Mozilla’s WebAPI Wants to Replace Native Apps With HTML5

Mozilla has launched an aggressive fresh activity aimed at breaking bottomward the proprietary app systems on today’s adaptable devices. The project, dubbed WebAPI, is Mozilla’s accomplishment to accommodate a consistent, cross-platform, web-based API for adaptable app developers.

Using WebAPI, developers would address HTML5 applications rather than built-in apps for iOS, Android and added adaptable platforms.

Mozilla isn’t aloof talking about WebAPI, it’s already adamantine at work. It affairs to advance the APIs all-important to accommodate “a basal HTML5 buzz experience” aural six months. After that the APIs will be submitted to the W3C for standardization.

Among the APIs Mozilla wants to advance are a blast and messaging API for calls and SMS, a contacts API, a camera API and bisected a dozen more.

If those APIs complete vaguely accustomed it ability be because the W3C’s Device APIs Working Group is accoutrement agnate ground.

So, why the fresh accomplishment from Mozilla? Well, Mozilla’s WebAPI is a allotment of its beyond Boot to Gecko Project, which aims to eventually advance an operating arrangement that emphasizes standards-based web technologies. With that end ambition in mind, WebAPI may end up somewhat altered than what the W3C is aggravating to build.

It’s additionally accessible that Mozilla artlessly doesn’t appetite to delay for the Device APIs Working Group. Mozilla wants WebAPI up and active in a bald six months, the W3C’s Device APIs Assignment Group is absurd to move that fast. But “the abstraction is to coact with W3C and all players and calm anatomy a acceptable solution, and not aloof dump it on them,” says Mozilla Technical Evangelist Robert Nyman in a animadversion on his column announcement WebAPI.

The dream of write-once, run-anywherecomputer application is annihilation fresh and, if history is any guide, Mozilla’s WebAPI efforts may able-bodied be doomed. The accessible antecedent behemothic does accept one affair activity for it that best added efforts accept not — the accessible web. Best write-once, run-anywhere attempts accept appear from companies like Adobe and were congenital about proprietary frameworks. WebAPI doesn’t ache from vender lock-in the way some projects have. WebAPI’s capital roadblock is acceptable added adaptable web browsers to abutment the APIs.

For WebAPI to address to developers, Mozilla will charge Apple, Google and added adaptable browser makers to apparatus the APIs so that WebAPI can attempt with built-in applications. Before you abolish that as an impossibility, buck in apperception that Apple’s aboriginal eyes for iOS app development was based about HTML applications, and you’d be hard-pressed to acquisition a aggregation added acquisitive to embrace web apps than Google. Whether either aggregation will allot any assets to implementing WebAPI charcoal to be seen. But if Mozilla can get WebAPI connected by the W3C added browser makers would acceptable abutment it.

Mozilla’s affairs for WebAPI are absolutely ambitious, but the aggregation is putting its money area its aperture is — Mozilla is currently hiring several abounding time engineers to assignment on WebAPI.