Firefox 4 could be out in November

With Microsoft hard at work on Internet Explorer 9 and Google already offering beta releases of Chrome 5, the Mozilla folks are under quite a bit of competitive pressure. According to a blog post by Firefox Director Mike Beltzner, Mozilla’s response may be to have a feature-packed Firefox 4 release out by the end of November.

At least, that’s what the tentative roadmap in Beltzner’s latest presentation calls for. The "Director of Firefox" says Firefox 3.7 will be no longer, with the "out-of-process plugins" feature it was supposed to bring now due in Firefox 3.6.4 later this month. As for Firefox 4, Beltzner sums his aspirations for the next release with these three bullet points:

  • 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.
  • The presentation shows a completely revamped Windows user interface much like that mockup we saw last December, and it talks of additions like a preference panel to manage website permissions, a new add-ons manager, new development tools, 64-bit support, hardware acceleration with Direct2D, and multi-touch support.

    The presentation says "PLANS MIGHT CHANGE" in bold, red type, so Mozilla might not be able to meet these rather ambitious goals in such a short period of time. Still, if they pull it off, you can expect "frequent" Firefox 4 beta releases to start hitting the web in July, with the first release candidate to follow in mid-October or so.

    Comments closed
      • Sniper
      • 10 years ago

      I use chrome for web browsing.

      I use Firefox + Firebug for web development.

      If Firebug didn’t exist, I would not have Firefox installed on my system. It’s just not that great these days.

      Chrome runs faster (imo only), Firefox crashes a lot and takes a long time to load up (the first time its run). While using it, it tends to just simply /feel/ slow. That’s my viewpoint, whether or not it is indeed slower, I enjoy browsing the web with Chrome a lot more.

      That said, Firefox does also have many wonderful extensions (in addition to firebug) that make life easier.

      • pogsnet
      • 10 years ago
      • green
      • 10 years ago

      i hope there’s addons to change the look

      for me:
      – chrome has the “stupid memory hog” thing going
      – safari has the “stupid disk access” thing going
      – ie has the “too crap at everything” thing going
      that leaves me with opera and firefox
      i’m not on opera because alt+tab is still broken
      so i’m firefox

        • HisDivineShadow
        • 10 years ago

        Interesting. I’d have said that Firefox was the memory hog and Chrome the light browser in my experience. Everytime I use Firefox, I feel like my computer’s a few speed grades slower than when I use Chrome.

        Then again, I’m not one of those people who obsessively watches my memory usage and goes bananas if one browser dares to use (and then release when its done) memory that it needs.

        I look for what feels light and Firefox does not feel light in my usage patterns. Its slow and ungainly. Hence, Chrome is awesome. Opera’s pretty fast, too, but I dislike the company.

      • BlackStar
      • 10 years ago

      Have they done anything to reduce the number of annoying pop-ups in a typical browsing session? I’m not talking about web pop-ups (these are a thing of the past), I’m talking about pop-ups from Firefox itself:
      – (pop-up) Firefox has detected an update for 1 extension(s). Click to install.
      – (pop-up) Install update?
      – (pop-up) Update installed. Restart Firefox?
      – (pop-up) New Firefox version detected. Upgrade?
      – (pop-up) Downloading upgrade… download complete. Install upgrade?
      – (pop-up) Upgrade installed. Restart Firefox?

      Would you SHUT UP? Your UI team sucks, start copying Chrome already!

        • Meadows
        • 10 years ago

        Try telling this to Mozilla instead.

        • BlackStar
        • 10 years ago

        Also, to add to this list:
        – (pop-up) Download window.

        Freaking, hateful download window. Thank Cthulu for Download Statusbar.

      • lilbuddhaman
      • 10 years ago

      I like my firefox as it is now. I dislike the IE7/8 style. I also dislike the lack of File/Edit/View on every god damn Win7 application. It is very annoying having to relearn fucking PAINT because they decided to make everything have a pretty picture and a fancy tab for even the most basic functions.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 10 years ago

      Where’s the file-menu?
      I remember reading an article about how chrome was destroying standards, and here we have firefox doing the same thing.
      edit, here it is:
      ยง[<http://www.techeye.net/software/software-gui-design-going-to-hell-in-a-basket<]ยง

      • Krogoth
      • 10 years ago

      Can anyone remind me why do browsers matter these days? They are pretty much all the same damm thing with subtle differences in the UI.

      Browser wars are so 1990s. The only victim was lack of industry-wide standards. You had MS trying to push its own standards with other parties trying to push for more open web standards. The result? A clusterfuck for web developers they are trying to get their content compatible with everyone.

        • Stranger
        • 10 years ago

        Personally I’ve found that it’s started to mater more and more now that browsers are basically running full on programs in the form of Java script and Flash. I want to stab myself in the eye everytime Flash locks up the entire browser. WARGARBLE. The same goes for badly coded websites.

        • Meadows
        • 10 years ago

        Do you honestly think that the main differences between Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera or Chrome are to be found in the user interface? Goodness gracious, are you stupid? Don’t troll so hard and instead realise some of the truths out there.

          • 5150
          • 10 years ago

          Browser wars are dead, long live Krogoth/Meadows wars!

            • Meadows
            • 10 years ago

            I doubt anyone thinks he’s sincere.

          • Krogoth
          • 10 years ago

          Geez, your trolling is getting more and more pathetic. ๐Ÿ™„

          As far as majority is concerned. The only difference between the browsers is the UI and even that is becoming homogenized.

          It is becoming like Cola-Coke versus Pepsi. Practically the same damm thing. The only thing that separates them? Marketing and brand recognition.

            • Meadows
            • 10 years ago

            Not where I buy, where Coca Cola shipments are diluted and packaged with syrup for sweetening, and Pepsi uses sugar. Ergo I buy Pepsi.

              • poulpy
              • 10 years ago

              Maybe time to buy your groceries from a proper supermarket and not from your mate “who has good deals” down in the basement?

              • Meadows
              • 10 years ago

              But that’s what I do already, son.

              • poulpy
              • 10 years ago

              So you get messed up Coke cans from your regular supermarket, sounds lovely! ๐Ÿ™‚

              • Krogoth
              • 10 years ago

              Sorry to break it to you.

              Both Coke-cola and Pepsi use HFCS and have been for quite some time.

              The only exception is the limited releases of Pepsi Throwback which do use sugar cane.

              • Meadows
              • 10 years ago

              Wrong. In the US they may allow that crap.

              • poulpy
              • 10 years ago

              Sorry but haven’t you just described the same process in whatever country you come from for Coke cans?

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 10 years ago

        Web browsers are one of the most competitive, rapidly advancing and market changing bits of software around these days.

      • BKA
      • 10 years ago

      Doesn’t look like I’ll be leaving Opera any time soon. I’ll try it once it comes out along with IE9 but Opera has won me over with most of the things I need in the standard install.

      • Jon
      • 10 years ago

      I don’t like the empty bar at the top, such wasted space, see how Chrome makes efficient use of screen real estate, this just looks clunky.

      • bthylafh
      • 10 years ago

      How about distributing some gorram official MSI packages? We’ve only been waiting several /[

        • BlackStar
        • 10 years ago

        I think their build servers are using Linux and WiX doesn’t run on Linux. Organizations interested in MSI deployment should be able to repackage into MSI quite easily, however.

      • tfp
      • 10 years ago

      I can only hope it will be magical as well.

      • nookie
      • 10 years ago

      It’s too late for FF. Google already won.

        • Meadows
        • 10 years ago

        Not with their lame UI and market share.

          • wira020
          • 10 years ago

          Firefox 4 (as far as i’ve seen) looks exactly like Chrome… lame?

            • designerfx
            • 10 years ago

            uh, the search bar is still separate. I’d prefer it chrome-style in that sense.

            meanwhile, chrome doesn’t render a ton of crap properly where firefox does. So no, I don’t think Chrome will bypass firefox yet – it also notably doesn’t have enterprise approval yet either.

              • Meadows
              • 10 years ago

              I don’t want to search from the address bar (beyond the “awesome bar’s” history lookup capabilities), because if I accidentally make a typo, the browser starts hogging the computer with loading a garbage search.

              I prefer it when my browser searches only when I tell it to do that.

              • entropy13
              • 10 years ago

              l[<(beyond the "awesome bar's" history lookup capabilities),<]l LOL indeed that's one good thing about it. Even though I only know the letters but not the order of those letters in the url, I can try and try until I get the correct one.

              • poulpy
              • 10 years ago

              I want it to search from there as:
              – using his eyes a 5 year old could spot the “Google Search” next to his typo
              – if you’re typo prone that might teach you how to type
              – even if you manage to mistype and press Enter any of those searches take <1s on my regular work computer. So where you get the hogging from is beyond me.
              – it removes clutter from the interface
              – it saves a useless keyboard to mouse, point, click, mouse to keyboard gesture

              All in all great feature, in fact anything that removes clutter from an interface and saves some keyboard to mouse switches gets a thumbs up from me.

              • Meadows
              • 10 years ago

              You’re trying to beg the issue instead of addressing it. Telling people to change in order to use a new product (in this case, to “stop making typos” because the next UI will be better that way) is not exactly the best thing to suggest.

              It doesn’t matter how heavy a page is, I don’t want to waste even half a second on a search that I never wanted to start in the first place.

              g{<- it removes clutter from the interface<}g Since when is a search bar any sort of "clutter"? Stop browsing from your squinty smartphone and get some screen real estate. g{<- it saves a useless keyboard to mouse, point, click, mouse to keyboard gesture<}g ...No, it doesn't. I don't even know where you got that supposition.

              • poulpy
              • 10 years ago

              q[

              • A_Pickle
              • 10 years ago

              g[

              • Stargazer
              • 10 years ago

              It’s not exactly the same thing, but I tend to set up keywords for search engines (the simplest way to add them tends to be to right-click a search field and select “add a keyword for this search”), and then use those keywords to perform searches.

              For instance, my Google keyword is “g”, so typing “g banana” into the location bar would perform a Google search for “banana”. Typing “w banana” would perform a Wikipedia search.

              It’s a somewhat different approach, but it works well for me.

              • Meadows
              • 10 years ago

              That’s not as user friendly.

              • Stargazer
              • 10 years ago

              Depends on the user. ๐Ÿ™‚

              It’s not as immediately obvious for a random person sitting down at the computer (if you see a search bar with “Google” written on it, it’s fairly obvious what it does, but you can’t immediately tell what (if any) search keywords have been setup on a given computer), but that doesn’t really matter if it’s a personal computer and all the users know about it.

              If you use multiple search providers, you don’t have to consider which one is currently set to be default (searches are always made the same way).

              If you only ever use one default, you can omit a keyword for that search, and only use keywords for the non-default search providers. Sure, making a non-default search requires you to enter an extra letter (and a space), but if you use the Search bar you will still need to perform an action to change the search provider from the default (and doing things this way, you don’t need to perform another action to change the setting back).

              There are some differences in how it treats search history (some good, some bad), and some other general differences, but once you’re used to it, it works pretty well. Things like this can be highly subjective though, and what works for one person might not work as well for another.

              • BlackStar
              • 10 years ago

              It actually is. Or maybe I’m just used to Opera that’s been working like that for years (out of the box, g is google, w is wikipedia and so on).

              • BlackStar
              • 10 years ago

              A google search on a typo is vastly superior to a “page not found” error.

              • lilbuddhaman
              • 10 years ago

              Having your browser start chugging data before you even get a chance to backspace a few keystrokes is more annoying. And if you guys really manage to type EVERYTHING, PERFECTLY, EVERY TIME, then congrats.

              • BlackStar
              • 10 years ago

              Where by chugging data you mean downloading 15KB worth of google search results?

              Yeah, chugging data indeed.

              • green
              • 10 years ago

              if only it were 15kb of data…
              there’s the browsing caching thing where after loading a page the browser does a dns lookup of every domain on the page in order to reduce the time it’ll take to do a domain lookup later “if” you click a link
              then there’s the prediction thing where the browser will load in a bunch of page it “thinks” you’re going to click next so it’ll take less time to load the actual page “if” you click a link

              • BlackStar
              • 10 years ago

              And all this matters how exactly? You can still go back and fix the typo in the address bar while google is loading below.

              • entropy13
              • 10 years ago

              Prone to typos? If all you recall in the website’s url is “report” then techreport might show up (since you’ve visited it already). It’s also possible you might remember it as “trope”, but then no entry from your history shows up. So you try “trooper”, etc. same letters, not exactly the same number, or order, but you do get the point do you?

              And Firefox has spellcheck as well anyway. And where would I need mouse actions to search in Firefox? Use the address bar to search – press F6 to highlight the address bar and type what you want to search. Or Ctrl+L for the same thing.

              • BlackStar
              • 10 years ago

              If your computer gets bogged down loading google search you are in dire need of an upgrade.

              • willyolio
              • 10 years ago

              i’m mainly using chrome right now, but a few things bug me. one is the integrated search/URL bar. it incessantly wants to do google searches on things i type in, instead of giving a bit more weight to sites i’ve visited in my history. like how it always suggests “craigslist.org” instead of “cracked.com” because it turns up more often in google searches (after typing “cra”), despite me never having visited craislist using chrome, and i read cracked almost daily.

              it’s been a month. isn’t this browser supposed to learn the browsing habits of its user? how long does it take?

              • Skrying
              • 10 years ago

              This is actually the only issue I have with the single bar. I don’t think it’s a problem with a single bar, just how Chrome does it. I wish they would only include search results with a ? (Ctrl+K) in the bar. Otherwise it should only search your history.

              • l33t-g4m3r
              • 10 years ago
            • entropy13
            • 10 years ago

            Lame because it MIGHT look like Chrome but doesn’t look like Chrome. I still stick with Firefox even though I installed Chrome. The Chrome icon makes my desktop more tidy for screenshots (2 row of 10 icons at the top). It just feels weird, just as weird as using IE. I can’t really explain it but I don’t “feel weird” using Firefox, Opera and Safari, but I do with Chrome and IE. I don’t use Opera much though, got tired of their actions recently, while Safari’s for “desktop purposes” only lol.

            Also, I find Chrome more confusing that Firefox with a lot of add-ons (like right now, and with Personas too).

              • Meadows
              • 10 years ago

              “Weird feeling browsers”, the Monster cables of tomorrow.

            • Rakhmaninov3
            • 10 years ago

            I’m sure you could pick any toolbar configuration you like.

        • absinthexl
        • 10 years ago

        Chrome is fast and great… and I’d even use it, if it weren’t for the absolutely horrifying RAM usage. I can’t run Photoshop, 3ds max and Chrome without thrashing my swap drive. Firefox seems to use about 1/3 to 1/2 as much, even with more tabs open.

          • Waco
          • 10 years ago

          Perhaps a RAM upgrade is in order? I’ve never *ever* noticed my browser eating up memory. Hell, I can’t remember the last time I ever hit swap…

            • Meadows
            • 10 years ago

            But you don’t use Photoshop either.

        • A_Pickle
        • 10 years ago

        I’m sorry, but Chrome is really… not that great. Added to that, the fact that — I’m sorry, internet, but I really don’t think Google /[

      • Arag0n
      • 10 years ago

      With multitouch support on firefox can someone tell me again why it’s an iPad the best tablet surfing touch expirience?

      Thank you!

        • Corrado
        • 10 years ago

        Because what are you going to run that multi-touch firefox ON? All the Win7/Atom machines will offer you subpar performance. The manufacturers seem to know this since just about everyone is cancelling their Win7 tablet PCs.

        • jdaven
        • 10 years ago

        If I were a betting man, I would say that all of the major web browsers (except IE) will be available on the iPad. Opera just released a version for the iPhone on the App store that was accepted by Apple.

        Therefore, Chrome, Safari, Opera and Firefox will all be touch optimized and released on any touch device that can support it.

        We’ll check back here at the end of the month to see if I win the bet.

          • adisor19
          • 10 years ago

          It will be more than just a month.. maybe even a year.

          Adi

      • vince
      • 10 years ago

      “feature-packed” and “super-duper fast”. Mmmm, lets see how these two will agree with each-other…

        • BlackStar
        • 10 years ago

        Ask Opera, they’ve been doing it for years: browser, e-mail client, IRC client, widget engine, web server and they *still* manage to be leaner and meaner than vanilla Firefox.

      • BlackStar
      • 10 years ago

      I am saddened to see the status bar is still there.

        • Meadows
        • 10 years ago

        The status bar is necessary.

          • BlackStar
          • 10 years ago

          No it really isn’t. It doesn’t display any information that cannot be displayed more efficiently elsewhere.

          I have been running Firefox without a status bar for years.

            • Meadows
            • 10 years ago

            Have fun figuring out where a weblink takes you, then.

              • Skrying
              • 10 years ago

              Better yet, just do what Chrome does and have a small pop up that is only there when information is actually needed.

              • Meadows
              • 10 years ago

              Popups are annoying, they’re never needed.

              • poulpy
              • 10 years ago

              It’s not a popup as such, it’s a label appearing at the place where your beloved status bar is.
              Same functionality, not intrusive, saving space, I don’t see how anyone can complain..

              • entropy13
              • 10 years ago

              It’s too small compared to the status bar here in Firefox. Just ran Chrome. I had to squint. Although being inside a room with a lot of people sleeping and with the monitor as the only light source didn’t help. And saving WHAT SPACE exactly? I’m browsing @ 1920×1080 and I’d be worried about saving space? Considering there’s a lot of space to use for the browser, saving space should be an issue? Even in smaller screens and resolutions, the “saved space” wouldn’t be that significant anyway. Would you really be reading something right until the edge of the browser window before you scroll down?

              And progress bars are important as well, especially the ones in the tabs themselves (when you have Tab Mix Plus the tabs are even better). Protecting tabs, locking tabs, moving them around, moving a tab away to make another window, closing tabs to the left of the current tab, closing tabs to the right of the current tab, closing all tabs except the current tab…

              • poulpy
              • 10 years ago

              – got them side by side and as far as I can tell it’s the same size
              – Removing Clutter is Good(TM)
              – how about people with say netbooks who have crap vertical resolution? Any pixel gained is good IMO.
              – you could easily add in the same way a progress bar in there while the page loads

              I do like the informations provided by the status bar but if I can get what I need without a fixed footer at the bottom of the window sitting idle most of the time why not?

              • Stargazer
              • 10 years ago

              q[

              • DreadCthulhu
              • 10 years ago

              It is a label that pops up where the status bar should be. Besides, if I didn’t have a status bar, where would my No-Script controls go to? I strongly dislike this look, but at least Firefox has always been really big on customization, so I am pretty sure it will be possible to make FF 4.0 look like a real web browser, not something suitable for a retirement home internet kiosk.

              • Stargazer
              • 10 years ago

              This might seem a bit weird, but the “dynamic” status bar is actually one of my favorite things about Chrome. I wish someone would make a Firefox plugin with that behavior (AutoHideStatusbar is similar, but not quite the same).

              • BlackStar
              • 10 years ago

              Or use fission: ยง[<https://addons.mozilla.org/addon/1951<]ยง As I said, the status bar doesn't display any information that cannot be displayed *more* efficiently elsewhere.

              • Meadows
              • 10 years ago

              That may save space, but I don’t think I could use it.

              • northreign
              • 10 years ago

              Yup, status bar all the way.

              There hasn’t been a true replacement yet.

              • BlackStar
              • 10 years ago

              Microsoft is actually deprecating the status bar in favor of other UI elements. Check your Win7 installation (if you have one handy), the typical Win98-style status bar has been all but removed.

              Firefox will follow sooner or later.

              • BlackStar
              • 10 years ago

              Too bad. It’s pretty nice, actually.

        • ChronoReverse
        • 10 years ago

        If you really don’t like it, there’s an extension that makes it go away and only popup when loading or when you’re hovering a link.

        AutoHideStatusBar

          • BlackStar
          • 10 years ago

          Thanks, but I’ve disabled the status bar completely. I don’t care for an ugly Win98 remnant cluttering up my Ubuntu desktop. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • curls
      • 10 years ago

      looks like google chrome to me…

        • BlackStar
        • 10 years ago

        “looks like a bastardized, ugly version of google chrome to me…”

        There, fixed that for ya ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Jigar
      • 10 years ago

      Firefox might lose me, if they release a copy version of chrome. (I hate the tab style)

        • curls
        • 10 years ago

        chrome is king

        • Rakhmaninov3
        • 10 years ago

        I can’t imagine the next version of FF not allowing you to pick the old-style tab arrangement, or be skinned any way you like (much like it currently is). That’d just be moronic, and would be against their “total user control” ideal.

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