Tag Archives: Firefox

Mark Shuttleworth: “Real Possibility of Google Chrome Replacing Firefox In Future Ubuntu Release”

During the Ubuntu Developer Summit Oneiric, we reported that there were discussions about Chrome (or rather, its open source version, Chromium) replacing Firefox as the default browser in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot. That did not happen and Firefox remained as the default browser for Oneiric.

In an interview with Network World, Mark Shuttleworth confirmed that Canonical is looking to replace Firefox with Chrome in Ubuntu. Shuttleworth said that he is a big fan of the browser from Google and confirmed that there was discussion on the feasibility of Chrome (or Chromium) replacing Firefox in Ubuntu 11.10. That did not happen and the switch will, in all  probability,  not happen in Ubuntu 12.04 as well because it is a Long term Support (LTS) Release.

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So, it may take one year for Chrome to replace Firefox, but Shuttleworth said that it is a real possibility that we may see Firefox being replaced in Ubuntu 12.10. However with the pace of Chrome’s development and Mozilla adopting an accelerated development cycle for Firefox recently, thing could change a lot in a year.

Shuttleworth said that one of the best thing to have happened for Chrome on Linux has been Chrome OS. Because Chrome OS is basically Chrome running on a Linux, Google has invested a lot in optimizing the performance of Chrome on Linux. That has resulted in Chrome on Linux outperforming the other platforms Mac and Windows.

Whatever the default browser is, users are free to install the browser that suits their need, just like Chrome users do today. So, in essence choosing Chrome/Chromium as the default browser will not affect anything. It will simply be an acknowledgement of the progress that Google Chrome (or Chromium) has made in the last two years.

Which browser do you prefer? Firefox or Chrome/Chromium?

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Mozilla Project MemShrink Looks Into Speeding Up Firefox

Firefox has a long standing history of excessive memory usage and slow startups. No matter how much of tweaking and customization we make, Firefox will still remain the same slow browser. This is finally identified as a problem at Mozilla and they are working on fixing the biggest annoyance in Firefox: the speed issues.

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When I talk about speed in this post, it is not related to the speed of surfing the Internet. I am talking about the responsiveness and startup of Firefox. The long waiting hours will soon be over and project MemShrink is here to make sure of that.

MemShrink is a project that aims to reduce Firefox’s memory consumption. There are three potential benefits:

  1. Speed: less cache pressure, and less paging. The latter is crucial, as it can destroy performance.
  2. Stability: fewer OOMs, whether due to address space exhaustion or otherwise. This results in fewer crashes (due to mishandling of OOM) or aborts.
  3. Perception: fewer people will complain about Firefox being a memory hog.

From what this page tells me, Mozilla has a number of leaks to take care of which have piled up over time. Mozilla developer Johnny Stenback has talked of the project MemShrink saying,

to help get more attention to this issue we’ll be starting up a MemShrink effort, where a group of people will get together to look at the big picture, triage bugs, investigate general approaches, and do some brainstorming.

One positive outcome from this will definitely be some improvement on Firefox memory usage, which shoots up with time and does that abnormally. The same problem is encountered on other browsers as well and sometimes, the Windows Task Manager cannot be trusted for correct memory usage readings. The fact is, Firefox is slow and this needs to change in future versions.

Get Rid Of Facebook Scams and Infectious Links From Facebook

In today’s world of social networking, Facebook is the word of the day. And so is anything that gets posted on it. Every major incident happens and it goes viral on Facebook. Someone updates and everybody else follows the suit. Sharing information has never been easier. However, people with evil intentions are not lagging behind. They misuse this addiction for all the all the wrong reasons.

Recently as Osama bin Laden was shot dead in an US raid, Facebook was scattered with fake links pointing to Osama execution censored video. And the result was obvious. Curious people ended up clicking them and falling prey to it. The more worrying news is that, those links are going to appear again. So what do we do to stop from getting affected? Well, some rational thinking helps. However here is a great free tool that can save you the worry.

Installing Using Protection

Using Protection is a free (for personal use) browser extension for Firefox and Internet Explorer that does the job for you. Google Chrome let me install the extension, although, there were no significant changes to the scam links I tested.

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3 simple steps and you are done. Provide an email to sign up. You will then be prompted to post an update letting your friends know about the installation. This is optional and you can choose to skip this step. Finally, download and install the add on.

How Does It Help?

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Every time you visit any page on Facebook, the page will scanned for any suspicious link. Once detected, the link will be removed and instead it will be provided with a link to post an update letting your friends know about it. Yes, it is as simple as that.

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The tool performs the job silently without cluttering your screen space which makes it even better. Provided the fact that Facebook is not going to be clean any time soon, the tool is a definite necessity for any Facebook user.

Firefox Racks Up 100 Million Downloads in One Month

Mozilla might have come under heavy criticism over the past few months; however, clearly a lot of people still love Firefox. Within a month of its release, Firefox 4 has managed to cross 100 million downloads. Firefox 4 was a major update for the popular open source browser from Mozilla. Not only did it modernize Firefox’s interface, but it also (mostly) fixed the performance issues that plagued Firefox 3. Unfortunately, the massive overhaul also made it a challenging update to ship. Firefox 4 slipped from schedule on multiple occasions, and ultimately, some of the planned features had to be dropped.

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According to StatCounter, nearly 8% of global internet users currently use Firefox 4. While that’s an impressive figure, more than 18% users are still on Firefox 3.6. So, there’s still plenty of room for Firefox 4 to grow. Internet Explorer continues to dominate the charts, with IE 8 commanding nearly 30% of the browser market. With nearly 17% market share, Chrome 10 is the third most popular browser out there.

Source: StatCounter Global Stats – Browser Version Market Share

Firefox 4 could well be the last big release for Firefox. Mozilla has decided to ditch the old update model in favor of a newer release cycle with faster iterations. This means that future versions of Firefox will have fewer new features in every release; however, we should get a new version of Firefox every 6 weeks. To facilitate this process, Mozilla recently launched a new channel called Aurora.

Even as Firefox continues to enjoy massive download figures, Chrome has managed to establish itself as a serious competitor, and is turning on the heat on Firefox and Internet Explorer. Opera Software has also stuck to its reputation of delivering innovative new features; however, it hasn’t quite manage to break free and make significant inroads. With Microsoft also upping its game, Mozilla truly has its work cutout. Checkout our earlier coverage to get a lowdown on the new features being considered for Firefox 5, and don’t forget to let us know if you have downloaded Firefox 4 or not.

Firefox Launches a Dev Channel, Calls it Aurora

Until now, Mozilla Firefox has been available only from the Nightly, Beta and the Final release Firefox channels. This was a big drawback as users preferred a dev release which is stabler than the nightly and offers feature on time, allowing them to test it better. Enter Aurora- the solution to rapid and stable releases. The hard job for Mozilla here will be keeping the Aurora channel bug free and relatively stable.

The new dev channel will allow users to testFirefox ahead of beta releases and maintain a stable browsing experience at the same time. This will increase user-participation in the development process.

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The Aurora channel was announced by the Mozilla blog as,

Today, we launch the Aurora channel as part of a broader initiative to create channels which deliver features to users at various levels of quality and polish. The Aurora channel is where users can test the latest features and innovations. Users can expect an increase in polish from the raw, cutting edge features in our nightly builds. Aurora releases may not be as stable as beta or final releases.

Not only this, each Firefox channel has a separate logo for their releases. You can download from the Aurora channel at this Firefox channel page. Alternatively, you can enable the Aurora channel using this method.

head to about:config and create a new string called app.update.desiredChannel — the value doesn’t matter. Then open Help > About Firefox and you’ll be able to switch channel.

The current offering from Aurora is a Firefox 5.0a2. Catch up with more details on the Aurora channel.

TweetDeck Launches Web Based Beta Client

is one of my favorite desktop clients for accessing and feeds among other social networking platforms. They also have clients for the , , and . However, the one that impressed me the most was their for .

TweetDeck Web

The TweetDeck Chrome App brought all the goodies from the desktop app to the browser. Today, TweetDeck has announced that they will now be allowing users to access TweetDeck on any web browser using a web app.

As we said at the time, Chrome TweetDeck marks the start of a new era for TweetDeck, with all efforts now focused on building our next-generation products as HTML5 and mobile apps. Since then we have been working hard, not only on improving the existing ChromeDeck experience, but also on bringing the same TweetDeck app to other web platforms.

TweetDeck Web will be available in a limited web beta for users which will be available as a standalone web site and does not require any downloads. However, TweetDeck Web beta will be subject to hourly limits because it will not be using the streaming API from Twitter.

TweetDeck Web will initially be opened up as private beta and users can sign up to get early access at http://www.tweetdeck.com/webbeta. The initial focus group would be users of browsers such as Google Chrome, 3.6, and Safari, with support for and Internet Explorer 9 being added soon

Though TweetDeck is taking a great step forward by taking their platform online, they are not the first one’s to provide a web-based format and several other services like Seesmic, Dabr and HootSuite already provide web based Twitter clients.

However, TweetDeck chrome already notched up an impressive 400,000 users in a short spam of time. It would be interesting to see how much dent they make into the market share of other services by launching the web interface for different browsers.

Firefox 5 Plans Revealed; Tech Enthusiasts Rip It Off

Disclosure: I use Google Chrome as my primary browser, Opera as secondary and Firefox as my third browser. I use IE9 too and have used various other browsers. In fact, when Netscape was around I used it pretty often (since Netscape 2) and have also been an early adopter of Firefox because of tabs and continued to use it pretty often until Google came out with Chrome.

A technology site Conceivably Tech came out with a new outlook that Mozilla has planned. According to them, it includes an inbuilt PDF viewer, a new Home Tab (ala and ), social sharing and more.

Mozilla Firefox

For the record, these are new features which 5 intends to build, but these are not new features at all and are already available in other browsers today. As I had posted earlier, Firefox 5 did want to add site specific features like Internet Explorer 9 has right now. All in all Mozilla is shunning innovation and does not have it’s mind in the right place and I frankly think that Firefox and Mozilla have seriously lost it.

Since Chrome came out in late 2008, each and every browser has just tried to mimic it, but most have failed miserably. This could be in my eyes only, but many browsers including Firefox have been doing nothing but mimicking the look and feel of Chrome and I have hardly found a compelling reason to switch from Chrome and go to another browser. I really don’t count the “new tab related features” Firefox 4 built in, because I know that several users including me don’t even care about it.

Chrome is fast, is fast, IE9 is fast, Opera 11 is fast. However, the fact remains that all these years you (Mozilla) promised to provide users with a alternative to Internet Explorer, which was a pain in the posterior and sucked. But somehow Microsoft took away the momentum from Firefox with IE, if not Chrome, and introduced a new feature in Internet Explorer 9, which Mozilla will be now calling “Social sharing” in Firefox 5.

Also Firefox is thinking about an inbuilt PDF viewer after Chrome already did it, and a new home tab that is similar to Google Chrome and Opera? Mozilla,  where is the innovation that kept you apart?

What happened to you Mozilla? Weren’t you the leader in browser innovation? Why did you slack off? Why did you create Firefox 3.0 all through 3.6 which hung my PC more often than any other software ever did? Why does Firefox eat so much memory that I find my 6GB rig an ancient model from 1980s?

I am not the only one to pan the next beauty from Mozilla. You might want to check out the comments on Slashdot and it is really not looking good. I will just post a apfew of the comments here and you shall get the general perception about Firefox:

Facebook? Twitter? Since when did Mozilla integrate commercial websites into their browser? Since integrating the Google search engine? Since AOL? This is why Netscape and Mozilla were originally kept separate. To keep the commercial bloat in the Netscape browser and allow the community to use Mozilla.

We need a security and functionality oriented fork ASAP. Performance matters also.

Nobody asked for changes to the interface. The interface to Firefox was never broken and nobody complained about it.

Nobody asked for the “awesome bar” or whatever the hell that is. If it improves productivity then fine, tabs make sense, but the majority of this shit is just gimmicks. Integrating the cloud makes sense but not when it’s specifically “facebook” and “twitter”, but to allow anyone to select anything and make it completely transparent and open. They are going commercial in a really bad sell out kind of way, and you can tell the developers I said it.

Why not just take the Chromium tree and figure out how to run Firefox extensions on there and just call that Firefox? Would save time and have much better memory use and performance. Firefox is basically converging on a Chrome clone with slightly worse performance and some dumb UI hacks that will end up largely unused/abandoned (like Panorama). Isn’t all this what the extension ecosystem is for? Why would a team that already is overwhelmed by the task of testing its product incorporate MORE features to test? My main issue with Firefox right now is not a lack of Facebook integration (-_-) but the obvious memory leakage in the released FF 4 with AdBlock/NoScript, which was present through the entire last half of the beta cycle. Mozilla has really wandered off the reservation here. I want a solid, fast browser that supports the great extensions that Mozilla didn’t write, and continues to support developments in the core web standards space. If I want Chrome or Flock, I’ll just download those, seriously.

For more on such beauties visit Slashdot. I am really disappointed with you Mozilla/Firefox. This does not make it any better.

Do Not Fool Me Add-On For Firefox Stops Websites From Fooling You on April Fool’s

Today is Fool’s Day and everyone is busy planning pranks on their colleagues and friends. However, more than that lot of big companies like Google, and Yahoo among others play pranks on unsuspecting users who visit their websites.\

Do Not Fool Me Firefox Add-on

The folks over at Mozilla know this problem and have launched a new add-on for which will tell websites not to fool you. Once you have installed this from here, you can visit the Advanced options  and select the checkbox next to "Tell web sites I do not want to be fooled".

On checking this, Mozilla will pass a special header to websites which will tell them that you should not be fooled. Pretty neat extension from Mozilla. They have also written more about it on their blog, so  you might want to head there to read about this extension.

P.S. If you fell for this, Mozilla pulled a fast one on you. Happy April Fool’s Day.

Ultimate List Of Firefox 4 Tips; Tricks And Hacks You Should Learn Right Now

is definitely one of the best versions of Firefox I have seen over the last couple of years. Firefox is one of the browsers I use since it was launched, but there were a few features and annoyances which needed to be fixed. Some of these were high memory hogging, no easy sync of bookmarks, passwords or browser preferences, no feel of a modern browser, unnecessary UI clutter and so on.

Firefox 4 Tips and Tricks

Thankfully, the Mozilla team has learned that this is the age of cloud computing and have introduced some rich features in Firefox 4. This includes Firefox Sync, Site tagging, Instant search, smart folders, tab groups and more.

Last time we tipped you with a comprehensive list of Internet Explorer 9 tips and tricks. Now here is another featuring Firefox 4 tips, tricks, hacks and more which will help you get a better and flawless Firefox experience.

Download, Installation And Getting Started With Firefox 4

Download Firefox 4

If you haven’t tried the newer Firefox 4 yet, we suggest you download Firefox 4 final version or try the RC download here (our review of Firefox 4). Yesterday, along with the final version of Firefox 4, Mozilla also released the RC version of Firefox for Android and Maemo on the Android Market.

Prerequisites For Installing Firefox 4

It’s always a good idea to first check your system requirements and the prerequisites of a software program before installing it on your operating system. This system requirements page at Mozilla details all the software and hardware requirements required for Firefox 4 to run on Windows, Mac or Linux.

Firefox 4 Installation Guide And Screenshot Tour

If you’re no geek and need step by step instructions for installing Firefox 4 on your computer, the screenshot tour by Howtogeek should be a good start.

Firefox 4 For Android And Maemo Released!

After numerous months in beta testing and a couple of RC releases, Mozilla has finally gone ahead and released the final version of Firefox 4 for Android and Maemo.

Firefox 4 for Android features a streamlined interface, support for more than 150+ plug-ins, themes to change the look of the browser and the ability to sync your data with your desktop FF browser.

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The mobile version of Firefox is based on the JaegerMonkey JavaScript engine and supports HTML5 as well. The app is multi-thread as well so as to take advantage of dual-core Android phones. The app also supports Offline browsing and has an inbuilt download manager as well.

I have been using Firefox 4 since its beta version, and I must say that the final version is much better than the betas, which were bloated, slow and took ages to load. Compared to the stock Android 2.2/2.3 browser, Firefox is still slow and takes more time to start-up.

Another major disadvantage of FF4 for Android is that it does not support Flash 10.1, which might be a deal-breaker for many. The text rendering of the browser is not up to the mark as well!

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The only advantage FF4 for Android has over its major competitors Opera Mobile 11 and the stock Android browser is the support for plugins.

The desktop version of Firefox is popular among the users because of its high level of customizations offered by the plug-ins. The same holds true for the mobile version of Firefox 4.