Three things I’d like to see in Firefox 3.1

Warning This article was written over six months ago, and may contain outdated information.

Let me say up front that from what I’ve seen of Fire­fox 3 so far, it real­ly looks to be a knock­out brows­er; it’s light, fast, exten­si­ble, and the inter­face is flaw­less. The one and only thing that’s dis­ap­point­ed me slight­ly, how­ev­er, is the lack of new front-end fea­tures for devel­op­ers like myself to take advan­tage of.

Online appli­ca­tions have been giv­en a huge boost with offline stor­age and new HTML 5 fea­tures, but where are the shiny graph­i­cal hooks for us to play with? Below are three new fea­tures I’d like to see imple­ment­ed in Fire­fox 3.1 (which I’ve just made up).

NB: This might seem a bit pre­vi­ous, as Fire­fox 3 has­n’t actu­al­ly been released yet, but I’ve been using the nightlies for a while and it seems unlike­ly that any of these fea­tures will be imple­ment­ed before launch.

  1. SVG in img and background-image

    I believe Opera 9.5 will be the first brows­er to do this, and I think it’s an excel­lent idea. SVG allows us to make scal­able, light­weight, vec­tor ele­ments (which can inter­act­ed with via script­ing). This tuto­r­i­al on dev.opera.com, How to do pho­to­shop-like effects in SVG, gives an exam­ple of what’s possible.

  2. CSS3 Selectors

    The W3C released a snap­shot of CSS specs they con­sid­er sta­ble last year; basi­cal­ly it cov­ers name­spaces, colour, and selec­tors. Fire­fox 3 does imple­ment some of the new colour dec­la­ra­tions (RGBA, HSL, HSLA), but its sup­port for selec­tors has fall­en behind Opera and Safari/Webkit. nth-child and its sib­lings may not be essen­tial, but they’re cer­tain­ly useful.

  3. More experimental CSS properties

    Webkit has tak­en the lead on this, with text-shad­ow, box-shad­ow, mul­ti­ple back­grounds, and many more, avail­able for test­ing with the ‑webkit- pre­fix; and Opera is not far behind. Fire­fox, how­ev­er, does­n’t seem to have imple­ment­ed any of these accord­ing to any doc­u­men­ta­tion I can find. I know the W3’s specs haven’t been finalised yet, but how are we sup­posed to exper­i­ment and pro­vide feed­back if our brows­er does­n’t sup­port them? Mozil­la was the first brows­er to fea­ture columns and round­ed cor­ners, but that ear­ly exper­i­men­ta­tion seems to have been abandoned.

Come on, Fire­fox team; you’ve made the best brows­er on the mar­ket (IMHO), now give us the best lay­out and ren­der­ing engine to back it up.

3 comments on
“Three things I’d like to see in Firefox 3.1”

  1. You’ll be pleased to know that all of your requests have bugs you can CC your­self onto:

    https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=276431 — exter­nal SVG not loaded from img tag
    https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=231179 — SVG images in CSS
    https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=65133 — imple­ment CSS3 selec­tors (track­ing bug)
    https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=10713 — Imple­ment CSS2/3 text-shad­ow property
    https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=212633 — Add sup­port for CSS3 box-shadow
    https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=322475 — Imple­ment sup­port for CSS3 mul­ti­ple backgrounds

    And yeah, it would be nice to have all of these. Hope­ful­ly once they’re out of release mode they can get on to sup­port­ing things like this.

    N.b. for peo­ple who might be read­ing this, Bugzil­la isn’t an advo­ca­cy plat­form so please don’t go there and post stuff like ‘It’s been 5 years since this bug was filed, fix it now’. It won’t make the devel­op­ers any more like­ly to fix it, and it makes it hard­er to back­track through the bug to see what’s going on with it.

  2. 겨미겨미의 생각…

    Three things I’d like to see in Fire­fox 3.1…

  3. […] only did I cor­rect­ly pre­dict Fire­fox 3.1, but I one of my visions was that they imple­ment the remain­ing CSS 3 selec­tors — which has just […]