With the release of Firefox 3 Alpha many people are left wondering what the benefits are of Mozilla switching to Cairo for the rendering engine. As demonstrated above the corners that are rendered using the latest Firefox 3 Alpha are anti-aliased meaning they are smoother. There is only a slight difference when looking at the two comparisons but it is a little more noticeable when you look at the zoomed-in portion. According to the Cairo Homepage these are some of the other things that it is capable of:
Operations in cairo including stroking and filling cubic BÃ©zier splines, transforming and compositing translucent images, and antialiased text rendering. All drawing operations can be transformed by any affine transformation (scale, rotation, shear, etc.).
As if that isn’t great enough news for Firefox fans, the latest nightly builds are also passing the Acid 2 test. That can’t be found in the Alpha 1 release but it will surely be a hit when Alpha 2 is released (which is currently scheduled for the first quarter of 2007). For those of you wanting more information on Firefox 3 here are some links that CoryC pointed out along with certain features highlighted from each:
- Firefox:3.0 PRD
- Firefox:Password Manager
- The “Should Firefox remember this password?” dialog shouldn’t block the loading of the new page.
- Password generation (eg, hash site name and a common password.) Has anti-phishing benefits because user doesn’t even really know their own password.
- Firefox:Configurable Keybindings
- Firefox:3.0 Tabbed Browsing
- If there are a lot of tabs, a second row of tabs may be useful.
- Firefox:Safer Extension Installation
- Firefox:Download Manager
- Media support for:
- Podcast through BitTorrent
- RSS feed of BitTorrents (Goodbye hard disk space)
- Media support for:
- Firefox:3.0 Unified XPInstall Download Back End
- Firefox:Info Window
- Firefox:3.0 Options Dialog reorg
- Firefox:3.0 Accessibility
- Do something like the gesture command of Opera, when you push the right mouse button and make a specific movement to issue a command. I use the close window gesture intensivly. I think that is the fastest of all ways to issue a commands.
- Firefox:3.0 Customizable Toolbars
- Firefox:3.0 Bookmarks
- I’m sure everyone has read what I’ve read, but it doesn’t hurt to write a reminder. Here’s a link to UIWeb’s “How to build a better web browser” essay: http://www.scottberkun.com/essays/essay37.htm
- Firefox:3.0 Places
- Detect duplicates
- Sync mode. Keep Delicious/Shadows/etc bookmark services constantly in sync with bookmarks.
- Online mode. Do not store bookmarks locally. Retrieve them from bookmark services. Store some heavily accessed bookmarks (i.e. Bookmarks Toolbar) to lessen traffic.
- Firefox:3.0 User Information Management and Privacy
- A personal information manager would be great to have in Firefox – like “saved forms”, only more structured, maybe with the user filling in their information in the preferences dialog.
There we go, I went through each of those topics and what’s listed are the things I found interesting on each of the pages. All of those aren’t guaranteed to be implemented but I would like to see support for BitTorrent and definitely an online bookmark manager which mixed into a few of the pages. Sure there are a lot of extensions that will manage your bookmarks online but I think that a majority of users (especially a lot of my friends) never bother to install extensions and they would be amazed if Firefox synchronized their bookmarks.