Mozilla preps native UI for future versions of Firefox on Android
Open-source software development initiative Mozilla will build future versions of its Firefox browser optimized for Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android mobile operating system with a native user interface replacing the current UI, which is based on the XML-based coding language XUL.
Writing on the mozilla.dev.platforms.mobile Google Groups forum, Mozilla Director of Firefox Engineering Johnathan Nightingale explains the decision will accelerate and improve the Android user experience. "A native UI can be presented much faster than a XUL based UI, since it can happen in parallel with Gecko startup," Nightingale explains. This means startup times in fractions of a second, versus several seconds for a XUL UI on some phones." The native UI also promises a substantial reduction in memory usage and improved panning and zooming performance.
Nightingale adds the native Android UI is still in the planning stages and the timetable for its official release is unknown. "We are certain that it will not impact the versions currently on the Beta and Aurora channels," he states. "Firefox 8 and 9 will ship with the XUL UI, including the new UI for tablets, while we build the native UI."
In mid-September, Mozilla issued an early preview build of its forthcoming Firefox for Tablets web browser, currently in development for devices running Android 3.0. Firefox for Tablets touts both tabbed browsing as well as Mozilla's Awesome Bar, which offers access to recent browsing history, bookmarks and tabs. In addition, the browser features a persistent tab bar on the left of the screen in landscape mode--when the user shifts the device orientation to portrait mode, the tab bar disappears up into a menu item at the top of the screen, opening up more room for web content.
- read this mozilla.dev.platforms.mobile thread
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