Mozilla’s newest project takes a stab at taming the new era of the hyper-personal news stream. It’s called Raindrop, and it just might change the way you communicate with people on the web. Raindrop allows users to follow conversations from a variety of sources in a clean, manageable UI. When you get right down to it, Raindrop filters out the noise.
As an example, a Twitter feed is categorized by highlighting DMs and @ replies, messages from certain contacts can be given precedence as well. The rest of the stream is minimized and kept out of the way while reviewing these. Emails can be sorted by type in Raindrop as well. Anything recognized as a mailing list could be separated from personal emails, or work emails could automatically move into the background at 5PM. The app could also be used to track your comments on various blogs. Mozilla will be encouraging the addition of front-end widgets and third-party code as well.
Raindrop is currently only open to developers. Hopefully we’ll see a full downloadable installer in the near future. If this sort of content aggregation/sorting sounds interesting to you, keep an eye on the Mozilla Labs site for details.
Mozilla is certainly in love with Chrome’s minimalist design, if the freshly released “Firefox/4.0 Windows Theme Mockups” are anything to go by. It has released two Firefox 4.0 theme mockups in all and both of them closely mimic Chrome.
The position of the tabs vis-à-vis the address bar is what sets them apart. The first mockup features the address bar on top of the tabs, whereas the second one has the tabs placed above the address bar – again reminiscent of Google Chrome.
The first beta of Firefox 3.1 has arrived after being delayed by about a month. This beta release introduces the ability to switch between tabs using the Ctrl-Tab combination (3d tab switching). The tab-switching feature has been available in form of an extension till now.
Users can also drag and drop tabs between different Firefox windows. The beta release also has geolocation capability – currently available as an add-on - built into it. Geolocation allows users to interact with the web based on their geographic location.
The inbuilt geolocation feature in Firefox 3.1 and Geode – the geolocation extension - are slightly dissimilar. The difference lies in the fact that the former offers users a choice between GPS-based tracking and WiFi-based tracking, whereas Geode only counts on WiFi for tracking the location of a user.
Mozilla's Firefox browser's biggest strength has always been customization. When Mozilla created Firefox 3, the huge improvements in its underlying architecture made Firefox 2 plugins obsolete. To help encourage a new generation of add-ons, Mozilla Labs launched the Extend Firefox 3 contest in March to create a new generation of plugins.
Entries wrapped up on July 4th, and after spending the rest of the summer judging over 100 entries, Mozilla Labs has finally announced the winners of Extend Firefox 3.
"The Envelope, Please"
Extend Firefox 3 presented grand prizes in three categories:
Best New Add-on
Best Updated Add-on
Best Music Add-on
And, now, the winners (drum roll, please):
Best New Add-on
Pencil - a GUI prototyping and diagramming application
Mozilla has issued an open invitation to all people with a vibrant imagination, regardless of their calling, to posit ideas that could determine the future of Firefox and the web. It is especially interested in bringing aboard designers that haven’t worked on open source projects hitherto. Mozilla Labs’ website is asking for people to turn in their ideas that can be “a sentence, paragraph, or even bullet-points kick-start the process.” If Mozilla sights real potential in the idea it will turn them into reality. The website also flaunts a number of exciting browser concept videos. If you have any fascinating ideas, feel free to deposit them in the comments section.