Firefox OS/AcademyNCU2015

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Academy Program in National Central University 2015

Web applications are popular due to the ubiquity of web browsers, and the convenience of using a web browser as a client to update and maintain web applications without distributing and installing software on potentially thousands of client computers is a key reason for their popularity, as is the inherent support for cross-platform compatibility.


Firefox OS is an open source mobile operating system build entirely using Web technologies. Having launched into market on smartphones built by leading handset manufacturers, Firefox OS is seeing rapid expansion into further markets. By making the Web a first class citizen on mobile, Firefox OS seeks to tear down closed ecosystem barriers and promote an open mobile Web.

Photo taken during the class

As an open source project, Firefox OS is built by a community of employees, partners and contributors. Mozilla enthusiastically encourages students from the academy to contribute to Firefox OS. Mozilla works with National Central University in Taiwan and creates a semester class in 2015. In this class, Mozilla deploys required knowledge and skills to students, to implement web based apps. In the end of the class, we expect some apps to be submitted to Mozilla Marketplace.

This class will focus on the implementation of Web Apps and Add-ons, including testing, programming best practice, API basics, and some workshops that allow students to experience the whole process to implement Add-ons and Web Apps. In the end of the class, finished and completed Add-ons and Web Apps are expected. To submit these apps to Mozilla Marketplace is even better.

Basic Information of the Class

  • National Central University, Taiwan
  • Computer Science and Information Engineering Department
  • Name of the Class: Implementation and SDLC of Web Apps (Web Apps軟體工程與實作)
  • Number of Students: 50~60
  • Required Skills: Basic JavaScript programming
  • Time: 3-5pm every Friday.
  • Location: Room 206 in Computer Science department building (工程五館).

Working Environment

Firefox OS

Operating System


Before development

  • Running your own Gaia build:
    • First, make a fork of the main Gaia repo on Github.
    • Clone your fork locally: git clone
    • Go to 'gaia' folder and add upstream: git remote add upstream
    • Now you need to create a Gaia profile. Running make inside your repo folder creates a profile in the profile directory, which is setup for optimal debugging. It creates unpackaged (hosted versions) of the Gaia apps that can be served directly via the local HTTPD server bundled along with Firefox desktop as an extension. When you make a change you just need to refresh your browser window to see the result (as you'll see later), rather than having to rebuild the profile, repush it to the device, etc. This is really good for rapid CSS/JS/HTML hacking.
    • With your debug profile built, run it in Mulet or WebIDE.

Testing environment

Firefox OS device

Flashing builds on Flame
Flashing builds on Flame
  • Flame device
    • The Flame device is the official reference device for developing, testing, and debugging Firefox OS and open web apps.
    • Device Spec:
      • Qualcomm MSM8210 Snapdragon, 1.2GHZ Dual core processor
      • 4.5” screen (FWVGA 854×480 pixels)
      • Cameras: Rear: 5MP / Front: 2MP
      • 3G UMTS quad-band (850/900/1900/2100)
      • 8GB memory
      • 256MB -1GB RAM (adjustable by developer)
      • A-GPS, NFC
      • Dual SIM support
      • Battery capacity: 1,800 mAh
      • WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, Micro USB

Rating Criteria

  • Rating Criteria:
Type Percentage Detailed description
Project 60% * Votes from Demo: 20%
** In the 20% for demo, each student, teacher assistant and speaker has votes to choose the projects that are done by others.
* Code quality: 15%
* Unit tests: 15% [1]
* Creativity: 10%
Homework 30% Based on the completion and quality of assignment after sessions. Will be reviewed and assigned by teacher assistants and speakers.
Attendance 10% Based on how students are involved in the class [2].
  • Button line: (Students who don't meet one of the following conditions may have a fail in this class.)
    • [1] The codes of the project need to have enough tests passed.
    • The project should not be copied from others.
    • Students need to submit the app(or add-on) to Mozilla Marketplace and on the shelf of Mozilla Marketplace on time(before Jan 15th) successfully. Please take at least 2 weeks review into consideration, and submit the application in advance.
    • Students are expected to finish the project by December 4th.
    • [2] Should not have absence for more than 2 sessions.
  • To quit in the middle of the class is not allowed. Please make sure you understand the criteria and decide to enroll this class or not before the end of the 2nd session.


  • Each student needs to submit a completed and workable Web app or Add-on to Mozilla Marketplace.
  • Each student needs to prepare a demo and shows to other students in this class.
  • These Web Apps need to be committed to this Github repository.

Communication Channels


  • Projects are expected to be finished before December, in order to avoid the conflict with projects from other classes.
# Date Topic Speaker / Owner Homework
1 09/18 Introduction
Overview of this class(rating criteria, major goals, projects). At the end of this session, we will also provide the basic instruction to use Github.
Slides can be opened here.
Kevin Hu Register a Github account and create a repository and rename it via git commands.
2 09/25 Git, Github, Bugzilla, WebIDE and DevTools
Introduction of Git, Github, Bugzilla, WebIDE and DevTools. After this session, students are expected to have the skills to use some tools to develop Web Apps.
Slides can be opened here.
Ricky Chien
Kevin Hu
To create a Hello World app, and submit to your own Github repository.
3 10/02 JavaScript Best Practice (1)
Some examples will be used in this session. After this session, students are expected to learn JavaScript best practice, and the skills to refactor JavaScript codes.
Slides can be opened here.
Greg Weng Codes refactoring.
4 10/16 Testing Concepts, Framework and Strategies
Introduction of testing concept, strategies and current used testing framework in Mozilla. Students are expected to learn the importance of unit tests and know how to write good one.
Slides can be opened here.
Shing Lyu
Askeing Yen
To write tests to cover codes from the previous session.
5 10/23 JavaScript Best Practice (2)
Some examples will be used in this session. After this session, students are expected to learn JavaScript best practice, and the skills to refactor JavaScript codes.
Slides can be opened here.
Greg Weng
Kevin Hu
Codes refactoring. Start to provide the draft of proposed project.
6 10/30 WebAPI Basics
Different kinds of Web APIs will be introduced. Students are expected to know the capacity of Web Apps after this session.
Wei-Cheng Pan
Kevin Hu
Use at least one WebAPI in their prototype projects.
7 11/06 Mozilla Taipei Visit
Students will come to visit Mozilla Taipei office. Will provide basic introduction about Mozilla.
Slides can be opened here.
Office Location: 台北市信義區信義路五段106號4樓A1
  1. Video sharing, 2 mins.
  2. Introduction of the session today, 3 mins.
  3. Introduction of Mozilla, 17 mins.
  4. Visit Mozilla Taipei Space, 10 mins.
  5. Q&A and/or Sharing from old schoolmates who are working at Mozilla now, 30~ mins.
  6. Suggest to visit Mozilla Taipei Community Space.
  7. Delivery of Flame devices.
Kevin Hu
Sean Peng
8 11/13 Special guest: Douglas Sherk
DOM and CSS.
Douglas Sherk
Kevin Hu
9 11/20 Introduction of Add-ons + Client-server Model and Server-side Programming Basics
Knowledge of Add-ons will be deployed. Common client-server model on the Web and some server-side programming options will be introduced, too.
Slides: Server-side Programming, Introduction to Add-ons
Eddie Lin None.
10 11/27 Introduction of WoT + Q&A for projects
Speaker will share the idea of WoT and what we've done so far. In the 2nd hour, students can ask questions regarding to the projects and the speaker can help to provide technical evaluation.
Evan Tseng
Kevin Hu
11 12/04 Project Demo
Students need to demo the result of implemented apps.
Teaching assistants Project demo
12 12/11 Project Demo
Students need to demo the result of implemented apps.
Teaching assistants Project demo
13 12/18 How to work on Mozilla Projects
Introduction of using Git and Bugzilla to work on Mozilla projects. Code review process, patch submission process, and identification of projects in Bugzilla will be introduced. Students can understand how big open source projects are working, and how to work with lots of talented people worldwide.
Slides can be opened here.
Kevin Hu None.
14 12/25 Introduction of animation, web component and Firefox OS TV
Introduction of animation technology, web component and technology in Firefox OS TV device.
Slides can be opened here.
Yifan Liao
Kevin Hu
15 01/08 Sharing: Community society.
Slides can be opened here.
Bob Chao
Kevin Hu
16 01/15 Special guest: Dietrich Ayala
Technical Evangelist at Mozilla.
Dietrich Ayala
Kevin Hu

Mentors / Session Owner

Speaker Responsibility IRC Github Detailed work on items
Kevin Hu
Management of Engineering Community Development, the organizer of this class khu kaichih LinkedIn:
Telegram: kaichih
Eddie Lin
Web Developer, Firefox OS Product Marketing elin elin-moco Firefox OS Product Marketing and Web of Things development experiments.
Greg Weng
Firefox OS Software Engineer snowmantw snowmantw Lockscreen, and NFC visual effects in Firefox OS.
Yi-Fan Liao
Firefox OS Software Engineer yliao bebeeben system browser, vertical home screen, and bookmark in Firefox OS.
Evan Tseng
Firefox OS Software Engineer evanxd making FxOS people want, and coding for System App, Calendar App, and JS Marionette in FxOS Team.
Ricky Chien
Firefox OS Software Engineer rickychien rickychien Work on Firefox OS Gaia.
Askeing Yen
Sr. Software Engineer in Automation askeing askeing B2G, gaia-ui-tests, marionette, automation, B2G-flash-tool, MTBF, MCTS, b2g-util, taskcluster-util
Shing Lyu
Software Engineer in Automation slyu shinglyu Marionette (WebDriver), MozTrap (Test Case Management Tool), Firefox OS Metrics, and Cost Control.
Wei-Cheng Pan
Firefox OS Software Engineer wcpan legnaleurc Firefox OS Performance.
Dietrich Ayala
Technical Evangelist dietrich Firefox OS (B2G), Gaia, Firefox, Places, Bookmarks, History, Awesomebar, Livemarks, Microsummaries, Session Restore, Add-on SDK (Jetpack), Performance, Snappy
Douglas Sherk
Product Engineer drs Firefox OS (B2G)
Bob Chao
Mozilla Rep / MozTW Community bobchao bobchao All about community (both paid / non-paid staff)

Offline Support

Name Responsibility Support items
Peyton Sun
Communications Manager, Firefox OS, Product Marketing Overall arrangement of this class.
Estela Liu
Program and Brand Management, Firefox OS Planning of the Mozilla Taipei Office visit.
Bella Su
Office Services Coordinator Co-working with custom to import Firefox OS devices for students.
Linear Li
IT Engineer Prepare additional Firefox OS devices for students.
Al Tsai
QA Manager Flash Firefox OS builds on 53 Flame devices for students.

Teaching Assistants

  • 鍾智鈞
    • Github: chungya
  • 蔡宗明