New features in Firefox 3.1 & beyond

Warning This article was written over six months ago, and may contain outdated information.

While Firefox 3 is a really fast & usable browser, I was a little disappointed by the (comparative) lack of really new features in the rendering engine; that’s not to say there aren’t any, as there are plenty, but that Safari 3.1 and Opera 9.5 have set the bar very high in their latest iterations.

So that’s why I was delighted to hear about the 3.1 release of my favourite browser, and doubly delighted when I found out which features the team are planning to work on for inclusion in it:

For CSS, already implemented are the full range of CSS3 selectors and the text-shadow property, and planned to join them are @media queries; for fans of nice typography, font-stretch and word-wrap are on their way, along with my favourite feature of all: @font-face! There will also be a lot of existing CSS bugs fixed.

Beyond FF3.1 (and therefore probably in FF4, currently scheduled for the latter half of next year, I believe) we may expect to see calculated values and the new modules proposed by the Webkit team, Animations and Transition.

Back in FF3.1 — and for typography fans again — SVG fonts should be implemented so that you can use the XML standard to creat text effects. SVG files will be allowed through the img tag, although no news yet whether that will apply to background-image also.

Still on SVG, SMIL, which allows the use of media files in SVG, will also be implemented. This will be complemented by the audio and video elements from HTML5.

Firefox 4 will also feature the new JavaScript VM Tamarin, open-sourced by Adobe, for richer and faster multimedia display.

That’s all pretty exciting stuff. I wonder what the recently-announced Safari 4 and Opera 10 will counter with?

3 comments on
“New features in Firefox 3.1 & beyond”

  1. […] New features in Firefox 3.1 & beyond […]

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  3. […] is, well, playing catch-up with the above two, adding a bit of the idea’s from safari, opera or, if you’re lucky, both. To be honest, it’s also making great headway on […]