Firefox OS Workshop Bologna – I was there!

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After the summer break restart events, and Firefox OS jump to Bologna.

The program was very simple (talk titles are links to the slides):

Inside Firefox OS – Luca Greco (Mozillian)
Developing on Firefox OS for newbie – Daniele Scasciafratte (Mozillian)
Playing with Sensors in Open Web Apps – Francesco Iovine (Mozillian)

14:00 – Coding Time

The welcome and the organization of the event were really accurate and complete, from the small buffet for breakfast/snack to the buffet for lunch.

DSCN0388_My wall with the posters of events

Let’s be serious and talk about the event.

The first talk of Luca explained the features, functionality and characteristics of the system in detail.

Then it was my turn I spoke of tools and resources for development for those unfamiliar with Firefox OS (and javascript).

Finally, Francesco presented the various sensors with their HTML5 API with all the demos and documentation that has made for MDN.

Almost at the end of the talk of Francesco there was a very interesting time for questions. A portion of the audience consisted of companies working with mobile and embedded platforms (both Android that Qt). The questions were mainly devoted to the question of how you can alter sensors and low-level OS Firefox for support new ones.

For completeness I include the answer:

Gonk is the lowest part of the system which consists in the kernel, drivers, and libraries that communicate with Gecko which in turn exposes an API Javascript to communicate with the low level.

Add support for new sensors involves support for the new sensor in Gonk and Javascript interface in order to communicate. Such integration would obviously custom and therefore can not follow the W3C standard.

The easiest solution is to put in the rom a daemon that exposes web server via an API (eg JSON REST) or a system to take advantage of the Web Socket (now standard W3C) and the application requests via AJAX or Web Socket trade low level information.

In this way, changes more complicated for a maintenance/integration are bypassed with a faster and simpler.

PS: On my return I studied platforms that support Firefox OS (I’m referring to embedded systems) as well as APC Rock. A few weeks ago the repo B2G added official support to the Raspberry Pi (you can see from the file) and for some time supports PandaBoard (on MDN’s documentation).

The time devoted to programming was tested because a part of the public did not know JavaScript and had fun trying the simulator, examples and devices that were available.

In addition, there have been many questions about the world Mozilla and its community which demonstrates that the presence of volunteers has always a concern.

At the end of the time dedicated to programming only app was completed. It is Firepad which consists of an interface 9 to the pressure buttons that emits a musical sound. We currently do not support the loop or recording but the guys are working on it to load it on the marketplace. The team was divided by my fellow moderators WpItaly Plus (Eugenio, Andrea and Enea) already knew that Firefox OS (I’m a good evangelist u.u) and Marco, who was the organizer of the event in Milan dedicated to Firefox OS.

It began an advantage:-D

Unfortunately I did not take many pictures because I was in the audience then respond and follow all pictures can be found on the album page in Facebook Firefox OS Italy.

The event was interesting because of the technical issues on Gonk that I will be useful to the Maker Faire in October in Rome.

What have I to do with the Maker Faire? On October 3rd at 3:30 until 4:30 I’ll do a talk titled “The maker, the web and the Open Web App” in which I will present a project with Arduino Yun, support the Open Web App I built in RuneAudio, a project with the board UDOO (if we can) and Firefox OS for Raspberry Pi.

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