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What's next?

With Fx4 being buttoned up, we should start thinking about what's next for Panorama. Specifically what features we think should be part of v.Next. This wiki page is linked to from the "Design" section of our Work wiki, but that doesn't exclude features like a Developer API.

Where we are going

Now that Panorama is an integral part of Firefox, it becomes incumbent upon the team to really integrate Panorama into the Fx ecosystem. We currently exist as a feature that is quietly on the fringe; a great benefit to power users, but limited in scope. We need to become more firmly a part of the browser, utilizing shared metaphors and functionality.

Questions to ask are how Panorama can enhance other areas of browsing besides just tab grouping. We should also be asking if there are other areas of the browser we can take inspiration and functionality from.

Where we are at

We've got an interesting ad-hoc collection on our meta bug, though it probably needs a careful pruning, as it's been added to willy-nilly since feature freeze.

The Design section of our wiki also has a number of ideas that haven't been implemented. Small things like how we style the Panorama exit button (in the First Run section) to mini-groups and visual bookmarks/history.

Fx5 and beyond

It bears noting that Fx4 is the last "big" update from Mozilla. The Firefox team is attempting to get quicker and more agile; their goal is to ship every 6 to 8 weeks, matching Chrome. With that in mind, perhaps we can only get 1 "big" feature into Fx5, but can ship another one for Fx6 a couple months after that. That said, here's one vision for how our next few development cycles should go.

"All Windows"

The dream before feature freeze was to have a single "Panorama" view for all of your open windows. Unfortunately, we bit off more than we could chew there, but now that we're open to new features, "All Windows" should be on the shortlist of things to begin building.

Feature completion

We shoved a lot of half-baked features into Panorama before the feature freeze (looking at you, search), we should get these things more fully fleshed out. Can we make searching in Panorama be useful, intuitive, and beautiful? Should we add back in "group by sites" from the deprecated "developer menu"? Should we start playing with selecting multiple tabs for move/close/etc?

The answer to the above questions may very well be yes across the board. We'll need to have some discussions on how enhance our existing features, but those should be some of our top priorities.

Developer API

We've been told that our code is pretty readable and easy to understand for add-on developers (check out Read it Later for a working example of an extension that is panorama-optimized) but creating a clean Developer API for people to build on sounds pretty fantastic. Firefox has an amazing community of add-on developers, let's make it easy for them to build on our stuff.

Browser integration

More of a stretch goal for Fx5, and mentioned above, how can we incorporate other features of the browser into Panorama? Can we visualize things like bookmarks, history, and even downloads? What are other ways we can show basic browser functionality in Panorama. In what ways can we extend Panorama-like philosophies to other features?