Firefox has been around since 2002 and Mozilla is looking to rebuild fundamental parts of the browser for the first time.
Mozilla’s Director of Engineering, Dave Camp, posted a message to the Mozilla mailing list saying that while Firefox is “built on Web technologies” the company could “do a much better job of capitalizing on it.”
The browser’s interface as we know it today was built on top of Mozilla’s XML User Interface Language (XUL), which was invented to “fill the gaps” that HTML had at the time.
According to Camp’s email, because XUL isn’t a Web technology it doesn’t get as much attention as it needs. That means performance problems are left unfixed, as well as creating complexity for Firefox’s rendering engine, Gecko.
Camp said that Mozilla “[intends] to move Firefox away from XUL and XBL,” though the discussions have just begun internally.
The shift is a big one for Mozilla and could have huge implications for developers of browser extensions and the company itself, and Camp acknowledges answering the big questions is “going to take a while.”
In the future, Mozilla will make the most of the same technology to render itself that the Web does, and that’s good for everyone.
➤ Revisiting how we build Firefox [Mozilla Mailing List]