Firefox Friday Five... Fireworks... 2010...!
You might've spent the last week being lazy and stuffing your face full of left-over turkey, but it seems the Firefox community has hardly taken a break.
Let's get stuck in then, with some news of the Firefox development roadmap for 2010!
1. Firefox 2010 (Draft) Roadmap Unveiled
3.6 being pushed back to 2010, but now we can see (roughly) which Firefox milestones we can expect in the new year. As reported by Mozilla Links, the list of features for 2010 is looking pretty damn exciting! Out of process add-ons, a faster start-up time and more-responsive UI... the list goes on.
3.6 is expected to launch in January, with 3.7 following sometime in March. The Firefox 4.0 preview is expected in May or June.
2. The Mozilla Labs Design Challenge -- The Home Tab
Going one step further than Chrome, they're looking at making a 'My Yahoo or iGoogle'-like page, with widgets and gadgets. Thinking about it, it's surprising that Chrome doesn't display iGoogle as a browser-hosted page yet.
Because such a start page would reside purely in the browser, it can theoretically be 100% personalized. Firefox, citing the about:me add-on, thinks that your surfing data could be used to tailor a rich, useful page.
3. Firefox 3.6 will let you hide your menu bar!
Firefox 3.6 Beta 5, you can now hide the menu bar (File, Edit, etc.) by simply right-clicking -- the same way you would remove the bookmarks bar. [I just tried this in Beta 4, and it also works... so I think the source might be incorrect.]
If Firefox continues to add minimal-UI stuff like this, it's going to end up looking awfully like Chrome. Not that that's a bad thing -- especially with that 'more responsive UI' they're promising us for 2010!
Oh, it's worth noting that you can achieve the same thing in Firefox 3.5 with an add-on.
4. Jetpack version 0.7 released -- are you making add-ons yet?! Jetpack add-on that harnesses the power of your GPU to accelerate your surfing!
Version 0.7 is listed as a stability release with lots of minor changes but it does add some swish new GUI, and the ability to show welcome screens after installing new add-ons.
Most importantly though, as Jetpack creeps towards 1.0 we can expect to see its inclusion in Firefox 3.7 or 4.0, just like Personas has been built into the 3.6 Beta. What're you waiting for, install Jetpack and get developing already!
5. Finally... a happy new year woo-yay-2010!!! Persona
All things considered, this is actually quite a nice Persona. But let's not fool ourselves: it still looks like ass. The good news is, continued UI development is in the 2010 Firefox roadmap... so here's hopin'.