Firefox Developers Outline Firefox 4 Product Plan

By | 31.10.2019

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Originally I had hoped to have more specific suggestions regarding mechanisms for interacting with other XUL developers. In addition, the Foundation will work to increase communication with XUL developers — both general understanding and specific API requests — and drive relevant information into our overall planning process. Contributions that broaden XULRunner are more than welcome; these will be managed according to Module Ownership and other Mozilla policies.
Firefox Developers Outline Firefox 4 Product Plan

Mozilla Firefox: Development Process

Originally I had hoped to have more specific suggestions regarding mechanisms for interacting with other XUL developers. In addition, the Foundation will work to increase communication with XUL developers — both general understanding and specific API requests — and drive relevant information into our overall planning process.

Contributions that broaden XULRunner are more than welcome; these will be managed according to Module Ownership and other Mozilla policies.

These are terms that have been used to describe an instance of XULRunner that various applications would expect to find on a machine and would share once found.

Mozilla Foundation Plans and the Role of Module Ownership The Mozilla Foundation plans outlined below live within the content of Mozilla policies relating to Module Ownership, code review, source code commit access, etc.

These policies state that individuals to whom authority has been delegated have responsibilities to the Mozilla project itself, unrelated to employment. The policy on Module Ownership is particularly relevant to this discussion. Module owner responsibilities are outlined in the Module Owners Roles and Responsibilities document. Module owners are not tyrants. They are chartered to make decisions with input from the community and in the best interests of the community.

Module owners are not required to write code because the community wants them to. Like anyone else, the module owners may write code because they want to, because their employers want them to, because the community wants them to, or for some other reason. Module owners do need to pay attention to patches submitted to that module. Some patches may not make sense for Mozilla; some may be poorly implemented.

Module owners have the authority to decline a patch; this is a necessary part of the role. Similarly, module owners may need to delay review of a promising patch due to an upcoming deadline.

For example, a patch may be of interest, but not for the next milestone. In such a case it may make sense for the module owner to postpone review of a patch until after matters needed for a milestone have been finalized. Again, we expect this to be described in the relevant bug. It is an explicit expectation of the Mozilla Foundation that all its employees whether employed by the Foundation directly, the Mozilla Corporation, or any other Mozilla entity who are module owners or have other authority super-review, etc.

Mozilla Foundation Plans 1. The Mozilla Foundation will continue to invest in the development of the language. That responsibility is described above. Specific examples of how this works in practice have been the inclusion of thread-safety patches and graphics patches beyond Firefox requirements in order to meet the needs of the Songbird project. The primary focus of Mozilla employees will be developing XUlRunner as a robust platform for the open web as viewed via the browser.

XULRunner improvements should benefit a range of other applications but the focus of Mozilla employees will be on browsing. This focus will remain for the next 18 months or so. This is not a commitment to invest heavily here after 18 months, it is a statement of what we know today. For the next 18 months or so, we plan to do the following in addition to work related to Firefox needs: Develop a mechanism to: Improve two way communication with the XUL application developer community.

Help developers get these bugs, API and feature requests into the Mozilla development worldview. Monitor progress and response level of requests, prod developers when appropriate. For example, clearly understood bug fixes should be a good candidate for immediate check-in whether or not the bug affects Firefox or any other Mozilla Foundation application. Utilize this information in planning and implementation of ongoing platform development work, including Mozilla 2. Note that this does not mean all wishes are valid, or even if valid will be undertaken directly by the Mozilla Foundation.

And of course, participation by XUL developers will help make things faster. Revisit these plans periodically but not constantly to see if changing circumstances should cause a change in plans. We plan to re-evaluate this as we approach the release of Mozilla 2. If someone contributed the patches to make this happen we would evaluate them, but anticipate the risk associated with such patches would almost preclude their incorporation into Firefox 3 unless they landed and tested well during the alpha release cycle.

The rationale for this decision is that the primary advantage of packing XULRunner as a runtime is to allow for the download and distribution of small applications that can use a pre-installed copy of XULRunner. However, several problems prevent this from being a viable solution in practice: In this case the application may still require downloading its own XULRunner version.

Many existing users of XULRunner are adding their own extensive customizations to the platform and thus could not use a standard build. We are eager for developers to contribute back generally useful customizations so that their work improves XULRunner for everyone. However, we anticipate some patches will be particular to a developer or class of developers. These may not be contributed back, may not desirable for a general distribution, or may involve enough risk that extensive testing and timing requirements will be necessary.

A stand-alone XULRunner is a potentially significant and disruptive amount of work and the practical benefits in the real work setting of the Web are difficult to assess given the versioning problems described above.

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Mozilla Firefox: Development Process Status: Draft This document describes the process by which changes to Firefox source code become a general Firefox release. Firefox has hundreds of millions of users, so some care is in order.

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