Terminology - "web app" versus "Open Web App" versus "Firefox OS App"

Hi all,

I've been having interesting discussions about this recently, and =
thinking about it a lot, so I thought I'd open it up to the wider =
engagement community as I thought you might have some insight on this, =
particularly the tech evangelists.

I have been using "Open Web App" as a term to describe the kinds of web =
experiences I am teaching people to create via the Apps documentation on =
MDN (https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/Apps). This includes =
stuff like install API, manifests, priviledged APIs, etc. that are =
currently only on Firefox OS, but on the understanding that this stuff =
will be standardised and be available for use on several platforms in =
the future. This is harder to pitch in the short term than just using =
"Firefox OS App", but it tells a beter story, and will be more effective =
in the long term.=20

The Firefox OS pages =
(https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Mozilla/Firefox_OS) also =
include some of this stuff, but I am going to rework those to be more =
about stuff particular to the Firefox OS platform, like hacking Gaia, =
phone customizations, etc. Stuff that really is going to be Firefox OS =
specific in the long run.

But is "Open Web App" no better than just "web app"? Does anyone outside =
Mozilla care about the word "Open"? We don't say "Open Website". I =
personally think it is better than just "web app" for two reasons:

1. "web app" is no better than just web site or web page really. There =
is no difference. A lot of the web community hate the term "web app" - =
they feel that it is just adding more BS garnish on top of what web =
developers already do (web sites/pages), trying to think they're =
special, and that they're something they're not.

2. Open Web App suggests that we are not talking about just normal web =
sites, but normal web sites plus extra real useful features, i.e. =
working offline, being installable, etc. It suggests they are something =
more than just the web app BS marketing hype. Which I believe they are.=20=

Of course, this may backfire on us. the cynics out there may just say =
that this is a cheap ploy by Mozilla to try to own something more =
completely than they deserve to.

Any thoughts?

Chris Mills
Senior tech writer  ||  https://developer.mozilla.org/
cmills@mozilla.com  ||  @chrisdavidmills

8/6/2013 10:35:17 AM
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