Home Mozilla Announces Developer Tools Lab for the Open Web

Mozilla Announces Developer Tools Lab for the Open Web

The Mozilla Foundation announced this morning that it has hired Dion Almaer and Ben Galbraith, co-founders of Ajaxian and the Ajax Experience, to run a new Developer Tools Lab aimed to make Open Web development easier and more powerful. The term Open Web refers to a paradigm in which data and users can move easily from one standards-based application to the next, without being hindered by proprietary technology or vendors hording user data.

In describing the new R&D effort, the Foundation said that “everything is on the table, from services to software, and we’re looking forward to working with Web developers from around the world to create, experiment and play with new ideas!” We think this is really exciting, but see below for a video from Almaer and Galbraith – they are even more excited.

One interesting twist to the story is that Almaer used to be at Google.

What’s New About This?

Mozilla already has a “Labs” section, and the relationship between that and this latest development isn’t terribly clear. We suspect, though, that Mozilla Labs will continue to build and launch Mozilla specific projects that can be coded against – software like Weave, Snowl, Ubiquity and Geode, for example. The new Open Web Developer Tools Lab will be building tools that can be used in development processes anywhere, not just in projects incorporating Mozilla software.

Update: Almaer responds in comments and explains that this work will go on inside of the existing Mozilla Labs. Thanks Dion!

What Do Developers Say About the Project?

In quickly talking to a few developers about the announcement, it’s apparent that the Lab’s leaders Almaer and Galbraith are widely liked and admired. The project is one that Open Web advocates seem enthusiastic about so far.

Scott Kveton, Chairman of the Open ID Foundation, told us that he thinks “this is great news and Mozilla is the perfect place for it. Tools are the key to proliferation of open web technologies.” Tools, in this case, are contrasted with talk – something that many in the Open Web community have complained there’s an excess of relative to tools development.

We asked Eran Hammer-Lahav, Open Web Evangelist at Yahoo!, a participant in the newly launched Open Web Foundation and one of the leading voices in support of standards based safe-login protocol OAuth what he thought of Mozilla’s announcement and he articulated very specifically the dire need for better tools.

“The quality of open web libraries is generally poor and lacks enough resources to support it. For example, OAuth has libraries in many languages but the implementations are buggy and completely inconsistent. Many developers find it easier to implement from scratch than use available code, and bugs are found on a weekly basis
so to have dedicated resources working to bring these technologies to the mainstream by making them available as reliable and supported tools is a very promising proposition.

In terms of the Open Web Foundation, having running code available before specifications are completed is critical. This is by far the most difficult part of any spec-work – getting it up and running. You don’t know if something will interoperate until you do it. If Mozilla is going to keep their leadership position in the industry, this sounds like a great way to apply their resources and influence.”

We couldn’t have said it better. We are very excited to see what comes out of Mozilla’s new Lab.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.