Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
Mike Beltzner, Director of Firefox and all-round top chap, gave an open presentation on what is coming in Firefox 4:
The full video is also available which goes into detail on the main themes of the next release of Firefox (3.7 is dead, long live 4!)
- Fast: making Firefox super-duper fast
- Powerful: enabling new open, standard Web technologies (HTML5 and beyond!),
- Empowering: putting users in full control of their browser, data, and Web experience.
What do developers get?
- Bidirectionally connected apps (Web Sockets)
- Better Ajax-y interactions (PushState)
- New interactions (gesture + multi-touch)
- Easier layout and styling (CSS3)
- HTML5 Parser
- Content creation (contentEditable, HTML5 forms)
- Structured data storage (IndexedDB)
You would have guessed at most of these, but maybe not the WebSimpleDB/IndexedDB one. If a project has “simple” in the name, it normally isn’t…. just like when a project has “open” in the name. It is a strange name since we have simple storage through localStorage and friends.
IndexedDB is a better name, and it is interesting stuff. Instead of the SQL databases that require standardizing on a version of SQLite (which is insane) it is JSON native. You work with the data store like this:
and you can go native JSON with the object store:
Take a look at all of the low level cursor code and you may cry a little :)
Back to Firefox 4. The media loves a binary black vs. white view of the world. Flash is Dead. HTML5 is saviour. Chrome is “the winner”. IE is over. Regardless of any actual numbers.
Alpha geeks are big on Chrome these days, but Firefox has massive numbers and is still doing well, despite the fact that, in my opinion, better days are to come. Firefox will catch up on the technology side with multi-process and their new JagerMonkey VM work. Performance will become table stakes yet commodity. Where Firefox can shine is where no other browser will go. Mozilla is mission based and cares about users in a more holistic way. This is the empower goal. You should own your data. Your browser should do more for you (not just get out of the way). Firefox is uniquely positioned for this, and you can see the start of the work via the Contacts work from Mike Hansen.
Also note how the team is discussing Firefox 4. Totally in the open. What will Safari 5 have? Chrome 6 has platform status, IE9 is doing a better job…. but no one does it as well as Mozilla IMO.
I look forward to the continued browser competition. Great news for us developers!
Posted by Dion Almaer at 10:06 am