Mozilla Foundation unveils Firefox 4

The optimization of the execution performance is presented as one of the major developments of the browser. But the new features will also focus on Web languages, with HTML5 in mind.

It is the director of development at Mozilla who, on his blog, revealed the main objectives of version 4 of Firefox. While the redesign of the graphical interface had already been announced for this new version, Mike Beltzner details on his blog the various developments planned for the engine of the Open Source browser.

Performance is at the top of the list. Its optimization will naturally involve an improvement of the JavaScript engine, but not only. Beyond the improvements of the ergonomics, the redesign of the user interface will also aim to make the execution more fluid. For example, updates will be performed in the background. Mozilla will also work on a better management of tabs, page loading, and more broadly multi-process.

gestionnaire plugin firefox 4
Plugin manager for Firefox 4 © Mozilla

Many changes are announced on the language side. Mozilla intends to support Websockets to support bidirectional application connections. The HTML 5 parser is also on the agenda, as well as a better support of Ajax-y interactions (via PushState), an optimized management of CSS3 layouts and the DOM.

While a 64-bit version is part of the roadmap, the integration of Direct2D graphics acceleration technology is on the way.

On the content management front, Mozilla plans to support the contentEditable property alongside HTML5 forms. On the storage side, the integration of the IndexedDB specification is mentioned for the storage of structured data.

In functional terms, the foundation intends to review the management of plugins (including the ability to install extensions without having to restart), as well as the interface for managing personal data. A new console, called Account Manager, will centralize the identifiers and passwords of the sites consulted by the user to avoid him to go through the identification pages of a site at each visit).

Finally, the graphical interface will be simplified in terms of controls for greater clarity, and Mozilla will introduce multi-touch support.

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