Wednesday, May 16

Firefox Web Store Won't Support Linux Initially


Its well known that Mozilla is working on a Web Application Store for Firefox. However, first implementation of Web Store has no proper support for Linux.

As per this bug report, web apps desktop integration won't be available for Linux in first release of web marketplace. You won't to be able to install a web app from Firefox on your desktop and launch it like a native app.

Windows and Mac users have this feature in Nightly though and Mozilla's latest article on using Web Store doesn't have instructions for Linux.

If you try to install an app from https://apps.mozillalabs.com/appdir/ on Firefox Nightly, it will throw an error as shown in screenshot above.

Now, there has been a discussion on Google Groups where both Mozilla developers and community members have commented. One of the comments:

Linux support for apps is a nice to have because most of our users are not running Linux. I think we're supportive and absolutely willing to accept patches to make something work on Linux, but it's just not something that affects the 80% (I don't think it's even 10%, though I don't have any data handy). By definition, this is a nice to have, not a stop-ship feature.

And another one:

Linux is not another platform, it's the platform which shares our values about being open and the reason most people gets involved with mozilla, because they believe in libre software and in the open web. Not supporting linux is not supporting a big group of people that empowers mozilla, and not supporting them/us is not supporting mozilla. From my point of view if we are lack of resources for linux (both volunteers and paid staff), let's get more employees working on it or do a call for help to the community, it shouldn't be that hard. 

After this debate, one of the Mozilla community member Marco Castelluccio has stepped up to implement this feature as a part of GSoC project. There is a wiki page on this here. But it won't land soon and expected time of full native Linux support for web marketplace is August, which is also the month of Firefox 15 release.

It should be noted that Mozilla's new B2G mobile OS is based on Linux and it will have Web Marketplace as well.

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