Even though Firefox 3.0 isn't scheduled for release until November, two alpha versions have already been made public. Details are also starting to emerge on the new features to be expected from the next version of Mozilla's popular web browser.

The final list of new features in Firefox 3.0 hasn't been revealed by Mozilla 's web developers yet but a company spokesman said it was trying to "lay the foundation" for future versions of the open source browser.

"Most importantly, Firefox has to be fast and standards-compliant," Mike Schroepfer, vice president for engineering at Mozilla, said .

Some users have complained about Firefox using up processing power because of add-ons or extensions, but this issue is being addressed according to Schroepfer.

He said that the new functions in Firefox 3.0 include:

  • Offline email. In the new version it will be possible to draft an email in a web-based email application such as Gmail without being online. Firefox will send the message as soon as the user connects to the internet.
  • New bookmark management. A small but clever function will list bookmarks according to popularity - for example, the ones most frequently visited will end up at the top of the list.
  • Searches in previously visited web pages. Firefox 3.0 will feature a built-in database called 'SQL lite' which can index text and images in previously visited web pages. This enables users to search already cached pages.
  • Standardisation and improved quality. Mozilla will be building a library of tested code available for download, as well as offering a forum where developers can exchange knowledge. It will also get rid of some of the add-ons available to Firefox users.