Welcome to a series of tutorials on getting started with Firefox OS app development.
I will assume that the reason you are here is to learn how to write Firefox OS apps. Well, if you are web developer, I can safely state that you already know how to write Firefox OS applications since what the Firefox OS device runs are web applications.
There is already enough material on the history of Firefox OS, the reasons for its existence, the devices that currently run the OS, and more available on the Web. I will not get into those details but briefly touch upon them so that we are on the same page. If you want to know more about why I want Firefox OS to succeed, here is my blog post titled Firefox OS – The Mobile Platform That Needs To Succeed.
As with many things of this nature, it is a very good idea to start with the Firefox OS Wikipedia page to get a broad overview of what Firefox is and how it came to be.
The mobile phone space is rapidly changing. For a current list of the countries where Firefox OS phones can be purchased and which vendors sell them see this page.
Chances are that if you are web developer, you know everything there is to building Firefox OS apps. Use all the tools/frameworks that the web provides and it should work well. Remember these are days of infancy for Firefox OS, so do expect hiccups along the way.
Yes, there is a Firefox Marketplace for your apps. This is similar to other vendors and if you are familiar with the submission process for them, you will find this no different.
Few things to note here:
We shall cover the complete process of submitting your Firefox OS application to the Marketplace in a future episode. This will suffice for now.
Sorry, mate! There is no need for any special IDE for Firefox OS App Development. Feel free to use whatever tools you have in your toolbox for Web Development. As long as you are able to generate a standards based HTML5 Web app, you will be all set. All you really need is your good old text editor to get going.
In later episodes, I will show how we can take an existing Web application, do a little bit of manifest work and boom, the app is ready for Firefox OS. But more on that later.
Firefox now comes with the WebIDE built-in. Just press Shift+F8 in an active Firefox window to launch it.
Clicking on Select Runtime gives a drop-down list.
Clicking Install Simulator loads available simulator versions.
Firefox OS 2.0 is the most recent stable version, so let’s install that.
Returning to Select Runtime now shows the simulator in the menu.
Clicking on Firefox OS 2.0 launches the simulator.
This marks the end of Episode 1. In the next episode, we shall look at writing our first application. We will stick to tradition and write Hello World on Firefox OS.