Mozilla has finally released the final version of Thunderbird 3.1 to general public almost a month after the Thunderbird 3.1 RC was released.
Thunderbird 3.1 adds in several new features, some of which include:
- Faster Search Results: Message indexing is faster and provides users with faster search results.
- Quick Filter Toolbar: Makes it faster and easier to search and sort through what’s in a user’s inbox by letting users filter against search terms, tags, starred messages, address book contacts, new emails, and attachments.
- Migration Assistant: This release includes a completely new and easier way to migrate from Thunderbird 2. The new Migration Assistant gives Thunderbird 2 users a way to choose the new features in Thunderbird 3.1 or to keep their current features and settings.
- Saved Files Manager: Finding a downloaded item is a cinch with the new Saved Files Manager which displays all the files users downloaded from their email to their computer.
Thunderbird 3.1 is available for downloads in over 45 languages for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux based systems. You can download Thunderbird 3.1 right now by visiting this link.
The biggest bane I have had with Firefox over the past year is that it is too bloated, crashes at will and freezes the system, all this even if a single tab you have open has some problem. Google Chrome on the other hand has a feature which will not crash the browser if there is a problem with a single tab, thanks to it using a different processes for each tab.
However, it looks like Mozilla has set out to do something about the problems users have been having with the introduction of Firefox 3.6.4, which has a feature called "Crash Protection".
Crash Protection in Firefox 3.6.4 will reduce the number of crashes that users encounter while watching videos or playing games using Flash. With the new update, Firefox will run plugins as different instances through Out-of-process plugins or OOPP.
This is definitely a good move forward and hopefully Mozilla will also move towards making Firefox more memory efficient and lightweight in future builds.
Firefox 3.6.4 offers crash protection for Adobe Flash, Apple Quicktime and Microsoft Silverlight on Windows and Linux computers. Users can upgrade to Firefox 3.6.4 by choosing the "Check for Updates" option available under the Help menu.
Learn more about Firefox 3.6.4
Flock the popular social browser which earlier ran on the Firefox Gecko engine has dumped Mozilla for Chromium, the popular new browser which also powers Google Chrome.
The new Flock beta browser now runs on Webkit which is also part of Safari and Google Chrome. Flock which has about 8 million users has also landed a new feature where you can create a Flock account and sync your settings to the "cloud".
Users can use the cloud feature to take their accounts to any Flock browser without having to reset it again and again. Considering that most of the other browsers too have an option to sync profiles or at-least bookmarks, it made more sense to have it in the newest Flock beta too. Apart from that Flock almost remains the social browser people have known it to be.
The switch from Firefox code to Chromium will come as a big jolt for Mozilla whose internet browser Firefox’s popularity has been going down since the launch of Google Chrome. Also the team at Flock had initially worked with the Mozilla team on the Netscape project before moving towards creating Flock, so their decision to branch out Flock to Chromium will be even more bitter.
You can download the latest beta of Flock by visiting this page, more info and details are available at the official Flock blog here.
Earlier last month, Google, Mozilla and Opera announced a new competitor to the H.264 codec for HTML5, WebM. Opera had already released new builds with WebM support, and today Mozilla will be officially adding WebM support to their nightly builds.
The announcement was made by Chris Pearce a Mozilla developer working on Firefox. WebM is a welcome addition to the HTML5 family since there are only 2 codecs available right now one of which is open source and other one being proprietary.
WebM on the other hand is open source and superior than the Ogg Theora codec currently in use. WebM in itself has not been out of controversies and has also come under attack from Steve Jobs who himself support the proprietary H.264 codec.
If you haven’t yet heard about WebM or want to learn about it, read our earlier post: WebM: Why We Should Be Excited.
Excited about trying out WebM on Firefox? Head over and download the latest copy from the Firefox Nightly Build repository here. Once you have downloaded and installed the latest nightly you can experience WebM support by visiting a YouTube HTML5 experiment here.
For more information about the nightly build and instructions on doing your own build with WebM support visit Chris’s blog post here.
Firefox Sync, the flagship browser syncing extension is now officially a part of the Firefox roadmap. It will be available in Firefox by default from the next major release and is available for use as an extension until then.
Firefox Sync, earlier knows as the Weave Sync has come out of the Mozilla Labs and has reached the version 1.3 now. The new version also has several changes, the major ones of those being one click access to all previously synced tabs, availability in multiple languages and a simple signup process.
However, this inclusion of Firefox Sync into Firefox imminent as the latest iPhone Home application is totally based on the Firefox Sync add-on and syncs with data fetched from it.
This is a nice feature and no wonder, it is going to attract some more users though, Firefox has once again been a follower in this race. Opera browser has a links feature which does a similar task and it has been present in Opera even before the inception of this idea for Firefox. It is time Mozilla takes us a stronghold on the innovation front and develops a never before feature. That would give people a reason to use Firefox now that it is no match for speed with other browsers.
Mozilla is trying to incorporate the VP8 codec of WebM video into the HTML5 web video specification.
Mozilla Chief Executive John Lilly, replied on being asked about this saying,
We’d love for VP8 to be specified in the HTML5 standard. Once it’s in the spec, it can really get better traction from other players.
This is a bold move by Mozilla as most other browsers are in support of H.264 currently. If this change is made, adding videos into web pages will be as easy as adding jpeg images. The current implementation of HTML5 video has no standard for video encoding and requires the web page developer to incorporate all popular web formats for the video in the page to be available across all browsers.
Before Google released VP8, there was tough competition between H.264, preferred by Apple and Microsoft, and Ogg Theora, backed by Mozilla and Opera. Now, with its better quality and open source nature, VP8 has better winning prospects in this race.
The next move Mozilla needs to make is to get some allies to support VP8 alongside itself. VP8 already sees some favor from W3C which says,
WebM/VP8 has the potential of providing a solution for the baseline video format of HTML5.
Apart from Mozilla and a part of W3C, Microsoft also supports VP8 and we too expect to see VP8 as the default HTML5 video.
At Google I/O Google, Mozilla and Opera have announced a new alternative for video content in HTML5.
The video codec for HTML5 has been a major bone of contention with Apple siding with H.264 instead of Ogg. Microsoft has offered support for H.264 too. Today, Google, Mozilla and Opera have come up with another alternative to this debate. Known as WebM, the format is based on the VP8 technology Google acquired with On2 Technologies. CNET reports that the audio uses Ogg Vorbis.
Given that the video codec to be used with HTML5 hasn’t been finalised and browser makers are free to use their own, Opera, Firefox and Chrome will be using WebM. The format seems to have a massive momentum behind it with the three major cross-platform browsers behind it.
Google has also released documentation on WebM:
Opera has a blog post about their plans for WebM and have committed to the format for their mobile and desktop browsers.
You can download Opera builds of WebM for Windows, Ubuntu and Mac OS X as of now:
Linux (currently limited to Ubuntu support):
Update: VP8 is a royalty free and completely open source video codec.
Update #2: Adobe just announced support for VP8 in Flash. Looks like Flash might not be dying so soon after all.
Update #3: Download the Nightly Firefox build with WebM here.
Mitchell Baker, the Mozilla foundation chairwoman and the ex-CEO of Mozilla Foundation has announced recently that John Lilly will step down as CEO of Mozilla Foundation and will move to Greylock Partners as a venture capitalist.
This development will be seen later this year and that will mark the end of the two years term of John Lilly as the Mozilla Foundation CEO and his five years term as a Mozilla member.
John Lilly writes about this saying,
I just announced internally that after 5 years at Mozilla, and a couple as the CEO, I’ve decided to leave later this year to join Greylock Partners as a venture partner. I’ll be in my role here at Mozilla until we conclude a successful search for a new CEO, and intend to stay involved and on the Board of Directors. I’ll have more to say about Mozilla over the next few months as we go through transition â€” I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve done over the last several years, and very optimistic about what the future holds.
John Lilly was the COO of Mozilla before becoming the CEO and throughout his term in Mozilla, he has worked towards bettering Mozilla Foundation with innovative projects and ideas.
Earlier today, Mozilla dropped the first public build of Fennec for the Android platform. Fennec is the codename of Firefox for mobile, which is also available for Nokia’s Maemo operating system.
It is still early days for Fennec on Android. The released build is merely a pre-alpha and in the words of Vladimir VukiÄ‡eviÄ‡ should be considered “a debug build”.
For the moment, Fennec requires Android 2.0 (or newer) operating system, with OpenGL ES 2.0 compatibility being recommended. Moreover, Fennec has only been tested on the Nexus One and Motorola Droid. Some of the other caveats described in Mozilla’s official announcement are:
- It will likely not eat your phone, but bugs might cause your phone to stop responding, requiring a reboot.
- Memory usage of this build isn’t great — in many ways it’s a debug build, and we haven’t really done a lot of optimization yet. This could cause some problems with large pages, especially on low memory devices like the Droid.
- You’ll see the app exit and relaunch on first start, as well as on add-on installs; this is a quirk of our install process, and we’re working to get rid of it.
- You can’t open links from other apps using Fennec; we should have this for the next build.
- This build must be installed to internal memory, not to a SD card.
If you are feeling adventurous you can download the pre-alpha build from here.
Mozilla security saw a new bug-report filed at bugzilla reporting an unclaimed RSA root certificate. The certificate goes by the name of RSA Security 1024 V3. Both Verisign and RSA have declined ownership of this certificate.
Kathleen Wilson, an active Consultant at Mozilla Corporation has been actively digging through Mozilla security issues. He writes at this Mozilla security Google group saying,
I propose that the “RSA Security 1024 V3″ root certificate authority be
removed from NSS.
OU = RSA Security 1024 V3
O = RSA Security Inc
Valid From: 2/22/01
Valid To: 2/22/26
I have not been able to find the current owner of this root. Both RSA
and VeriSign have stated in email that they do not own this root.
This issue got everyone worried about this being a rouge certificate. However, later Wilson assured the certificate’s origin by saying,
I have received email from official representatives of RSA confirming
that RSA did indeed create the “RSA Security 1024 V3″ root certificate
that is currently included in NSS (Netscape/Mozilla) and also in Apple’s
root cert store.
He also added that that RSA has since, dropped the root certificate and so should Mozilla. In another mail from RSA, it was told that the private key for this root was safe with RSA. This assures that this flaw was not exploited and now the certificate will be removed from NSS (Network Security Services).
[ Via: LinuxToday ]