Having released the fourth Beta development milestone of Firefox 4.0, Mozilla is currently focusing on building the Beta 5 release, while gearing up to the feature freeze stage in the browser’s evolution.
Essentially, the browser vendor is getting ready to decide the feature set that will make it into the final version of Firefox 4.0.
In this regard, some features that have been proposed for the next major iteration of Mozilla’s open source browser might not actually be included into the final version of Firefox 3.6’s successor.
Mozilla certainly has a lot on its hands when it comes down to delivering Firefox 4.0. And fact is that the deadline for the official release is getting closer and closer.
Firefox 4.0 needs to be wrapped up by the end of 2010, and this means that the launch deadline is 3 – 4 months away at least. Yet, Mozilla still has to deliver Firefox 4.0 Beta 5, 6 and 7, at least, although additional Betas could follow.
“A few features are at risk,” Mozilla writes, enumerating the following items:
“- indexedDB unlikely to be included (spec is changing rapidly, security implications to be resolved)
- websockets likely to be included, but only as an experimental & prefixed feature possibly not matching spec (spec changing rapidly with new owner)
- some of the new UI features may not make the cut off
- priority is performance, UI upgrades and support for JetPack SDK.”
But at the same time Firefox 4.0 Beta 5 might not bring with it feature freeze for the browser. Mozilla could push Beta 5 as is, and introduce the feature freeze milestone a tad later in September 2010, but still by the middle of next month.
The browser vendor enumerated some features that are already confirmed for Firefox 4.0, the first already done, with the rest on track to completion:
“Feature complete Firefox 4
- Switch to Tab
- Extension Manager – Functionality there, lots of bugs to fix.
- Notification UI – Geo done, patches on follow up bugs.
- New Theme – Substantially done on Windows and Mac, Linux lagging.
- App Tabs – UI in place, functionality follow ups to get to feature complete
- TabCandy – Landed, but lots of follow up work to do on interactions, integration with other features.”
At the same time, there are also additional features deemed at risk, including Silent updates on Windows; Account Manager, Inspector and Web Console.
For mobile browser Mozila on Friday released the latest version of its mobile browser, Fennec for Android 2.0 and higher and Nokia N900.
This week, Mozilla released Firefox 4 beta 4 which integrated Firefox Sync directly into the browser, and in this version of Fennec, the user launches to a personal start page tied to his Sync account. This page presents the user’s browser history, tabs open on the desktop, and shared favorites. Mozilla is attempting to create a seamless browsing experience between the desktop and mobile screen, and this is the first glimpse of what the pairing of Firefox 4 and Fennec will do.
“The main focus of this release is to increase performance and responsiveness to user actions,” Stuart Parmenter said in Mozilla’s official blog today. “This is being implemented using two major technologies, ‘Electrolysis’ and ‘Layers.’”
Layers is not included in this release, but is expected to be fully in place by the time the first beta comes out. Electrolysis, however, is present in this build, and it lets the browser interface run in its own separate process, apart from the process that is rendering Web content. This is meant to make the interface more responsive while content is loading.
Long-pressing links brings up a menu that lets users either open the link in a new tab or send the link via Email, Twitter, Facebook, or Google Reader. Furthermore, when users press the Android “Menu” button, they are presented with the option to save content as a PDF for offline viewing or for sharing.
Via : softpedia.com and betanwes.com
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