Jolla wants Mozilla to help with Sailfish browser by getting a Nokia API in Gecko repository

Jolla hopes an API that it uses for its Gecko-based browser will get approval from Mozilla to be included in the main Gecko repository.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Finnish phone maker Jolla has open sourced its Gecko-based Sailfish OS browser in the hope Mozilla will help it fix a few of its bugs.

Jolla said yesterday the "philosophy of the company is to participate and contribute actively in open source communities", pointing to its contributions to projects like the MeeGo-related Mer and another mobile Linux distribution Nemo.

Jolla hopes its story will inspire Mozilla's community to help it fix the issues it's facing with the Sailfish browser — which Jolla built on Gecko, the same layout engine behind Firefox and Firefox OS.

The problem for Jolla stems from an API for Gecko in Sailfish that hasn't made its way to the main Gecko repository.

Jolla explains that one component of Gecko actually started life in pre-Windows Nokia when its engineers were still working on Maemo. That includes EmbedLite, an embedding API for the Sailfish browser that shares components such as libraries with the API that Mozilla calls IPCLiteAPI — an interface for embedding Mozilla based apps through a native Android UI or Qt. 

"Our objective with the project is to make this the first step to get official support from Mozilla Corp. to a mobile browser based on Gecko and embedded in Qt," said Jolla co-founder Stefano Mosconi.

Jolla points to a separate blog from a Sailfish contributor Dmitry Rozhkov who explains the origins of EmbedLite.

"This embedding API started as a research project in Nokia by Oleg Romashin and Andrey Petrov at the times when Nokia was still developing the Maemo platform," Rozhkov wrote.

"It would help us a lot if the API made its way to the main Gecko repository and became a part of the engine. Unfortunately this hasn't happened yet and the current status of such integration you can see in these two bugs:

  1. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=746800
  2. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=713681"

ZDNet has asked Mozilla for comment, and we'll update the story if we receive any.

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