The Firefox Hackathon in Uganda took place at UTAMU on today, Mozillians and developers filled the room to capacity all in the anticipation to learn how to develop for Firefox OS, or see the features of Firefox OS.
Yeah the greetings, introductions and Wi-Fi were part of the hackathon, the Vice Chancellor of UTAMU welcomed the mozillians and we taken through a quick intro to Mozilla’s projects like web Maker, FireFox OS, by Jb Ochieng, a Firefox Rep for Uganda then the event started with a “truthfully arrogant” speaker who develops for Firefox OS, he was keen to say that Firefox OS supports HTML5 and developers don’t need to use the ‘funny’ language called Java. The have to learn Coco to develop for iPhone, then have to learn C++ for blackberry, then learn .NET to have the same app on Microsoft OS.
In short Firefox apps are cross platform,and work in the Firefox browser, you can even get the Firefox OS Emulator addon for your firefox browser.
We were taken through a demo app, which was made up of 26 lines of code and he deployed an app that Victor who is a Firefox developer showed to us.
“I am not targeting anyone who is using IE” , “Our apps might work in Internet Explorer, i dont hate the browser, the browser hates me” he went ahead to test his Firefox OS app in IE, e tried and it failed to run, he was later told an app called Moderniser, he went on to say, “Moderniser, the app that makes this animal “IE” respond to new technologies,” he added “I can forgive the browser, I just can’t forgive the developers of the browser”
It’s going to take about 10 or 20 years for HTML 5 to be standard in this animal called IE 11.
Back to the hackathon, we were told that Firefox OS apps use web storage or local storage where you can store data in form of strings.
HTML 5 is powerful, a Firefox OS has the capability of running web Applications Offline, everything in Firefox OS is a web app.
A question was asked by an anxious developer as to whether all the all icons in Firefox OS as supposed to be circular, JB Ocheing said any shape is allowed but the icon should have a resolution of 60×60 and if you want it to blend in with Firefox OS look, circular icons would look better.
By the way, Uploading to the Firefox marketplace is free.
The participants were told to form groups and create demo Firefox apps. The hackathon is one of many ideas by the Mozilla Firefox community of Uganda. Feel free to visit the community to learn more about Firefox OS development.