Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet Internet Explorer Mozilla

Firefox 3 Plans and IE8 Speculation 274

Posted by Zonk
from the you-need-one-or-t'other dept.
ReadWriteWeb writes "Information about the next versions of Firefox and Internet Explorer suggest that the two biggest browsers are heading in different directions. Mozilla has published a wiki page detailing its plans for the next version of Firefox, codenamed 'Gran Paradiso'. Among the mandatory requirements listed for FF3 are improving the add-on experience, providing an extensible bookmarks back-end platform, adding more support for web services "to act as content handlers" — all of which show that Firefox wants to be an independent information broker rather than a simple HTML renderer in its next version. Also in the works is Microsoft's IE8. According to ActiveWin.com, a Microsoft official at CES told them that work has already begun for IE 8 and it may be released as a final product 'within 18-24 months'. Looking ahead, it's obvious that IE will continue to hook into the advanced functionality that Vista offers."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Firefox 3 Plans and IE8 Speculation

Comments Filter:
  • by anss123 (985305) on Friday January 12, 2007 @11:49AM (#17574126)
    Have Firefox implemented email yet?
  • by KlaymenDK (713149) on Friday January 12, 2007 @11:52AM (#17574180) Journal
    "the next version of Firefox, codenamed 'Gran Paradiso'"

    Why are they using code names?

    I can understand how it could be necessary for things like the original Mac and Windows 95. But why for yet-another-version of an established product?

    As I see it, either they might as well call it "the upcoming Firefox v3", or they should not (want to) discuss it publicly at all.

    Or is it just to keep Marketing occupied with something harmless?
    • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Friday January 12, 2007 @11:55AM (#17574246) Homepage Journal
      I can understand how it could be necessary for things like the original Mac and Windows 95. But why for yet-another-version of an established product?


      For the same reason Windows Vista used to be called by the codename 'Longhorn' or that Ubuntu 6.10 is referred to by the codename 'Edgy Eft'. Because when they start working on the release, they don't know what they will end up calling it. "FF3" could just as easily end up being FF2.5 instead of FF3 if they don't end up with all the features that they wanted.
      • by KlaymenDK (713149)

        I can understand how it could be necessary for things like the original Mac and Windows 95. But why for yet-another-version of an established product?

        For the same reason Windows Vista used to be called by the codename 'Longhorn' or that Ubuntu 6.10 is referred to by the codename 'Edgy Eft'. Because when they start working on the release, they don't know what they will end up calling it. "FF3" could just as easily end up being FF2.5 instead of FF3 if they don't end up with all the features that they wanted.

        Yes and no. They ought to have a pretty clear picture of wether they are aiming for a an upgrade (minor version bump), a full resease (major version bump), or a new product altogether (new trade name). Yes, I realize that these are big projects, but they are (suuposed to) adhere to a roadmap. By the time you get to selecting which features to include, you'll know what order of vorsion bump you're aiming for. Or not. :-p

        MS Longhorn: Sure, they need a trade name to stick on the box, and think Windows 2100 ai

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by 8ball629 (963244)
          It's pretty standard to give a new project a code name.

          I see both of your points though, it isn't very necessary but what if they don't end up calling it anything close to Firefox 3.0. What if they decide to go with a new naming convention by the time the release comes around? They could end up calling it Firefox Revolutions or Firefox Reloaded or... wait - those are Matrix movie names =\.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kfg (145172)
        That's the rationalization, not the reason.

        The reason is because code names are cool and they want to call it a really cool code name.

        KFG
      • by ceeam (39911)
        Not that lack of new features prevented 2.0 branding..
    • by Aladrin (926209) on Friday January 12, 2007 @11:56AM (#17574268)
      It's not a 'codename' in the spy sense. It's a development name. It's boring to say 'firefox 3' and more fun to say 'gran paradiso'. The names are not for the public, they're for the developers. Any time they talk to the public, they call it 'firefox 3'.

      Don't confuse news from third-party sources with news from the developers. The people that wrote this article are not on the team. Mozilla simply doesn't keep their development plans a secret. (They created a publicly accessible wiki.)
      • It's a development name. It's boring to say 'firefox 3' and more fun to say 'gran paradiso'.

        It also makes it clear that it's not for public consumption. If you called it "Firefox 3 Alpha 1" you'd have tons of Firefox fanboys rushing to download the "latest" version of their favorite browser. Firefox versions that don't carry the "Firefox" name aren't ready for prime time; labeling them differently sends that message.

      • by Rodness (168429) on Friday January 12, 2007 @01:27PM (#17576222)
        It's boring to say 'firefox 3' and more fun to say 'gran paradiso'.

        Not even because it's fun. Try reading the Mozilla forums sometime.

        The browsers are given development codenames to SIGNIFICANTLY differentiate the development nightly/alpha/beta releases from the blessed official version releases. They don't want Grandpa Joe Sixpack coming along to download this "FoxFire thingy" he heard his kids talk about and accidently wind up with Firefox 3.0 Alpha 1, (which may or may not work as advertised because, well, it's an alpha) when he's obviously not interested in a development release.

        Another reason is that it's less confusing and ambiguous, especially when you have multiple versions of Firefox. It's easy to get confused about which feature went into which product when you have "Firefox 1.0", "Firefox 1.5", "Firefox 2.0", "Firefox 3.0" and so forth. At least from a developer perspective, there's more uniqueness to "Phoenix", "Deer Park", "Bon Echo", and "Gran Paradiso" releases from the associated mental imagery.

        But keeping them distinct and less noticable from the end user perspective is the most important reason.
      • by gstoddart (321705)

        It's not a 'codename' in the spy sense. It's a development name. It's boring to say 'firefox 3' and more fun to say 'gran paradiso'. The names are not for the public, they're for the developers. Any time they talk to the public, they call it 'firefox 3'.

        I can't speak for the Mozilla people, but in my company when we have an internal codename for a project, it has been chosen so as to be something which marketing would never use to describe it.

        That way, you can have something to refer to it, it may not be ob

    • by ettlz (639203)
      "Gran Paradiso". Sounds like a "professional" name for an old hooker.
    • Why are they using code names?

      Because it's just more interesting that way. The code name doesn't really mean anything and there is no reason they can't call it "Firefox 3". But that's kinda boring. I gather the Mozilla team has a good sense of humor and like to keep their project fun, whether they have to invent the fun via funny code names or not.

      Correct me if I'm wrong, but I remember hearing that one of the previous firefox code names was "The Ocho", even though the release had nothing to do with

  • features (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dcskier (1039688)
    keeping up and cutting edge sounds great, but i hope if they plan on adding all of these features they spin off a lite verison too. is it just me or is firefox starting to get a bloated, almost like ie. features are great if they provide useful functionality; but sometimes lightweight, fast, and simple is all you need/want for just browsing around.
    • Re:features (Score:5, Insightful)

      by chrismcdirty (677039) on Friday January 12, 2007 @11:58AM (#17574300) Homepage
      I could have sworn the reason that Firefox came into existence was that the codebase of the Mozilla Suite was bloated, and had too many features that a lot of people didn't want in a web browser. And here they go repeating the past.
      • by PingSpike (947548)
        Same old story with software. A well liked application has to have 'new versions' all the time because people get a hard-on for new stuff. Eventually it gets so bloated with 'features' of dubious use that its interface becomes clunky or its performance suffers.

        I like firefox because it added tabs and simplified the web browser interface (its options screens seem so straightforward and easy to navigate compared to IE's internet options). I think that improving the way extensions are handled would be a good g
      • Re:features (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Caseyscrib (728790) on Friday January 12, 2007 @12:52PM (#17575412)
        You can complain about bloating all you want, but so many of the features I've used in Firefox 2 have been incredibly useful. I've tried to welcome change and learn to do new things, because once you get into the habit it really makes your life so much easier. Online bookmarking, live rss feeds, the built-in spell-checking... these have all helped my productivity. Finding stuff is easier, reading stuff is easier, my internet experience is more pleasant. The little stuff really helps a lot. I wouldn't consider it bloating, because Mozilla is adding features that are helpful. Bloating is more reserved for stuff that makes your system run slower yet it doesn't really do anything (IE the window search dog or clippy).
      • Re:features (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anc (953115) on Friday January 12, 2007 @01:25PM (#17576178)
        I could have sworn the reason that Firefox came into existence was that the codebase of the Mozilla Suite was bloated, and had too many features that a lot of people didn't want in a web browser. And here they go repeating the past.
        What makes you think so? If you look at it closely, Firefox sticks to its assumptions. The new features are either supplementing or replacing previous ones, like the improved bookmarks system, or are mostly about streamlining the already existing usage paths.

        It's hard to relate to your statement since you provided no concrete arguments or examples. In fact, it sounds as if you were implying that the sheer fact that there's a new release and therefore new stuff coming up means that the application is getting bloated. Perhaps they should halt the development, so not to introduce more bloat, huh?
        • What makes you think so? If you look at it closely, Firefox sticks to its assumptions. The new features are either supplementing or replacing previous ones, like the improved bookmarks system, or are mostly about streamlining the already existing usage paths.

          TABBED BROWSING is what makes me think so. Don't need it. Don't want it. Never wanted it. Don't like it. Didn't ask for it. I find tabs incredibly annoying-- more often than not I find that tabs have opened in the background that I didn't ask f

        • by vanyel (28049) *
          What makes you think so?

          A 1G vsize for one...

              PID COMMAND %CPU TIME #TH #PRTS #MREGS RPRVT RSHRD RSIZE VSIZE
              332 firefox-bi 1.5% 9:47:18 20 535 1014 140M 40.9M 163M 957M
      • What Bloat? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mhall119 (1035984)
        This same comment, in one form or another, comes up every time there is a story on a new version of Firefox. I read the article, I skimmed the features list, what bloat is being added? The only thing that seemed that they would cause any excess bloat are the extended bookmarks.

        Other than that it's improving the functionality and usability of things that already exist, or building a simple framework that will let other systems (extensions or webservices) provide additional features like microformats and id
  • Sticking with FF (Score:4, Interesting)

    by shirizaki (994008) on Friday January 12, 2007 @11:55AM (#17574242)
    Honestly with the issues I had with IE6 I moved to FF 1.5. Then when IE7 came out I upgraded, but found it almost as loose as IE6, just with tabs. Not to mention IE7 doesn't have extentions. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have half of the extensiosn I have for FF. I'm not even mentiioning the portable version I carry with all of my extensions on it.

    Firefox 2 has ben extremely stable except with a few quirks, which stems from my computer being slow as hell. I look forward to what Firefox 3 bring to the table.
    • by gardyloo (512791)
      I'm not even mentiioning the portable version I carry with all of my extensions on it.

            Well, thank goodness for that.
  • IE8? (Score:5, Funny)

    by fullphaser (939696) on Friday January 12, 2007 @11:56AM (#17574262) Homepage
    They just got IE7 out, give them 3-4 years, they are working on it.
    • by Mikachu (972457)
      But Firefox 2.0 actually officially came out AFTER Internet Explorer 7 did.
      • And your point is?

        The parent's joke is at the expense of Microsoft because it took them 5 bloody years to get from IE6 to IE7. Mozilla and Opera managed quite a few major releases in that time, probably because they are actually focused on making their browsers better, and aren't just developing because they feel they have to in order to maintain a slipping market dominance.
    • Hey, people need to have *some* reason to buy Vista. WMP 12 and IE 8 are better reasons than what they have now.
  • by anss123 (985305) on Friday January 12, 2007 @11:57AM (#17574284)
    "Looking ahead, it's obvious that IE will continue to hook into the advanced functionality that Vista offers."

    Does that include the ability to only run on Vista?

    • by Kelson (129150) *

      Does that include the ability to only run on Vista?

      That's probably a safe bet. Windows XP would actually be out of "mainstream support" today (more than 5 years from release [microsoft.com]) if Vista hadn't been delayed. Microsoft decided a year ago to extend support for XP indefinitely. Now that Vista's out, WinXP is the new Win2k. It seem likely that XP will drop into "extended support" (i.e. security fixes only, and only for XP Pro) sometime during the "18-24 month" timeframe cited for IE8

  • Detachable tabs? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hatta (162192) on Friday January 12, 2007 @11:58AM (#17574302) Journal
    Will they implement detachable (and attachable) tabs? Konqueror has had this forever, so Firefox has some catching up to do.
    • Tab To Window does what you want. https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/2062/ [mozilla.org]
    • On a similar vein (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Solandri (704621) on Friday January 12, 2007 @01:51PM (#17576794)
      Why do tabs have to be along the top? Why can't they be on the side?

      • Widescreen monitors and notebooks are becoming the norm rather than the exception.
      • Even the normal 4:3 aspect ratio is wider than it is tall.
      • In addition to starting smaller due to aspect ratio, the vertical space in your browser is taken up by the window bar, menu bar, toolbars, tab bar, status bar, and temporary popup info bars. Windows' taskbar defaults to using vertical space as well.
      • Horizontal space is taken up by the scroll bar, that's it.
      • Most web content automatically adjusts itself to the width of your browser, but to see excess vertical content you have to scroll.
      • Many forums I visit already limit the width of their text for legibility, indicating there's excess horizontal space available.
      • It's already difficult to read text due to the width if you maximize a browser at 1280x1024 or 1280x800 resolution, again indicating there's excess horizontal space available.
      • Books, newspapers, and magazines are larger in height than width. Browsers attempt to mimic this by allowing you to scroll vertically, but there's something to be said for being able to view a larger vertical chunk of text or images at once.
      • Pictures in portrait mode are common, and I'd like to be able to view them in a reasonably large size instead of having to always squash them down so they're significantly smaller than pictures in landscape mode.
      • Most Western text layouts reference the top left corner as the origin. So if you have a tab bar (or any other bar) that pops up along the top or the left, the content shifts forcing you to spend a split second to relocate what you were focusing on. Suddenly the link I clicked on to open the tab is no longer under my mouse pointer. If the bar popped up on the bottom or the right, this would not happen.

      All this seems to point to vertical desktop space being overutilized and horizontal desktop space being underutilized. So why force tabs into vertical space? Give me the option to put them on the side(s).

  • by KlaymenDK (713149) on Friday January 12, 2007 @12:00PM (#17574344) Journal
    I for one am very much looking forward to improvements in the Bookmarks department.

    How it was in Mozilla was actually better than Firefox now, the context menu in the app/toolbar menus were so good you'd hardly ever need to use "Manage Bookmarks".
    Anyway, people are allegedly no longer using bookmarks in favour of tag clouds and what-have-you ... probably why it was never deemed important enough to implement the store-your-bookmarks-on-an-FTP which has been discussed for so long.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Majin Bubu (455010)
      Actually, Google offers a tool that does bookmarks syncing, among other things. Not perfect, but it mostly works. Has potential dangers to privacy, but is very convenient.
    • by Tony Hoyle (11698)
      Use foxmarks, and all your firefox bookmarks get synced on various machines.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Zonk (troll) (1026140)
      Hit Control-b in Firefox. You can search your bookmarks or organize them anyway you want without having to use the bookmark manager.
  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Friday January 12, 2007 @12:02PM (#17574366)
    It will include an improved add-on experience, provide an extensible bookmarks back-end platform, add more support for web services "to act as content handlers" - all of which show that Internet Explorer wants to be an independent information broker rather than a simple HTML renderer in its next version. Oh, and it'll come up not long after Firefox v.3...

    It worked last time :).
  • by andrewd18 (989408) on Friday January 12, 2007 @12:06PM (#17574454)
    MS-Approved Craplets For Everyone!
  • by ProppaT (557551) on Friday January 12, 2007 @12:08PM (#17574484) Homepage
    I wonder if this will be known as FFVI in Japan?
    • Re:I wonder if... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Elf_h34d3r (955909) on Friday January 12, 2007 @12:57PM (#17575552) Homepage

      Mod Parent Up!

      It seems to be common to misuse FF as the FireFox abbreviation. Indeed, I can produce countless IRC logs of instances when users bash each other for using incorrect abbreviations.

      Often, the FF acronym is associated with Final Fantasy, (FFVI was released in America as FFIII for anyone who doesn't get the reference).

      For the record, the proper abbreviation is Fx [mozilla.org].

  • Rushing IE8 (Score:2, Funny)

    by krunoce (906444)
    According to ActiveWin.com, a Microsoft official at CES told them that work has already begun for IE 8 and it may be released as a final product 'within 18-24 months'

    Hole-y crap!

  • I'd be happy... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by loraksus (171574)
    ... with no added features as long as it stopped crashing.
    Granted, this only really happens when I have 50 or so tabs open across a few windows, but that is fairly normal usage for me and boy is it annoying.
    Yes, my ram's good. No, it doesn't matter if I have any extensions. No, nothing on the "yeah, this problem really doesn't exist, but if it did, you could try these steps to fix it" problem denial page.

    The built in session restore feature is nice (as long as your connection can handle 2500 outbound connec
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ivan256 (17499)
      With flashblock installed, I have never had a FF2 crash. I currently have 20+ tabs open in two windows. I've actually got a few flash things running, but most of them are blocked.

      Try it. You may be pleasantly surprised. You'll have less crashing *and* less CPU wasting flash ads running in the background.
  • Fit and Finish? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by adavies42 (746183) on Friday January 12, 2007 @12:18PM (#17574664)
    Is anyone working on the little things? Stuff like the URL bar not getting the focus half the time when creating a new tab, or the status bar not saying "Done" when a page is actually finished? The continuous minor irritations of things like that are what make up a large part of a user's general feelings about a product, and one of the reasons I"ll always prefer to use Safari when I can.
    • by jrockway (229604)
      I've never noticed any of these problems, actually. The dev team is looking forward to your patches to fix them, though.
  • I'm a little concerned about Firefox 3's new direction as "Information Broker" -- especially after reading TFA.

    It seems to me that what we're about to witness is the steady creep of corporate interest into the browser.

    Already, Mozilla makes millions from its partnership with Google (via the search box in the upper right).
    As information broker, I think we're going to see pre-selective integration with applications and web services.
    This is great for Amazon, Google, eBay, Yahoo!, etc.

    So have we traded Microsof
    • by elcid73 (599126)
      Meet the new browser, same as the old browser.
    • Actually, the way I read the "information broker" article doesn't seem like a problem. It's essentially an extension of the browser's current role in deciding to open a PDF in Acrobat Reader, Preview, or Evince, to open an email link in your default mail client, etc. Only now it'll be able to open based on data in a page. Got an ISBN number? Open it in your favorite online bookstore. Contact info? Add it to your address book.

      It's a lot like Opera's ability to highlight text on a page and send it to a
    • I for one welcome our new information broker corporate overlords.

      on a more serious note, it's open source. someone will fork it or write an extension that disables what you (they) don't like.

      -1, Alarmist

  • improving the add-on experience

    Yeah, it could be better - though officially supporting and easing the search for addons would be fine with me.

    providing an extensible bookmarks back-end platform adding more support for web services "to act as content handlers" -- all of which show that Firefox wants to be an independent information broker rather than a simple HTML renderer in its next version.

    Whoa, hey, time to get off this train. I understand this whole convergence thing, and sometimes it's good, but I'd
    • by McDutchie (151611)
      In fact, if I had my choice (and I don't - I don't/can't do code), I'd have the whole thing installable in a single sub-folder that could just be moved wherever, whenever I wanted.

      Hey presto, your wish has been granted [portableapps.com]. Have fun. :)

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      I'd have the whole thing installable in a single sub-folder that could just be moved wherever, whenever I wanted. The install program would simply create the folder, copy the files, and put a shortcut in the start menu - and that's just because I'm lazy.

      Hmm sounds like a spot-on description of the 'install procedure' of applications on OS X ;-)
  • "extensible bookmarks back-end platform"

    Can somebody translate this to English?
    • by Kelson (129150) *
      Assuming it's the "Places" concept they were working on for Firefox 2 and postponed, it boils down to this:

      Put bookmarks (and history, etc.) in a lightweight database instead of a big long HTML file. This will make it possible for the user to store a lot more bookmarks before performance degrades, will make it easier to search, etc.
  • I find it interesting that there are no radical changes even on the drawing board, and that IE and FF have reached essentially the same state. We'll have vicious flame wars about how Opera users cannot imagine how FF users live without Feature X, and vice versa, but in general the web browser appears to have reached the end of their iterated approximation to the Right Web Browser.

    And it's not as good as you'd hoped. Ajax applications aren't quite good enough for prime time, but there doesn't appear to be an
    • by Bogtha (906264)

      Similarly, basic CSS pages look pretty good, but advanced ones aren't reliable. That's as much to do with CSS's failures as the browsers: designers are forced into contortions which push the edges of the implementations.

      A hell of a lot of the contortions that designers go through would simply not be necessary if Internet Explorer supported CSS tabs and generated content, and Firefox supported display: inline-block.

    • by UpnAtom (551727)
      You're probably right. The last feature which really made a difference to my browsing was mouse gestures.

      Firefox and Opera have their niches and I suspect Opera's is bigger and thus will gradually steal marketshare away from both IE & Firefox.

      The focus should be on the websites anyway. I still think Opera's configurability is a winner but maybe people don't mind having to fit in with programmers' bizarre ways of doing things.
  • SQLite (Score:5, Informative)

    by obender (546976) on Friday January 12, 2007 @12:37PM (#17575020)
    It's probably not so clear from the article but Firefox3 contains a relational database, sqlite which can be accessed from Javascript. This allows for a whole new class of applications to be implemented as extensions.
    • by ceeam (39911)
      Hope they use it for storing cache data. It's lame that FF loses everything every time it crashes or (IIRC) when you shutdown system without explicitly closing browser first.
  • After dealing with IE7 in a lot more hands-on basis, it seems like some of the more obvious bugs have been fixed. And yet, some of the far more annoying ones (bizarre li padding -- either the whitespace bug or too much padding in a LI despite padding/margining to 0 (and yes, I've got a valid doctype)) still are around. Of course, MS "fixed" the !important hack, which would have made the situation reasonable. I know, hacks are bad, but IE conditional comments feel far more offensive than the !important hack
  • by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Friday January 12, 2007 @01:11PM (#17575872)
    Anyone know if this is in the pipeline for FF3? *sigh*
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by BZ (40346)
      It's not.

      It's not a trivial problem to solve, because web pages assume a single-threaded execution model. therefore any two web pages that can access each other must run on the same thread. That's basically all web pages, given enablePrivilege.

      And worse yet, the UI is effectively the same thing as a web page in Firefox (rendered by the same rendering engine, has a DOM, etc). So you get very similar constraints.

      The initial design docs for Mozilla did call for one thread per toplevel window, but that someh
  • Bah. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by The Nipponese (875458)
    As a web designer, I'm automatically dismissive of this. Browser makers working and agreeing on the way CSS should look and act is way more important than new features.
  • ...work has already begun for IE 8 and it may be released as a final product 'within 18-24 months'.
    Translation:

    ...we are now waiting patiently for the Mozilla team to come up with new innovation for us to claim as our own. Once that has happened, IE8 may be released as a final product 'within 54-76 months'.
  • ... like Firefox was in the early days? That was the feature I wanted, not the bloatware it's turned into by V2.0. I don't need no stinkin' tabbed browsing or ActiveX, I want a small footprint, high performance & security basic browser who's developers aren't afflicted with bouts of creeping featurism...

Dreams are free, but you get soaked on the connect time.

Working...