Thimble from Mozilla is a new website creation tool. It sits in a suite of easy-to-use tools, called Webmaker, that Mozilla is promising will help build a new generation of webmakers.
Popcorn and Hackasaurus are two of the others — the former for video creation and the latter a mashup-type tool where you can change and modify any website and save the results. Hackasaurus is loosely similar to the popular Firebug plugin that allows you to inspect and temporarily change HTML and CSS code elements. Hackasaurus lets you save the page elsewhere with your changes. They have several samples to check out.
The announcement came in May and June, but largely escaped notice. I’m not sure why. I don’t find much coverage outside of Techcrunch, CNN, and Wired’s Webmonkey.
While I’m a big fan of Firefox, Mozilla’s back-in-the-day-game-changing browser, I switched to Chrome years back because it is so much faster. It loads faster and my machines run faster with it. Despite that change, I’m glad to see these creative and kid-friendly efforts from Mozilla. I’m not convinced yet that Thimble will help small business owners unless you are the type of owner who wants to learn HTML and CSS code.
Some have compared it to WordPress, but I don’t find it to be in the same market. At this time, it is not a business tool. It is a tool for educators, designers, instructors, makers in makerspaces who want to help others learn. It doesn’t have enough to save a busy business owner time or effort. Again, if your goal is to learn more code, this might be helpful. If you are a business owner with children and you want them to learn to code, these tools
Here is some official info from Mozilla:
1) Tools. Authoring tools and software, designed and built with our community. From supercharging web video with Popcorn, to remixing with Hackasaurus, to making your own web pages with Thimble.
2) Projects. Practical starter projects, how-tos and recipes, designed to help people at all levels make something amazing with the web. From tweaking your blog template to building apps that change the world.
3) Community. Bringing people with diverse skills and backgrounds together. Teachers, filmmakers, journalists, youth. From web ninjas to newbies. All making and learning together at events, meet-ups and hack jams everywhere.
Here is a good post from Zainab Oni writing at Hive NYC:
Hive Learning Network NYC is a Mozilla project that was founded through The MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media & Learning initiative to fuel collaborations between cultural organizations and create new learning pathways and innovative education practices together. Hive NYC is comprised of thirty-nine non-profit organizations—museums, libraries, media and other youth-facing organizations—that create opportunities for youth to explore their intellectual and skill-based interests using digital media and other technologies. Network members have access to funding to support this work through The Hive Digital Media Learning Fund in The New York Community Trust.