[Update - v2] B2G Manifesto proposal - let's discuss about it ! :)

Hello everyone,

As the project as truly started now, and it’s growing, it will be soon the time to start talking about it to the free software world, as well to say that the project is still alive and to invite people to help us.
In order to clearly define our goals and vision of B2G, I think writing a kind of “manifesto” should help.

That’s why I made this draft, as a manifesto proposal. Please share your toughs about it :slightly_smiling:
To write it I tried to use some points and idea from this pad(s) https://public.etherpad-mozilla.org/p/firefoxos_is_not_dead (as it was a community movement) and the new information that we have.
I also tried to remains not too technical - as if we share it it’s a way to explain our vision of a mobile OS to, let’s say, the world :smiley:

Edit : I included some of reaction and proposal in a new version, let’s say it’s a draft v2.
(the v1 has a backup if you want to read it, or use the discourse history proposal)

Edit 2 : here is the link to an etherpad containing the manifesto, to refine the shape more easily. Please continue to add your reflexions on this post.

                          Boot2Gecko Manifesto

Make the mobile world better with a flavour of web technologies
Because you deserve it.

Bringing the web platform to the mobile world

The BootToGecko (aka B2G) project is a community project intending to provide a complete, alternative mobile system, based on web technologies, aiming for making an open platform for his users, where they can express their freedom;

This project is also supported by Mozilla, and is also in agreement with the Mozilla Manifesto.

The B2G Manifesto describe the key goals of the project, the vision that guide his members:

  • Web apps everywhere

Because they allow a lightweight, powerful, easy to distribute, universal and cross-platform app system, (progressive) webapps are more and more appreciated by users and developers - especially on mobile devices.
B2G is here to take the best of web technologies and push them into the mobile world.
This means using this technologies as the tools to create a fast online and offline experience, adapted to the mobile devices, and easy to develop, hack and customize.

Webapps, apps powered by web technologies, are part of this goal - that’s why B2G rely on them.
Instead of being based on past tools, we using modern web technologies to create a state-of-the-art platform which connects people.

  • Made by the users, for the users

B2G is made by its community. That means that every user can help to improve B2G - by coding, making proposals, talking about it, or simply using it (via reporting bugs or sending feedback).

That means integrating the community should remains easy - for everyone, not only technical users.
B2G is not a developer-driven project, it’s a community-driven project. Every developer is an user, and develop for users.

As B2G is made by users and is a Free and Open Source software. You can trust it because everyone can make sure that it respects your privacy, and work in the way it has to work, as long as the community decide to do it - not as company or an external entity decided to made it.

  • Privacy and Security as standard

An operating system that violate your privacy if working against you, not for you.

B2G is made by users - you - and it’s a free software (as in freedom). You can trust it because you’re taking part of its making and because the code is open.

As protecting your privacy is an unconditional goal of this system, B2G is committed to provide to the user an open and respectful environment.
It will allows users to control apps behaviour, especially non-free software that should be keep in user’s control - thanks to a good knowledge of what they can do, and a powerful permission system.

B2G also provide first class security tools and features to offer a secure and peaceful environment for its users. And the openness of its code allows easy reviewing and help to guaranty its security robustness.

Protecting her/his privacy in a secure environment should not be painful for the user - so B2G is committed to embed state-of-the-art technologies to protect its users while keeping them easy to use and manage.

  • Different by nature, attracting by design

Web technologies also create a new paradigm of UX, and powerful interaction and customization system.

B2G provide a great platform for users privacy and security - but it is also targeting to provide an environment which enhance their productivity, help them to connect with the world, create possibilities - in a word, a platform of choice for its users.
B2G is also committed to create a mobile system that everyone can use - regardless of technological knowledge and skills - as well as it includes powerful and advanced features for power-users.

B2G is not here to copy old or classic paradigm of phone usage. If there is no competition, there is no more innovation. B2G use the lessons from the past and modern technologies to create a future kind of mobile environment.

You will not use it because you don’t like other mobile systems. You will choose it because you enjoy it !

  • Customization as a key - Your phone is yours

Web technologies allow the users to greatly customize her/his system - by using powerful add-on system, theme changing, and apps.

The system should not be impose to the user - the user should impose her/his vision to the system. Because every user is unique and have her/his own special necessities.
The user will be able to fit B2G to her/his needs and technical skills, to have the perfect system she/he deserves.

Feel free to react, discuss, ask for new points, to remove some, and so on.
You can also make notes about the form (my English is far from perfect :smile:), or make proposal for the final shape.

Have fun ! :wink:


Oh, and I forget to say that when we will end up with a final manifesto, we will need to translate it. I can take the French version.
(and I think for a lot of other languages, there are enough people to help :slightly_smiling: )

Awesome ! Such a simple touching manifesto :open_mouth: Thanks a lot for taking time in making it :slight_smile: Truly nice :slight_smile: I’m going to share this right now!

I’m going to share this right now!

No, please wait !
It’s still a draft, we don’t know if the other people will like it, if we have to make changes.
And in a less important aspect, it’s still a raw text, it might need a good graphic design and a nice shape to have more impact :wink:


No problem. It drives some attention of people & press, & that’s a good sign :wink:

Doing it on a so early version, IMHO could be unproductive and have more cons than pros.
Maybe we should wait for a wiki page presenting it in a better form, and some basic get started instructions.

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It’s a nice manifesto. I agree with a lot of things except the last one.
I’m not sure the last point about obsolescence is compatible with the fact we’re using technologies of the future.
I agree that we need to try to support as long as we can our devices list, but we need to stop when it’s too painful. I hate the idea of changing my phone every year but it’s necessary to stop if we lose too much time. A cycle like Cyanogenmod is maybe a better idea…

Another point that is mentionned is Tor. Yes it’s super cool but it should not be used all the time like for payments etc… If it’s in the system, we need to warn and teach how to use it. If we don’t, i prefer Tor as an installable.
Moreover, privacy is one priority but we need to keep in mind that the OS must stay simple.

Nice work lapineige :wink:

I agree that we need to try to support as long as we can our devices
list, but we need to stop when it’s too painful. I hate the idea of
changing my phone every year but it’s necessary to stop if we lose too
much time.

You got my point :slightly_smiling:
When I wrote that the hardware has to support it, it means that when the phone is too old to support the latest version, we should get rid of it’s support in term of new OS feature (it will still be usable and receive new apps). It’s not a decision from a company making money, it’s a decision from a community that can’t support all the phone, and an hardware limitation.
In my point of view, the main support will be the developer phones, and after that people from the community (like for cyanogen mod) will help porting on other devices and maintain this port.

A cycle like Cyanogenmod is maybe a better idea…

Can you explain it more ?

Moreover, privacy is one priority but we need to keep in mind that the OS must stay simple.

I think I’ve included this in the manifesto. Privacy is a key feature that we can’t (and don’t want to :wink:) drop, but it’s not the only one, and I believe we can do a privacy-compliant system without making a geeky system, complicated to use, or with more constraint than in the other OS.
Let’s compare it to GNU/Linux and Window/OS X: you choose a system spying you and try to fight against it, to block it, or a system where protecting your privacy is the default behaviour. You will just not have to worry about it (for the system part I mean).
That’s the idea. We have to design and implement easy to use tool for that. Like for instance encryption by default (or activated with a single checkbox), with no more steps to use it.

Another point that is mentionned is Tor. Yes it’s super cool but it should not be used all the time like for payments etc…

Right, it will be an option, for sure.

If it’s in the system, we need to warn and teach how to use it.

That’s a doc’ job and we also can add a explanation to the system.

It’s a matter of UX design.

Is it clear now, or do you want to change something in the manifesto ? (I mean, if you think people will misunderstood it, go ahead ! )

Nice work lapineige :wink:


Awesome ! Such a simple touching manifesto :open_mouth: Thanks a lot for taking time in making it :slightly_smiling: Truly nice :slightly_smiling:

Thanks guys for your support :slightly_smiling:
It was not easy to write, but really really fun at the end. I hope we can have a good manifesto at the end - a good project need a good manifesto, right ? :smile:

(second message deleted, sorry I made a mistake)

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I don’t really know Cyanogenmod but I remember read a guy on the FirefoxIsNotDead pad that they work with 3 or 4 years cycle and after that they just stop doing updates. Maybe I misunderstood.

Yes but I wanted to underline this fact :wink: And of course it needs to be secured by default.

I have some concerns. I think the Manifesto should be a declaration of intents, expressing which principles drive the project. Though, in some points here I can see implementation details. I think we should stick to pure principles and leave technical implementation’s details out. Also, some points are a bit mixed-up: for example, privacy appears in more than one point.

I have tried rewriting the freedom, customizability and privacy point as a unique macro-point with subpoints (while I think the concepts are still the same of the original proposal). What do you think about it?

Also, may I suggest to skip the Different by nature, attracting by design / aka Powerful’n’Appealing UX paragraph? It feels unnecessary to me to promise a great user experience: that’s an obvious user expectation from an OS, and at the moment there are no revolutionary ideas about UI we can show to substantiate those claims (considering FxOS mostly had a pretty standard interface).

##B2G OS - At users’ service

B2G OS is primarily committed to best serve its users. In this spirit, the project pursues the following programmatic points.

  • Community-centric: B2G OS is free and open source software produced by community effort. This means that no single person or company owns it: B2G OS belongs to the whole community of its users. To them, being free from commercial concerns, it is entirely devoted.

  • Customizability: Every user is unique and has special necessities. Users should then be free to tailor their OS to better suit their particular needs, instead of being forced to passively accept it as it is. Because of these reasons, customizability and personalization are core features of B2G OS.

  • Privacy committement: Privacy is not a feature, but a legitimate users’ right which B2G OS is committed to respect. User’s data belongs to the user, thus they will never be collected without user’s explicit consent, and anyway they will never be used or shared for commercial purposes. B2G OS will also do its best to help users to protect their privacy.


I think it’s important to highlight the web factor more than privacy. That really is the primary feature, as it’s a web-based OS.

What drew me to FxOS in the first place was that it touted speed and efficiency because it read its content as standard and universal “web.”

Remember WebOS’ Synergy? It aligned AIM, SMS, and Email as simply different sources from a person. Now, with native apps, we have broken coversations with people (twitter, facebook, tumblr, etc.) but with web-based standards, we can have a device that connects people, not provides applications.

That’s right.

Well, I feel like we can almost put every point here, except the web app part. You have almost wrote a manifesto here.
This means we should rewrite everything following those points, or try to split it in a correct way.

An interesting thing in your macro-point is the “committed” terminology, I love it, seems to have a lot more impact and to be clearer.

That’s a manifesto, not the current state, but goals and visions.
And maybe my point was unclear: the UI/UX has not to be revolutionary of really different, it has to be good.
It’s the same idea I wrote on the pad: if we found that implementation X is better than Y and Z, we should use it, whether or not it’s a copy of a current implementation. We are not here to copy android/iOS/WP UX, but if we found a part of those UX is better than our current one, we should do the same.
But whatever we choose, we have to try to think out of those examples, to forget their UI and try to find a good one for us.
I’m not sure it’s really clear.

I’ve 2 points here:

  • As said just above, where are not here to try to copy the others, we have to define and create a good UX - a could be really different, or really classical, it has to be good.
  • We do not have to be the “by default” choice. You know, this ugly geeky system, half working, complicated to use.
    I don’t want B2G to have this brand image.
    I want B2G to be appealing in a way that even if people don’t care about their privacy or their freedom, their still wanna use B2G because it’s easy to use, efficient, and so on.
    It will be a good point for our users, because it will not be a pain to use - so they will use it - and maybe it will drag some attention from press and “external” users, wanting to try it.

For instance there is a lot of people installing Cyanogen Mod, because they can’t have the latest version of android or because they want more control/customization. Those people have the knowledge to install another OS, they might wanna try B2G - and who knows what can happen next ? :wink:

It feels unclear - there might be an issue with this manifesto:
IMHO, the webby part is highlighted quite well, has it’s the first point, in the subtitle, and showed as a reason of the customization power.
Also, the word web appears 7 times, mostly at the beginning, but also close to this end.

For the privacy, the part talking about it is only this one: Privacy as a standard
We say it strongly, that’s a key point, but not the only one.
The word appears 6 times - yes, almost as many as “web” - but the 2 times outside of the privacy part ar a kind of transition better the 2 parts.
(I don’t know if you have this feeling, but I tried to keep a kind of logical progression, like a reasoning, to give more power to the manifesto - do you have this feeling, or is it a complete failure ? :sweat_smile:)

Let’s explain what I mean:

As B2G is made by users, they can make sure it respect their privacy,
and work in the way they want it to work - not as company or an
external entity decided to made it.

It’s at the end of the point saying that the user have the control. It’s a way to prove that “you have the control, so you have the privacy” and to indicate that’s you do not depend of any external entity.

Free software is needed to protect privacy, and let the user control
his/her tools. Web technologies also create a new paradigm of UX, and
powerful interaction and customization system.

Here it’s the beginning of the “attracting by design” part. It’s a way to say what I explain above: privacy, customization are good things, but what I mean here is that it has not to be the only advantages - the general UX has to be appealing.

Do you understand what’s my point ?

The issue might be the way I wrote it, maybe it’s a bit unclear or messy.
If you agree with this ideas, we could try to rewrote it in a better way.

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I forgot something: [quote=“enrico_ghiorzi, post:11, topic:8165”]
B2G OS is free and open source software
Let’s remove this “open source” word: a free software is open source so it’s redundant, and open source is more the commercial term to say “hey, we are nice guys, doing nice things, and our software is better because it’s open source”. It’s more just a development methodology, and do not imply all the other part of the free software movement.
Let’s not promote this point of view.

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It is a good part of a manifesto, that’s true. But the Web-focus part is fundamental for B2G OS. I skipped it because I’m not knowledgeable enough to write about such a technical topic.

Your point is clear and perfectly reasonable, I just think it is unnecesary to explicitly write it: which OS would not promise good and possibly innovative UI/UX to its users?

That’s right, I fully agree. I propose to write a dedicated manifesto paragraph about it, something like:

  • An OS for everyone: B2G OS is for everyone, reguardless of their technological knowledge and skills. It aims to appeal both the casual user, looking for simplicity, ease of use and a full set of functionalities, and the tech savy user, looking for advanced tools and deep customizability.

I think your point is actually made by two parts:

  1. B2G OS will have a vary good UI/UX…
  2. which everyone will be able to use.

I think point 1. is superfluous and should be excluded, while point 2. is actually very important and deserves a whole paragraph, like the one proposed above.

I understand those terms in a different way, where by free I mean “not proprietary”. From my point of view free and open source are independent concepts. Of course, terms should be used as commonly intended by people, so if most people agrees on your interpretation of the terms I’d be happy with changing them. (Also, I was referring to the common “FOSS” expression.)

Hi, it’s nice to see this enthusiasm and an effort to articulate some common goals.

It might be helpful as a starting point to have a look at the original announcement of B2G which is on the wiki and has served as a kind of mission statement for the B2G project so far, and also the Mozilla Manifesto which applies to the whole of Mozilla. Then think about what is missing (if anything), which could be expressed through a B2G-specific manifesto.

The mission of the B2G project is to “build a complete, standalone operating system for the open web”, I don’t think that has changed. If anything has changed from that original announcement I think it might be that not all of the “new web APIs” we prototyped turned out to be “successful”, in the sense that they have not become web standards. I now think we are taking a different approach to providing some of that functionality, but arguably that’s just an implementation detail.

What is missing from that mission statement is that it focuses on the technical challenges we needed to overcome, but doesn’t talk about the end user needs which the project is trying to meet.

There have been some great points made so far around respecting user privacy and being customisable. And about providing a great experience of the web. Perhaps you can build on that to try to identify a set of user needs the B2G project should try to meet, and the principles by which it should operate (if different to the wider Mozilla Manifesto).

I would suggest that some things which B2G can do which are unique are to provide an independent choice for users (which isn’t tied to any one commercial ecosystem or walled garden), provide best in class privacy and security, and provide a great experience of the open web with a simple core OS which can be extended and customised through addons.

I hope this is helps.



A lot of things to tackle here, I will try to keep my answer short :slightly_smiling:


Well, speaking about software, free software technically include Open Source. You also have the philosophical/social part added to the technical point of view.

IMHO it’s a good think to highlight clearly (and strongly) that’s we are targeting users, and wanting to provide an appealing UX.
And to clearly say that even without the security/privacy/customization part, the OS have other advantages that will make it a first choice for the user. They should prefer it, not choose it by default (lack of privacy, …).

We explained our point of view, maybe we should ask other people here ? :slightly_smiling:

I agree with the idea, even if we have a blocking point here: you have to flash a build. It’s not that complicated, a lot of people can do it - at least with a good tutorial - but it remains an uncommon practice.
That said, it’s more an installation point of view than an OS-usage point of view.

And that’s IMHO a key point with firefox os, it’s really easy to use, a lot less messy and complicated than android (for instance). I noticed that even for old people (often not used to smartphones) it was easier to use.

It could be great to add this with the idea that B2G is user-targeted. Who could add it next to precise that " It is aiming for casual users because of its simplicity, as well as power-users because of its advanced features and deep customizability", something like that. (I’d prefer the word power-user than tech savvy to avoid the “technical” idea)

What do you think about it ?


It does :wink:
First of all, thx for your reaction, it’s a good thing to have some Mozilla’s employee toughs on this important point :slightly_smiling:

Thx for the link for the announcement of B2G. It’s an interesting reading.
For the Mozilla Manifesto, I’ve read it again before writing this first draft.

The issue here is that the first B2G announcement tend to be a bit outdated now, and a bit “technically” oriented. Some of the ideas can be re-used for sure, like the idea that we bring the web platform to mobile devices.
And I you said, it focused on the technical part of the project, which is logical for an anouncement of such kind of project, but IHMO fits less in a manifesto.
And for the Mozilla manifesto, this project is now a community project (helped by Mozilla, thx again :slightly_smiling:) - so it could be logical and make it clear if we have a separate manifesto. And the Mozilla manifesto is a bit more general, not directly applied to the B2G project.
But as I think we all agree with this manifesto, a solution could be to mention it in the B2G manifesto, by saying that we align ourself with this manifesto.

Well, difficult topic here: are we defining first those goals before and after that writing them in a manifesto, or are we defining and writing some key goals and vision point, and after developing the OS with this manifesto as a guide ?
When I wrote it, I mostly used the pad first main ideas, and reaction, to have a kind of pool about what the community want, how we define (or dream :wink:) this project. So in my opinion we are more following the second option.
But again, if anyone feel that a part of his vision about this project is not included, please share your toughs :slightly_smiling:

Well, I think those point are included clearly, except one that can be enhanced: the independent choice. But I don’t really see how to include it.
I also forget the security part, maybe I should include it briefly in the web part ?

Interesting discussions here ! :slightly_smiling:

I will use all your reactions (thx again !) to write a kind of draft v2, and share it again here, and discuss about it again.
And please, if anyone wanna share any reaction, go ahead ! :wink:

Nice manifesto! Thanks you for taking time to do it!

I think it could be the base for doing the final manifesto that has to represent B2G, I agree with all the main points, but I think we have to refine it and complete it because this types of documents have to be very clear.

For example, I guess privacy and freedom are priorities but being agree with @stargayte, Tor is cool but not for using it all the time (it is very slow!). But it could be interesting for payments etc.

On the other hand, I love the last point :heart_eyes::heart_eyes:: "No planned obsolescence, If the hardware support it, there is no reason to not be able to update the system … ".
Of course there will be development and progress, but we have to facilitate and allow users to be able to use our OS in old devices (obviously there are limits, we will need to stop when it will convert too painful. Maybe we can set a years range, for example, past 5 years).

Awesome work @lapineige! :wink:

Totally agree, that’s one of the reason to call it a draft right now.

I will remove the technical part here, that’s not the point.
Apart from that, it’s more an intention, protecting privacy, the details and tools used come later, and have those goals. And yes, as said, this will be included as an option.

More than installing it on old devices, and also because you have the android 4.4 limit and soon the 5.x limit, I’m more thinking about updating the devices supported by B2G as long as we can, with OTA updates. If you have a B2G phone, you know that until a technology cap is reached (different API, port to CM 13/android 6 (even if it can allow to update just gaia/chrome), and so on), your phone will be updated.

(5 years is huge for phones ^^)
Well, I’m not really in favor of defining a fixed number. I think a lot of port will be supported by some people doing it, when they just can’t continue, they will stop. We will have to share the knowledge to be able to continue their work, but well it’s a community project, time and efforts and precious. And the bigger the community will be, the better the support will be.
And for the fixed limit, well, when a device tend to be unused, we could drop it. In the other hand, we should have a longer support for a really used phone (for instance the flame).

I’m skeptical on making promises on support, obsolescence and updates. Many have tried this way, including Mozilla with FxOS, and have failed spectacularly. It turns out it’s a damn huge problem. Since we don’t have a clear technical strategy for that, I’d rather say nothing on the topic in the manifesto…

Or we can clearly highlight that’s depending of the community efforts and resources. The point name is no planned obsolescence, I selected this one to say that unlike companies and other OS providers, we are not here throw away your mobile support because of commercial interests. But I also add the hardware limitation point.
Maybe I should add a clear sentence to specify that it’s depending of the community resources, and it’s not warranted.