Planned Features for Firefox 3

In today’s Firefox 3 (code name Gran Paradiso) meeting, developers released a preliminary list of requirements for Firefox 3. The new target release date is sometime in the third quarter this year.

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.

You can read the complete Firefox 3 requirements at Mozilla Wiki.

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