Saturday, June 14, 2008

What’s Next For Firefox?

With the announcement that Firefox 3 is going to release next Tuesday, June 17th, what’s next? Firefox 3.1 coded named Shiretoko after the national park in Japan.

Shiretoko National Park

It is important to understand that this is going to be the next major version of Firefox 3. Regular usability & security updates will follow the 3.0.X numbering scheme. Mostly what is planned for Firefox 3.1 are features that did not make into the final Firefox 3 (note: this list is subject to change especially items marked with an asterisk *):

  • Visual tab switching*
  • tab searching/filtering*
  • bulk tagging bookmarks*
  • tag autocomplete*
  • support for
  • cross site Ajax requests
  • more power for the location bar
  • added support for CSS 3 selectors
  • improvements to Places

It should take about 6 weeks for the new features to be in place for the first Alpha due out in mid July. The final release should be sometime around the end of the year. What does this mean for Firefox 2? A very fast end of product support. This means updates and support for Firefox 2 will end about six months from the release of Firefox 3 which would be December 17th.  Also with the release of Firefox 3.1 around the same time will start the six-month clock ticking for the end of Firefox 3.0 support.

So, what about Firefox 4? That is about a year and half away at the end of 2009. This is going to a major platform change (much like we saw going from Firefox 1.5 to 2.0 in October 2006). Firefox 4 would “…introduce Mozilla2, an extensive update to the Mozilla platform to feature highlights like ActionMonkey, the merge of Mozilla’s JavaScript engine (SpiderMonkey) and Tamarin, Adobe’s JavaScript virtual machine open-sourced in late 2006.”

News Source:Mozilla Links

  • Firefox 3.1 (Shiretoko) planned features draft
  • Firefox 3.1 targeted for year’s end

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