Data Gathering for FF 3

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Data Gathering for FF 3

Sherman Dickman
All,

We're rapidly ramping up research and data gathering activities for  
Firefox 3.0 and beyond.  The initial focus will be on market  
research, technology trends, competitive analysis, and user feedback.

I would like to get everyone's thoughts on potential long-term  
themes, goals, questions that would be interesting to answer, and  
areas where it would be useful to have better data.  Rather than  
focusing on individual features, I think it would be helpful to keep  
the discussion at a high-level, and to identify how groups of  
features can support one another in theme, goal, use-case, etc.

Here's a starter theme (filled with personal biases!) to get the  
discussion rolling.  Please feel free to comment or to suggest other  
areas of opportunity in whatever format works best for you.


Theme: Innovation on the data a user discovers online

Goal: Enable end-users to build a valued asset base
------------------------------------------------------------
* If mail serves as the de facto database for interpersonal  
communications, can Firefox fulfill a similar role for information  
found on the Web?
* In addition to Web history and bookmarks (Places revisited?), what  
other forms of information would be of value to end-users?  Full  
text?  Micro-formatted content such as addresses or events?
* How could information assets be used in ways that provide the user  
with more leverage, value, or control over their online experience?
* What parallels can be drawn to other desktop applications that  
manage information (i.e. Mail, RSS readers, media applications,  
desktop search, etc.)?
* Areas for data collection:
      * Personal information management or personal content management
      * Personal information networks
      * Desktop search

Goal: Extend scale and reach through data sharing
------------------------------------------------------------
* Can we make it easy for people to share the data they've discovered  
online in a massively scalable way (i.e. mail, IM)?
* Can this be done in a way that provides unique benefits to the  
recipient, and thus, better demonstrates the value of Firefox to non-
users?
* How do the benefits of Firefox begin to amplify when participants  
are using the same platform?
* Areas for data collection:
      * Communication applications and adoption (mail, IM, VoIP, P2P)
      * Collaboration (online services, calendaring, social networks)

Goal: Attract new types of developers to our ecosystem
------------------------------------------------------------
* Can the information that a user discovers online be thought of as a  
platform for innovation?  In what areas?  Parsing, data-mining,  
visualization, local-data mash-ups, integration with online  
services?  How can research, innovation, and communities form around  
these areas?
* How could this data interface with online services, and can we make  
it easier for developers to build on top of that?
* Areas for data collection:
      * Developer and technology trends and adoption
      * Microformat and semantic data trends and adoption
      * Local storage and local application hosting (are there  
existing parallels in the market?)
      * Backup and sync services (from OS vendors and 3rd party  
services)


- Sherman
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Re: Data Gathering for FF 3

jonsmirl@gmail.com
On 7/28/06, Sherman Dickman <[hidden email]> wrote:
> We're rapidly ramping up research and data gathering activities for
> Firefox 3.0 and beyond.  The initial focus will be on market
> research, technology trends, competitive analysis, and user feedback.

What are the plans for XULrunner as a platform? The code looks to be
in good shape, what about product management?

Branding, logos, umbrella advertising, etc
A good book with real content, not a reprint of XULplanet
Tutorials and sample code, opengl is an excellent example,
http://www.opengl.org/code/
Instructions for packaging and distributing a XULrunner app
A final name for XULrunner
Joint tradeshow events with Mozilla and XULrunner apps developers
Tradeshow presentations on building XULrunner apps
An analysis of why XULrunner will succeed and where Java failed.
FAQ on the why and what of XULrunner

These are a few of the product marketing activities associated with a
platform launch.


--
Jon Smirl
[hidden email]
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Re: Data Gathering for FF 3

Mike Beltzner
Jon,

These are excellent questions, and you've already got another thread burning on this topic. I don't see any need to hijack this one, and would encourage you to start a separate one for XUL Runner PM thinking.

Let's keep this thread about Fx3 as product, not Gecko 1.9 or XUL Runner.

cheers,
mike
-----Original Message-----
From: "Jon Smirl" <[hidden email]>
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2006 17:09:16
To:"Sherman Dickman" <[hidden email]>
Cc:dev-planning <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: Data Gathering for FF 3

On 7/28/06, Sherman Dickman <[hidden email]> wrote:
> We're rapidly ramping up research and data gathering activities for
> Firefox 3.0 and beyond.  The initial focus will be on market
> research, technology trends, competitive analysis, and user feedback.

What are the plans for XULrunner as a platform? The code looks to be
in good shape, what about product management?

Branding, logos, umbrella advertising, etc
A good book with real content, not a reprint of XULplanet
Tutorials and sample code, opengl is an excellent example,
http://www.opengl.org/code/
Instructions for packaging and distributing a XULrunner app
A final name for XULrunner
Joint tradeshow events with Mozilla and XULrunner apps developers
Tradeshow presentations on building XULrunner apps
An analysis of why XULrunner will succeed and where Java failed.
FAQ on the why and what of XULrunner

These are a few of the product marketing activities associated with a
platform launch.


--
Jon Smirl
[hidden email]
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Re: Data Gathering for FF 3

Benjamin Smedberg
In reply to this post by Sherman Dickman
Sherman Dickman wrote:

> All,
>
> We're rapidly ramping up research and data gathering activities for
> Firefox 3.0 and beyond.  The initial focus will be on market research,
> technology trends, competitive analysis, and user feedback.
>
> I would like to get everyone's thoughts on potential long-term themes,
> goals, questions that would be interesting to answer, and areas where it
> would be useful to have better data.  Rather than focusing on individual
> features, I think it would be helpful to keep the discussion at a
> high-level, and to identify how groups of features can support one
> another in theme, goal, use-case, etc.
>
> Here's a starter theme (filled with personal biases!) to get the
> discussion rolling.  Please feel free to comment or to suggest other
> areas of opportunity in whatever format works best for you.
>
>
> Theme: Innovation on the data a user discovers online
>
> Goal: Enable end-users to build a valued asset base
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> * If mail serves as the de facto database for interpersonal
> communications, can Firefox fulfill a similar role for information found
> on the Web?

This sounds like a too-broad question to answer properly. You can
communicate pretty much anything over the web, including mail and
calendaring and all sorts of domain-specific information. We can possibly
categorize the "grand everything" in generic ways (through
history/bookmarks/fulltext search), but increasingly we should allow users
to "install" domain-specific views/visualizations/handling of information.

Domain-specific apps have the opporunity to categorize and present specific
kinds of web data to the user in much more usable ways. Songbird and
Democracy player are two new applications that will be release about the
time of FF3 that are optimized for downloading and categorizing audio/video
from the web, and working with web services in the process.

There is increasingly a "web outside of the browser", and I think Firefox
should embrace this phenomenon and provide integration points so that users
have a way to explore and use this new web.

> * Areas for data collection:
>      * Communication applications and adoption (mail, IM, VoIP, P2P)
>      * Collaboration (online services, calendaring, social networks)

One common thread between all the "web 2.0" sites is that they allow sharing
and discussion by the people they serve. It would be interesting to examine
how enhancements to the browser could enhance this sharing system (perhaps
browser support for open authentication mechanisms like OpenID would prove
helpful, for example).

> Goal: Attract new types of developers to our ecosystem

I would add: to what extent can enhancements or changes in the browser
encourage users to become authors on the web? What are the barriers to entry
to becoming a web participant, and not just a web consumer?

--BDS
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Re: Data Gathering for FF 3

Deb Richardson
In reply to this post by Sherman Dickman
I think the implicit (and perhaps obvious) overarching question here is,
"How can we improve Firefox to make the Web better for users?"

With this in mind, I've messed around a bit with the wording and formatting
of the core themes and goals I've distilled from Sherman's post (probably
missing stuff in the process), then added a few other possible goals and
themes.

Hopefully this is along the lines of the sort of discussion you were looking
for...

-----

Theme: Increase the value and utility of the information individuals
encounter and gather while using the Web.

* Goal: Improve the quality and quantity of the information that is
automatically accumulated while a user is on the Web.

* Goal: Increase the value of this information by improving the tools for
viewing, searching, manipulating, analyzing, and combining the information a
user gathers.

* Goal: Further increase the value of this information improving the tools
for sharing the information a user gathers, and for combining this
information with other users' information.

* Goal: Give developers new tools to extend the value, functionality, and
utility of the user's information.

* Goal: Improve the user's ability to expand or restrict what information is
automatically accumulated by the browser.

* Goal: Allow users to easily sync their information between computers or
devices.

----
Other possible themes?

Theme: Make it easier for users to produce Web content.

Theme: Make it easier for users to interact and collaborate on the Web.

Theme: Make it easier for users to customize and control their experiences
on the Web.

Theme: Make a user's Web experiences safer and more secure.

Theme: Make browser technology more transparent so users spend less time
thinking about the tool and more time just using the Web.


~ deb
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Re: Data Gathering for FF 3

Rudi Gens
In reply to this post by Sherman Dickman
Greetings,

Coming from a university teaching and research background, I am trying
to use the web as a teaching medium. These days there is a ton of
information available to people. Your favorite search engine can dig up
things about pretty much any topic you can imagine. Feeds and bookmarks
help you to gather and distribute information very effectively. Firefox
did a great job introducing the live bookmarks. There are plenty of
extensions out there that serve the different interests of the user
community. They help to make the user experience more interactive.

We are working with a lot of imagery that our students use for visual
analysis. This is certainly one area of interactivity that browsers to
my knowledge have not entered at all. The functionality that I would be
looking for is simple. So far browser just display images. Period. A
little zooming functionality here and the capability to roam around in
a image there. Combine it with some information box that tells you
something about cursor position and current color value. And you got
yourself image analysis functionality. Very basic but quite sufficient
for a lot of purposes.

With this kind of simple means you reach an entirely different level of
interaction. You can extend this sort of theme to any level you like.
Combine the raster information with vectors (SVG etc.). Throw in some
simple statistics.

Hope this point of view makes somewhat sense.

Cheers,
Rudi

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Re: Data Gathering for FF 3

Alex Graveley-2
In reply to this post by Sherman Dickman
What I would love to see is further blurring of the lines between what
is the web and what is a native application.  I suspect confusion
already exists for a lot of users today, with some applications
accessed through the browser, some through the mechanism provided by
the OS, some requiring a network connection and some not.

Instead of these unnecessary distinctions, I should be able to browse
to a new "Firefox Native" enabled site, decide that it is valuable, and
click an "Install" button to have it appear in the Start menu or on the
Dock just like any other application.  The site could even tailor
itself to this mode and enhance it's look to that of a native
standalone interface over a document interface.

To facilitate this, Mozilla can work to educate developers on how to
write better application code that can work without network access, or
that can behave more like a native application.  By adding application
interchange interfaces for accomplishing things like DnD and copy/paste
(either from the OS or another web site) the lines signifying where the
web starts and ends further evaporates.

I think this is where Firefox can go that no existing platform vendor
can, all of whom are competing for application & developer lockin.

-Alex

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Re: Data Gathering for FF 3

Chris Hubick
In reply to this post by Sherman Dickman
On Fri, 28 Jul 2006 12:41:02 -0700, Sherman Dickman wrote:
> I would like to get everyone's thoughts on potential long-term  
> themes, goals, questions that would be interesting to answer, and  
> areas where it would be useful to have better data.  Rather than  
> focusing on individual features, I think it would be helpful to keep  
> the discussion at a high-level

Is there an appropriate time/place for a web developer such as myself to
offer up some mid to lower-level 'pet bugs' in Bugzilla for potential
prioritization?

--
Chris Hubick
mailto:[hidden email]
http://www.hubick.com/

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Re: Data Gathering for FF 3

Axel Hecht-2
In reply to this post by Sherman Dickman
Sherman Dickman wrote:

> All,
>
> We're rapidly ramping up research and data gathering activities for
> Firefox 3.0 and beyond.  The initial focus will be on market research,
> technology trends, competitive analysis, and user feedback.
>
> I would like to get everyone's thoughts on potential long-term themes,
> goals, questions that would be interesting to answer, and areas where it
> would be useful to have better data.  Rather than focusing on individual
> features, I think it would be helpful to keep the discussion at a
> high-level, and to identify how groups of features can support one
> another in theme, goal, use-case, etc.
>
> Here's a starter theme (filled with personal biases!) to get the
> discussion rolling.  Please feel free to comment or to suggest other
> areas of opportunity in whatever format works best for you.
>
>
> Theme: Innovation on the data a user discovers online

One thing that I consider important in this theme is that we shouldn't
try to do more data collection and processing than the user understands.
As an example, local full text indexing and search may be of great value
to users, but only to those that understand the difference between that
search and a regular websearch. I can easily imagine that a good portion
of our users may not fully understand the limitation of a local search,
and understands when to use which. That of course depends on the UI to
some extent.

That poses an interesting question itself, should we limit ourselves to
developing only features that we want to be on by default, or even
shipped by default? Hint, I don't think so.

> Goal: Enable end-users to build a valued asset base
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> * If mail serves as the de facto database for interpersonal
> communications, can Firefox fulfill a similar role for information found
> on the Web?

Could you elaborate on this one?

> * In addition to Web history and bookmarks (Places revisited?), what
> other forms of information would be of value to end-users?  Full text?  
> Micro-formatted content such as addresses or events?
> * How could information assets be used in ways that provide the user
> with more leverage, value, or control over their online experience?
> * What parallels can be drawn to other desktop applications that manage
> information (i.e. Mail, RSS readers, media applications, desktop search,
> etc.)?
> * Areas for data collection:
>      * Personal information management or personal content management
>      * Personal information networks
>      * Desktop search

One interesting talk at this years XTech was how to map microformats to
RDF, making the case for the semweb once again. The case as well as the
problems it faced are to some extent real.

This would raise the question, did the semantic web die? If so, or not,
do we know why?
That should help us in understanding how much *information* we can
actually expect to be encoded in a machine-readable way.

> Goal: Extend scale and reach through data sharing
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> * Can we make it easy for people to share the data they've discovered
> online in a massively scalable way (i.e. mail, IM)?
> * Can this be done in a way that provides unique benefits to the
> recipient, and thus, better demonstrates the value of Firefox to non-users?
> * How do the benefits of Firefox begin to amplify when participants are
> using the same platform?
> * Areas for data collection:
>      * Communication applications and adoption (mail, IM, VoIP, P2P)
>      * Collaboration (online services, calendaring, social networks)

I'd second bsmedberg's comment here. I think that one of the initial
design guidelines and reasons for success of Firefox was to get the
application out of the way.
I would think that a valuable alternative of getting more communication
threads inside firefox would be to make it easy to get a communication
thread out of firefox. Maybe the content handlers we're using for feeds
now is already heading in that direction, I haven't grasped where Ben is
heading with that.

> Goal: Attract new types of developers to our ecosystem
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> * Can the information that a user discovers online be thought of as a
> platform for innovation?  In what areas?  Parsing, data-mining,
> visualization, local-data mash-ups, integration with online services?  
> How can research, innovation, and communities form around these areas?
> * How could this data interface with online services, and can we make it
> easier for developers to build on top of that?
> * Areas for data collection:
>      * Developer and technology trends and adoption
>      * Microformat and semantic data trends and adoption
>      * Local storage and local application hosting (are there existing
> parallels in the market?)
>      * Backup and sync services (from OS vendors and 3rd party services)

Axel
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Re: Data Gathering for FF 3

Aaron Leventhal-3
In reply to this post by Sherman Dickman
Applications:
- Bring the simplicity of authoring early HTML back to the web, but with
much added power to create rich internet apps (or whatever people want
to call them)

Documents:
- Make the web an open platform for document sharing and collaboration,
by directly supporting important standards such as ODF

Health of the platform:
- Get new owners for important orphaned areas of the code, such as the
editor core. All the coders for that have disappeared and no one seems
to be comfortable maintaining it.

- Aaron

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Re: Data Gathering for FF 3

Benjamin Smedberg
Aaron Leventhal wrote:

> Documents:
> - Make the web an open platform for document sharing and collaboration,
> by directly supporting important standards such as ODF

I think it would be fruitful to think about supporting PDF natively as well.
We now have in cairo the graphics backend to do it.

--BDS
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Re: Data Gathering for FF 3

jonsmirl@gmail.com
On 8/1/06, Benjamin Smedberg <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Aaron Leventhal wrote:
>
> > Documents:
> > - Make the web an open platform for document sharing and collaboration,
> > by directly supporting important standards such as ODF
>
> I think it would be fruitful to think about supporting PDF natively as well.
> We now have in cairo the graphics backend to do it.

Are things set up now so that PDF or ODF could be a full-featured
dynamically installable module (not a plugin)? We have to careful not
to increase the memory footprint on limited machines. I'd like to see
SVG become a module too now that the hooks that it needs are known.

--
Jon Smirl
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Re: Data Gathering for FF 3

Matthew Gertner
In reply to this post by Sherman Dickman
We've been working for over a year on a next-generation web browser,
packaged as a Firefox extension, so perhaps some of our experiences
could be of value to this discussion. The key functionality that we have
added to Firefox includes:

- Authenticated identity (via PKI and digital certificates) inside the
web browser.
- Real-time presence for contacts (including a sidebar-hosted buddy list)
- Resource-based (i.e. RDF) framework for management of domain-specific data
- Local storage of resources (using SQLite and mozStorage)
- Template-based display of resources (as HTML, XUL, etc.)
- Peer-to-peer resource distribution (via TCP or UDP, automatic
NAT/firewall traversal)
- BitTorrent support

Based on your description, I think we are addressing a lot of the very
same issues that you mention. Our framework makes is straightforward to
manage domain-specific data of various types (bookmarks, media file
metadata, calendar events, restaurant reviews, etc.). This data can come
from the user's machine or from the web. It can be searched efficiently
in the local database and manipulated programmatically using the RDF
APIs already included in Mozilla. Data can also be distributed (share,
synchronized, replicated) using P2P networking so a lot of apps that
would currently require a centralized server can do without; you can
deploy things like serverless shared calendaring, bookmark sharing, etc.
I should mention that we are planning to open source our code later this
year.

This raises the question of whether Mozilla should focus on adding
features of this type to FF 3.0 or rather on making it the best platform
possible for extension developers to build upon. My view on this is
obviously highly self-serving since I'm not particularly keen to compete
with Mozilla on features, but I do think that the key differentiators
for Firefox is the awesome Mozilla platform that enables third parties
to extend the browser. I believe there is a strong case to be made for
"letting a thousand flowers bloom" rather than trying to add these
features directly to Firefox.

Seen in this light, some examples of what I would personally like to see
in FF 3.0:

- Improved RDF support. I know that RDF has a bad rep in the Mozilla
community, but I think this is because it has been used in many areas
where it wasn't the right tool. The kind of features that we're talking
about benefit greatly from some sort of general-purpose data model and
RDF is very good at this (Axel, you hit the nail on the head in this
respect). What could be improved is: a) a less verbose API (I have
specific ideas about this) and b) proper support for multithreading.
- In general, better support for multithreading. There doesn't seem to
be any reason for things like the MIME service not to be threadsafe, and
it's hard to create a responsive user interface if you have to run
everything in the UI thread. Same goes for XPConnect and a bunch of
other stuff.
- Extension dependencies. People like us can deploy frameworks on top of
Firefox that others can build upon, but this falls down if hierarchical
dependencies can't be handled properly.
- More consistent data types. There are a whole bunch of data models in
Mozilla (JavaScript, variants, mozStorage, RDF, etc.) and they aren't
particularly compatible. Personally I'd love to see a small set of
universal data types (basically string, integer, decimal, date and blob)
that are used everywhere and convert automatically (so I can grab a date
from an RDF data source, use it in JavaScript and then write it to a
database, for example).
- Better support for advanced UI features like notification icons (the
famous system tray), alert bubbles, shell integration and the like.
- Reduced memory consumption. Firefox isn't as bad as people make it out
to be, but when you're building on a platform it can never be lean and
mean enough.
- ...

I'm sure I can come up with a lot more but this mail is already getting
long. I probably sound like a kook who is plugging his own agenda but I
really believe there should be some serious soul-searching about how
many sexy modern Web 2.0 features should be added to Firefox, as opposed
to continuing to improve the platform and letting extension developers
duke it out in the marketplace.
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Re: Data Gathering for FF 3

Benjamin Smedberg
Matthew Gertner wrote:

> We've been working for over a year on a next-generation web browser,
> packaged as a Firefox extension, so perhaps some of our experiences
> could be of value to this discussion. The key functionality that we have
> added to Firefox includes:
>
> - Authenticated identity (via PKI and digital certificates) inside the
> web browser.
> - Real-time presence for contacts (including a sidebar-hosted buddy list)
> - Resource-based (i.e. RDF) framework for management of domain-specific
> data
> - Local storage of resources (using SQLite and mozStorage)
> - Template-based display of resources (as HTML, XUL, etc.)
> - Peer-to-peer resource distribution (via TCP or UDP, automatic
> NAT/firewall traversal)
> - BitTorrent support

Given an ideal technical situation, how many of these features do you think

1) will be used by a large majority of users?
2) should be part of the browser itself?

It seems to me that many of these features are either niche (bittorrent) or
are better handled by separate applications (buddy list), but that the
browser should provide integration hooks so that extensions can provide
these services.

> - Improved RDF support. I know that RDF has a bad rep in the Mozilla
> community, but I think this is because it has been used in many areas
> where it wasn't the right tool. The kind of features that we're talking
> about benefit greatly from some sort of general-purpose data model and
> RDF is very good at this (Axel, you hit the nail on the head in this
> respect). What could be improved is: a) a less verbose API (I have
> specific ideas about this) and b) proper support for multithreading.

I could not disagree more. RDF is a disaster as a data model because of its
simplistic triple notions. We should rip RDF out of our platform entirely,
and if extensions (like allpeers) want to do RDF manipulation, they should
write their own APIs (which makes requirements like multithreading easy).
The cost of trying to really support RDF properly doesn't match up with its
actual use on the web or a user-driven web model (as opposed to a
data-driven web model).

--BDS
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Re: Data Gathering for FF 3

Matthew Gertner
Benjamin Smedberg wrote:
> Given an ideal technical situation, how many of these features do you think
>
> 1) will be used by a large majority of users?
> 2) should be part of the browser itself?
>
> It seems to me that many of these features are either niche (bittorrent)
> or are better handled by separate applications (buddy list), but that
> the browser should provide integration hooks so that extensions can
> provide these services.

Total agreement. I'm not sure if I made my point clearly but that's
exactly what I was trying to say in my original post.

> I could not disagree more. RDF is a disaster as a data model because of
> its simplistic triple notions. We should rip RDF out of our platform
> entirely, and if extensions (like allpeers) want to do RDF manipulation,
> they should write their own APIs (which makes requirements like
> multithreading easy). The cost of trying to really support RDF properly
> doesn't match up with its actual use on the web or a user-driven web
> model (as opposed to a data-driven web model).

I'm not married to RDF per se but I do think that a general-purpose data
model of some sort has a lot of value. I should mention that we use
schemas in conjunction with RDF so that we can support things like
subtyping and polymorphism. I'm very interested to learn more about why
you object to its "simplistic triple notions" since it seems to me that
any general-purpose model is going to be similar. But this probably
isn't the right forum for that.

Matt
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Re: Data Gathering for FF 3

Rob Sayre-2
In reply to this post by Matthew Gertner
Matthew Gertner wrote:
>
> - Resource-based (i.e. RDF) framework for management of domain-specific
> data

The problem with the RDF data model is that it is always possible to
make a case for it. I think this discussion would be more productive if
you focused on a concrete example. I can tell you that my first question
will be whether it is necessary to identify every node with a URI.
Nearly everything in Mozilla comes with a base URI, so I'm not sure it's
necessary past that. Something like Google's BigTable might be good...
we wouldn't need the large scale distributed aspects of it, of course. I
don't think we want to build anything ourselves.

> - Peer-to-peer resource distribution (via TCP or UDP, automatic
> NAT/firewall traversal)
>

Some of the networking code might be useful, given the WHAT-WG APIs,
session restore, and prefs stored on the network. For example, how do
you detect those wifi firewalls that block all traffic until the user
signs into a web page?

-Rob
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Re: Data Gathering for FF 3

Sherman Dickman
In reply to this post by Deb Richardson

On Jul 29, 2006, at 7:36 PM, Deb Richardson wrote:

>
> ----
> Other possible themes?
>
> Theme: Make it easier for users to produce Web content.
>
> Theme: Make it easier for users to interact and collaborate on the  
> Web.
>
> Theme: Make it easier for users to customize and control their  
> experiences on the Web.
>
> Theme: Make a user's Web experiences safer and more secure.
>
> Theme: Make browser technology more transparent so users spend less  
> time thinking about the tool and more time just using the Web.
>
> ~ deb
>

Hi Deb,

Lots of great thinking here, and it would be great to explore some of  
these in more detail.  Would you care to go a bit deeper on each of  
these, perhaps three to five bullets each to highlight some of the  
possibilities?

Sherman
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Re: Data Gathering for FF 3

Axel Hecht-2
In reply to this post by Benjamin Smedberg
Benjamin Smedberg wrote:
> Matthew Gertner wrote:

<...>

>> - Improved RDF support. I know that RDF has a bad rep in the Mozilla
>> community, but I think this is because it has been used in many areas
>> where it wasn't the right tool. The kind of features that we're
>> talking about benefit greatly from some sort of general-purpose data
>> model and RDF is very good at this (Axel, you hit the nail on the head
>> in this respect). What could be improved is: a) a less verbose API (I
>> have specific ideas about this) and b) proper support for multithreading.
>
> I could not disagree more. RDF is a disaster as a data model because of
> its simplistic triple notions. We should rip RDF out of our platform
> entirely, and if extensions (like allpeers) want to do RDF manipulation,
> they should write their own APIs (which makes requirements like
> multithreading easy). The cost of trying to really support RDF properly
> doesn't match up with its actual use on the web or a user-driven web
> model (as opposed to a data-driven web model).
>

Mind letting us know what you're comparing it to explicitly? I wonder if
we're supposed to compare labeled directed graphs with ... tables?

Axel
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Re: Data Gathering for FF 3

Sherman Dickman
In reply to this post by Axel Hecht-2

On Aug 1, 2006, at 4:47 AM, Axel Hecht wrote:

>
>> Goal: Enable end-users to build a valued asset base
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> * If mail serves as the de facto database for interpersonal  
>> communications, can Firefox fulfill a similar role for information  
>> found on the Web?
>
> Could you elaborate on this one?

Sure, here are a couple of thoughts, and I'll focus on user value as  
opposed to a technical discussion...  Think about the information  
that gets exchanged via email: discussions, contacts, documents,  
photos, links, addresses, to do items, dates, meeting info...  We  
keep and organize messages because there's an an incredible amount of  
value and utility attached to having this information accessible.  
Not only is the content within messages valuable, but the mail header  
provides additional metadata for message search, mail rules, column  
sorting, etc.  Finally, sharing this data is easy since mail  
applications have built-in support for addressing and communication.

Through browsing the Web, Firefox users also build up an asset base  
that includes cached content (Web history and download history) and  
saved content (bookmarks).  But the wealth of information that can be  
found online is essentially lost or stuck within individual service  
silos.  The idea behind this particular theme is to enable users to  
build up a valued Web asset base that can be consumed in new and  
unique ways.  Deb did a great job of breaking this down, so please  
see her post too.

I could go into more detail with examples, implementation ideas,  
etc., but at this time I think it would be more useful to identify  
other potential long-term goals, themes, and interesting areas to  
explore.
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Re: Data Gathering for FF 3

Jean-Marc Desperrier
In reply to this post by Benjamin Smedberg
Benjamin Smedberg wrote:
> It seems to me that many of these features are either niche (bittorrent)

bittorrent, a niche ? Probably better handled by a separate application,
but I wouldn't call it a niche.
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