Mozilla to skip Fx3.7 and go straight to 4.0

Mozilla’s Director of Firefox Mike Beltzner, yesterday announced that Mozilla is to” jump” Fx3.7 and head straight for 4.0.

The main reason for this is because, Fx3.7 consisted primarily of “Out of Process Plugins” which as most of you know has been implemented in Fx3.6.4. This has pushed developers to bypass the 3.7 release and focus on pushing out Firefox 4.0, hopefully by November.

A couple of things that jump out to me are that there will be no more modal dialogs and software updates will switch to background tasks. This is to help improve the user experience as they are two of the main pause points in a using Firefox.

The background process updates I can understand, Chrome has shown that this is by far the best way to push out updates and bug fixes to users and ensure that everybody is running the same version across the board. The removal of modal dialog however Im not too sure about.

There are also the expected updates, the new chrome (browser layout, not Google browser) redesign, which has removed many of the less used parts of the interface as found during a Test Pilot back in March and from developer feedback.

Firefox 4.0 UI concept - May 2010

Firefox 4.0 UI concept - May 2010

Something Im really excited about are the developer tools. In particular the console. Beltzner described it as a Quake style console, pulled from the top of the browser, as an advanced view source. With the ability to edit css/dom elements, and make other tweaks on the fly. They will continue to support Firebug and will also add a couple of other api’s to allow us to access rendering times and memory usage from within our apps with should help a lot with development and optimisation.

If you using Firefox or a modern web browser that supports fully open HTML video, you can watch Mike Beltzner presentation.
It is almost an hour long but I do recommend watching or at least listening, to what Mozilla believe is the future of Firefox and the direction they are going.

For more on this story, head over to Mike Beltzner blog post, view the slides and watch the presentation.

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