Mozilla looking beyond Firefox 3.5

Firefox 4.0 already taking shape
Firefox 4.0 already taking shape

Firefox 3.5 is not even out for general release yet, but Mozilla are already suggesting that the trunk builds of its successor are 20-30 per cent faster and will build on the company's work on video integration.

Video is a central improvement of Firefox 3.5, according to Vice President of Engineering Mike Shaver, who told TechRadar that work was well underway on making the browser even better.

"3.5 is important to keep the momentum going from 3.0," said Shaver.

"It brings some momentous tools to the browser including video and extreme high performance javascript.

"We're going to continue to improve - this isn't a fire and forget thing and you know we have these graphs of our performance and already our trunk builds for the next version are another 20 to 30 percent faster"

Speed is of the essence

Shaver admitted that the focus on speed was perhaps not something that struck a chord with the general public, but reiterated the necessity of making browsers more capable of dealing with complex tasks.

"I think there is speed is an important part of the browser market but in many cases it's what I think of as a hygiene element," asserted Shaver.

"If it's not fast enough then they notice, but beyond that the user is not likely to notice for their current work.

"We are certainly continuing to improve responsiveness and start up time, and the execution speed of Firefox but we also care about speed.

"We'll keep building on that because it is underpinning capability on the web, it's not just about making your Gmail load faster its about things like image manipulation and video."

Video gains

Firefox 3.5 has a heavy focus on integrating video focus, with the company investing in standardising content on the web.

"We gave a 100k grant to the Wikimedia foundation to improve the Theora codecs and the decoder libraries that we use but also the encoders that are going to produce content so that it can be comparable in quality and comparable in bandwidth to what YouTube uses now for HD.

"So we are in active, and public, I should add, discussions with YouTube in what it would take to get behind open video that way – that would be a landmark thing."

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.