Tuesday, August 16th, 2005

Firefox 1.5: What’s Missing in Deer Park

Category: Editorial, Firefox

Alex Russell has voiced in on what he would like to see out of Firefox 1.5:

Here are a couple of simple-ish things that would make our lives immeasurably better:

  • Local string caching from script: This is a strange name for a very very powerful capability: caching. Webdevs today need a coherent, simple, and workable local cache which can be accessed form script like any other object/hash and which stores only strings. Such a cache needs only a couple of properties to be wildly successful. Firstly, use the exact same-domain policy as cookies currently are subject to. Secondly, tell me (from script) how big the cache is and how much space is still free. Thirdly, let us specify expiry and flushing policies for it from script (not via HTTP headers). But please, whatever you do, do NOT over-think this problem.
  • Event-transparency in the z-order and positioned event generation: Allow developers to specify that a particular DOM node is “transparentâ€? to DOM events. Which is to say, it passes them “downâ€? the z-index stack without triggering a dispatch or bubble sequence in any way. This should probably be handled by a “-moz-â€? prefixed CSS attribute. Related to this, let us generate DOM events at a set of coordinates without knowing ahead of time what the node we want to route the event to happens to be. Both of these capabilities are amazingly important for a whole set of graphical apps that Deer Park is about to make available.
  • Improve Venkman’s profiling output: Venkman is the most powerful tool in the professional DHTML developer’s toolkit today, but it’s crippled when it comes to outputting useful data from it’s profiling tool. Either try harder to assign names to anonymous functions or at least make the output something that can be loaded by gprof. The current situation is amazingly painful, but since it’s the only game in town, we live with it.

I know they don’t sound like big features, but they’re tremendously important to the kinds of rich applications that Deer Park is supposed to be enabling. The big push now is to keep Microsoft from breaking the web with XAML, and I think we all know it. Small, obviously beneficial changes like these go a long way toward maintaining and improving the viability of the open web as a platform.

Posted by Dion Almaer at 4:02 pm
3 Comments

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3.6 rating from 8 votes

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Comments feed

What is the UI standard that will be marketed as an alternative to XAML? What is the next alternative to XAML?

Comment by Chris Wine — August 17, 2005

Why does this page keeps jumping in Mozilla? It’s utterly unreadable. Looks like you are doing some AJAX on this page and the redraw causes the page to jump around every 3-4 seconds. I can’t even read a single line with the screen jumping up and down.

Comment by Prashant Rane — August 17, 2005

Mine also jumps up and down every second so it makes me sick after a couple o minutes of trying to read content. I would love to abandon IE and start using FF but with this bug basically it’s impossible unless you teach my eyes to get use to it ;) There aren’t any websites addressing this particular problem. It keeps reapperating even though I reinstall for beta version. any ideas? Though sometimes content gets still when you refresh the page couple of times.

Comment by David — January 13, 2006

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