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There Will Be a Firefox Made Specifically for Windows 8 Metro

One of the biggest changes coming from Windows 8 will be the Metro interface theme. It will bring Windows to a new form of computing.

Mozilla intends to be there to serve this new tablet and touch market with a version of Firefox that's made just for Metro. While Microsoft will surely make its version of Internet Explorer optimized for Metro, Mozilla wants to present the alternative choice. Given that some Windows users are basically trained to seek an alternative browser, this could be a good thing for Mozilla.

The project is now listed as "in progress" in the Mozilla wiki. Here are some of the project notes:

  • Firefox on Metro, like all other Metro apps will be full screen, focused on touch interactions, and connected to the rest of the Metro environment through Windows 8 contracts.
  • Firefox on Metro will bring all of the Gecko capabilities to this new environment and the assumption is that we'll be able to run as a Medium integrity app so we can access all of the win32 Firefox Gecko libraries avoiding a port to the new WinRT API for the bulk of our code. (Though we will need to have a pan and zoom capability for content.)
  • Firefox on Metro is a full-screen App with an Appbar that contains common navigation controls (back, reload, etc.,) the Awesomebar, and some form of tabs.
  • Firefox will have to support three "snap" states -- full screen, ~1/6th screen and ~5/6th screen depending on how the user "docks" two full screen apps. Our UI will need to adjust to show the most relevant content for each size.

Read more from @MarcusYam on Twitter.

  • gamerk316
    This is why programmers like me want Metro to fail. Because of the new GUI, you are going to have two versions of most applications: One for the Metro UI, and one for older versions of windows. As a result, you have to maintain two seperate builds, which WILL lead to a lot more bugs in both.

    I pray Win8 falls flat on its face.
    Reply
  • house70
    Almost sounds like a Firefox widget loaded on it's tab. Interesting.
    Reply
  • JOSHSKORN
    I use to only use Firefox until Windows 7 came along. Because it didn't work all that well at the time, I then, went onto Google Chrome, and then discovered Nightly builds of Firefox x64. Then, discovered Large Address Aware. I'm back on regular 32-bit Firefox. I no longer have the same issues I did when I first got Windows 7, closer to its launch.

    If history repeats itself, Firefox will be a dud for Windows 8, initially, thus crash repeatedly.
    Reply
  • EDVINASM
    I personally like the Firefox t-shirt. I think it's cute.
    Reply
  • alvine
    firefox girl we meet again
    Reply
  • icepick314
    how about moving toward 64 bit coding?

    it's 21st Century, dammit!!!
    Reply
  • EDVINASM
    icepick314how about moving toward 64 bit coding?it's 21st Century, dammit!!!We will move to 64bit computing when 128bit is out :)
    Reply
  • cknobman
    Sorry Firefox your ship has sailed, I have moved on as you have taken too long to get your sh!t together.
    Reply
  • willard
    gamerk316This is why programmers like me want Metro to fail. Because of the new GUI, you are going to have two versions of most applications: One for the Metro UI, and one for older versions of windows. As a result, you have to maintain two seperate builds, which WILL lead to a lot more bugs in both.I pray Win8 falls flat on its face.Never heard of model-view-controller, then? At any rate, you could have said the same thing about command line apps versus windowed ones 20 years ago. Saying we shouldn't change anything because it could lead to more bugs is about the silliest thing you could say, especially as a programmer (I'm gonna go ahead and guess you're not a professional). EVERYTHING you do increases the risk of bugs when you're working on a project with more than a couple thousand lines of code.

    As far as Firefox is concerned, they're using a new browser engine in the Metro version, which will likely make its way into the plain old classic version sooner rather than later. At that point, you only need to maintain separate view layers, which is pretty simple and has no chance of introducing extra bugs into the core of the browser beyond the initial change to the new engine.
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    Bit of a non-story really, I mean do we really expect them not to produce one? There will be a browser for W8 Metro for Opera, Firefox, Safari, Chrome and IE, to not get on board this bandwagon would be suicide when its customer reach will be in the tens if not hundreds of millions over time.
    Reply