Mozilla wants to make getting around the web better. To do so it plans to build a context graph which will learn to understand browsing activity, at scale. It will suggest new sites to users, which are relevant to their activity – put differently, Mozilla is going to build a “new meadow and open up many new paths for light between the trees, to illuminate all the hidden trails that people would love to find.”
Nick Nguyen, vice president of Firefox product at Mozilla, gives the following example:
“If you're learning about how to do something new, like bike repair, our forward button should help you learn bike repair based on others who have taken the same journey.”
While the context graph will immediately spark worries about privacy, Nguyen is promising that user control will not be sacrificed. Mozilla is working on how it can collect data with a group of volunteer users so that work can begin on building experimental systems for making contextual recommendations. Nguyen explains that Mozilla will work to make sure users understand what information they're sharing and what they're getting in return, he says “true to our open heritage, our methods will be open for scrutiny by anyone.”
Work on the context graph has actually already started and its progress can be tested out by any Firefox users now. Mozilla's Test Pilot extension, which allows users to test new Firefox features and helps Mozilla push them out the door quicker, actually has three on-going programmes, one of which is Activity Stream. Activity Stream alters the new tab page and keeps your top sites, highlights, and recent history near. The recent history is displayed as a timeline to help understand what you did and when.
This big feature is just one of many that Mozilla is currently working on. In the next few releases, the browser maker will rollout Electrolysis that allows Firefox to handle multiple process in an improved way.