File Under: Software & Tools

Mozilla Revamps Labs Site, Reminds Us Weave Exists

The entire Mozilla Labs website got a redesign Tuesday. The site is the hub for Mozilla’s sandbox — the place where new functionality and emerging tech, mostly for the Firefox browser, is developed and tested in full view of the public.

As part of the redesign, every major Labs projects gets its own, dedicated community site with a WordPress blog; one each for Ubiquity, Test Pilot, Jetpack, Prism, Personas, Snowl and Bespin.

And of course, one for Weave. Lest you’ve forgotten, Weave is Mozilla’s framework for privately storing your Firefox user data in the cloud. Not just bookmarks, history, identities and preferences (which Weave can sync now), but fully encrypted credentials and other sensitive stuff, complete with APIs to access everything (all of which are on Weave’s roadmap).

On Monday, Google announced the much-anticipated bookmark syncing feature for its Chrome browser was available for anyone in the browser’s developer channel.

For most people, it was a “no big whoop” moment. But for the web futurists among us (that’s all of us, right?) the enhancement points to Google’s plan for creating a personal cloud-based storage service for all kinds of user data. Monday’s developer release was just about bookmarks, but it’s clear Google has set its sights much higher.

Everything is going to have a real browser eventually — your work machine, your phone, your netbook already have one, and your iTablet/toaster/thingy isn’t far off — so it makes sense that our data and all of our services will be accessed through the internet as our lives get spread out across these devices. That’s the grand plan that all of the largest makers of web-enabled software are drawing for us. Most Google users have a massive personal footprint spread across the company’s myriad services. Windows has its Live Services platform ready to go huge with Windows 7. Apple is building a huge data center for… something.

And in a post Tuesday on the brand new Labs site, Mozilla took the occasion to remind us it’s in this game, too. Not to be upstaged by Google’s announcement that Chrome can now sync your bookmarks, the Weave team posted an updated Weave roadmap.

There’s one part of the post titled “Weave is more than just Sync“:

Weave, as a Mozilla Labs project, is a collection of experiments around integrating services in/with the browser. The two most active experiments we have going on are related to synchronizing your web experience and integrating identity in the browser. While we want to drive both of these forward while still carrying on new experiments, our current focus is on stabilizing Sync.

This means, in the short term, Weave is going to be mostly about Sync. We are also thinking about launching a separate development train for all the neat experiments we’ve been planning. Once we do that, I think the true potential for the Weave platform will start to become clearer.

See also: