Firefox 4 set to arrive in 2010

Firefox 4 will arrive in the fourth quarter of 2010, Mozilla has confirmed in its roadmap.

Firefox 4 set to arrive in 2010

Among the new features outlined in the roadmap is the controversial new user interface outed in July, which looks set to bring the visual gloss of Chrome to the open-source browser.

Mozilla intends to fold in the Jetpack API, allowing developers to create adds-ons using web technologies including HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Jetpack add-ons won’t break every time the browser gets a major overhaul, and can also be installed, toggled off and on, and debugged without needing to restart the browser.

Firefox 4 will also feature Mozilla’s bookmarks and browsing history synchronisation tool, dubbed Weave. Other changes will focus on improving the Tracemonkey rendering engine, long the bane of Firefox 3.5, and a number of rather vague “end user feature enhancements”.

Firefox 4 will isolate each tab within its own process – a feature already found in Google Chrome

While we’re waiting for Firefox 4, Mozilla will be busy showering love on version three of the browser in the form of two further updates.

According to the roadmap, Firefox 3.6 will concentrate on improving the stability of the browser, while Firefox 3.7 features the far more ambitious aim of isolating plug-ins within their own process, so they don’t crash the entire the browser when they break.

Firefox 4 will extend this further by isolating each tab within its own process – a feature already found in Google Chrome.

Assuming the delays that plagued Firefox 3.5 don’t hit its siblings, we can expect Firefox 3.6 towards the end of the year, with Firefox 3.7 arriving in the first quarter of 2010.

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