Mozilla has been releasing new versions of its Firefox web browser at a more rapid pace over the past year and it sounds like the organization will be adding even more features to future versions of Firefox. In a blog post this week, written by Mozilla Technical Evangelist Robert Nyman, he not only goes over what new features have been added to Firefox in 2011 but also details plans for new features in 2012.
One thing that will change, at least for Firefox users, is the importance of version numbers. Nyman writes:
Version numbers will play a lesser and lesser role for users, but they will still matter to web developers, IT administrators and similar. The reason for having major version number bumps (e.g. version 6 to 7, 7 to 8, etc) is that new versions have had cases of non-backward compatible APIs, and the version number have been there to signal that it is not a minor release or maintenance update. From a branding perspective, it will likely more go into being just Firefox, and that versioning will be more transparent.
The plans for additional features in 2012 include some that have already been put into Firefox 11, such as add-on sync. One big upcoming feature is for silent updates to the browser. This feature is slated to begin with Firefox 13 and will basically download updates to the browser in the background.
As far as Firefox web platform updates, 2012 will add features such as WebRTC, which will let two web browsers exchange full audio, video and data communication. Nyman states, "The implications of this are huge and it will enable a lot of interesting real-time communication solutions, richer web games and overall take the web to the next level!" Other changes in the works include improving Web App support and allowing the PC mouse to be used as a controller.