Archive for the 'Firefox' Category

Firefox 4 Released

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Firefox LogoFor those who missed it, Mozilla released Firefox 4 on March 22nd. Major features include a more streamlined and minimalist user interface (a la Google Chrome), tab groups, WebGL support, better HTML5 support, faster JavaScript processing, graphics hardware acceleration, and browser synchronization. This will be the last major release of Firefox—Mozilla is switching to the incremental update model that has worked so well for Chrome.

It’s interesting to see the significant impact Google Chrome has had on both Internet Explorer 9 and Firefox 4, particularly in regards to the user interface and JavaScript performance. Google’s stated goal when it first released Chrome was to force the other browser vendors to improve their products in an effort to keep up. Google has been wildly successful in this respect.

Link #1:…

Link #2:…
(via Slashdot)

To Google Chrome: Mission Accomplished

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Google LogoOne of Google’s stated reasons for releasing Chrome into an already crowded field was to force other browsers to speed up their JavaScript processing. With JavaScript being used heavily by many of today’s most popular websites, this is a commendable goal. And here at the Chad’s News network command center the only reason we installed Chrome was to access Facebook—the site was way too slow with Firefox (which is still our favorite browser despite that). Well, it appears that Google has succeeded. The development version of Firefox 4 has a faster JavaScript engine than Chrome on certain systems. All I can say to Google is “well done and thank you!”

(via Slashdot)

Firefox 3.6 Released

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

FirefoxFirefox 3.6 has been officially released. Get it here. Not much in the way of new features, but it now has Personas (light-weight themes), plug-in protection, and changes that only web developers will truly appreciate. See the linked article for more details.


Firefox Market Share Beats Internet Explorer 6

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

FirefoxFirefox has reached a milestone: its market share for October beat that of Internet Explorer 6 (24.07% vs. 23.30%). What I find most amazing is that IE6 still has a 23 percent share. Security holes, standards noncompliance, and lack of features are all good reasons to upgrade to IE8. I’ve heard that much of the IE6 use is from corporate computer systems that are locked down by their system administrators, such that they can’t be upgraded.


Browser Speed Comparison

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

InternetLifehacker performed some non-scientific speed tests on the latest versions of popular browsers. As expected, Google Chrome completely destroyed the others in the JavaScript category. This is why I use Chrome for Facebook—Firefox just can’t handle it on my underpowered machine. The only reason I stay with Firefox is because of its wide variety of extensions. Note that I was a bit surprised to see that Apple’s Safari also had very fast JavaScript processing.


Speed Up Firefox by Vacuuming

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

FirefoxFirefox 3 made some improvements by moving the browser history, bookmarks, etc. to an SQLite database. It also changed the default settings to keep history information for a longer period of time. Regular use causes the the places.sqlite file to get fragmented and bloated, and slows down Firefox’s performance.

This problem is easily solved by periodically “vacuuming” the places.sqlite database. You can do this manually via the directions in this Lifehacker article. Alternatively, the Firefox extension in the linked article provides a status bar icon to do the job, and also allows you to set up automatic defragmentation. Note that the extension only works for Firefox 3.5 or later.

(via Lifehacker)

Firefox 3.5 Released

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

FirefoxFirefox 3.5 was released yesterday. The most significant feature is a much faster JavaScript engine, so those heavily scripted Web 2.0 sites like Facebook, digg, and Gmail will be noticeably faster. Other features include partial HTML 5 support and a private browsing mode. The linked article has an overview of the more important changes, while the release notes give more detail.


Microsoft’s .NET Firefox Extension

Monday, June 8th, 2009

MicrosoftLast February, Microsoft released a .NET 3.5 service pack via Windows Update. Part of the install process silently adds a Firefox extension allowing the browser to use the .NET ClickOnce feature. (The extension is named “Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant”.) There are some security concerns about this extension, and additionally, you can’t uninstall it without making a registry change. Needless to say, this irritated a good number of people. The uproar was so bad that Microsoft issued a patch allowing you to uninstall the extension normally.


Severe Firefox Exploit

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Firefox LogoThere’s a serious Firefox exploit that’s been published on the web. It relies on the user viewing a maliciously coded XML file. Mozilla is working on a patch, but until it’s ready, I recommend being careful about where and what you’re browsing.

(via Kim Komando)

Update: The fix is available now but won’t be pushed out via the update channel until next week.

The Browser War, Again

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

FirefoxMicrosoft’s Internet Explorer has dropped to a 68% market share, while Mozilla’s Firefox is at 21% and Apple’s Safari is at 8%. In this case, at least, competition leads to innovation, which is good for the user.

(via digg)

Firefox 3

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

FirefoxI like to wait several months before upgrading to a new version of Firefox, and this time was no exception. But with the impending demise of Firefox 2.x support as well as the looming release of version 3.1, I took the plunge and installed version 3.0.4. It wasn’t too bad, although I had to axe a couple incompatible extensions and manually upgrade seven others (check out my list of extensions). For Chad’s new readers, who’ve probably updated ages ago, here are some Firefox 3 tweaks and tips from Lifehacker:

Blazing Javascript in Firefox 3.1

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

FirefoxMozilla has developed a new javascript interpreter for Firefox 3.1 that’s up to 40 times faster than the one in Firefox 3.0. This will be nice, as many of today’s “Web 2.0” sites are heavily scripted.

(via Kim Komando)