Firefox 3 Feature Plan

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:

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". 

9 thoughts on “Firefox 3 Feature Plan

  1. I’m one of those people who feel a browser should just be that. Introducing features like the the instant messaging capability would make them superfluous, certainly in my view anyway.

    I like that they want to finally add pause and resume functionality to downloads out of the box – it will be a welcomed addition.

    Saving websites as PDFs is an interesting feature also.

  2. No speed increases?

    That’s what Firefox needs the most. Using Firefox after using Opera it’s apparent that Firefox is indeed extremely slow.
    They need to reverse the polarity of their development.

  3. Strange, I thought Firefox 2 was already pretty fast. Admittedly it becomes slower the more extensions I install that directly interfere with a certain action, but I guess that’s a trade-off between extensibility and performance.

    Yeah I know, you can extend Opera using those widgets, but those are just webpages being rendered locally. Similar to imagebot and the like – those mainly add a button to the interface and this doesn’t really slow down Firefox. E.g. Linkification does, when auto-linkify is turned on, and TabMix slows down quite much, as well (it adds hella-much possibilities on the other hand).

    How’s that you notice Firefox is slower than Opera, anything where I can really see it? I don’t care for some cryptic speed tests showing differences like 0.245sec or so. I’m using both browsers and I can’t tell the difference if I’m using vanilla Firefox compared to (vanilla) Opera in the case of speed?


  4. Unless your using a 486 you’re not going to notice any speed difference between Firefox and Opera.

    If you come into memory issues, please report them instead of whining everywhere about it.

  5. alright rowan lewis! you kicked every bodies ass! woohoo.


  6. Sure Fixfox 2 is orders of magnitude slower and more memory hungry than opera 9 and even IE7. That’s becasue large portions of its code is interpreted javascript, which makes its although much more portable but also fatter!

  7. to Rowan Lewis: A 486 is not the only thing that poses speed problems. You have to be very patient to use it on a PI-233/64M (don’t laugh, low-end thin-client hardware is in that range locally).

    It’s not very snappy on a PII-600/64M either (that’s what you’d get with the new ~$150.00 notebooks). About memory use: as Linux is quite resource efficient, anything I’ve tried up to 320MB gives minor difference with proper configuration (DSL), so if you don’t need flash and Java, 64MB suits one well (~32MB if browsing in a single tab).

    I know we have to design for the hardware of today, but keep in mind that we must learn to live with the hardware of yesterday peacefully, as our landfills are constantly filling with these not so eco-friendly substances. Dillo, links2, w3m and a bunch of other graphic browsers can make those systems fly. What if our major browsers supported a ‘light’ rendering mode that could still tackle with normal webmail and banking for example in an accassible way?

    Just my 2 Eurocents.

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