This roadmap update has been much-delayed, as we have juggled priorities and sweated security releases on the AVIARY_1_0_1 branch. Sorry for the delay; I will keep the roadmap up to date much more frequently from now on.
The new roadmap restarts the document with as little repeating boilerplate as possible. Highlights:
- The main point is to focus near-term work on the Mozilla 1.8 milestone, which is the basis for the rv:1.8 Gecko codebase in Firefox 1.1 and XULRunner.
- We would like to branch 1.8 by the end of June, in order to open the trunk up for general Mozilla 1.9 alpha 1 milestone development. Sooner would be better, and later is hard to justify.
- A high priority for Firefox 1.1 at this point is to finish the end-to-end support for the incremental app/extension update work being done based on bsdiff, which has been spearheaded by Darin Fisher.
- We have also made several major architecture changes (e.g., XPCNativeWrapper automation) for improved chrome scripting security, with one more to land, so security is another high priority that may justify late-breaking changes.
- Apart from update and security, we won’t take any big changes on the 1.8 branch, instead focusing on quality and polish. So now is the time to cut low-priority or “nice to have, but …” items from your 1.8 buglists.
- Pending testing results from Deer Park Alpha 1, which just released, we will have a better idea of the order of work remaining.
- There will be a second Deer Park Alpha, to line up with the 1.8b3 trunk milestone. Here’s the usual diagram, free of hard dates:
We will construct a detailed schedule for the rest of the release. Until we have a more “real” schedule, the roadmap will be fuzzy about dates. Apart from the absolute priority that Firefox 1.1 be able to update itself in small background-downloaded increments, and that its security and quality be at least as high as Firefox 1.0.x, we have already enabled new platform features such as SVG and <canvas>. These new richer-graphics-for-the-web features are in usable shape, and they deserve testing and experimental usage in XUL and even HTML. We want developer feedback, which we will incorporate into future releases.
In order to help both our XUL platform and (more important) the open-standards-based web to compete with next-generation OSes and their proprietary frameworks, we are rearchitecting Gecko’s graphics subsystem. Here is a picture of Gecko emphasizing its graphics infrastructure as of the 1.8 milestone and Firefox 1.1:
Here is where we are headed in 1.9:
We are joining forces with the Cairo Graphics project (this will be no surprise to anyone following the project, in particular roc‘s blog). Together, we can move faster and on more platforms, toward a hardware-accelerated 2D future, and beyond.
As with any large rearchitecture, there will be bumps along the way. But we are not going to rewrite the world at once (never again!). We aim to make changes in smaller increments, that can be done during the 1.9 alpha cycles. So the 1.9 schedule, which I won’t even bother to depict yet, will have a good number of alphas.
Anyway, this is a blog item’s worth of roadmap content, which will show up in a more polished form in the main roadmap soon. Your comments are welcome.