Mozilla Software

The Venice Project

I got an invite to the much-talked-about Venice Project a few weeks ago, and managed to take it for a spin a few times. GigaOm among others like Engadget and BusinessWeek have also mentioned it. A few noteworthy things:

  • It’s running on Mozilla’s XULRunner! Confirmed by Allan Beaufour.
  • Video quality is extremely good, and buffering time is minimal even when getting only about 4Mbps broadband (during busy holiday times as I typically do 6-8Mbps). This means we should expect Linux/Mac versions to follow.
  • Content is extremely sparse. This is really the Achilles’ heel of the venture. Without content it’s worthless, despite being technologically cool.
  • It doesn’t quit when you close the app by default. It minimizes so it can still share data. This isn’t a very cool thing if you care about bandwidth consumption (you may, or you may not). I understand why they do this though.
  • UI is very fluent and almost TiVo-ish, though not always as intuitive as one would like. It is still a beta, so I’d expect things to improve. One thing I did email about was getting tooltips to show up sooner, which would help remedy this.
  • Doesn’t seem to pierce through firewalls as easy as Skype does (though still does a pretty good job). Not sure if this is on the todo list, of if it’s something that can’t be fixed. Perhaps Skype just set a really high standard.

I don’t want to go into a very serious review because it’s still in development, and it doesn’t seem I can include screenshots other than those released just yet. I plan to revisit this with a more thorough review at a later date. Perhaps when it’s permissible to include screenshots, or when a beta picks up a feature warranting a little more info. As someone who loves seeing new innovative software, and businesses, this has been a real treat to check out. As someone who appreciates the tech behind the scenes (go XULRunner!) it’s really a treat.

Edit: Now known as Joost.

7 replies on “The Venice Project”

It may use XULRunner but is it open source? I thought anybody using XULRunner had to be open source?

Where is the code!

> I thought anybody using XULRunner had to be open source?

Absolutely not ! XulRunner (and so Gecko) is opensource, right, but two of its licences (LGPL and MPL) allow to use XulRunner with closed source app..

Do you remember Netscape Browser which was closed-source, based on Mozilla ? 😉

Couldn’t make it running. Haven’t checked with my ISP nor my FW setting, but unlike you, Rob, I don’t have so much bandwidth.

Hi Guys,

I am really excited that the Venice project has finally taken off. I would love to be a Beta Tester to it and have unlimited bandwidth to take advantage of; so if any of u guys can send me an invite to Joost it shall be greatly appreciated. my email address is

I’m sure you are getting many such requests, but any chance of getting a copy of the invite? Thanks

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