The requirements for Firefox 3.0 (AKA Gran Paradiso) have came out. It is planned to be released in Q3 or Q4 of 2007. There will be more interactions with webservices, better printing, support for OpenID and MS’s CardSpace identity systems, (maybe) saving webpages as PDF, and several features for deployment by IT. Mozilla 2 with its improvements to XUL and the inclusion of Tamarin will be held until Firefox 4.0 is released in 2008.
Percy Cabello pieced through the lengthy requirements list and provided this truncated and aggregated list of requirements with priorities. His commentary is also really good.
Among the list of mandatory requirements, read, what is the most likely to be included in Firefox 3 we have:
- Improved interaction with Add-ons: clearer, more coherent language; less steps to install; more visible way to configure add-ons, probably to be moved back to the general Options window, which I hope deeply; more noticeable alerts when updates are available; a permanent restart Firefox button.
- Support for remote bookmarks, bookmarks and history annotation.
- Files could be handled by web services. If I am reading this correctly, this could mean you would be able to click on an attached document and open it with something like Writely or Google Documents. And perhaps, as I asked Santa, the ability to redirect mailto: links to web email services.
- A much needed print support to prevent cut paragraphs and true WYSIWYG.
- The much requested MSI installer which will be a much welcomed improvement for IT administrators as it will ease deployment and updating of Firefox across a company.
- In the security front: support for Microsoft CardSpace and OpenID (check tomorrow’s article for more coverage on this). Smarter credentials handling.
- Airbag, the Google backed open source crash reporting tool will replace currently licensed TalkBack.
Among the highly desirable requirements:
- A private web browsing mode. I guess this would mean no cache, history, password or entered form information storage.
- Save web pages as PDF files, integrated with history. That would be just awesome.
- Support pause/resume downloads across sessions.
- Make Firefox help accessible only while online. Not sure how good and idea this is.
- Microformats support.
Nice to have:
- Unified bookmarks/history. Does this mean no Places?
- Support for Windows Vista parental controls. I really hope this one goes up in the priority list. This would be the first concrete downer for Firefox when confronted with Internet Explorer 7.
- Tab grouping and expose. This sounds like Internet Explorer 7 Quick Tabs or the foxPose extension.
- Windows Group Policy. Another blessing for IT administrators.
- Allow add-ons to be installed without rebooting Firefox.
- Simplified interface to manage downloads. Can it be simpler? Maybe exposing commands currently placed in the context menu.
This is a great list of features (congrats to the team!). I’m glad to see more support for identity systems. If OpenID gets in, it will definitely aid in its adoption by both users and sites. The increased interactions with webservices would be great. I want to be able to open Word Docs into Writely or Zimbra in any browser from any site and enabling remote synchronization of bookmarks would be very handy. I really like the idea of not having to reboot FireFox when I want to try out an add-on.