Web browsers always look to strike a balance between speed and functionality, but not enough focus on the former can easily spoil a user’s experience. Mozilla has put a great deal of time and effort working speed improvements into the latest version of its Firefox browser but sometimes all that hard work is for naught due to slow add-ons from third-party developers. In an effort to raise awareness and to push developers to optimize their plugins, perhaps, Mozilla has published a list of the add-ons that slow down Firefox the most. Among the worst offenders are FoxLingo, AniWeather, FoxyTunes and Xmarks Sync. In a bit of irony, an add-on called “FastestFox” that is supposed to speed up browsing by simplifying repetitive tasks is No.8 on Mozilla’s list. If you’ve been experiencing some slowness in Firefox and are wondering which add-ons might be the culprit, hit the read link for Mozilla’s complete list. More →
Mozilla announced on Tuesday that the final release version of its Firefox 4 Web browser was available for download. Within its first 24 hours of availability, the browser was downloaded over 6 million times. Microsoft’s latest browser release, Internet Explorer 9, was downloaded 2.35 million times in its first 24 hours of availability. Version 4 of the popular Firefox Web browser features a variety of enhancements including a redesigned UI, improved tab management and faster performance. Mozilla’s Firefox browser is the second most popular browser in the world according to market share tracker Net Applications. Firefox held a 21.74% global browser share in February, behind Internet Explorer’s 56.77% and ahead of No. 3 browser Chrome, which has grown to 10.93% in a very short period of time. Both Internet Explorer and Firefox have seen their shares decrease over the past year, while Google’s Chrome browser and Apple’s Safari browser have gained popularity. Hit the break for a video highlighting Firefox 4′s new features. More →
Firefox 4 has been leaked for Mac and PC a day before the company said it would be officially available. Mozilla promises the user interface in Firefox 4 is sleeker and easier to use, and it enables users to keep open tabs, bookmarks, history, and passwords in sync with other devices running a Firefox browser. Firefox 4 also has a new feature that allow you to drag and drop open tabs into groups that can be arranged and named. The leaked downloads aren’t available direct from Mozilla, so we suppose there’s still a chance the team could pull the launch date tomorrow and issue an RC2 release, but we doubt it. We won’t keep you waiting, though, so hit the jump for a link to download Firefox 4 for PC or Mac. More →
Safari just got served. At this year’s Pwn2Own conference, security firms and enthusiasts are doing their very best to discover and deploy exploits to some of the world’s most popular browsers. Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari, they’re all on the menu for conference attendees and some have definitely faired better than others. Google issued a challenge, promising $20,000 to any person or team that could crack Chrome on the conferences opening day, but the two teams scheduled to take a swing backed down. Firefox is, for the time being, still standing, and, per usual, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer was taken down without much fuss. But which browser faired the worst? That would be Apple’s Safari. A French security research firm named Vulpen managed to break into Safari running on a MacBook Air in a cool five seconds. The company noted that the Safari update issued by Apple yesterday — version 5.0.4 — fixes some of the vulnerabilities, but not all. The takedown of Safari 5.0.3 used exploits that are still available in the updated code base. Go ahead Apple detractors, have a little fun in the comments section. More →
In a note to fellow developers, Mozilla team member Damon has declared the end of February as the target ship-date for Firefox version 4.0.0. The post reads:
Over the past several days, component leads have again reduced their blockers by identifying hard blockers and those we can live without. We’ve around 160 hard blockers remaining, and historically it has taken us six weeks to reach RC once we have 100 blockers left. We must press hard now.
Damon goes on to write that the first release candidate of Firefox 4 should be out by the beginning of February with a final version shipped before the month’s close. Anyone out there anxiously awaiting the release of FF4? More →
Earlier this week, the Mozilla organization released updated versions of its 3.5 and 3.6 Firefox Web browsers. The updated bits patched 13 vulnerabilities found in the code-base, and 11 of the aforementioned security issues were listed as “critical” by the company. The vulnerabilities ranged from buffer and integer overflows to SSL spoofing. If you’re using Firefox 3.5 or 3.6 be sure to click the “Check for Updates” link under the “Help” menu to grab the latest and greatest from Mozilla. More →
If you’ve been awaiting the final, production, rubber-stamped version of Mozilla’s Firefox 4 web browser, you’re just going to have to keep on waiting. It looks like Mozilla and company have pushed the release date of their next generation browser to “early 2011.” Mike Beltnzer, Firefox’s VP of engineering, had this to say:
Development on Firefox 4 has not slowed down, and strong progress is being made daily. However, based on the delays in completing the “feature complete” Beta 7 milestone against which our add-on developers and third-party software developers can develop, as well as considering the amount of work remaining to prepare Firefox 4 for final release, we have revised our beta and release candidate schedule.
Of course you can still grab the FF4 beta from Mozilla — which is pretty stable — but we know some of you like the safety and security of an RTM browser. Anyone out there rocking Firefox Cuatro as their main browser? More →
A few months ago, Mozilla threw down the gauntlet by asking developers to find major security flaws in Firefox in return for a $3000 reward. Enter, Alex Miller from San Jose, who spotted a critical security flaw hidden away in the Firefox code. Alex spent 90 minutes every day for 10 days before he stumbled onto something and reported it to Firefox’s parent company. Security program manager at Firefox, Brandon Sterne, said: “Mozilla depends on contributors like these for our very, sort of, survival. Mozilla is a community mostly of volunteers. We really encourage people to get involved in the community. You don’t have to be a brilliant 12-year-old to do that”. Pretty impressive stuff. Hit the read link for the full article.
[Via CNET] More →
Last month, we reported on the demise of cross-browser, bookmark-syncing service Xmarks. This month, we are happy to inform you that is looks like Xmarks will live on. According to a recent blog post by the company, an outpouring of support from users has drastically changed the company’s plans. As Xmarks explains:
The past ten days have been an amazing lesson in the power of community. Not in the “web 2.0 social graph” sense – I’m talking about old school community with users speaking up, speaking out and banding together. Thank you Xmarks users. You told the world it was simply unacceptable for our service to shut down and it worked. Thanks to your passion, Xmarks now has multiple offers from companies ready and willing to take over the service and keep making browser sync better and better!
The company does note that no deal has been finalized, but they are confident with multiple offers on the table Xmarks will be able to stay open for business. At time of publishing, over 35,000 users had pledged to pay between $10 and $20 per year for the service. Hit the read link to read the full post. More →
If for whatever reason you feel that the default browser loaded on your Android or Maemo device is not sufficient, you should know that you have options. Opera Mobile is available, the very capable Dolphin browser is available, and now — thanks to a recently released beta — Mozilla Firefox is available. The list of features include:
- Pinch-to-zoom (Android), double-tap, or use the volume rocker (Nokia N900) to zoom in and out
- Tabbed browsing in thumbnail view lets you easily see and open the site you want
- Location-Aware Browsing gives you content and info relevant to your location
- Find in Page in the Site Menu lets you quickly find text on the webpage
- Share Page in the Site Menu lets you send content to email, Facebook, Twitter and Google Reader
- Forget Password in the Site Menu tells a website you no longer trust to forget your private data
- Add Search Engine in the Site Menu lets you quickly add a new search engine to your Awesome Screen
- Context Menu lets you Open in New Tab and Share by long tapping and holding a link
- Smart Tapping lets you tap on links, widgets and other Web content with accuracy
- Password Manager lets you choose to remember site password to avoid typing
The beta will support the Nokia N900 and any Android device running OS version 2.0 or higher. Hit the read link to download Mozilla’s latest creation, and let us know what you think. More →
If you’ve enjoyed mucking around with the beta builds of Firefox 4, you might want to pay close attention to the next release. Slated to drop on Monday, Firefox 4 beta 4 will enable hardware-accelerated graphics for some Windows users. As CNET explains, “Hardware acceleration [...] is designed to shift some tasks from a computer’s main processor to its graphics processor. One way Firefox is tackling the technology is by using Windows’ Direct2D interface, which can speed up the display of text and graphics on newer versions of Windows.” The feature will be off by default, but you can enable it by:
- Entering about:config in the Firefox Awesome Bar
- Accept warning asking you to “be careful.”
- Search for mozilla.widget.render-mode and set its value to 6
- Search for gfx.font_rendering.directwrite.enabled and set its value to true.
The ability to group tabs into “tab sets” is also scheduled to be available in beta 4. Anyone out there using Firefox 4 beta as their primary browser? More →