Mozilla reveals the Firefox of the future?
By Barry Collins and Stuart Turton
Posted on 6 Aug 2008 at 10:07
Mozilla has unveiled a spectacular new concept browser, dubbed Aurora.
The bleeding-edge browser is part of a new Mozilla Labs initiative, in which the open-source foundation is encouraging people to contribute ideas and designs for the browser of the future.
The demonstration video of the Aurora browser, created by design firm Adaptive Path, shows a highly advanced way of collaborating data gathered on the web.
Data gathered from the web - such as weather reports - are collated as 'objects' that can be dragged and dropped on to the desktop and dynamically manipulated. The video shows two people working in different offices comparing rain reports. In the demonstration Alan invites Jill to join him on a weather report page, where they each highlight important bits of the page for each other.
The video then shows Jill entering a 3D visual bookmarking system in which related pages are grouped by cells, modelled after cells in the human body. Recently opened pages appear closer to the screen, and gradually fall back the longer they're ignored.
The author searches through sports, entertainment and weather cells, as well as those of her contacts, before pulling up the page she wants and dragging it onto the existing page, where it automatically overlaps comparing the two data sets.
Potentially the most interesting thing about the video is how integrated everything appears, with desktop tasks and an instant messaging utility all linked directly into the browser interface.
Aurora represents a spectacular introduction to the new Mozilla Labs, which much like Google Labs looks to become a home for offbeat projects which would otherwise probably never see the light of day.
Unlike Google Labs, however, Mozilla intends for the labs to encourage ideas from beyond the typical open-source development community.
"We're particularly interested in engaging with designers who have not typically been involved with open source projects," says the site. "And we're biasing towards broad participation, not finished implementations."
"Our goal is to bring even more people to the table and provoke thought, facilitate discussion, and inspire future design directions for Firefox, the Mozilla project, and the web as a whole."
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