence and security.

“This is our overall vision for the future: putting the user first and provide you with independence and security”

Engadget: As for the browser: we have seen in the demo new devices for developers privacy mode with Firefox OS. Will we see this in all versions of the browser?

We are talking about the last (and most important) improvement in 42 of Firefox version: private browsing with tracking protection mode. It is clearly focused on the privacy and safety of the user, giving him control of what information is shared in the navigation. This is the fruit of our work after a time tracking information of the user is likely to be collected both in browsing the web as part of other apps. What we wanted is that the user is aware of this, understanding it, and with the navigation mode and the tracking protection we provide a much safer experience.

This is why, when you start the browser, we have put a warning that informs the user what are these functions, both characteristics as what has motivated us to incorporate them. We also want to warn about the fact that some websites may present a different aspect in private mode, a result that has been disabled some elements that affect the privacy or security. In this sense, the user know you got access fast in the navigation bar to disable the private mode and that you can see the website fully and with their normal appearance. We are leaders in the market in this respect, and we will see these functions in all versions of the browser including apps for other operating systems.

In relation to privacy, how do you see that this concept is currently understood at global level, beyond the developers or advanced users? Do you think that the concept of privacy is well understood by the average user networks? Do you consider necessary to clarification by advanced users?

Currently a concern there is in general about both privacy as security in the network are compromised constantly, and is possible to generally not will understand to what level. In fact, reports about the concern for these aspects have been increasing and we received them directly from our users as part of other partners. Hence our interest in the report and, above all, provide the tools in relation to preserve privacy and safety. For this reason we will continue improving and working with these two purposes: inform both solve. I.e. the user to be clearer what is the compromised information and which points should be taken into account in the navigation and use of the network in general, and give them the tools to make your experience more comfortable and safe.

On the issue of news: the adblockers. Are there plans to add a block of ads?

It is something that we are studying, from the user experience both from the point of view of the companies, i.e. the content displayed on the web. As we have said before, we believe first and foremost to the user and that you have a safe experience on the network, therefore, on the basis of this seek a balance in content to show both the user for Web companies. Right now we are working on this aspect, with conversations with web content creators as well as companies in the ads to find that balance in the content that allows the user to comfortably and safely experience we are looking for.

We are at a point of evolution in this sense, to find that point right both for users as for websites, no?

Yes, it is in fact another opportunity to experience continue to be pioneers in the market in relation to privacy and security. I.e., on the one hand we have these aspects (user experience) and on the other we have trade on the web. Obviously we must progress together and today is something in which we are working actively.

About the Foundation: are there new projects of cooperation which we have seen with Ford Foundation and JamLab?

Yes, we have them. Our goal is to help in those projects that share basics with us, i.e., in relation to the open web and development based on this. We recently announced the Open Source Support Program, so that we can contribute in various ways (in addition to economic level) communities with more difficulties.