Developers: Firefox 3.1 update should be 'easy'

The first alpha release of Firefox 3.1 is expected to arrive this month

The release of Firefox 3.0 has been a resounding success, but for some the upgrade path has been less than painless. The latest version of the open source browser differed enough from previous versions that many add-ons had to be substantially rewritten before they would work with the new release. And just when the dust appeared to be clearing, Firefox 3.1 is on the horizon.

Don't worry. If you weathered the transition to Firefox 3.0 (possibly with the help of some clever hacks along the way), you needn't expect a repeat performance when Firefox 3.1 arrives in late 2008 or early 2009. "In fact," says Mozilla developer Mark Finkle, "I'd go out on a limb and say updating to Firefox 3.1 will be easy."

According to Finkle in a blog post Friday, "there appear to be no plans" to introduce significant changes to the Firefox extension API in version 3.1, or to rewrite major browser components in ways similar to those that broke extension compatibility in Firefox 3.0.

Instead, he says, the major changes in the new version will be focused on bringing "serious, ass-kicking features" to the browser, most of which extend and improve existing features, rather than supplanting them. Among the proposed improvements include a reworking of the advanced bookmarking feature that debuted in Firefox 3.0, better support for audio and video out of the box, better compliance with Web standards, and performance enhancements to the rendering and JavaScript engines.

Many of the changes and new features that are planned for Firefox 3.1 were originally planned for Firefox 3.0 but couldn't be completed in time for that version's June launch date.

The first alpha release of Firefox 3.1 is expected to arrive this month. Think of that version as a developer-only release, however; it's likely to be too unstable for day-to-day use. A usable beta version will probably ship in the third quarter, and if all goes according to plan, we might even expect to see the final release by the end of this year.

To extension developers, Finkle says, "We'll make sure there are no surprises along the way."

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Neil McAllister

PC World
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?