Astonishing and innovative Mozilla's projects

The Firefox browser has changed the Web by introducing innovations adopted by all competitors, such as themes and extensions. But its publisher, Mozilla has also many other projects ...

  1. Asm.js is a subset of JavaScript operating at twice the execution time of the binary code. You can port software written in C++ to Asm.js to run in the browser or libraries to extend JavaScript.
  2. Emscriptem converts C or C++ to JavaScript or Asm.js, they are compiled to LLVM bitcode which is translated into JS. One can make Web applications in C ++!
  3. TogetherJS (formerly Towtruck) goes beyond comments on websites. If you add the two lines of JavaScript needed on a page, visitors can chat between them and possibly participate in the development of something.
  4. Firefox was considered the best browser since 2004, until the arrival of Chrome in 2008. Firefox has been a source of inspiration for the browser makers, a role that is now shared with Chrome.

    Interface of Firefox 4
    Firefox 4

  5. The Rust programming language is a system language designed specifically for the Web. It offers more security and better performances in multi-user environment. It is used to write Servo, the future rendering engine of Firefox.
  6. X-Tabs can create new tags for extending HTML et create widgets. Based on Web Components, the JavaScript code runs on any browser.
  7. XUL is a XML-based user interface language that inspired XAML to Microsoft, that appeared with Vista, before user interface languages are popularized in a syntax similar to C, including QML and JavaFX.
    XULRunner est the common runtime for all applications using a XUL interface. This is the case of Firefox, Thunderbird.
  8. Emterpreter. Modified version of Emscripten that produces bytecode instead of asm.js and includes an interpreter defined specifically for this code. The script starts faster and runs more slowly. The system then combines the two types of code to start faster bytecode while charging asm.js code in the background. Then this is the asm.js interpreter that takes over.
  9. Mozvr. Virtual Reality in the browser, used as an interface to the software on a server. The Oculus Rift headset is required.
  10. Bugzilla. Debugger and software development manager.
  11. Sunbird. Calendar to organize your life.
  12. Hekad. Statistical tool which observes and displays the activity on a server. It competes with Riemann and CollectD but its goal is to be really simple. The Go language has been choosen to create this tool preferably to C, Perl and to Rust which is not ready to production.
  13. Kinto. This is Firefox Sync tool, now released under Apache license on GitHub. Practically a database of JSON files for multiple devices.

Abandoned projects

  1. Firefox OS is an operating system for mobile phones based on Firefox and WebAPI for applications entirely in HTML 5 and new web technologies. Many mobile manufacturers are willing to adopt it. The browser as operating system: it worked for Chrome OS, not Firefox.
  2. Chromeless browser written in HTML 5 was an experimental project . The advantage envisioned was that the same rendering engine with hardware acceleration, can display both the software interface and web pages.
  3. The open source Thunderbird mail client is the main competitor to Microsoft's Outlook (like Firefox was to IE before Chrome). Now it must be hosted and developed by contributors, Mozilla dropped it.
  4. Persona. The idea of creating a user account usable on all websites fizzled.
  5. Raindrop. As Chromeless explores the way for a new browser, Raindrop tries to imagine the future of messaging. The project is inactive.
  6. The site that wanted to provide a single login for all websites is shut down in November 2016.