The Mozilla Wiki has a page of Firefox 3 Requirements. It’s an interesting insight into what we may see in the next version of Firefox.
Just a glance at the document indicates the following features labelled as "mandatory":
- Improved Addon install, configuration and management.
- The addition of YaCy to the browser. I’ve never heard of this before but its an open source distributed search engine.
- Better content handling and plugin support.
- Better and simpler printing.
- Improved password/identity manager e.g. OpenID, Microsoft CardSpace
- Redesign of Security/Privacy UI
- Replacing the existing proprietary closed-source Talkback application with Google’s open source Airbag.
In the highly desirable priority 2, we have features such as:
- Generating hashed passwords to provide to websites but providing the end user with a normal interface. A bit like Blake Ross’ PwdHash project.
- Private browsing mode
- Integration of serverless open source instant messenger.
- Save webpages as pdfs and integration into history.
- Pause/Resume downloads
- Microformats! See Firefox extension Operator.
With the integration of a serverless and open source search and instant messaging tool, Firefox would be taking a bit of a step away from the philosophy that it just provides a browser and no more. However, if done correctly, it could be a really powerful force to make the web just a bit more democratic.
An instant messaging tool could open up a lot of new possibilities especially with the "social web" and "Web 2.0". We could see all kinds of new applications exploiting the social networks and connections such as "web of trust" and social bookmarking.
Of course, I’m extrapolating a lot from the feature plan, but Firefox 3 could be Flock "done right".