Dubbed "porn mode" by some, privacy tools limit or entirely eliminate what the browser records as it travels the Internet. Typically, URLs are not recorded in the history, cookies are not saved and other evidence is purged from the computer at the end of the session. Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8, Chrome, and Apple's Safari all have private browsing built in.
Also set for debut in Firefox 3.1 Beta 2: changes to the already-available "Clear Private Data" tool that would let users select time and data ranges for retroactively erasing their browsing tracks, changes to the address bar to add privacy-related tagging and tab search, and a restoration of the plug-in installation process used in Firefox 2.0.
Already slated to appear in Beta 1, Mozilla said today, were support for the video HTML tag, tab bar tweaks, and the ability to drag a tab to the desktop to open a new browsing window.
Mozilla is also mulling over several other additions to Firefox 3.1, but has not committed to working them into the release. The most prominent would be an Opera-esque "Speed Dial" feature that would show user-selected or most-recent sites as thumbnails when the user opened a new tab. Google's Chrome sports a similar tool.
Mozilla made it clear, however, that those last-wave changes would not have priority. "We're also considering reviewed, solid, tested patches for some other small improvements but we will not hold Beta 2 for these," the meeting notes said.
Beta 1 is on track for release next week, while Beta 2 will be locked down November 4 and released several weeks after that, Mozilla said. It has not committed to a ship date for Firefox 3.1, but has said it will shoot for a late-2008 or early-2009 release.