Tag Archives: Firefox

Firefox 3.6 RC1 Coming November, Firefox 3.6 In Mid December

Mozilla is gearing towards releasing 3.6 to the masses. A beta version of Firefox 3.6 is already available for download. If you want to know the new features, you can always read our Firefox 3.6 hands-on review.

firefox_36_beta1[1]

However, end users will have to wait a couple of months, before they can actually start using Firefox 3.6. According to the latest release schedule, Firefox 3.6 RC1 is expected to be released at the end of November, with the final version slated for mid-December.

Firefox 3.6 is no doubt faster than the earlier versions, however, it still lacks several features which other browsers including Google Chrome and already have. For example, there is still no sign of the no-restart add-ons and themes installation. Of course you can always change personas, which is pre-loaded in Firefox 3.6, without restarts, but they are technically not themes.

In addition to that, Firefox 3.6 does not have support for JumpLists yet, although there is support for the superbar. While having a conversation on , @leematthews pointed me to the fact that Firefox 3.7 Minefield has support for JumpLists, however, it is slated to be released in Spring of 2010. Just imagine the development and progress other browsers will make by then.

Another annoying fact is that neither Firefox 3.6 or Firefox 3.7 Minefield have support for multiple processes. Browsers like Chrome and IE8 already have support for this in stable versions. Multiple processes allow browsers to isolate multiple tabs, this in turn will help end users to just kill the problematic tab instead of the entire browser crashing.

Firefox 3.6 is no doubt better than 3.5, but such lack of features make me think as to whether Mozilla is really putting their efforts in adding the right features to the browser. What do you think? Would you want to have JumpLists, no-restart add-ons and theme installation and separate processes for tabs? Or, would you just settle for a faster version with some enhance GUI changes?

Firefox 3.6 Beta 1 Review

Namoroka or Firefox 3.6 has been unleashed for the developers with its first Beta version out. This version of the popular open source web browser (the current iteration of which is named after the Namoroka National Park, Madagascar) supports many new features. From built in support for Personas to WOFF font support to full screen native video support, this new Firefox (sometimes referred to as Firefox.next) is built atop the Gecko 1.9.2 rendering engine. While the general public release is due this November, in this review we will see how this update will perform.

FirefoxStart

Let’s start with one of the most widely used beautifyingtools for Firefox. Yes, Personas! In this version of Firefox, there is no visible fox button anywhere. However, if you navigate to the Personas webpage and just hover your mouse over a persona, your browser will change to give you an instant preview of the skin.

LadyGagaPersona

Click Wear thisand you are done! Very simple and super-slick.

Personas

Support for the Web Open Font Format (WOFF), the compressed but lossless font format with built-in source information, is a new feature for this version and when 3.6 is available for download, it will be the first web browser to completely support the WOFF format.

WOFFFx

The rendering on Firefox…

WOFFChrome

…as opposed to Chrome. Notice the bond typeface lost when the browser does not understand the font type (it reverts to a compressed format).

Next up is the most anticipated: native full screen video support. If you know what this means, you stream your videos from open source sites such as TinyVid or The Video Bay. Opening a video from these providers and right clicking on said video allows for an option called Full Screen

TinyVidContext

And well, clicking on it renders the video throughout your screen. Sure the frame-rate is not the same as the original, sure there is a half-minute pause before the video plays again, but this is definitely the direction the internet needs to take!

Namoroka also has an integrated outdated plugin alerter. Whenever any plugin is out of date, Fx will politely let you know that such-and-such plugin is out of date along with a button to update those plugins.

(Screenshot from Blair’s Brain)

Also included on the release notes are words such as Improved Javascript performance, overall browser responsiveness and startup timealong with support for new CSS, DOM and HTML5 technologies. Since all of this cannot be measured by this reviewer, this has been taken at face value.

Download Firefox 3.6 Beta 1

3.6 beta 1 is out after a bit of delay, the beta version was supposed to be released on October 28th originally.

firefox_36_beta1

The new version of Firefox 3.6 consists of several new features which includes:

  • Users can now change their browser’s appearance with a single click, with built in support for Personas.
  • Firefox 3.6 will alert users about out of date plugins to keep them safe.
  • Open, native video can now be displayed full screen, and supports poster frames.
  • Support for the WOFF font format.
  • Improved JavaScript performance, overall browser responsiveness and startup time.
  • Support for new CSS, DOM and HTML5 web technologies.

We will be doing a full fledged review of Firefox 3.6 Beta 1, so stay tuned for that.

Please note: This is a beta version and is not yet ready for all the users, download and use it, if you are keen on testing the latest version of Firefox.

Please use the following links to download Firefox 3.6 Beta, or visit the beta download page:

Download Firefox 3.6 Beta 1

Mozilla Releases Firefox 3.5.4 and Firefox 3.0.15

Firefox Mozilla has released two new builds of Firefox – 3.0.15 and 3.5.4. This update patches 16 vulnerabilities, (including 11 critical vulnerabilities) in Firefox 3.5 and 10 vulnerabilities (including 5 critical vulnerabilities) in Firefox 3.0. For more detail check out the official release notes for Firefox 3.0.15 and 3.5.4.

Both of these updates are billed as security and stability updates and are recommended to every Firefox user. They fix various performance and stability issues including memory leak, memory corruption and browser crashes. This update also patches various libraries used by Firefox, such as liboggz, libvorbis, and liboggplay.

Incidentally, the first beta of Firefox 3.6 is slated to be released later today. Firefox 3.6 is the leaner and meaner version, which is expected to bring user-perceptible performance improvements.

[ Download Firefox ]

Firefox 3.6 and 3.7 Release Schedule Confirmed

3.6 the leaner and meaner version, is scheduled to arrive at the end of the year. The beta version of Firefox 3.6, Firefox3.6b1 is expected to be available for downloads on October 28th for testing.

firefox-logo

In addition to that Mozilla have also announced, that Firefox 3.7 final version will be released in the spring of 2010.

Firefox 3.6 has some exciting features including a graphical tab switcher and the ability to install plugins and themes without requiring restarts. Firefox 3.7 mockups suggest that it might have some of the look and feel of .

Firefox 3.6 is something really big for Mozilla, who have been playing catch up with other browsers in the innovation department. It would be good to see the final version of the software in terms on new features and enhancements. We will be doing a review of Firefox3.6 Beta when it becomes available for downloads.

Get Rid of Explore Feature in Google Reader

Google recently added a new feature to called Explore, which suggests new feeds to users based on their reading habits.

google_reader_explore removed_explore_section

Many users apparently did not like this new feature, and there is no way to opt-out of the Explore feature as of now. If you are one of the disgruntled users, who do not want to have this thrown on your face, you can get rid of Explore in Google Reader by using a script for .

This works on too, however you need to add a new start switch to Chrome. You can find the instructions on how to install Greasemonkey scripts in Chrome. You will need to edit the script, once you have saved it in the User scripts folder for Chrome.

change_tld_explore_greasemonkey

Just change the .tld to whichever Top level domain you use to access Google Reader in Chrome, in my example I changed .tld to .com. You might have to do the same in Firefox too. Thanks Shiva

Download Google Reader Remove Explore

Halloween Personas for Firefox

Halloween is coming up pretty soon, and we have already written about some awesome Halloween wallpapers to dress up your desktop. Here is some good news, if you want to take it one step further and get your browser, in particular into a Halloween mood.

halloween_firefox_themes_personas halloween_firefox_themes_personas2

Mozilla has released a new set of 82 Firefox personas which can be used to dress up your browser to match the Halloween look and feel. So go ahead and get into the Halloween mood a bit early.

You will have to download the Personas to be able to use these themes with Firefox.

Download Halloween Personas for Firefox [via Mozilla Links]

Are Microsoft and Firefox at War?

Firefox_Versus_IE__The_Icon_by_Archangel_Daemon I hadn’t used Firefox in a day or two. When I fired it up this morning, the warning below from Firefox popped up telling me that it was blocking two of Microsoft’s addons.

Firefox has determined that the following add-ons are known to cause stability or security problems.

Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant – Blocked

Windows Presentation Foundation – Blocked

firefox-blocks-microsoft-addons

I knew that in May, many Firefox users were really angry that Microsoft Updates were installing addons to Firefox without any permission. I didn’t know that Mozilla, the parent company of Firefox had decided to do something about it.

Here’s a quote from the Mozilla Security Blog on October 16th.

Because of the difficulties some users have had entirely removing the add-on, and because of the severity of the risk it represents if not disabled … we put the blocklist entry live immediately

It seems that Firefox is not only blocking the .NET Framework Assistant, they are also blocking a new addon named Windows Presentation Foundation. My first question was, Are Microsoft and Firefox at War?.

To answer my own question, I’d have to say YES and NO. If competition can be considered a war, then YES, the Mozilla Foundation has been at war with Microsoft since it was conceived. However, at least the first addon being blocked was not a surprise to Microsoft and Mozilla actually consulted with them before adding the block. Therefore, the answer is also NO. At least they do talk to each other and even agree on some security issues.

Now for the second question. What can I do if I really like those addons and I want them back? The answer now is NOTHING. That’s okay with me. I didn’t want them to start with.

Who could possibly want stuff added to their PC without full disclosure? It doesn’t matter if we want it or not. Microsoft does this all the time.

Note: The Firefox Eating IE Icon above was created by archangel-daemon

Do you hate Microsoft? Do you love Firefox? Do you have any ideas you’d like to share? Be sure to add a comment below or email me. I’d love to hear from you.

Omnibar Extension Emulates Google Chrome’s Addressbar in Firefox

The Omnibar is one of the many innovations by Google Chrome. Instead of having separate address and search boxes, Chrome utilises a single box for both. The good news for Firefox users craving this functionality is that making Firefox’s Awesomebar emulate the Omnibar is rather simple.

Omnibar extension for Firefox offers a nice mix of features, aesthetics and usability. In order to perform a search just type the query and press Enter. This will open up the default search engine. If you want to use any other search engine, you will need to prefix the query with the search engine name (e.g. “@yahoo test query” if you want to use Yahoo). Search engine keywords are also supported hence you can simply use “@y” instead of “@yahoo”. You can even query multiple search engines simultaneously by using advanced search operators. For example, “@google,yahoo test query” will open both Google and Yahoo search.

Omnibar-For-Firefox

Omnibar may not have the psychic powers of Google Chrome, but it still manages to impress with its nifty feature set. In case you don’t want all the additional features offered by Omnibar for Firefox and simply want to merge the address and search bar, you can also use this userstyle for Firefox.

[ Download Firefox Omnibar Extension ]

Firefox 3.7 Mockups Uses Google Chrome Like Menu Bar

A couple of months ago we showed some mockups for Firefox 3.7 and Firefox 4.0. We came across some more screenshots that show that will be doing away with the current toolbars and adding a more space saving menu which is very much like the one has currently.

Here are some screens from the Firefox 3.7 mockups.

firefox37_new_mockup

firefox37_page_menu firefox37_tools_menu

According to Mozilla these changes will be applicable to Firefox for and .

Starting with Vista, and continuing with Windows 7, the menubar is going away. To be replaced with things like the Windows Explorer contextual strip, or the Office Ribbon(now in Paint and Wordpad too). Many apps still retain the menubar as an option to be pinned or to be shown briefly by holding the Alt key.

There are several more things that have been included for discussion in the new mockups, you can read the entire Firefox 3.7 Theme revamp discussion to get to know what you can expect in Firefox 3.7.

[via Download Squad]