Firefox Roadmap for 2016/2017

Mozilla updated the official Firefox roadmap entry on the organization's Wiki website recently, highlighting major plans for the browser in 2016/2017.

The information highlight some of the features that Mozilla has in store for the next four stable versions of the Firefox browser (Firefox 48 to 51).

The organization lists three main areas of improvement: foundation, customization and context graph.

Foundation refers to improving the browser's responsiveness, reliability and polish. Customization primarily to extending the Web Extension API, and Context Graph to a new recommendation engine Mozilla plans to deliver.

It needs to be noted that the roadmap does not highlight all new features or improvements of the next four or so Firefox releases. Instead, it highlights Mozilla's focus and strategy for those next releases of the web browser.

Firefox Roadmap for 2016/2017

firefox roadmap 2016 2017

Features that were delayed several times, multi-process Firefox and add-on signing, will find their way into the stable version of Firefox.

Discovery and recommendations seem to be a strong focus going forward.

Chronological Firefox roadmap

The following information lists Firefox versions and the new features Mozilla plans to integrate in them. Target milestones may change however so think of this as the earliest possible version shipping with the feature:

Firefox 48

fingerprinting supercookie

Firefox 49

firefox security ui

  • Modernization of Security UI. New security dialogs and modernization.
  • New discovery pane that acts as a recommendation engine for add-ons.
Read also:  Firefox 53: Tab title improvement

Firefox 50

  • E10s, Electrolysis or multi-process Firefox, rolls out to RTL and A11Y/Touch users. Makes E10s available to Windows XP users, Right to Left systems, accessibility tool users and touch users.
  • Firefox won't return that Flash is installed to sites anymore but sets Flash to click to play automatically. This is done to prioritize HTML5 playback over Flash.

Firefox 51

  • E10s, Electrolysis or multi-process Firefox, rolls out for add-on users and continues to do so until Firefox 53.

Firefox 52

  • Multi-process will be enabled for all users except those with extensions that mark them as incompatible.
  • All plugins but Flash are disabled by default.
  • Insecure warnings for http sites that include password fields
  • XP and Vista users are migrated to ESR (end of support)

Firefox 53

  • Multiple content processes for E10s.
  • Compositor process launches.
  • Stub installer becomes aware of 64-bit.
  • Alternative compact theme in light and dark.
  • WebExtension API to reach parity with Chrome

Firefox 54

  • E10s (multi-process) enabled for all users.
  • Page Shot experiment integration.
  • Sandbox integration.

Firefox Future

  • Firefox 55: Existing 64-bit users on Windows migration to 64-bit Firefox
  • Firefox 56: Activity Stream replaces the New Tab Page.
  • Firefox 57: Quantum components.
  • Firefox 57: WebExtensions only, no more legacy add-ons.

Closing Words

The roadmap offers a feature-focused overview that highlights some of the upcoming changes. It is somewhat surprising that privacy and security are not mentioned in the roadmap at all, considering that this is one of the stronger points of Firefox.

Now You: What's your take on the roadmap?

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Firefox Roadmap for 2016/2017
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Mozilla updated the official Firefox roadmap entry on the organization's Wiki website recently, highlighting major plans for the browser in 2016/2017.
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Responses to Firefox Roadmap for 2016/2017

  1. iamsad July 19, 2016 at 8:46 am #

    "Activity Stream replaces the New Tab Page."

    WHAT!!? What is this? They should make this optional, I would 100% ditch firefox if this is not optional

    • Dave July 19, 2016 at 10:23 am #

      Or your could install an extension to make it how you want it. If that's too hard, then it sounds like you should have switched long ago.

      • iamsad July 19, 2016 at 2:07 pm #

        I hope classic theme restorer will still work that time!
        if it's not for ctr I've already switched long time ago

      • Anonymous July 19, 2016 at 3:26 pm #

        That's an excellent example of a childishly insulting post, Dave. Now how would an adult say it? Something like:

        "It definitely can be frustrating when they change a workflow you relied on for well over a decade! Hopefully they provide a switch to revert it, but if not you can always use an extension."

      • Rodalpho July 19, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

        That's an excellent example of a childishly insulting post, Dave. Now how would an adult say it? Something like:

        "It definitely can be frustrating when they change a workflow you relied on for well over a decade! Hopefully they provide a switch to revert it, but if not you can always use an extension."

      • Anonymous July 21, 2016 at 11:31 pm #

        >Or your could install an extension to make it how you want it

        I can't even remember how many times I heard this argument only this years. No, fuck that. I don't want to install yet another add-on to fix shit people at Mozilla fucked up.

    • Kin July 19, 2016 at 3:11 pm #

      Isn't that the 6th time you'll 100% ditch firefox?

  2. vosie July 19, 2016 at 8:57 am #

    So Mozilla plan to continue destroying Firefox.
    Removing NPAPI support is a horrible idea. HTML5 is crap, because as oppsed to flash, you CAN NOT use click-to-play blocking for HTML5 videos. So every HTML5 video loads on every page. The media.autoplay.enabled pref is useless because it is not able to block the downloading of HTML5 videos.

    So unless someone makes a real click-to-play feature / addon for HTML5 media, I will never upgrade from the latest Firefox 45 ESR.

    The best Firefox version is and will be for an indefinite period of time the Firefox 45 ESR. Fortunately you can enable multiprocess in this version too, so you don't have to update to get multiprocess and don't have to deal with the compromises of the other crap changes that the newer versions bring. Also you can disable addon signature requirement in Firefox 45 ESR, which option will be unavailable in the newer Firefox versions.

    • RichardT July 19, 2016 at 9:29 am #

      PaleMoon has the media.autoplay.allowscripted pref which stops autoplay of HTML5 videos.

    • ak July 19, 2016 at 11:12 am #

      You can set one of these options:
      'media.autoplay.enabled' to disable autoplay.
      or
      'media.block-play-until-visible' to prevent video to play in background tabs.

      • Tom Hawack July 19, 2016 at 12:46 pm #

        I wasn't aware of the 'media.block-play-until-visible' setting (just found out that gHacks had mentioned it, I must have been in love that day!)

        But setting it to true will prevent all HTML5 media from playing in background tabs, not only video, which means that if you've started an audio file on one site to have background music/radio those melodies would halt when user switches to another tab, as far as I understand it.

      • earthling July 19, 2016 at 1:30 pm #

        The problem isn't autoplay, it's that you can't stop html5 content from buffering in the background even if the video hasn't started playing. All those options don't do anything about that. Don't know about the palemoon one, but he stated it blocks autoplay, which again is not the problem vosie mentioned.

      • vosie July 22, 2016 at 8:59 am #

        @ak

        Read again my comment.

        "The media.autoplay.enabled pref is useless because it is not able to block the downloading of HTML5 videos."

        In other words, it may can pause the video (preventing the autoplay), but it can't block the loading / buffering of HTML5 media. And this problem is even more serious on mobile devices, because it wastes the bandwidth, data plan, processing power and battery life.

      • vosie July 22, 2016 at 9:03 am #

        @earthling

        Exactly.

    • anon July 19, 2016 at 1:26 pm #

      Is this bait? No one in their right mind thinks NPAPI is good and HTML5 is bad.

      • Rodalpho July 19, 2016 at 3:27 pm #

        Another great example of a childishly insulting post. Instead of supporting your argument, you say everybody that disagrees is crazy. Try to do better next time.

    • Kin July 19, 2016 at 3:20 pm #

      I don't see your point. Flash is being faded out from the web whether you like it or not. So even if NAPI support would still be in firefox for 10 more years, the flash plugin will still become useless and HTML5 will still replace it on websites. So, you "never" upgrading won't make much of a diff, you'll still get HTML5 content. This has nothing to do with the browser.

      • Rodalpho July 19, 2016 at 3:30 pm #

        Right; the real answer is to support click-to-play loading (and pre-loading) for HTML5 media.

        That is, if you can't already do it via some extension, which I imagine you could.

      • Anonymous July 21, 2016 at 11:35 pm #

        NoScript to the rescue.

    • Anonymous July 21, 2016 at 11:33 pm #

      >So unless someone makes a real click-to-play feature / addon for HTML5 media

      There already is, moron.

      • vosie July 22, 2016 at 8:05 am #

        >There already is, moron.

        There isn't any, you retarded.

      • Anonymous July 22, 2016 at 1:56 pm #

        >what is noscript

        Have fun with your flash player that has more security holes than a 100 year old Swiss cheese.

        I still can't believe you're not just baiting. No one can be this stupid.

      • vosie July 25, 2016 at 9:11 am #

        Noscript is NOT a true click-to-play addon for HTML5. Educate yourself:
        https://forum.palemoon.org/viewtopic.php?p=57357&sid=050d530e501fe0753b4c39a8097f50ef#p57357

        Moreover, it is not available for Android Firefox.

        Your security hole arguments are nonsense.

        It's shame how ignorant you are.

  3. Yuliya July 19, 2016 at 3:57 pm #

    I wonder if I could check if the addons that I have installed are compatible with e10s. I'd like to enable it in v48.

    • Anonymous July 21, 2016 at 11:36 pm #

      "Install" a portable Firefox from portableapps.com

  4. earthling July 19, 2016 at 5:44 pm #

    You can do that. You need to check in extensions.ini in your profile folder if there are extensions listed under [MultiprocessIncompatibleExtensions]. But that's only for certain addons. For the remaining ones you need to check 'extensions.bootstrappedAddons' in about:config and look at the values for 'multiprocessCompatible'.
    I think that should cover all available addons, but I'm not 100% sure.
    The funny thing is, mozilla's new onboard extension e10srollout is not multiprocessCompatible :-)

    • earthling July 19, 2016 at 6:44 pm #

      Of course those values don't guarantee that the extension will work flawlessly with e10s.
      It only means that the devs of the extension set the flag to mark that extension as multiprocessCompatible.
      But I'd hope that addon devs don't mark it multiprocessCompatible without having done at least some testing.

      There's also mozilla's http://arewee10syet.com/ page which lists the status of the most popular addons.

    • Yuliya July 19, 2016 at 7:45 pm #

      I tried this. Both show me six extensions, although I have 10 installed. The ini file shows all those six extensions under MultiprocessIncompatibleExtensions; and the about config lists just two of them as incompatible, one of them being e10srollout and the other devedition-theme-enabler :( Hmm, I think the best way would be to just test them all with a portable Firefox and multiprocess enabled.

      • earthling July 19, 2016 at 8:18 pm #

        'extensions.bootstrappedAddons' only lists enabled ones I think. Maybe that's the reason for the missing 4?
        But as I said, I'm not 100% sure that those 2 places cover all addons.
        It's weird that some of your addons show up as both compatible and incompatible. No idea why that happens.
        Anyway, I think it's safe to assume that your setup is not e10s-ready yet :)

      • Tim Nguyen July 20, 2016 at 6:48 pm #

        devedition-theme-enabler is supposed to be compatible (I'm the author of the extension), let me fix that and mark it as compatible.

  5. RG July 19, 2016 at 7:25 pm #

    May be dumb question but what do they mean by 'plug-in free'? I mean I know what plug-ins are but what does plug-in free Firefox mean exactly?

    • Martin Brinkmann July 19, 2016 at 7:34 pm #

      Means you cannot use any browser plugins that use the NPAPI interface with the exception of Adobe Flash. So, no Java, Silverlight, Unity plugin and others.

      • RG July 19, 2016 at 8:37 pm #

        Thanks Martin

  6. Stechy July 19, 2016 at 10:06 pm #

    I have also a dumb question: if I'll download the new Firefox 48 from the site, which version it will be? With or w/o e10? I'm concerned because I use a 'semi portable' Firefox (I build the portable environment for firefox for each updated version from the fresh installer); If I'll get the e10 this will break all my addons; Will be more options for a fresh download kit? I'm very worried about this because my update process depends from the new installer.

    • Martin Brinkmann July 20, 2016 at 6:30 am #

      You may turn of e10s. Mozilla plans to push out e10s to 1% of stable users who meet certain criteria (no add-ons for instance). So, if you run add-ons, you are not supposed to get it at this point in time.

    • KWierso July 20, 2016 at 6:40 pm #

      It's all the same installer, e10s is controlled by some preferences inside your profile (and environmental conditions).

  7. Alex July 21, 2016 at 12:21 pm #

    What browser do you use Martin?

  8. Anonymous July 21, 2016 at 4:14 pm #

    Search engine management is postponed, AGAIN and again.

  9. Marcus August 13, 2016 at 5:48 pm #

    "It is somewhat surprising that privacy and security are not mentioned in the roadmap at all, considering that this is one of the stronger points of Firefox."

    Security is basically everything e10s related. Plus the memory and thread safe language Rust. So we are to expect massive improvements in the coming year, and more further down the line as Rust slowly takes over a larger portion of Firefox's codebase.

    Your own site mentions extremely interesting work being done on privacy. Basically Tor Browser, the most anonymous way to surf the web there is, which happens to be a fork of Firefox, will see its privacy patches implemented in mainstream Firefox itself. That's the boldest privacy move I've ever seen from a mainstream browser company.

    "Our primary goal is to un-fork the Tor Browser." - Dave Huseby, Mozilla's security engineer responsible for this project
    Ghacks article: https://www.ghacks.net/2016/07/04/tor-privacy-settings-coming-to-firefox/
    Mozilla Tor-related ongoing work: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Security/Tor_Uplift/Tracking

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