Firefox developer Dave Townsend has been working on porting the Firefox web browser to the Palm Pre. As you can see from the picture above, he’s been at least partially successful.

There’s no word yet on how well the browser runs on the Pre. And it’s not available for download yet. But this is a pretty significant first step.

The folks at Mozilla had recently announced that they’re pretty much giving up on developing Firefox Mobile for Windows Phone 7 Series, and instead focusing primarily on the Google Android platform which is much more open to the kind of third party development that would make it possible to port Firefox. In fact, we’ve already seen an early, pre-release build of Firefox for Android hit the streets.

But this is the first I’ve seen of a Firefox port for Palm’s WebOS operating system. It looks like the recently launched PDK (Plug-in Development Kit) is helping third party developers do some pretty cool things with the platform.

Townsend promises to have more details about Firefox for the Palm Pre on his blog soon.

Update: As promised, Townsend has shared the details. It looks like the Palm PDK isn’t that different from the Android NDK, which meant that porting Firefox to WebOS isn’t all that different from porting it to Android.

The WebOS version of Firefox is still a work in progress. The user interface, for example, is the desktop UI, not the Fennec UI designed for mobile devices. Mouse and keyboard controls still need to be tweaked. More importantly, sometimes the phone locks up while using Firefox. So Townsend isn’t quite ready to release Firefox for WebOS to the public yet. But it’s possible that once these issues are fixed, he could make the app available for download.

via Pre Central

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...

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