Sit up and pay attention, Firefox fans. Mozilla has just released details on what they plan to include for version 3.6 of their popular browser, and so far it's looking delicious. The code name for the version is Namoroka, a national park in Madagascar, which keeps to Mozilla's naming conventions.
Mozilla has split development of this build off from the development of the upcoming version 3.5, and it has also been expected that 3.6 will not even be the final version number, according to Mozilla Links. So what kind of changes are looking at? Well, according to the official Wiki for the version, this is the focus:
Observable improvements in user-perceptible performance metrics such as startup, time to open a new tab, and responsiveness when interacting with the user interface. Common user tasks should feel faster and more responsive.
Personalization & Customization:
Simplify the development, discovery, installation and management of browser customization and functional extension. Where possible, provide a custom fit user experience based on a user's interaction history. Act in the user's interests, leveraging existing knowledge about their identity and browsing habits.
Task Based Navigation:
Allow users to organize their tabs, history, downloaded files, and other resources according to the task they were attempting to accomplish. Provide support for executing common web-based tasks, mash-up style, without having to visit a website.
Web Application Support:
Blur the distinction between web and desktop applications, providing web developers with the tools required to create rich application experiences for a user who is connected or disconnected from the Internet. Act as the intermediary between web applications and the user's OS desktop.
Integrate with the look and feel of the host operating system, including data-level interactions with existing system services such as dictionaries.
It's interesting to see Web Applications support in there; currently this is only available by downloading Mozilla Prism, or even more alternatively, Google Chrome. Some other changes include a new theme for Windows, which will be Aero Glass based, a better method for file uploading, and the ability to install themes and extensions without having to restart the application. This is going to be a big one for fans of theming for Firefox, as having to restart the software each time is a pretty significant time waster, especially to those who try a lot of themes before they settle on one.
It's expected for this version to be publicly available in May 2010, so there's still a bit of a wait to go yet.