Last Saturday me and my friend went to the Firefox OS App Day. There we met some Mozilla representatives and contributors, we learned a lot about Firefox OS, which in my opinion is one of the most exciting techy things I saw in the last few months!

Basically, Firefox OS is an open-source operating system for mobile devices, here you can see a (very incomplete!) list of the most interesting features I remember:

  • Totally OPEN-SOURCE, see Mozilla’s Github repository!
  • It is based on web standards (so everything is coded in HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript)
  • Non-critical apps can be hosted on a server, so that they are more easy to update and manage
  • Critical apps (aka those which access personal data of the user) must undergo a code review process
  • Extremely fast simulator which runs in the browser
  • many many others…

Firefox OS App Days: amazing event, nice hacking and very cool people

The Firefox OS App Day was split into two parts: in the morning we attended some introductory talks about Firefox OS, its simulator, web APIs, etc., whereas in the afternoon we played a little bit with its simulator in order to create some very basic mobile application.

Me and Mirco adapted an existing mobile application we developed for a previous hackathon.
The application is called Musicatch and it allows users to find all the songs which are semantically related to a given topic.
How do we achieve this? Here you can the basic steps we follow to do it:

  1. the user types a topic into our app
  2. Musicatch enlarges the typed topic into a set of related keywords by using the Wordknitrest API
  3. Musicatch interrogates a lyrics database by searching all the songs which contain the keywords either in their title or lyrics text
  4. Musicatch shows all the resulting songs as a list
  5. for each song, Musicatch allows to see its artist, album title, year of publishing, related Youtube videos, its ratings from the community

Here you can see some screenshots of the finished mobile app, and don’t be harsh… remember that we developed it in one night!



In the previous hackathon we used Phonegap, HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript to develop it. Saturday we used the following frameworks:

  • Firefox OS simulator (uh? Really!).
  • Backbone: a framework for organizing Javascript applications according to the MVC design pattern
  • Require: a JavaScript file and module loader for keeping your Javascript codebase modular and well organized
  • Handlebars: a minimal templating engine based on Mustache
  • JQuery Mobile: a user interface system for styling Javascript mobile applications
  • jQuery: the ubiquitous JavaScript Library for document traversing, event handling, animations, etc.
  • Sublime Text 2: the best text editor you can find out there for coding!

If you are interested on the details about how we implemented the app, just drop me a line in the comments of this post and I will push them on Github.

Here you can see some other picture I took during the coding session and during the final social part of the event!