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Platforms

August 11, 2007

It seems that I generally like platforms that are open for developers. One example is Firefox which has become a great platform for developing new technologies. Most people use Firefox for web browsing but there is so much more that Firefox can do like RSS feeds, P2P sharing, and IRC. What is great is that there is a way for people to make dead useful applications on top of the Fx application as well as less critical applications like games for Fx. By being able to pull in weather, Ad Blocking, or wasting hours and hours of time stumbling the user is able to do more with their browser. How cool is it that people can be online and get a storm warning or the latest baseball headlines. I know several people who say they love Firefox simply for Stumble Upon without knowing more reasons why Firefox is better than other browsers. Its great to see people using free software because people have developed tools to run on top of it. Further, I was reading about AllPeers one time and read a statistic that ~10% of AllPeers users download Firefox specifically to use AllPeers. By building a platform for development, the Mozilla team is helping their own cause without too much effort. Now that doesn’t mean extensions and themes are perfect as they do conflict at times and make things crash but users are allowed the flexibility to browse as they wish.  I think that makes the headaches we get because of odd and untrackable crash reports worthwhile. I think its valuable that people don’t do *all* the work themselves and allow people to fill in their own vision for the project or make something they want to see in the application. This isn’t limited to Firefox, for example Facebook opened their platform to developers and got some great applications like “I can has Cheezburger” and “A Bunny Picture” while there where some useless applications like the million “Horoscope” applications or “Zombie Attack”.

Now I’m off to eat breakfast and attend the Ubuntu Chicago LoCo meeting followed by Chicago GNU/Linux. 😀

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2 comments

  1. StumbleUpon isn’t exclusive to Firefox by any means, I have it on my Internet Explorer toolbar myself! As for Allpeers, it’s not bad, but I gave up getting my friends to all use firefox, we now use GigaTribe, which also lets you swap huge files with friends in a private, encrypted environment: http://www.gigatribe.com


  2. @John
    Why on IE and not Fx?
    I checked out Gigatribe but its not GPL’ed and its also not available for Linux, my prefered OS. Therefore, I can not share files with my friend on XP or vice versa. Its not cross-platform like I require.



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