Aza Raskin on Panorama

Download Squad’s Sebastian Anthony had a short interview with Aza Raskin, Firefox Creative lead, on Panorama, the visual tab organization feature introduced in the latest Firefox 4 betas.

“Firefox is going to continue to lead in this sphere because other browsers are going on this glut of removing everything, instead of innovating.”, said Aza as the closing sentence.

Check Download Squad for the complete interview.

Vladimir Vukićević, Principal Engineer of Firefox; and Nick Nguyen, Mozilla’s Director of Add-ons, are next in this short series.

Interview with Robert Kaiser, SeaMonkey project coordinator

Ricardo Palomares from Mozilla Hispano, had an interview with Robert Kaiser, long time SeaMonkey project coordinator on what’s going on with SeaMonkey, the motivations, and other activities including promotion and T-shirts. Oh, and real sea monkeys also.

RP: You are the coordinator (is that the right word?) of SeaMonkey Council, is that true? What does that involve? What else do you do in the project?

Yes, the formal designation of my position is “project coordinator” of  SeaMonkey, meaning I’m trying to coordinate all work happening within the SeaMonkey project as well as how we work together with other projects, esp. Thunderbird, calendar and the larger Mozilla project, including Firefox, etc.

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Lifehacker interviews Mike Beltzner, Firefox product director

Lifehacker has a great interview with Mike Beltzner, Firefox product director on current Firefox’s speed and performance, its competitors, and upcoming releases.

Asked about Ubiquity and Taskfox, the project that aims to deliver its command line abilities into Firefox, he explains Mozilla’s vision on tasks acceleration:

Banking always requires me to find the bank site, log in, and get to the exact page for what I want to do. Why can’t Firefox know that my bank is Scotiabank, then remember the chain of events I go through to pay a certain bill or check a balance? Our intent is to find out what the intent behind those patterns are, and figure out better ways to get there.

A great read, at lifehacker.com.

Firefox 3.1 beta 1 released and reviewed

Mozilla has released Firefox 3.1 Beta 1, the first official development release of the next update to Firefox 3 just about four months after its release past June.

Firefox 3.1 is basically meant to be a completion release to get some features and enhancements that didn’t make it on time for the Firefox 3 final release. An example of this is the new tab switching behavior when pressing Ctrl + Tab (Cmd + Tab on Mac) which instead of moving to the next open tab, alternates between the current and previously viewed one. Keep Ctrl pressed while tabbing and a small dark window is overlaid  with thumbnails of the most recently used tabs. You can also click on the thumbnail to select it or, press W while holding the Ctrl key to close it.

While, after a few months of using it, I’ve come to rely on the new tab alternating behavior, I still can’t get used to the tab preview dialog and I don’t feel it helps me reach the desired tab any faster. Setting browser.ctrlTab.mostRecentlyUsed (via about:config) to false, and restarting Firefox, disables both the alternation and the thumbnails. I would prefer to have separate hidden options for each of the features.

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Overhauled tabbed browsing for Firefox 3.1

Firefox 3.1 may well be remembered as the “tab release”, as tabbed browsing will be the most noticeable updated area users will face when it comes out in final form.

The latest Firefox 3.1 nightly (code named Shiretoko) features a new tab button in the tab bar, making the addition of a tab fully discoverable for the first time as it is now part of the primary UI.

A previous change, added a few days ago, made the tab bar always visible by default which allows the new tab button to be present at all times. In the past, the tab bar was hidden when there was only one page opened. A preference in Options/Tabs allowed to make it visible at all times.

The old New Tab button which was present in the Customize Toolbar dialog and could be added to the toolbars is gone at this time.

Yet another change in behavior now makes the current window go away when its last tab is closed. There is already a number of users complaining about this behavior and I also at first thought it would be annoying, but I still haven’t been in the situation of closing all tabs, yet wanting to keep Firefox open.

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