FOSDEM 2014: JS & Hardware

I had the privilege of attending and speaking at FOSDEM this past weekend on our plans to help web developer extend the Firefox Developer Tools:

( the slides are here, and I'll post again when the video is available )

If you've never been, FOSDEM is a pretty unusual conference - it's free for attendees, hosted at ULB university in Brussels, and seems to be the heart and soul ( or at least the key annual event and social event ) for the FOSS community in Europe. Since attending my first FOSDEM in 2012 I've had this deep impression that FOSS communities are distinctly different in Europe than elsewhere, and this was reconfirmed this year.

The Mozilla room was open all day Saturday and was very busy, particularly for talks on JS and Firefox OS. Likewise Sunday's JavaScript room was completely overflowing whenever we tried to get in, which was unfortunate because there were some really interesting talk topics I wanted to see.

Another strong trend that I noticed had an even larger impact this year was the huge array of talks and projects around FOSS and open / embedded hardware. It's really incredible to see the diversity of activity new low-power devices running an open source stack - there was an entire devroom dedicated to the 'internet of things'.

I really like how squarely Firefox OS is placed between these two trends - people want ot write mobile html5 apps, and people want to embed software in all manner of devices. Mozilla is ( quite rightly ) very focused on shipping for phones right now, but we're starting to see the types of experiments with other devices that I think is inevitable:

This is the great side-effect of working in the open as we do - people don't need to ask us permission to do these things, they just fork a github repo and get started.

Jeff Griffiths


Jeff Griffiths

Open Web hacker and Product Manager at Mozilla.