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Mozilla Firefox 3.6 and Its Multiple Personas - page 2

Themes, Skins, and Personas

  • January 19, 2010
  • By Sean Michael Kerner

Now that Personas has graduated from Mozilla Labs to become an integrated part of the main Firefox release, the big question is how soon until other Labs projects will make the same move.

Among the relatively mature Mozilla Labs projects are the Weave browser synchronization project and the Prism browser application project. For the time being, however, both aren't yet going into the main Firefox release.

"Mozilla Weave will be a recommended add-on for Firefox 3.6 users," Beltzner said. "I use Weave myself on several computers and they're all connected, and the thing that I find best about it is the ability to do tab synchronization."

With tab synchronization, tabs open on one computer -- for example, a work computer -- can then be visible on a computer running at home.

Mozilla Prism, meanwhile, enables users to create a desktop-like application from any Web site, with only a thin browser interface visible. Like Weave, it will not be part of the final Firefox 3.6 release, though Beltzner agreed that it also add benefits to users.

"There are still lots of interaction questions in Prism that we need to resolve," Beltzner said.

Another key Mozilla Labs project that will eventually end up integrated with Firefox is Jetpack, which provides an easier mechanism for developers to create Mozilla add-ons.

Just as is the case with themes and Personas coexisting for browser skins, Mozilla is likely to retain both the current add-ons model as well as the new Jetpack model in future Firefox releases, it said.

"We'll be looking very aggressively at integrating Jetpack. Much like Personas, there is a lot of demand for lightweight personalization for add-ons," Beltzner said.

Firefox 3.6 release candidate 2 is now available for users to try out. Beltzner noted that a final Firefox 3.6 release could be out by the end of this week.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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