Firefox Mobile which made debut on October 2010 has now extended full support to the open web standard HTML5, excluding the incumbent platform, Flash, completely from its support. Mozilla announced the release of Firefox 4 for Android and Maemo devices in a post on the company blog Tuesday.

Mozilla's stance on the open web platform has never been in doubt, albeit that Android is currently romancing Adobe to incorporating its Flash to work effectively on mobile devices, had gone all the way to excluding the platform from its present support list.

Firefox for mobile, however, is built on the same technology platform as the web version, with the emerging technology standards like HTML5 and CSS, developers can build rich, interactive applications.

The outstanding features on the Firefox Mobile for Android and Maemo includes: Streamlined Interface, Private and Secure Synchronization, and Customization. The cutting edge web development tools which comprises of CSS, Canvas and SVG supported by Firefox will ensure the effective utilization of the platform in developing exciting web applications.

Additionally, HTML5 support on Firefox Mobile for Android and Maemo includes location-based browsing technologies, device orientation, accelerometer, and desktop notification among others.

Firefox for Mobile is now offered in more than 10 languages and available for download on the Android Market place and on Maemo devices.

Firefox Mobile Embraces HTML5

Search innovation has perhaps taken a center stage on the web and internet marketing in particular, suffix it to mean that the future of internet marketing rests on the implementation of robust search technology. The internet search giant, Google, indeed occupies the center stage in the present scheme of the latest innovations coming to internet search services.

The entrant of Google Instant, is now been adopted into the mainstream of general search experience as Yahoo have already followed on the heel of Google as it introduces what it called 'Search Direct'.

However, Google's obsession for instant information may perhaps require a more robust predictive and accurate search input for prompt promotional preference - a quest to make information available even without search, given an enabling environment and circumstance.

Autonomous Search, invariably contextual discovery, is a search technology whereby search engines suggest search results such as cinemas and restaurants based on users preference indicated from their search history. It involves bringing internet search to the mainstream of the mobile web, albeit, requiring a smart device and incorporates Near Field Communication (NFC) and Geolocation technologies.

Google is working towards making the search innovation a reality. However, privacy concerns again is brought to the fore, as to what level of users data will be involved in the search service. What privacy measures will Google provide?

Autonomous Search: What Is Involved?

MHTML vulnerability disclosed in January 2011, a public security threat that affects Internet Explorer has now taken an apparently motivated attack against users of Social Networking sites and Google services. The report posted on Google online security blog indicates an active exploitation of the vulnerability in highly targeted attacks against its users browsing with Internet Explorer browser.

MHTML is a simple container format that combines several documents in a single file (MIME encapsulation), albeit not commonly used on the web, employed by Microsoft IE to save downloaded pages to disk, also embraced by a hand-full of third-party applications to deliver HTML-based documentations.

Google has recommended that concerned users should consider deploying Microsoft's temporary Fix it Script to block this attack, however, Google's security team have partnered with Microsoft to arrive at a permanent fix soon.

In addition, Google has employed several server-side defenses  to make the MHTML vulnerability more difficult to exploit.

This leveraging vulnerability is unique been a web-level exploit, as opposed to exploitations directly compromising users systems. And it represents a new level vulnerabilities to interact with web services, of which perfectly blocking the offending input patterns is highly unlikely, until the problem is addressed by the vendor through Windows Update.

MHTML: Web-Level Exploitation

The emerging web development technology, HTML5, may perhaps have scored a great point in the fact that Adobe has refocused its technologies into embracing rather than competing with it. The latest enabling entrant being the introduction of  'Wallaby' - a technology that converts the artwork and animation contained in Adobe Flash Professional (FLA) files into HTML.

Coupled with a ton of other HTML5 initiatives from Adobe, Wallaby, is tended as a tool to help convert the rich animated graphical contents of Flash into a form that can be easily imported into other web pages in development with web design tools like Dreamweaver. And only WebKit-based browsers (Safari and Chrome) are supported for now.

Some limitations, however, have been attributed to the new conversion tool, notably: Dynamic masks, 3D transforms, filters and blend mode are not supported. Also, ActionScript code is not converted to JavaScript, while animations are translated using CSS instead of JavaScript or similar cross-browser framework. Additional limitation is that graphics are translated into SVG vectors or JPEG bitmaps, instead of Canvas (an SVG alternative supported by Google and Mozilla for HTML5 games).

Adobe critics have stressed the move as an effort to slow HTML5 standards adoption and probably reposition Flash in the mainstream which the new open web platform is encroaching.

However, Adobe has given reasons for the omission of Canvas in favor of SVG for slowness, stating that it slows the readability of HTML.

The overall development, however, is certainly a welcome one, with tons of  legacy Flash contents that are begging for conversion into HTML5, and perhaps these leveraging of Flash animation transitions to run anywhere may well position the incumbent in the platform wars.

Flash-To-HTML5 Conversion

The term platform as it applies to the web, is taken to mean the current technology trends that allow software to run on the web. It includes application frameworks and XML web services, also the technologies that makes it possible: SOAP and AJAX, which has virtually turned the web into a ready-made framework of application building block.

Web as a development platform gets a boost as web-based applications are improving on the functionality of their desktop equivalents.

Game development has found a new haven in leveraging this new technology trend, and as the earliest adopter, are instrumental in shaping the technical specifications. Game developers, since the advent of the personal computer had enjoyed strong support from the most successful platforms.

Game development popularity has perhaps attracted the attention of the internet giant, Google, as it announced the Google Game Development center, a web-based resource specifically designed to promote its new web application technologies and infrastructures: WebGL, Native Client, and HTML5 amongst others.

The uniqueness of this technology trend is that both the major players and smaller ones are leveraging the 'web as a box of blocks', which demonstrates the popularity of this new use of the web. The web as a development platform can be leveraged to do more than just the diverse content creation, obtainable at present. However, the right skills coupled with complex interaction between web building blocks is needed to result in new real innovations and functionality.

Games: Web As Platform

Google commenced the repositioning of its Chrome browser as a tool for web reform late last year and that transition is still on-going, with a couple of tweaks and new technology enhancements - now it seems that the era of browser address bar is nearing an end; as the next generation of Chrome may perhaps present an intuitive browser address bar rather than the conventional.

The Chrome browser will undergo an overhaul of it's user interface (UI) and possibly extended to the Chrome OS, which however is postulated for next year. The report credited to Jeff Chang (Google Chrome Engineer) stated thus: 'A number of UI / frontend efforts under way' for Chrome, was posted on the Chromium developer Google Group.

Arguments on how users will adapt in a case whereby the browser URL bar is eliminated has already begun, and given Google's disruptive technology nature is one worthwhile. One school of thought sees it as an aid to the search market and the uninformed individual users, who invariably most often types in a wrong URL. The other calls it freaking-out, imagining how a great number of potential users will get use to the absent of a feature they have become accustomed.

In conclusion, which ever school of thought you may belong, the overriding fact remains that change is inevitable, and the present technology trends will sure characterize the next generation. However, I do not see a feasible end to the browser address bar, rather a more intuitive URL bar / search box combination.

Intuitive Browser Address Bar