backtop


Print 39 comment(s) - last by icanhascpu.. on May 18 at 2:13 AM


The new interface prompts the user with certain questions after install, to set up security preferences.  (Source: Mozilla)

It'll be easier to manage lots of tabs in the new interface, and the interface now allows new "app tabs" for web applications like Gmail (see bottom right).  (Source: Mozilla)
Fans get an early peak at the company's plans

Those waiting for Firefox 4, the upcoming latest and greatest browser from Mozilla, might not have to wait long.  Speaking at Air Mozilla today, Mike Beltzner announced that Firefox 3.7 will become 4.0.  The first alpha build of 3.7 was released on February 10.

With the switch, Mozilla will likely be much more able to meet its goal to release Firefox 4 in Q4 2010.

The biggest improvements coming in 3.7/4.0 is the Gecko 1.9.3 layout engine, which should bring improved support for new standards such as HTML5 and CSS3.  In the vision outlined in a blog post corresponding with his announcement, Beltzner says the Firefox 4 will be "Powerful: enabling new open, standard Web technologies (HTML5 and 
beyond!)."

He also says that the new browser will be much faster – "super-
duper fast", to be precise.  The biggest speed improvement is the new JägerMonkey JavaScript engine, which speeds up repetitive scripts.  Other speed improvements include 64-bit support, a streamlined main thread, and DOM improvements.

Firefox 4.0 will bring a new look to the browser with overhauled UIs across all platforms -- Windows, Linux, and OS X.  Beltzner writes that the new layer will grant users "
full control of their browser, data, and Web experience."  Among the UI improvements are an overhauled tab interface that allows hundreds of tabs to be easily managed, and allows new web app tabs.  The new UI also prompts the user with security questions earlier, so they don't have to ask as many questions later on.

A final important point to note is that with Firefox 4.0, Mozilla will be the lone player pushing a very different and truly open implementation of HTML5.  Apple and Google both support HTML5, but they both have thrown their weight behind h.264, a proprietary video codec.  Opera and Internet Explorer (sans Chrome frame) don't yet have working HTML 5 implementations that can be used with the handful of HTML5 sites out there (like the YouTube HTML 5 beta).  Microsoft's early preview build of Internet Explorer 9 uses h.264 as well.

That leaves Mozilla as the only promoter of a truly open HTML5.  Mozilla is promoting Ogg Theora, a free codec.  In fact Mozilla put up a slide presentation about Firefox 4.0 that should be available in your Firefox 3.6 browser.  The video of the slide presentation can be found here.

Beltzner gives a bit of a dig, stating, "If you have Firefox or a modern web browser that supports fully open HTML video, you can watch the presentation."

Mozilla looks to be headed in the right direction with Firefox 4.0; it should be exciting to watch the product mature through the beta phase.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: No h.264?!
By funkyd99 on 5/11/2010 11:33:12 AM , Rating: 2
Mozilla would have to pay licensing fees to the MPEG-LA if they included a H.264 decoder in Firefox...


RE: No h.264?!
By danobrega on 5/11/2010 11:35:18 AM , Rating: 1
Are you sure? What if they just use the hardware to decode it? Haven't the hardware manufacturers already payed that license?


RE: No h.264?!
By funkyd99 on 5/11/2010 12:35:51 PM , Rating: 2
Older video cards don't support H.264, so you'd still need a software decoder. I believe H.264 codecs are included in Windows and OSX these days, but that still leaves out Linux (see my comments on X264 below.)

In the end, I think this is more of a show of principles on Mozilla's end. The fact is, we don't know what's going to happen to H.264 come 2016. If content providers are forced to pay licensing fees on all their videos, Mozilla can give them a big "I told you so!"


RE: No h.264?!
By jonmcc33 on 5/11/2010 12:01:41 PM , Rating: 2
x264...

I can play H.264 encoded .MOV files without a problem using x264.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X264


RE: No h.264?!
By funkyd99 on 5/11/2010 12:28:06 PM , Rating: 2
X264 is just a different implementation of H.264 though... if a commercial company used X264 to encode and decode video, I'm guessing they'd still have to pay royalties; it's still H.264 video in the end. You can argue that Mozilla is a non-profit organization, but there ARE indirect profits that can be made by browsers (think Google/MS and their search/ad infrastructures.)


"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki