Firefox 2: Safer, Faster, Better
This is a filter of the
Firefox2 requirements page. It represents some of the things I find
most interesting about the Firefox 2 release. See this
blog post for more information.
Firefox's tag line is "Safer, Faster, Better". So far, we have delivered
two releases that underline this philosophy. Now we look to Firefox 2, a
new user-feature oriented release. Firefox 2 should continue to uphold
these pillars, in the following ways:
Firefox's architecture has always helped prevent users from making the
wrong decisions online. Now Firefox 2 actively warns users about shady
parts of the web with Identity Fraud Protection.
Firefox 2 builds on its foundation of efficiency and simplicity with
key new features that aid user efficiency when searching, browsing and
Firefox 2 has many new features which make it easier to have fun and
be productive on the web.
Firefox 2 will have the following banner features: (It goes without saying
that a clear migration path for existing data sets is a requirement)
Firefox 2 will make it easier for users to discover and use the integrated
search field to search, and make the ability to customize it to suit their
tastes more obvious.
- P1: Larger search box
- P1: Show text containing the search engine name in "gray/disabled"
when the field is empty that disappears when the user focuses it
- P1: Make an explicit search button like "Go" that appears to the right
and a dropdown that shows search engine choices.
- P1: Reduce the work for users adding engines to this field, by
supporting additional engine formats (IE7 OpenSearch plugins) and
by noticing patterns of usage (frequent form submissions).
- P2: Support quick searching using keyword shortcuts in the search box
and in the location bar.
- P3: User interface for adding, removing and updating search plugins.
- P3: Resizable search box
Retracing Your Steps
Firefox 2 will make it easier to add, find and manage bookmarks, and
make improvements to history search and navigation. The emphasis is on
reducing the overhead to bookmark pages quickly, adding value to the
action of bookmarking a page, making finding visited and bookmarked
pages easier, and provide sophisticated tools to power users and
extension developers to truly customize the capabilities of their browser.
- P1: One-click add to default folder from Toolbar. Button for this
in default toolbar configuration.
- P1: Save a snapshot of bookmarked pages for purposes of receipts,
etc. With UI for showing later.
- P1: Useful navigation for pages visited very recently (i.e. session
history) with "chapter stops", History Menu
- P2: Ability to open "recently closed" documents, and restore a
previous tab set after starting.
- P1: In-page combined bookmarks and history view that appears in
flow of navigation. Button to bring up this view in default
- P1: Useful set of default "virtual folders" populated in the left
pane e.g. "Top 10 visited sites" "New Today" etc. Useful "virtual
folder" on the Bookmarks Toolbar, too.
- P1: Basic title/URL search capabilities
- P1: Firefox 1.x parity with Bookmarks Menu and Toolbar capabilities,
Live Bookmarks, Bookmark Add/Properties UI.
- P2: Ability for the user to construct interesting queries and
bookmark them as "virtual folders"
- P2 (A/R): Full text search of bookmarked pages (stretch: visited)
- P2: API for extensions to provide special container types, page
annotations (stretch: search).
- P3: Dynamic Bookmark Toolbar buttons (Microsummaries)
Firefox 2 will enhance the user's ability to manage multiple tasks with
improved tabbed browsing.
- P1: Tabs are "default" for new window open requests
- P1: Tabs follow improved close-reselection heuristics
- P3: Tabbed browsing scales well when there are very many tabs open
allowing the user to quickly switch to another tab.
Firefox 2 will make it easier to subscribe to sites with dynamic content,
either through the browser's Live Bookmarks system, or using the user's
choice of reader (whether it be a desktop application or a web reader).
- P1: Clicking "all kinds" of feed links should result in a preview/
- P1: User should be able to subscribe from this page in their
favorite client or web reader, or Live Bookmarks.
- P1: Clicking the Subscribe button on the toolbar should take the
user to the preview/subscribe page or automatically susbcribe
them with their default reader based on a pref.
- P2: Specialized type handling for different feed types (standard
feed vs. video/audio vs. images)
- P3: Nice solution for handling pages with multiple feeds.
Firefox 2 helps reduce the barrier between desktop and web applications
by providing powerful functionality that had previously only been
available to desktop applications.
- P1: Spell check for web text areas.
- P2: Spell check option for text fields.
Comfort & Convenience
Firefox 2 will have subtle improvements to several areas of the browser
that make it "just work better":
- P1: Fewer user prompts for the Application Update Service, e.g.
no prompt on update, just wait for them to restart on their own
- P2: Where possible, restore the user's session after a crash or
an application induced restart.
Firefox 2 will protect users from identity theft and other fraud by
alerting them when they visit a site that is known to be suspicious.
That New Car Smell
Firefox 2 will feature an updated visual appearance that instantly tells
users they are using a new version of their favorite browser.
- P1: Updated icons for the browser window
- P2: Updated system integration for Vista
- P3: Updated system integration for MacOS X, GNOME
Other Activities and Features
Omitted are features that aid other users such as institutional
deployment, extension authors, etc.