Mozilla FireFox’s lead engineer, Ben Gooder, has released a new roadmap for version 2 of the open source browser platform. Goodger said that the new roadmap will have a Developer Review (Alpha) in March and a Preview Release (Beta) in April.
June 2005 will see the public release of FireFox 1.1. Goodger noted that two major portions of FireFox 2 should be complete by the end of 2005. He also said that the development of FireFox through to version 2.0 will be done via 3 major milestones: 1.1 in March 2005, 1.5 at an unscheduled date and 2.0 at an unscheduled date.
In terms of development branching and codebase, Goodger plans to keep FireFox and Mozilla running off the same core. “Firefox 1.1 and onwards is developed off the same trunk codebase as other Gecko based apps such as Mozilla 1.8, Camino etc. Residual changes from the long lived Aviary development branch (5/15/2004-11/9/2004 and on for point releases for Firefox 1.0) have been merged back into the main line development trunk and all future releases will happen off of that,” wrote Goodger on his blog.
Goodger did note that future branching may still happen. “While we will branch for stability for future releases, we will try to avoid future development branches,” said FireFox’s lead engineer.
He also noted that the development release slip of 1.1 was not due to his coming on staff with Google. He said it was due to “us needing to ensure the 1.1 release is of identical quality and scope as the 1.0 release – that means a period of testing, the localization system needs to be brought back online, etc. These things are done by more people than just myself, so quit with the wacky speculation.”
The nomenclature of the releases also change to differentiate them more solidly. “The reason: for some time people have associated Firefox Preview – Releases with high quality and we want to make sure there are no guarantees made of any pre-release we offer. We also want to make it clear that Developer Previews in no way represent final or feature-complete code,” said Goodger.
Firefox 2 will include improvements to bookmarks/history, per-site options, enhancements to the extensions system, find toolbar, software update, search and other areas, and accessibility compliance.