The State of Firefox

NewsForge recently (August 4th) did an interview with Mozilla Corp.’s Vice President of Engineering, Mike Schroepfer. The bulk of the interview they talk about JavaScript, security as well as better migration for Linux users who got Firefox packaged with their Linux distribution. In regards to JavaScript, Firefox 2.0 will ship with the new and improved JavaScript 1.7, which is the first upgrade in nearly 6 years (sorta like IE).

Further, transitioning to Firefox 2.0 should go much smoother compared to what many of us went through when we went from 1.0.7 to 1.5 last December. Many of us experienced the heart-ache of our favorite extensions becoming broken and desperately waiting for the developers to make them compatible with 1.5. Mike Schroepfer explained, “the 2.0 branch was developed on an API freeze from 1.5, so there should be very little breakage between releases.”

Finally, Mike does give us a brief glimpse into the FF 2.0 & 3.0 timeliness. He says Firefox 2.0 “definitely ship by the end of this year…with beta 2 out sometime in August.” Kinda cutting it close on the beta 2 release as we are already up to August 23rd, but another week’s delay would put it August 30th. I’m little surprised, but then again not about the ‘definitely ship by the end of this year’ comment. Granted FF 2.0 has taken a bit longer then expected, granted not as bad as IE 7 or Windows Vista. But still year’s end? Last we heard we were looking at then end of September (26th).

Mike’s comments about Firefox 3.0 are intriguing, “…architectural changes in 3.0 to upgrade the graphics subsystem, and it’s likely that 3.0 will include a revamped bookmark system that didn’t make the cut for the 2.0 series.” ‘Revamped bookmark system’? That’s a bit wordy Mike, did you mean ‘Places‘?

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