Desktop Firefox 2012 Strategy and Roadmap Update

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Asa Dotzler

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Feb 13, 2012, 10:35:54 AM2/13/12
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I've updated the Firefox strategy and roadmap document[1] with our plans
for the Firefox Desktop in 2012. It's going to be an amazing year with
lots of exciting projects and products from Mozilla.

I've been with the Mozilla project for almost 14 years and I say with
confidence that if we exit 2012 having executed on this plan, Firefox
and the other major Mozilla initiatives will have have more impact than
in any prior year of the Mozilla project.

If you're new to the project, take a look at the work ahead of us[2] and
if it interests you, let me or any of the other product leads know and
we'll help you plug in. If you're a long-time contributor, I encourage
you to keep these goals in the front of your mind and your work queue.

2012 is going to be a critical year for Mozilla and for the Open Web.
Execution matters more than ever and there's no team I'd rather be
working with than Mozilla's global community of contributors.

- A

[1] https://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox/Roadmap
[2]
https://wiki.mozilla.org/Roadmaps#Delivering_on_Mozilla.E2.80.99s_mission

Omega X

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Feb 13, 2012, 1:03:49 PM2/13/12
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"The feature goal here is a new Gecko based browser built for and
integrated with the Metro environment. "

This sounds like an oversight. Let me know if I'm misinterpreting it.
Mozilla plans to build two separate versions of Firefox. One for regular
desktops and one for Metro 8?

--
==================================
~Omega X
MozillaZine Nightly Tester

beltzner

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Feb 13, 2012, 1:17:57 PM2/13/12
to Omega X, dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org
On Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 1:03 PM, Omega X <Ask...@for.it> wrote:
> This sounds like an oversight. Let me know if I'm misinterpreting it.
> Mozilla plans to build two separate versions of Firefox. One for regular
> desktops and one for Metro 8?

I don't think you're misinterpreting it. As the wiki page[1] states,
Metro will feature new APIs and system integration points. As with
Android Native, there will need to be a Metro Native version of the
browser. The wiki page also indicates that the goal will be to write
the new Metro application such that the front end can rely on the
existing Gecko libraries as opposed to requiring a complete rewrite.
The Android Native application was built with this future framework in
mind, and hopefully a bunch of the
native-front-end-to-browser-and-gecko code can be reused.

Put another way: the only way to get into Metro is to build a Metro
Native app. This seems to be a restriction at the Windows level. In
order to bring Firefox to the upcoming generation of Metro devices
(think tablets) as well as to users of the Metro experience in Windows
8, this seems like a reasonable step. Getting out ahead with an alpha
or beta in the second half of 2012 sounds extremely prudent to me.

[1]: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Windows8

cheers,
mike

beltzner

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Feb 13, 2012, 1:18:27 PM2/13/12
to dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org

Melvin Carvalho

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Feb 13, 2012, 1:31:12 PM2/13/12
to Asa Dotzler, dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org
On 13 February 2012 16:35, Asa Dotzler <a...@mozilla.org> wrote:
> I've updated the Firefox strategy and roadmap document[1] with our plans for
> the Firefox Desktop in 2012. It's going to be an amazing year with lots of
> exciting projects and products from Mozilla.
>
> I've been with the Mozilla project for almost 14 years and I say with
> confidence that if we exit 2012 having executed on this plan, Firefox and
> the other major Mozilla initiatives will have have more impact than in any
> prior year of the Mozilla project.
>
> If you're new to the project, take a look at the work ahead of us[2] and if
> it interests you, let me or any of the other product leads know and we'll
> help you plug in. If you're a long-time contributor, I encourage you to keep
> these goals in the front of your mind and your work queue.
>
> 2012 is going to be a critical year for Mozilla and for the Open Web.
> Execution matters more than ever and there's no team I'd rather be working
> with than Mozilla's global community of contributors.

This looks awesome!

I'm curious as to whether there's any one thing that you think makes
this potentially the biggest leap in 14 years, or just a combination
of awesome additions.

Is there anything on the horizon that stands out. In recent years
there was some buzz about opera unite turning the browser model on
it's head by making it a first class citizen of the web. (Client and
server). Is this long term where browsers are going, or is push
notifications more the thinking.

Would love to hear more about what makes you excited on a long term timeline.
> _______________________________________________
> dev-planning mailing list
> dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org
> https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-planning

Robert Kaiser

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Feb 13, 2012, 4:08:00 PM2/13/12
to
Omega X schrieb:
> "The feature goal here is a new Gecko based browser built for and
> integrated with the Metro environment. "
>
> This sounds like an oversight. Let me know if I'm misinterpreting it.
> Mozilla plans to build two separate versions of Firefox. One for regular
> desktops and one for Metro 8?

Unfortunately, what I've heard so far about Metro sounds like Microsoft
will not allow a classic XUL-based Firefox to exist there and will force
us to do a "native" UI - which interestingly might just be implemented
in some kind of HTML+JS.

Robert Kaiser

Asa Dotzler

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Feb 13, 2012, 9:21:01 PM2/13/12
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On 2/13/2012 10:03 AM, Omega X wrote:
>
> "The feature goal here is a new Gecko based browser built for and
> integrated with the Metro environment. "
>
> This sounds like an oversight. Let me know if I'm misinterpreting it.
> Mozilla plans to build two separate versions of Firefox. One for regular
> desktops and one for Metro 8?
>

We're still waiting on documentation from Microsoft that I expect to
become available around the launch of their Consumer Preview (Beta) at
the end of this month. Until then, we do not know precisely how we will
deliver Firefox to Windows 8 users -- only that we intend to if it's
possible. Once that documentation is available, I'll share more details
around our approach to Windows 8.

- A

Asa Dotzler

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Feb 13, 2012, 9:31:34 PM2/13/12
to
Melvin, thanks for your interest. The way I see it is Mozilla's impact
over the last 14 years has largely tightly coupled to Desktop browser.

This year, we're branching out to address a much wider set of challenges
faced by users and developers. We're build a Mobile Firefox, an Open Web
Apps ecosystem, a User-centric identity system for the Web, a powerful
(and gorgeous) set of Web developer tools, a "boot to the Web" mobile
operating system, and more.

Firefox Desktop will be a part of all of this. If Firefox is successful,
we can help ensure the success of all these other efforts and that means
bringing serious change to the Web. I'm really excited about that.

If you'd like to read more about some of these other Mozilla efforts
than I've provided in the Firefox Desktop roadmap, (mostly limited to
integration points with Desktop Firefox) I encourage you to read the
rest of our 2012 roadmaps here
https://wiki.mozilla.org/Roadmaps#Delivering_on_Mozilla.E2.80.99s_mission and
if you're as excited as I am, find a way to contribute to making this
vision a reality.

- A

Robert Kaiser

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Feb 14, 2012, 12:10:21 PM2/14/12
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Robert Kaiser schrieb:
That said, that's what I heard in public, not sure if someone internally
or in direct contact with Microsoft has some other info. Still, given
all the hassle they had with anti-trust laws, I think they will enable
us and others to deliver alternative browsers for Metro in some way.

Robert Kaiser

Nicholas Nethercote

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Feb 15, 2012, 12:55:30 AM2/15/12
to dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org
On Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 6:31 PM, Asa Dotzler <a...@mozilla.org> wrote:
>>
>> I'm curious as to whether there's any one thing that you think makes
>> this potentially the biggest leap in 14 years, or just a combination
>> of awesome additions.
>
> Melvin, thanks for your interest. The way I see it is Mozilla's impact over
> the last 14 years has largely tightly coupled to Desktop browser.
>
> This year, we're branching out to address a much wider set of challenges
> faced by users and developers. We're build a Mobile Firefox, an Open Web
> Apps ecosystem, a User-centric identity system for the Web, a powerful (and
> gorgeous) set of Web developer tools, a "boot to the Web" mobile operating
> system, and more.

And a big reason why this broadening of scope is possible is that
Mozilla has a lot more employees now than it has ever had before.

Nick

Scott Johnson

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Feb 15, 2012, 11:56:52 AM2/15/12
to Robert Kaiser, dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org
On 02/14/2012 11:10 AM, thus spoke Robert Kaiser:
I have to say, that would seem rather odd if MS didn't give access to
the underlying native internals - by implementing it in HTML5 + JS,
doesn't that basically mean that we'd be using their internal browser
engine to run our browser?

It kinda seems like a backdoor way of doing what iOS did with "We're not
going to allow anything but Safari as a browser on our devices."

~Scott

beltzner

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Feb 15, 2012, 12:02:53 PM2/15/12
to Scott Johnson, dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org, Robert Kaiser
On Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 11:56 AM, Scott Johnson <sjoh...@mozilla.com> wrote:
> I have to say, that would seem rather odd if MS didn't give access to the
> underlying native internals - by implementing it in HTML5 + JS, doesn't that
> basically mean that we'd be using their internal browser engine to run our
> browser?

Read the page again - the UI needs to be done in native, but that UI
can call out to native code at the security level that Gecko needs. Or
at least, that's what the working assumption is. As I read things,
this is precisely the way that the Android "Native" client is working
- there's a small layer that translates between Android's native Java
UI mechanisms and JS, and the JS then calls out to Gecko to populate
the widgets, etc.

Using Trident as the rendering engine is, I suspect, a non-goal.
Perhaps it should be listed on the wiki page as such!

cheers,
mike

Asa Dotzler

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Feb 15, 2012, 3:36:32 PM2/15/12
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I'm sorry for the shortage of details here. We're waiting on Microsoft
to finalize and release documentation. I expect to be able to say more
at the end of this month.

I will confirm that we do not intend to use Trident+Chakra for our
back-end or our front-end.

- A

Ron Hunter

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Feb 15, 2012, 8:59:07 PM2/15/12
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Huh? I have two other browsers in use on my iPhone 4S.

James May

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Feb 15, 2012, 9:11:50 PM2/15/12
to Ron Hunter, dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org
Those are either shells around WebKit (with no JS JIT) or interactive image
viewers (ala Opera Mini).
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Hub Figuière

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Feb 15, 2012, 9:23:15 PM2/15/12
to dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org
Hi,

On 13/02/12 07:35 AM, Asa Dotzler wrote:
> I've updated the Firefox strategy and roadmap document[1] with our plans
> for the Firefox Desktop in 2012. It's going to be an amazing year with
> lots of exciting projects and products from Mozilla.

For 2H there a goal to have an Accessible version of Firefox on MacOS.
Firefox is currently Accessible on Linux and Windows, but the Mac
version has been lagging. In the a11y team we are working on addressing
this gap and things are currently back on track.

This is the major visible goal in Accessibility beside all the other
enhancement we are working on.

I was hoping for Firefox 13, but this is probably optimistic, and
Firefox 14 might be the first with Mac Accessibility.
I am not committing to a release yet.

[ I would update the wiki but it is kindly asked to ask for permission ]

Cheers,

Hub

Ron Hunter

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Feb 16, 2012, 7:16:47 AM2/16/12
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On 2/15/2012 8:11 PM, James May wrote:

Apple isn't into allowing access to anything below a certain level on
their machines. Makes it easier for them to support, and control,
everything.
IOS seems pretty limited in MANY ways. By design, I would surmise.
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