Mozilla Firefox 3.0

The development name for Mozilla Firefox 3 is Gran Paradiso.The precursory releases are codenamed "Minefield", as this is the name of the trunk builds. "Gran Paradiso" (trans. "Great Paradise"), like other Firefox development names, is an actual place; in this case the highest mountain group in the Graian Alps. A (October 2007) post on the Mozilla Wiki "Release Roadmap" from President of Products Christopher Beard suggests a release in Late 2007 to Early 2008. A release and development schedule is available on Mozilla's website.

Backend changes :
One of the big changes in Firefox 3 is the implementation of Gecko 1.9, an updated layout engine. The new version fixes many bugs and implements new web APIsIn particular, it will make Firefox 3 the first official release of a Mozilla browser to pass the Acid2 test, a standards-compliance test for web-page rendering.
Many of the new features are defined in the WHATWG HTML5 specification.In particular, support for the controversial"ping"attribute in and HTML elements is implemented and enabled by default. The only purpose of this additional attribute is tracking clicking on links. notes that "ping" has advantages over current click-tracking techniques because it can more reliably get the user to their intended destination and the user has the option of turning the "ping" feature off.The development team has asked users to submit feature requests that they wish to be included in Firefox 3.
Other new features include support for offline web applications, cross-site XMLHttpRequest, and APNG support.
Gecko 1.9 uses cairo as a graphics backend, allowing for improved graphics performance and better consistency of look and feel on various operating systems. Because of cairo's lack of support for Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me and Windows NT, and because Microsoft decided to end support for Windows 98 and Windows Me on July 11, 2006, Firefox 3 will not run on those operating systems. Similarly, the Mac version of Firefox 3 will only run on Mac OS X 10.4 or higher,but, unlike previous versions, will have a native Cocoa widget interface.

Frontend changes :
Work is currently in progress to make default themes for Windows and Mac, giving Firefox a more native look and feel on different OS's.
Firefox 3 theme mockup for Mac OS X.As far as frontend changes go, Firefox will boast a brand-new redesigned download manager with built-in search. Also, a new plug-in manager is included in the add-ons menu. Microformat are supported for handling files similar to file types in an operating system.
New Firefox 3 Download Manager in Windows XP.The password manager in Firefox 3 will now ask the user if they would like it to remember the password after the log on attempt. By doing this the user isn't storing a bad log on attempt in the password manager.
Firefox 3 will use the new Places system for storing bookmarks and history in an SQLite backend. The new system stores more information about user's history and bookmarks, in particular letting the user tag the pages. It is also used to implement improved algorithm for location bar autocomplete.The Mac version of Firefox supports Growl and Cocoa widgets including Aqua buttons and pull-down menus.

The User Interface of Firefox 3: Features

Firefox 3 is going to provide a wide range of improvements to performance, stability, and security, and it’s also going to present several new user facing features. Here is a quick recap of design work that’s been going on in the Mozilla community over the past few weeks for Firefox 3, along with information about how you can help contribute, by providing feedback on these designs, or creating your own UI mockups.

In case you are wondering how Mozilla decides on which features to include in Firefox, we believe in “Delivering the right set of features - not too many or too few. (The goal is to create a useful browser, not a minimal browser.)” We are only interested in adding features that are universally useful, and have no impact on performance. For previous releases of Firefox we added features like RSS detection, spell checking and session restore. Here are some of the user facing features we are considering for Firefox 3.

Standard Mockup Disclaimer
All of these images are only conceptual mockups of Gran Paradiso, any particular feature may end up looking entirely different, or may not even make it into the final release. On a lot of these features we are iterating very quickly on the UI design, so even the mockups posted here may already be old.

User Facing Features in Firefox 3

Places: Bookmarking, Tagging and History - more information
Places is our new infrastructure for storing bookmarks, history, and other information about Web pages. We are working on interfaces that allow users to quickly bookmark pages:


Tag pages:


Bookmark “saved searches” in Smart Folders:

We believe these interfaces will allow users to organize bookmarks in the ways that work best for them, ranging from constructing traditional folder hierarchies to quickly searching a Web 2.0-esque tagspace. Places will also enable a lot of really innovative bookmarking, history and annotation extensions.

Malware Detection
Similar to how Firefox 2 blocks Web sites that are potentially going to try to steal your personal information, Firefox 3 will block Web sites that we believe are going to try to install malicious programs on your computer. Mozilla is coordinating with Google on this feature.


Content Handling
Firefox currently has different dialog boxes for dealing with content depending on if it has a MIME type, is a protocol, is being delivered through RSS, or is an application being downloaded. In addition to unifying our internal architecture for content handling we are also working on a unified content handling user interface. The user will have a consistent UI for selecting the actions they would like associated with content, regardless of if the content is a file being download or is a microformat embedded in a Web page.


Discuss Discuss Content Handling UI

Microformat Detection
I can’t post to this blog without mentioning microformats at least once per post Based on feedback from previous design work I’ve posted, we are now looking into changing the mouse cursor for interacting with microformatted content in the context of the Web page. This idea was suggested by Jeff Carlsen in a comment on a previous post, and by Jesper Kristensen on the brainstorming wiki page.


Discuss Discuss Microformat Detection UI

Changes to the Location Bar - more information
We are considering removing the favicon from the location bar, and changing the location bar so that everything except “Public Suffix + 2″ is greyed out. This will prevent malicious sites from placing visual cues in the location bar (like using a lock as a favicon), and the change in text color will help users identify the web site domain.


Private Browsing
The purpose of private browsing is to put Firefox into a temporary state where no information about the user’s browsing session is stored locally. When in this state, we are considering changing the appearance of the location bar:


Or maybe even a drastic change to the entire theme (my apologies for the shoddy photoshop work on this one):


Coming Soon

A few other features that are also on our radar, but don’t currently have any UI mockups yet:

-Offline Web applications
-Improvements to the password manager
-A graphical keyboard-based UI similar to Quicksilver and Enso for searching the Web, bookmarking and tagging pages, navigating recent history, and switching between tabs. Note: this feature isn’t in the Firefox 3 PRD, and it will probably be released as an experimental extension through Mozilla Labs before it gets considered for inclusion into Firefox.

How you Can Contribute

-Provide feedback on any of these above features in their respective threads (or comment below)
-Create your own UI mockups of these Firefox features, using your favorite image editing application