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Lessons from webBox, customizing a Javascript based OS

Alex Saladrigas · Full Stack Fest 2015

Javascript developers and OS hackers usually do not mix, until now. FirefoxOS is a Mozilla made open source operating systems for Mobile Phones that maximizes web performance on low end hardware. The entire upper layer of the OS is made using web technologies, with javascript as its native language. This makes this OS a treasure trove if you are a Javascript developer wanting to make your own hardware projects and we can give you a head start on customizing it. We are currently working on webBox, a project meant to create an ultra cheap “browser on a box” meant to be used with a keyboard and a mouse for schools in developing countries, where billions of people are coming online on mobile but are experimenting the shortcomings of touchscreen for simple work and study. We are working on modifying FirefoxOS for our purpose, making it more desktop friendly and browser centered. We want to share what we have learned in these process, including introductory information how the OS is structured as well as information and examples on how to customize the graphical layer for any purpose.