The fundamental difference between web technologies and native technologies is not performance1, it’s API access. Mozilla is making a valiant effort to combat that by introducing WebAPI, a way for the browser to access basic device capabilities like the address book, the camera, and more.
It’s anyone’s guess whether Apple and Google will be interested in playing along. Should Mozilla flesh out these API standards, however, there’s no reason to think they wouldn’t. To this point, both companies have been eager to advance the state of the web; Google naturally benefiting from increased web usage and historically pushing boundaries with Chrome, Apple understanding the critical role the web plays in its customers lives and consequently incubating webkit / Safari.
The web is a powerful thing, and Mozilla’s interests are 100% aligned with promoting an open, unencumbered web available from all devices. That’s a position we’re happy to support.
- It’s not possible to replicate native performance now because of the nature of scripted languages, but there will come a point soon where for all but the most intensive applications the difference is negligible. [↩]