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New Mozilla Programme to Teach Basics of Web Development

The Mozilla Foundation, best known for its Firefox internet browser, has launched a web learning initiative aimed at teaching average users the basics of internet authoring and development.

Webmaker is a dynamic programme that endeavours to "help millions of people move from using the web to making the web," according to the company's website.

It features a range of tools, interactive projects and a community element to empower ordinary internet users who wish to learn more about how the web works and improve their literacy in general.

Mozilla's Executive Diretor, Mark Surman, believes Webmaker is an example of the non-profit organisation's ongoing commitment to learning.

"The web is becoming the world's second language, and a vital 21st century skill as important as reading, writing, and a arithmetic," he says.

"It's crucial that we give people the skills they need to understand, shape, and actively participate in that world, instead of just passively consuming it," he adds.

Multi-Layered Approach

The tool package features three principle elements: Popcorn to enhance online video content, Hackasaurus to enable webpage customisation, and Thimble, which will aid web page design.

Projects offer a range of starter recipes, how-tos, and tutorials, showing internet users a variety of practical skills from how to upgrade and optimise blog templates to ways to build their own apps.

The community element encourages users of the programme to organise meet-ups like skill sharing sessions, hack jams, and social events, both online and in the material world.

Summer Dreaming

Though elements of the programme, like Popcorn, are already available in test version for free download, the initiative launches in full on June 23rd, when Mozilla's Summer Code Party begins.

The Code Party is a massive, event-driven campaign that lasts until the end of September and aims to promote the initiative at local and grassroots levels.

Public libraries, neighbourhood groups, and children's summer camps are all being encouraged to participate and teach-ins are being promoted as one possible way to engage with the project.

The project is already enjoying a diverse range of support, with partners including popular blog platform Tumblr, online music community SoundCloud, and a high-profile public attraction in the London Zoo.