Open Web Weekly…(2)

The Decline and Fall of The URL

An interesting post about the way Chrome and now Firefox have decided to ‘hide’ the http in their address bars and whether that is making it more difficult for users to learn about the underlying foundation of the web.

I like the idea of;

“Doing little things in the interface that promote transparency and help people move from being a web-user to a web-maker is important, so long as we don’t make things difficult for the people that just want to be users.”

Though saying that in my experience people do get confused by the http aspect of typing in a domain – and also it seems to me fewer and fewer people are using the address bar at all. They simply go via Google which is inevitably available from their browser startup page

Hacks and hackers meld minds

Mark Surman writes a summary of the work of the MoJo project so far and how the journalists and developer community are coming together to rethink how (open) technology can really help the journalistic process.

It is interesting that he remarks “has had many trials and tribulations in its first six months” which looking in from the outside I hadn’t really picked up on but it seems like the project has turned a corner and is really starting to deliver. Which bodes well for the Festival in November!

The “App Model” and the Web

It seems to me that the ‘app’ vs ‘open’ debate is one that is going to run and run with the dominance of the Apple model seemingly unassailable at present.

The idea of an Open Apps Ecosystem ( seems like an interesting idea (and one I’m sure I read about some time ago) but for it to reach out beyond existing open web advocates to a wider audience it is going to need considerable support beyond just Mozilla (though I think things like the FT web based ‘app’ on the new web version of Kindle show what might be achieved.)

Moving Towards One Mozilla

Consolidating all the Mozilla web properties to a single core domain is particularly interesting to me in light of the current single domain project for the UK Gov web estate.

I particularly agree with the idea that the ‘not for profit’ nature of Mozilla generates good will amongst users and so focusing on the .org reinforces this (though I do wonder how many people really understand the perceived differences between .com, .org, .net etc any more.)

Also I’ve always felt that Drumbeat (the Mozilla program I am most interested in) missed out by having its own domain in a weird way. I felt it seemed a little too removed from Mozilla core business which is why I was happy to see the Festival ‘rebrand’ to Mozilla Festival this year.

Hosting a Hackasaurus game jam for kids

This seems like a great day and the sort of thing I can imagine alot of my ‘geek dad’ friends locally being interested in. Shockingly enough I am particularly interested in the idea of hackable comic books (especially given my Web Made Comics concept) but the whole event sounds brilliant as well as extremely helpful user testing for the Hackasaurus project with their key demographic!

Would kids really understand the phrase ‘game mechanics’ though? Or were those four ‘Ways to Hack’ for the devs more than the users?

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