Mozilla’s Firefox was at one time a very popular browser among technology enthusiasts but over the years, it has seceded much of its market share to Google’s Chrome. Now, Mozilla is setting in motion a plan it hopes will win back some of its defectors.
Firefox Director of Engineering Dave Camp said in a recent e-mail to developers that Mozilla is using a “Three Pillars” approach to improving its browser.
The first pillar is uncompromised quality. Mozilla believes that every feature in the browser should be polished, function and a joy to use. Simply put, if a feature can’t reach that state, it shouldn’t exist.
Camp said that in some cases, that will involve making a feature great. In other cases, it’ll mean either removing the code for said feature or finding a third-party service or add-on that can do a better job than they can.
He added that there’s no shortcut available meaning it’ll take significant, sustained work to achieve. As such, we can expect to see some of the effort typically reserved for developing new features to be diverted to bringing existing features up to snuff. It’s not all that different than what Apple and Google are doing with their next major mobile OS releases.
The second pillar, best of the web, involves the add-on community and partners although its purpose isn’t quite as clear-cut. Camp mentioned partnering with Telefonica to build Firefox Hello and adding integration with Pocket, the latter of which drew some criticism in how it was handled.
Moving forward, Camp said Mozilla will devote a lot of effort to make add-ons even better by improving security and performance as well as building a better API to increase cross-platform compatibility for add-on authors and partners.
Last but not least is uniquely Firefox. This pillar focuses on giving users the “control to shape their web.” To start with, Mozilla will tackle an area that’s on a lot of people’s minds lately: online privacy. Early efforts, namely an improved Private Browsing mode, will land in Firefox soon, we’re told.