Firefox 3.1 (Shiretoko) planned features draft

As Firefox 3 approaches its grand debut this next Tuesday, for Mozilla developers it means the end of a development cycle and the start of another. Firefox is the tentative name for the next relatively minor update to the Firefox 3 branch, which is most likely to become Firefox 3.1.

A very early draft of planned features reveals that as expected, this release will be mainly about landing stuff that didn’t make it on time for the Firefox 3, along with the usual performance, stability and security bug fixes.

Visual tab switching and tab searching/filtering were both tried for Firefox 3, abandoned for other more critical features, and are being considered for 3.1. Ctrl+Tab, a extension developed by Dao Gottwald implements both of them displaying a thumbnail of the opened tabs when pressing Ctrl + Tab to switch tabs.

It also modifies the List all tabs tab bar button to show tabs thumbnails you can search.

Ctrl+Tab, compatible with Firefox 3, is available at Mozilla Add-ons if you want to try these features.

Places would also receive several improvements like integrating the downloads history in the Library as it was planned for Firefox 3, so you could define smart folders of downloaded files. Regarding smart folders, the interface for advanced queries (like multiple criteria) that was available in the first betas and pulled back for performance concerns, would also come back.

Options for bulk tagging bookmarks and tag autocomplete are also being considered.

Add these to previously announced support for <video> tag, cross site Ajax requests, more power for the location bar, and some recently added support for CSS 3 selectors (which will improve Firefox score inthe Acid3 test), and we can already foresee an interesting update.

Following the tradition of using places as Firefox code names, Firefox 3.1 has been named Shiretoko after the Japanese national park.

Features in Firefox 3.1 should take about six weeks to implement with the rest of the time (the rest of the year) dedicated to polishing and testing. A first alpha is already targeted for mid July, just a month after Firefox 3.

Users are welcomed to join the discussion.

60 thoughts on “Firefox 3.1 (Shiretoko) planned features draft”

      1. Glasser is unstable and besides shouldn’t be necessary – we’d all like to see a “proper” native Vista theme for FF3.

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  3. The Ctrl+Tab extension is a step in the wrong direction. Why would you want to look at thumbnails of the pages, when you can see the whole pages while flipping through them?
    Looking forward to the video/audio elements.

    1. I completely agree.

      They should focus on other points such as native synchronization and the other features catching the eye of geeks checking out the new Opera.

      Or even just keep making the browser faster. Opera still beats it in terms of most speed scores according to lifehacker!

    2. what firefox really needs to do though is fix these bugs they have in their final release of firefox 3.0. the final release is worse than their rc3. firefox rc3 completed page downloads quicker, it didnt have to be refreshed to work with live scores in games or anything like that. im very disappointed in firefox 3.0 right now and wished they wouldve just called rc3 their final release rather then destroy their browser. they seem to do this with each major release though. for some reason every final rc seems to be better than their final major release. i always thought the final release was supposed to be the finished product not worse off then the rcs.

      1. I do agree!
        One of the theoritical superiority of Open Source Software is to not be contingent of the usual corporate contigencies, like artificial deadlines.

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  6. I scream NO! Such a drastic UI change should be left for an extension. The FF core should only consist of features benefiting the majority of users. In the case of Ctrl+Tab I’m quite doubtful… If it’s implemented as is, then the point release would bring a fundamental UI change bigger than the whole FF 2.x -> FF3.x transition.

  7. I’m just happy that Ctrl-Tab implements Most Recently Used behavior. That’s the most annoying stock “feature” of Firefox…when every other ctrl-tab or alt-tab implementation takes you to the previously selected item if you only hit it once. Firefox was the only thing I’ve seen that just blindly cycled through the tabs!

  8. List all tabs tab bar button is not good in Firefox 2/3
    The current GUI shows 2 similar buttons that are too close and then bring confusion : one for showing other bookmark from personal bar, the other for showing other tabs from tab bar.
    The suggested List all tabs tab bar button with filter and thumbnails could be a solution.

    Ctrl+Tab is useless

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  10. Since Linux desktop now has Compiz/Beryl effects like Expose for Mac, it seems obvious to me that the tab concept was a transitional idea.
    Tabs were efficient when desktop were not good at handling windows.
    At present time GNOME with Compiz Fusion has Expose, and GNOME allows to rearrange buttons in the Windows List.
    Therefore, GNOME (for instance) has at less the same level of functionalities than Firefox to manage several application windows.
    Then it doesn’t need anymore tabs because tabs doesn’t allow Expose to work.
    Implementing Expose in Firefox like the suggested extension does is a loss of time : user don’t need to have the same functionality duplicate in several software with several way to launch it.
    To my mind, having today Firefox running without tabs still allow that in a more cleaner way since the desktop alerady implements that.

    Tabs was a great idea when desktop were not good at managing multiple windows. Now it’s just useless

    1. Speak for yourself, even when using compiz, which on older computers means i couldnt use Firefox because both use plenty memory, Tabs allow for much better handling of webpages than wasting precious windowlist space, which has to have all of my ‘tasks’ while tabs allow for each ‘task’ to handle more information.

  11. +1…leave Ctrl+tab for extension. Focus on performance of places. Its too slow. clicking on folder is really slow on linux. FOCUS ON CORE. 3.1a passes 78 ACID 3 tests. just few more to pass.

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  13. “It would branch from the Mozilla2 code“

    so does this mean Firefox 3.1 will use Mozilla 2 instead of Mozilla 1.9.1?

  14. Who has SO MANY tabs open that they need to SEARCH those tabs? I mean, at work I see people with a good dozen programs open at any given time, but I just can’t imagine this being a useful feature until someone has about twenty tabs open. I suppose if you have, for example, five wikipedia articles, you could search for the one you want to go to. But I agree with people, this seems like fluff. Although, I would much rather see Mozilla working on features for the core than for a separate developer to make an add-on. Think of how many add-ons significantly slow down firefox because they’re not optimized and think of how many bugs they have (not to mention the sea of apps that get abandoned around version 0.3 or 0.4).

    1. I don’t close Firefox unless I restart my computer, which is about once every other month, and I don’t close any tabs unless I’m sure I don’t need them. This results in well over a hundred tabs. Being able to search them would be fantastic.

      1. Indeed. I almost always have 20+ tabs open, and I would love to search through them. I don’t understand why everyone is complaining about this feature. If you don’t like it, don’t use it. It’s not going to impede your browsing in any way.

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  16. Having the “List All Tabs” button display a thumbnail view of all the tabs may be useful, but the tab switching behavior is what kills Ctrl + Tab for me. I’ve tried the extension and found its tab switching behavior disorienting.

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  19. I’m sorry for the inconvenience. This afternoon I get the announcement of non compatible with firefox but I did not copy and paste the announcement. So I try again with the intention to copy and paste and send to you but surprise to me and probably not to you it is installed as i should be.Again a reason shout it all around use firefox and throw away …… you know

    greetings from Joop

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  21. Scrolling through tabs in “most recent” order is obnoxious unless you only have 3-4 tabs open and remember what order you visited the tabs in. If you have 20-30 tabs open, it is completely pointless trying to remember. And for those who think that is too many tabs, think of them as temporary bookmarks. I don’t need them bookmarked long-term (when’s the last time _you_ cleaned out old bookmarks?) but would still like to have them available for the next few days.

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  23. Agreed, I often have 15+ tabs open but I think icons and even a portion of the title left visible in the tabs is enough to move around usefully. A ‘display all’ key is only useful with many more tabs, and by then the thumbnails would have to be so small as to make it pointless anyway. Seems like a waste to me and something I’d want to remove quickly. Loved the awesome bar though, maybe you could just incorporate it into that? So if a tab is already open, it would be prioritized in the drop-down and clicking it would switch tabs.

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  25. I’d really like to see tabs cover the window as thumbnails to preview. I honestly can’t imagine searching tabs, however when using IE, I’ve always found the quick tabs useful for cutting unnecessary tabs. Yes, even when I only have 5 tabs open.

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  29. lol…. ctrl+tab is wrong way… ctrl tab sux… ctrl tab is must be an extention….

    come on guys…. if they add it, it’s because people ask for it…

    if you don’t like it… just don’t use it….. realy don’t see where is the trouble… how use 100% of firefox possibility ??? I don’t

    so why don’t simply let this feature used by those how love it, and use what you love in FF ?

    don’t remember that all FF user are NOT computer specialist, and add on are great, but build-in, feature are realy cool for “new” users.

    I use Maxthon right now, and realy realy wait for 3.1 ^^, but in maxthon, many feathere are build in, everyone can use it realy simply without having to add 10 add at least, dont forget it is for all public ^^

    (and sory for my english, I’m frenchy :p)

    1. Now started using 3.1beta2pre release. the Ctrl+ Tab feature (tab preview) is cool but is so SLOOOOW on my computer
      the list all tab button was the easiest way to find the tab u want , without scrolling through the tabscroller, now they have replaced it with a new button for tab preview U now know how much i hate this said ‘new feature’ of FIREFOX

      Now i remember why i switched to firefox when it was 0.8 version “the fastest browser in the world”
      now it is definitely not….. it is definitely going in the wrong direction with their new additional features slowing it down

      By the way any body here know how to restore the list-all-tabs button in the right side
      ie drop-down-list feature to list all open tabs

      NB: there is a search button in the tab preview panel . i always wanted it at the top of all-tabs-dropdown list.

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