Mozilla shows mock-up of Firefox 3.0's Places

Organizes bookmarks, browsing history, downloads in a unified interface

Mozilla has posted mock-ups of Places, one of the most-awaited new features in the upcoming Firefox 3.0., on its Web site.

As part of the weekly Firefox 3.0 status update that Mozilla posts to a wiki, the open-source developer included screenshots of Places Organizer, the interface users will see later this year or early next when the browser goes to its final release.

Places, the name given to the new unified history and bookmark manager, was originally scheduled to be included in Firefox 2.0, but it was yanked last year from that version because Mozilla decided it couldn't finish the feature in time. Unlike current browser bookmark tools, Places will use a database -- the SQLite database engine powers it -- so users can search for saved pages. Places will also support the use of tags, or user-defined labels that are applied to categorize bookmarks and make them easier to retrieve via searches.

The Places Organizer mock-up uses Windows-Vista styling to show bookmarks, surfing history and downloads in one spot. Among its traits: Thumbnails of the saved or surfed-to pages that appear in a separate Properties pane, tag lists and the ability to drill down through both the browsing history and the tags.

Places Organizer, which is set to appear in M9, a prerelease version likely to ship late next month, will also boast built-in bookmark backup and possibly a thumbnail view to go along with a more traditional list.

The code for the current development version, Firefox 3.0 M8, was frozen last Wednesday in preparation for rolling out the build next week. The last-released build was pegged as Gran Paradiso Alpha 7; it rolled out in early August.

In other Firefox news, the next Firefox security update, Version 2.0.0.7, now carries a tentative release date of Oct. 14.

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Gregg Keizer

Computerworld

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