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Found 540 results

  1. Mozilla Firefox 52.0 Beta 9 Download Beta (Select Language): Installer x32 Installer x64
  2. TLDR: Firefox caches intermediate CA certificates. A third-party website can infer which intermediates are cached by a user. To do this, it loads content from incorrectly configured hosts (missing intermediate in the provided certificate chain) and observes whether they load correctly (yes: corresponding intermediate was cached, no: it was not). Check out my proof of concept using more than 300 intermediate CAs. This technique can be used to gain a fingerprint for a user but also leaks semantic information (mainly geographical). Since Private Browsing mode does not isolate the cache, it can be used to link a Private Browsing user to her real profile. Furthermore, attackers could force users to visit correctly configured websites with unusal intermediates and thus set a kind of supercookie. This has been reported as #1334485 in the Mozilla bug tracker.] The idea A few months ago, I was sitting in Ivan Ristić’s course »The Best TLS Training in the World« (which I highly recommend, by the way). One thing Ivan was mentioning is the fact that probably the most common misconfiguration in setting up a TLS webserver is forgetting to deliver the complete certificate chain. Let me use some pictures to explain it. Here is the correct case: In case the server is misconfigured, the situation looks as follows: An idea came to my mind: if the behaviour is different depending on the cache, can I observe that from the outside? A quick look around on ssllabs.com for a site with incomplete chain and a <img src=https://brokensite/favicon.ico onload=alert(1) onerror=alert(2)> showed me that this was indeed feasible in Firefox (Chrome and Internet Explorer somehow both magically load the image/site even when the chain is not delivered − possibly using the caIssuer extension?). Interestingly enough, the cached CAs from the main profile were also used in Private Browsing mode. Gathering data Lurking around ssllabs.com to find new hosts with incomplete chains did not sound like a fun idea, and I guess Qualys would not have been too happy if I automated the process. So I had to come up with a better way to gather hosts for a proof of concept. Luckily, there are public datasets of the TLS server landscape available. The two that I ended up using were the Censys.io scan (free researcher account needed) and the Rapid7 Project Sonar (free to download) ones. In the first step, I wanted to identify all possible intermediate CA certificates that chain up to a trusted root CA. For this, I downloaded the Root CA extract provided by the curl project. Then I looked at all CA certificates in the datasets and checked with openssl verify to see if they are a direct intermediate of one of the trusted roots. To further identify intermediate CAs that chain up to a trusted root in a longer path, I ran this process in an iterative fashion using the root CAs and already identified intermediates until no more new intermediates were found in the datasets. I ended up with 3366 individual CA certificates that chain up to a trusted root (1931 on the first level, 1286 on the second level, 92 on the third level and 57 on the fourth level). The next step was identifying websites which were misconfigured. For this, the Project Sonar data came in handy as they scan the complete IPv4 internet and record the delivered certificate chain for each IP on port 443. Since they provide the certificates individually and the scan data only contains hashes of the chain elements, I first had to import all the certificates into a SQLite database in order to quickly look them up by hash. Despite ending up with a database file of roughly 100 GB, SQLite performed quite nicely. I then processed this data by looking at all certificates to see if they contained an issuer (by looking at the Authority Key Identifier extension) that was present in my set of CAs, but not delivered in the chain. If this was the case, I had identified the IP address of a misconfigured host. Now it was necessary to see if the certificate used a hostname which actually resolved to that IP address. If that was the case, I had a candidate for an incorrectly configured webserver. The last step was to identify a working image on that webserver which can be loaded. I considered several options but settled on just loading the website in Firefox and observing using Burp which images were loaded. This left me with a Burp state file of several gigabytes and a list of plenty of URLs for more than 300 individual intermediate CAs. The proof of concept I used this list of URLs to build a proof of concept using elm, my favourite way to avoid writing JavaScript these days. Here is how a part of the output (and Firebug’s Net Panel to see which images are loaded) looks for me: Note that it might occasionally contain false positives or false negatives, since the servers that are used for testing are not under my control and might change their TLS configuration and/or location of images. If you run the proof of concept yourself, you will be presented with an option to share your result with me. Please do so − I am grateful for every data point obtained in this way to see what additional information can be extracted from it (geographical location? specific interests of the user? etc.). Further ideas One thing that is pretty easy to see is that this technique could also be used in a more active way by forcing users to visit correctly configured websites from unusual intermediates. Note that for example the PKI of the »Deutsches Forschungsnetzwerk« comes in handy here, as it provides literally hundreds of (managed) intermediates for their members, including lots of tiny universities or research institutes. One could force to user to cache a certain subset of unusal intermediates and then check later from a different domain which intermediates are set. This is of course not foolproof, since users might visit correctly configured websites from those intermediates and thus flip bits from 0 to 1. Error-correcting codes could be used here (with the tradeoff of having to use more intermediates) to deal with that problem. In addition to the purely »statistical« view of having a fingerprint with a sequence of n bits representing the cache status for each tested CA, the fingerprint also contains additional semantic information. Certain CAs have customers mostly in one country or region, or might have even more specific use-cases which let’s you infer even more information − i.e. a user who has the »Deutsche Bundestag CA« cached is most probably located in Germany and probably at least somewhat interested in politics. From an attacker’s perspective, this could also be used to check if the browser is running inside a malware analysis sandbox (which would probably have none or very few of the common intermediates cached) and delivering different content based on that information. Solutions I reported the problem on January 27th, 2017 to Mozilla in bug #1334485. The cleanest solution would obviously be to not connect to incorrectly configured servers, regardless of whether the intermediate is cached or not. Understandably, Mozilla is reluctant to implement that without knowing the impact. Thus bug #1336226 has been filed to implement some related telemetry − let’s see how that goes. From a user’s perspective, at the moment I can only recommend to regularly clean up your profile (by creating a fresh one, cleaning it up from the Firefox UI or using the certutil command line tool). Alternatively, blocking third-party requests with an addon such as Request Policy might be useful since the attack obviously needs to make (a lot of) third-party requests. By Alexander Klink https://shiftordie.de/blog/2017/02/21/fingerprinting-firefox-users-with-cached-intermediate-ca-certificates-fiprinca/
  3. Mozilla Firefox 52.0 Beta 8 Download Page-Beta: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/beta/all/ Windows en-US: x86: https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/52.0b8/win32/en-US/Firefox Setup 52.0b8.exe x64: https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/52.0b8/win64/en-US/Firefox Setup 52.0b8.exe Windows All languages: https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/52.0b8/win32/ https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/52.0b8/win64/ Checksum: SHA512SUMS SHA512SUMS.asc Release Notes[Beta]: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/beta/notes/ Firefox for Android 52.0 Beta 8: https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/mobile/releases/52.0b8/ To download beta candidates(build 1): https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/candidates/52.0b8-candidates/build1/ Android beta candidates(build 1): https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/mobile/candidates/52.0b8-candidates/build1/
  4. The year 2017 is an important one for Mozilla and Firefox. Multi-process will be enabled for all users of the web browser, sandboxing is introduced, the first bits of Project Quantum are integrated into the web browser, and the add-on system will be switched exclusively to WebExtensions. Mozilla revealed an updated add-ons roadmap yesterday that highlights major milestones on the way to making Firefox WebExtensions exclusive. We talked about Mozilla's plans for Firefox in this regard before. WebExtensions is a set of APIs that developers can utilize to create add-ons for browsers. Firefox is not the only browser to use WebExtensions, as others, Chrome, Opera and Edge, use the system as well. That's good for cross-browser development, better for Mozilla's add-ons review process, better for add-on compatibility with future Firefox versions, and probably also better for browser stability. Firefox Add-ons Roadmap for 2017 WebExtensions is a good addition to Firefox, and most Firefox users who criticize Mozilla are not doing it because of the integration, but because of Mozilla's plans for the browser's legacy add-on systems. Mozilla plans to cut all ties to those add-on systems. This means that legacy add-ons won't run in Firefox anymore when the plug is pulled. Legacy add-ons, as defined by Mozilla, are all extensions that are not WebExtensions. This includes anything with XUL, bootstrapped extensions, SDK extensions, embedded WebExtensions, and complete themes. Language packs, dictionary files, OpenSearch providers, lightweight themes, and add-ons that are exclusively available for Thunderbird or SeaMonkey are not considered legacy by Mozilla. Any legacy add-on that is not ported by its author to WebExtensions -- if that is possible -- will no longer work in Firefox 57. A big issue that developers face right now is that WebExtensions is a work in progress. Not all APIs are available yet, and some APIs that are required for certain legacy add-on features may never make it into Firefox. This has caused some developers to quit development, or paint a grim picture in regards to the future of their add-ons. The Roadmap See Firefox release schedule for release dates. Firefox 53: April 18, 2017 New legacy add-ons won't be accepted anymore on AMO (addons.mozilla.org). Updates to existing add-ons are still accepted. Add-ons may only load binaries if they use the Native Messaging API. Multi-process is on by default for all users. Only exception for systems with add-ons that state explicitly that they are not compatible with multi-process. Firefox 54 to 56: June 13, 2017 to October 3, 2017 Mozilla launches multiple content process for E10s in Firefox 55 and security sandboxing in Firefox 54. This may impact some legacy add-ons. Firefox 57: November 28, 2017 Legacy add-ons are no longer supported. Firefox won't load legacy add-ons anymore. Firefox 57 is WebExtensions exclusive- Multi-process compatibility shims are removed from Firefox. Legacy add-ons remain on AMO for the time being. Mozilla has yet to announce a deadline for end of support for these listings (the listings may still be updated for instance) Closing Words It is too early to conclude how the move will affect Firefox's add-ons ecosystem. Some developers announced that they won't migrate to WebExtensions already, and the same is certainly true for add-ons that are no longer in development but still working right now. Some of these may be ported by other authors, and there will certainly be an increase of Chrome extension ports to Firefox. Also, most Chrome extensions will work in Firefox eventually when Firefox reaches parity with Chrome in regards to WebExtensions APIs. WebExtensions will limit Firefox add-ons in regards to what they can do to the browser. Article source
  5. Researchers Develop Cross-Browser Fingerprinting Technique Researchers have developed a cross-browser fingerprinting technique that uses operating system and hardware level features. Fingerprinting has been limited for the most part to individual web browsers in the past. If a user switched browsers regularly, fingerprinting could not be used to link the user to these browsers. Fingerprinting tests like the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Panopticlick or BrowserPrint, try to gather data about the browser and underlying operating system. They use all the data to create a fingerprint of the browser/computer combination, and may be able to do the same in future sessions. Cross-browser fingerprinting was out of the picture up until now. While other methods existed to track users across browsers, for instance by requiring them to sign into accounts to use a service or recording IP addresses, no fingerprinting method came close to providing a working solution. Cross-browser fingerprinting The researchers who published the research paper (Cross-)Browser Fingerprinting via OS and Hardware Level Features think that they have found a way. They have created an online service that demonstrates the fingerprinting technique. It is called Unique Machine, and works on any device that supports JavaScript. A click on Get My Fingerprint starts the process. It works, if JavaScript is enabled, and if connections to a few sites are allowed. The scan takes a couple of seconds to complete. The result is a browser fingerprint, and also a computer fingerprint; the latter is not finalized yet and still in development. You may hit the details button on the Unique Machine website for the list of tested cross-browser features. The following features are tested currently: Time Zone. Number of CPU Cores. Fonts. Audio. Screen Ratio and depth. WebGL. Ad Blocking. Canvas. Cookies. Encoding. GPU. Hash values of GPU rendering results. Language. Plugins. The idea is now that you will get similar results when you use a different browser on the same system to run the fingerprinting test a second time. The researchers state that the technique identified 99.2% of users correctly. The sample size is a bit small, 1903 users and 3615 fingerprint samples. I ran tests on a machine using different browsers, and results were mixed. The computer fingerprint was identical when I ran the fingerprinting test in Chrome, Chrome Canary and Vivaldi, but different in Firefox and Edge. The three browsers the hash was identical in are all based on Chromium. This is probably the reason why the fingerprint was identical. The source code of the cross browser fingerprinting site is available on GitHub. Now You: Did you cross-browser fingerprinting work on your devices? Source
  6. Ghacks.net Firefox Privacy And Security user.js 0.11 Is Out The most comprehensive Firefox privacy and security settings collection has been updated to version 0.11 to take into account changes in newer versions of Firefox. Ghacks champion Pants created the initial list in 2015, and has been on it ever since that day with help of others including earthling and Tom Hawack. The new user.js file replaces the old one. The download includes the user.js file, the changelog, and two HTML documents that lists all preferences, information and comments. You are probably wondering what is new in version 0.11 of the file. First of all, the preferences have been updated to take into account changes in Firefox. Mozilla has added, changed or removed preferences since the last release of the Ghacks user.js file. Apart from that, there are new sections that you may find interesting. There are new sections for Service Workers, First Party Isolation, Fingerprint resisting and Tor uplift. The add-ons section has been filled with links to recommended add-ons on top of that. Some fun stats about the latest privacy and security user.js file: The list features a total of 464 preferences of which 48 are commented out. 33 items contain warnings. The file links to 71 http and 243 https resources for research Click here to open the original article that has been updated with the new information, or download the new user.js file directly with a click on the following link: user.js-ghacks-0.11.zip Here is the change log: Added 2300: NEW SECTION for Service Workers (items renumbered from other sections) 2698: NEW SECTION for FPI (First Party Isolation) - commented out, it's not ready yet to go prime time 2699: NEW SECTION for privacy.resistFingerprinting (was 2630) 9998: NEW SECTION for To Investigate - Tor Uplift : APPENDIX B for Add-ons Renumbered sections 9996: PALE MOON, section renumbered and no longer maintained 9997: DEPRECATED Moved 2302: was 1012 dom.caches.enabled .. ALL the stuff in the 2300s were moved there, some are new 2301+2303+2304: were 2432+2430+2431 respectively, also new prefs 1216: was 2609 insecure active content 1217: was 2610 insecure passive content 2024: was 3014 media.mediasource.webm.enabled : some other numbers may have been reused, moved Deprecated Loads of them, just look in the deprecated section, its in order of version dropped, then number. Added 0101: browser.laterrun.enabled 0301: app.update.silent and app.update.staging.enabled 0336: browser.selfsupport.enabled (also merged 0371 with this) 0374: social.enabled 0376: FlyWeb 0380: Sync 0402: Kinto 0410: the entire section: many prefs deprecated, replaced with others, new section 0410g 0421: privacy.trackingprotection.ui.enabled 0440: mozilla flash blocklisting 0608: network.predictor.enable-prefetch 0818: taskbar preview 0819: browser.urlbar.oneOffSearches 0820: disable search reset 0907: force warnings for logins on non-secure sites 0908: browser.fixup.hide_user_pass 0909: signon.formlessCapture.enabled 1012: browser.sessionstore.resume_from_crash (note: old number was moved to 2300s) 1209: TLS extra prefs to control min and max and fallback versions 1213: cyphers disable 3DES 1214: cyphers disable 128 bit ecdhe 1215: disable MS Family Safety cert 1218: HSTS Priming 1219: HSTS preload 1220: disable intermediate CA caching 1408: gfx.font_rendering.graphite.enabled 1602: returned DNT (do not track) from deprecated 1808: disable audio auto-play in non-active tabs 1820+1825+1830+1840+1850: revamp, additions etc to GMP, DRM, OpenH264, Widevine, EME 2001: media.navigator.video.enabled 2001a: media.peerconnection.ice.no_host 2011: webgl.enable-debug-renderer-info 2012: webgl.dxgl.enabled + webgl.enable-webgl2 2022: extra prefs for screensharing 2024: MSE (Media Source Extensions) 2025: enable/disable media types 2026: disable canvas capture stream 2027: disable camera image capture 2028: disable offscreen canvas 2403: dom.allow_cut_copy 2415b: limit events that can cause a popup 2425: disable Archive API 2450: offline data storage 2504: new vr prefs 2510: Web Audio API 2511: media.ondevicechange.enabled 2627: revamped section from a single pref about build ID into all your UA/Navigator objects 2628: browser.uitour.url 2650: e10s stuff, never used by me, may be obsolete as e10s rollout changes with each release 2651: control e10s number of container processes 2652: enable console e10s shim warnings 2660: browser.tabs.remote.separateFileUriProcess 2662: browser.download.forbid_open_with 2663: MathML 2664: DeviceStorage API 2665: sanitize webchannel whitelist 2666: HTTP Alternative Services 2667: devtools.chrome.enabled 2668: extension directory lockdown 2669: strip paths when sending URLs to PAC scripts 2670: security.block_script_with_wrong_mime 2671: svg.disabled (FF53+) 2706: Storage API 2707: clear localStorage when a WebExtension is uninstalled 2803a: privacy.clearOnShutdown.openWindows 2804a: privacy.cpd.openWindows 2805: privacy.sanitize.timeSpan 3022: hide recently bookmarked items 3023: browser.migrate.automigrate.enabled Appendix A: new test sites: Browserprint, HTML Security, Symantec, AudioContext, HTML5, Keyboard Events, rel=noopener Appendix A: new section:; 5 Safe Browsing, Tracking Protection tests Changed : custom pref renamed and configured as the Monty Python parrot : custom pref expanded to each section with euphemisms for the parrot's demise 1211: SHA-1 variables/definitions have been changed by mozilla, recommeneded value has changed 2201: dom.event.contextmenu.enabled is now active 2404: dom.indexedDB.enabled - i turned this on and use an extension to toggle it on and off for sites 2421: two javascript.options now commented out, the performance loss isn't worth it : some other prefs may have been turned on/off Deleted 3019: network.proxy.type - it is not my place to control end users connections/proxies/vpns etc Source
  7. Mozilla Firefox 52.0 Beta 4 To download beta candidates(build 1): https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/candidates/52.0b4-candidates/build1/ Android beta candidates(build 1): https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/mobile/candidates/52.0b4-candidates/build1/ Download Page-Beta: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/beta/all/ Windows en-US: x86: https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/52.0b4/win32/en-US/Firefox Setup 52.0b4.exe x64: https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/52.0b4/win64/en-US/Firefox Setup 52.0b4.exe Windows All languages: https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/52.0b4/win32/ https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/52.0b4/win64/ Checksum: SHA512SUMS SHA512SUMS.asc Release Notes[Beta]: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/beta/notes/ Firefox for Android 52.0 Beta 4: https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/mobile/releases/52.0b4/
  8. Crowdfunding For Firefox EPUBReader Add-On The author of EPUBReader launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign recently to finance the migration of the add-on to WebExtensions. Mozilla plans to discontinue Firefox's add-on system in 2017 to replace it with the up and coming WebExtensions standard. The organization wants to accomplish a series of goals with the move including making add-ons less dependent on Firefox code (less breaking caused by changes), easier review processes, easier porting from and to other browsers, and full multi-process compatibility. The downside is that all legacy add-ons will stop working once Mozilla cuts of support for these add-ons in a future Firefox version. Add-on developers have only two options to move forward at this point in time: spend a considerable amount of time porting their add-ons so that it is provided as a WebExtension, or abandon the add-on. Some add-on authors, like Quicksilver, have stated already that they will quit add-on development for Firefox. Others have noted that Mozilla's timing is off, and that the fact WebExtensions is pretty much a technology that is still in development, does not help either. Crowdfunding for Firefox EPUBReader add-on The author of the EPUBReader add-on for Firefox hopes to keep the add-on alive through a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. EPUBReader is a popular ePub document viewer for Firefox that has roughly 400,000 users at this point in time. The add-on is rated highly, and according to the author in the top 30 of most popular Firefox add-ons. The add-on needs almost a complete rewrite according to the developer who works as a freelance software developer. The requested sum, €25,000, allows him to work on porting EPUBReader so that it will remain available for Firefox users once Mozilla turns off the legacy add-on system in the web browser. The crowdfunding campaign is at €15,295 at the time of writing of the goal of €25,000 with 26 more days to go. Most features that EPUBReader supports right now will also be supported by the WebExtension version. There are some differences though. On the good side, the 250 Megabyte limit for ebooks is lifted, and ebooks are opened in memory which should make them open faster. The downside is that the new version won't support private libraries. The reason given is that the WebExtensions API does not support the functions needed for that. The developer hopes to have a release version ready by mid 2017 if the Kickstarter campaign is successful. Now You: Do you think crowdfunding could become an option for porting Firefox add-ons that would not be ported otherwise? Source
  9. Firefox for Android - 51.0.2 App Description: Release Notes: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/android/51.0.2/releasenotes/ Links: Note: Android 2.3.x devices[API-9] are not supported from Firefox for Android 48.0. APK - API-15: Note: Android v4.0 and "above" can install from below links. Android 3.x[Honeycomb] API-11 to API-13 are not supported from Firefox for Android 46.0. en-US: https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mobile/releases/51.0.2/android-api-15/en-US/fennec-51.0.2.en-US.android-arm.apk Other Languages: https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mobile/releases/51.0.2/android-api-15/ Multi: https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mobile/releases/51.0.2/android-api-15/multi/fennec-51.0.2.multi.android-arm.apk APK - Android x86: en-US: https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mobile/releases/51.0.2/android-x86/en-US/fennec-51.0.2.en-US.android-i386.apk Multi: https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mobile/releases/51.0.2/android-x86/multi/fennec-51.0.2.multi.android-i386.apk Source: https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mobile/releases/51.0.2/source/fennec-51.0.2.bundle https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mobile/releases/51.0/source/fennec-51.0.source.tar.xz Key: https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mobile/releases/51.0.2/KEY File SHA512SUMS File SHA512SUMS.asc Other Details: Homepage Google Play
  10. Rust Programming Language Takes More Central Role in Firefox Development Starting with the release of Firefox 54, the Rust programming language will take a bigger role in the Firefox browser, as more and more components will work on top of this new technology developed in the past years by the Mozilla Research team. For people unfamiliar with Rust, this is a new programming language developed by a Mozilla employee, which the Foundation officially started to sponsor beginning with 2009. In simple terms, Rust is a safer version of programming languages like C and C++, the languages at the base of Firefox and most of today's desktop software. Applications written in Rust have fewer memory-related errors and are safer to use thanks to the way the language was designed. Mozilla shipped first Rust component in Firefox 48 After seven years of working on Rust, Mozilla shipped the first Rust component with Firefox in August 2016, when the language was used to rewrite the browser's multimedia stack, the module that deals with rendering audio and video files. At the time, Mozilla reported they had zero issues during tests. Since then, Mozilla engineers have been slowly replacing more and more Firefox core components with Rust-based alternatives. According to an entry in the Mozilla bug tracker, there's so much Rust code in the Firefox core that starting with Firefox 54, Mozilla developers will need to have the Rust compiler installed on their devices in order to compile a binary version of Firefox. Mozilla might lose some Firefox users According to Firefox developer Ted Mielczarek and others, this will lead to some problems, and the bigger one is that Mozilla employees won't be able to compile binaries for platforms with smaller userbases, such as IBM's PPC64el and S390X, deployed at various companies around the world. The reason is that there's no Rust compiler for those platforms, which means that Firefox devs will fail when trying to compile a binary. The only way to fix this is if a compiler will be developed for those platforms. Most Firefox users won't be affected by this change, but Mozilla hopes they'll see a boost in performance in the future. In the upcoming year, Mozilla plans to replace most of Firefox's core engine, called Gecko, with Rust components. This operation will be done through small changes across different versions. Developer Jen Simmons perfectly described this very complex process in a blog post called "Replacing the Jet Engine While Still Flying." Source
  11. Mozilla Firefox 52.0 Beta 3 Download Beta (Select Language): Installer x32 Installer x64
  12. Mozilla Axes IoT Project, Cuts Staff, Backs Off From Commercial Stuff Despite the layoffs, Mozilla insists it will be increasing its headcount Mozilla is ending its Connected Devices initiative, the flailing software maker's effort to influence the design and development of networkable things. "IoT is clearly an emerging technology space, but it's still early," a company spokesperson told The Register in an emailed statement. "We have shifted our internal approach to the IoT opportunity to step back from a focus on launching and scaling commercial products to one focused on research and advanced development, dissolving our Connected Devices initiative and incorporating our IoT explorations into an increased focus on Emerging Technologies." In so doing, Mozilla plans to lay off about 50 people, we've heard. Mozilla's spokesperson declined to cite a specific number of people affected while insisting that the company plans to increase its headcount and investments in areas like IoT, VR, AR, and decentralized web technology. "However there will be role eliminations as part of these internal changes as we need fewer and different roles as part of this shift in approach," Mozilla's spokesperson said. "We are working with all Mozillians affected to help them transfer to new roles as part of this continued IoT exploration or other roles at Mozilla. If there is not a role for an individual affected, we are providing severance, extended benefits and outplacement services." Mozilla's retreat from IoT comes a year after it discontinued Firefox OS for mobile phones and four months after it shuttered its Firefox OS TV project, having concluded that effort should be driven by a commercial partner, Panasonic. The open-source software foundation isn't exactly hurting for funds. It reported $421.3m in revenue in 2015, up from $329.6M in 2014. It derives the bulk of its revenue from Firefox, via search partnerships with firms like Baidu, Google, Yahoo, Yandex, and others. Firefox has seen its overall share of the browser market slide since 2010, according to StatCounter data, and it hasn't enjoyed the same popularity on mobile phones and tablets as does on desktop and laptop computers. Mozilla's glacial effort to implement multi process support, referred to as Electrolysis, hasn't helped. While Mozilla has carved out a role for itself as an advocate for open technology standards and privacy, it has failed to come up with compelling software that large numbers of people want to use outside of its browser and its systems programming language Rust. But on the bright side, Mozilla recently concluded a seven-month effort to come up with a new logo. Source
  13. Greasemonkey is a popular add-on for the Firefox web browser that enables you to load and create userscripts to interact with web content. The add-on, like any other legacy extension for Firefox, will not work anymore in its current form when Mozilla makes the switch to WebExtensions exclusivity in the end of 2017. While it remains to be seen if Mozilla will indeed flip the switch with the release of Firefox 57, or postpone, it is clear that the organization decided to go all-in on the idea. The developer of Greasemonkey, Anthony Lieuallen, has published a design document for the migration of Greasemonkey from Firefox's current add-on system to WebExtensions. The document looks at features that are currently implemented, and prioritizes them based on importance. Essential features, those that need to make the cut no matter what, and major features, those that should make the cut, are listed at the top of the document. Essential features are for instance the ability to install and manage scripts, and a major feature is the option to migrate userscripts from the legacy version of Greasemonkey to the WebExtensions version of the add-on. The document is useful, not only for Greasemonkey developers and users, but also to other Firefox add-on authors as it reveals how one could create a migration document for extensions. If you read the whole document, you will notice that there are quite a few uncertainties and dead ends that the Greasemonkey developer ran into. This highlights one of the main issues that Mozilla's end of year enforcement of WebExtensions has to developers. WebExtensions are not ready yet for complex, and many semi-complex add-ons as they are a work in progress. Mozilla adds new APIs with every release, but there seems to be a lack of documentation and information on what will be available when the switch to WebExtensions is being made. He summed up the experience in the following way: Overall, the process of writing this doc has been demoralizing. It took a lot of work to just scratch the surface of our feature set. At every step, I seemed to find things that range from difficult to impossible, given the APIs that WebExtensions have access to. A significant amount of UI and features will change by the necessity of no longer having the power to do so many things. He mentions Tampermonkey, a userscript extension for Chrome which should work in Firefox already. He did look at Tampermonkey more closely, as it based on WebExtensions already, and noticed that most of what he dislikes about the extension is because of the limitations of WebExtensions. Good news for Firefox users is that Anthony seems to be willed to go forward with the implementation, or at least explore the possibilities of turning Greasemonkey into a WebExtension. Article source
  14. Firefox 56: Activity Stream Target Mozilla targets Firefox 56, out in the second half of 2017, as the first version to feature the organization's new Activity Stream new tab page. We talked about Activity Stream before here on Ghacks. First, when it was released as a mockup showcasing the feature, and then later on when it was released as a Test Pilot add-on. So what is Activity Stream, and what is the plan to integrate the feature into Firefox 56? Activity Stream has been designed to replace the current new tab page (about:newtab) and home page (about:home) of the Firefox web browser. Firefox displays a search field and pinned or popular sites on the new tab page by default currently. The about:home page displays a search field as well, but also links to various Firefox features such as downloads, add-ons, sync or options. This page is only displayed until the user changes the homepage, or selects to open the previous browsing session. Activity Stream changes what is displayed on these pages. The page features a search at the top which Firefox users can utilize to search using the default search engine. Below that is a selection of six popular sites called top sites. While it is not possible currently to edit these sites or pin others to the top sites listing, it is Mozilla's plan to introduce the feature before the final version lands in Firefox 56. You find highlights below the top sites listing. Activity Stream uses an algorithm to determine important sites that you visited in the past, to list them in the highlight section. These are displayed with large thumbnails, page titles, URLs, a short description, and the last time the page was visited. The recent activity is displayed in chronological order below the highlights section. You can right-click on items listed there to perform regular link actions such as opening links in a new window or copying link locations. When you hover over an item on the Activity Stream page, and click on the menu icon that appears, additional options are revealed. That menu is not final, but it enables you to delete an item from Firefox's history, to bookmark a page, or share it using various sharing options. Mozilla's development team wants to reach feature parity with all core New Tab Page features that are currently available before it releases Activity Stream. Firefox 56 will be released on October 3rd, 2017. The Activity Stream team targets Firefox 56 for the first initial integration of the feature in Firefox, but depending on how development progresses, it may be delayed after all. Now You: What's your taken on Activity Stream? Source
  15. Will also implement the Strict Secure Cookies specification Many of us are already enjoying all the goodies implemented by Mozilla in the latest Firefox 51.0 update of the popular open-source web browser for Linux, Windows, and Mac, but the company is now working on the next major release. Firefox 52 is already in the Beta channel for early adopters, web developers, and everyone else who wants to discover its new features. According to Mozilla's rapid release calendar for the Firefox web browser, it would appear that Firefox 52 will be the next ESR (Extended Support Release). As for the new features, at least those that have been already revealed by Mozilla in the preliminary release notes, it looks like Firefox 52 will update the Firefox Sync technology to allow us to send and open tabs from one device to another, as well as to implement the Strict Secure Cookies specification. "Implemented the Strict Secure Cookies spec which forbids insecure (http:) sites from setting cookies with the "secure" attribute, and in some cases prevents an insecure site from setting a cookie with the same name as an existing "secure" cookie from the same base domain," explains Mozilla. Better experience for downloads, new security warning Apart from the usual security improvements that will make Firefox 52 the next ESR version, the upcoming web browser is also improving the downloads experience by presenting users with toolbar notification when a download fails, larger buttons for restarting or canceling a download, and access to five most recent downloads, not three as the current Firefox releases offer. Security has always been a strong point of Firefox, and the next major release will warn users of web pages containing non-secure password fields through a new warning that will be implemented directly within the username and password fields. Other than that, Firefox 52 is improving text input on Windows for various third-party keyboard layouts. Among other changes, Firefox 52 promises to reduce fingerprinting of users by trackers by removing the Battery Status API and deprecate Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface (NPAPI) support for plugins like Microsoft's Silverlight, Oracle's Java, and Adobe's Acrobat, which are no longer supported. For web developers, Firefox 52 should enable CSS Grid Layout support, redesign the Responsive Design Mode, which has been enhanced with features like network throttling and device selection among many others, as well as to display a preview on screen sharing, which looks like will no longer require whitelisted domains to work. The final release of Firefox 52 is hitting the streets on March 7, 2017, but you can download the latest Beta versions for GNU/Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows operating systems right now from our website. Please try to keep in mind, though, that these are pre-release versions and they aren't suitable for production use. Article source
  16. Mozilla Firefox 52.0 Beta 2 To download beta candidates(build 1): https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/candidates/52.0b2-candidates/build1/ Android beta candidates(build 1): https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/mobile/candidates/52.0b2-candidates/build1/ Download Page-Beta: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/beta/all/ Windows en-US: x86: https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/52.0b2/win32/en-US/Firefox Setup 52.0b2.exe x64: https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/52.0b2/win64/en-US/Firefox Setup 52.0b2.exe Windows All languages: https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/52.0b2/win32/ https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/52.0b2/win64/ Checksum: SHA512SUMS SHA512SUMS.asc Release Notes[Beta]: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/beta/notes/ Firefox for Android 52.0 Beta 2: https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/mobile/releases/52.0b2/
  17. Trails: Lossless Web Navigation Experiment By Mozilla Trails is a new lossless web navigation experiment by Mozilla with the aim to fix the tabbed browsing issue of losing information during navigation. The traditional tabbed browsing model has not changed all that much in the past 15 or so years. The majority of modern browsers supports tabs, and browsers keep track of the browsing history of each tab individually. Mozilla visualizes the current -- flawed when it comes to the preservation of information -- tabbed browsing procedure in the following way: Imagine a search for a restaurant that makes the perfect pizza. You fire up your web browser, and start the search on your favorite search engine. Results are displayed, and you click on a result (Yelp in this case). You browse Yelp, find a restaurant that interests you, and open its link. This link is opened in a new tab. Problem 1: The new tab has no connection whatsoever to the restaurant search history. Imagine going back to the first tab to browse Yelp a bit more to find another restaurant. Problem 2: Loading content in tab 1 will lose navigation history information. What Mozilla means by that is that the actual navigational trail does not include all user actions, not that the actual information is lost (as you may load opened sites using the browsing history for instance). A look at Trails Trails is part of Browser.html, a Mozilla research project. Mozilla tries to preserve the whole browsing of a user using Trails, not just what is preserved right now by tabbed browsers. So, Trails preserve information that would otherwise get lost due to navigation but won't change what users see when they use the browser. Mozilla hints that Trails might enhance the user experience in other ways, such as providing options to share entire trails and not just URLs, allowing annotation of trails, collaboration, or persisting trails. It is not clear right now how Mozilla would implement Trails in a browser like Firefox. A short demo has been uploaded to YouTube, but it shows Trails not in an actual browser interface, but on its own. Closing Words It needs to be noted that Trails is an experiment right now that may or may not find its way into Firefox at one point in time. While it is certainly true that some information is lost, I'm not sure if there is a really a need for something like Trails as it may add complexity to the browser depending on its implementation. While the actual trail "how did I get there" may be lost at times, tabs are usually opened in relation to one another, and users may open pages in new tabs when they don't want to lose information displayed on the current tab. (via Sören Hentzschel) Now You: What do you think of Trails? Source
  18. Time To Make The Switch To 64-bit Firefox On Windows With Mozilla retiring NPAPI plugin support in 2017, it is time to upgrade 32-bit versions of the Firefox web browser to 64-bit versions. The story of 64-bit Firefox on Windows is a long and complex one, and it is just about to end with Mozilla moving from offering 32-bit Firefox as the default download option to offering 64-bit Firefox on Windows by default. Mozilla Firefox is offered as a 32-bit and 64-bit version on Windows, with 32-bit still the default right now when it comes to downloads. While the 32-bit version works well, and it is the only option for systems without a 64-bit processor, it is the 64-bit version that users should consider using if their device is equipped with a 64-bit CPU. The reason is simple: more RAM becomes available per process that Firefox uses, and 64-bit applications benefit from security features that 32-bit applications don't. The one downside that may have kept Firefox users from switching to 64-bit was limited plugin support in the 64-bit version of the browser. It only supports Flash and Silverlight. That restriction is still there, but with Mozilla throwing out NPAPI plugin support soon -- with the exception of Flash -- that is no longer an argument if you want to stay with a recent build of the browser. Chance is, that you are still running a 32-bit version of Windows as you'd have to get out of your way to grab the 64-bit installer from the Mozilla website. Back in July 2016, only 1.7% of Firefox users on Windows used a 64-bit version of the browser. That's not much. The number has probably gone up til then, but it is likely still low due to Mozilla prioritizing the 32-bit installer over the 64-bit currently. I explained how to upgrade from Firefox 32-bit to Firefox 64-bit here, and suggest you check out the guide for a full rundown on how to do that. Good news is that it is super easy to upgrade Firefox from 32-bit to 64-bit. All that is usually required is to download the dedicated 64-bit installer from Mozilla, and run it. All your shortcuts, profiles, bookmarks, modifications and so on will continue to work. Note: The 32-bit version is not uninstalled automatically. I suggest you keep it around until you have worked with the 64-bit version for a while. Once you are confident that there are not any issues, you may remove the 32-bit installation of Firefox from your system. Check the CPU First thing you do, is check if you can update Firefox to 64-bit. USe Windows-Pause to open the System Control Panel applet. Find the "system type" listing on the page, and check whether it says 32-bit or 64-bit. You need a 64-bit processor. If your system does not have one, you are stuck with 32-bit Firefox. Don't worry though, Mozilla won't end support for 32-bit, but will just focus on distributing 64-bit Firefox over 32-bit in 2017 and later. Backup Second thing that you do is back up the Firefox profile folder. Type about:support, click on the show folder link to open it on your system. Note that this opens the profile that is in use at the moment. Go up two directories, so that you are in the main Firefox directory under the user folder. Select profiles, press Ctrl-C to copy it to the clipboard. Now browse to another folder on your computer, and use Ctrl-V to place a copy of it in it. The 64-bit upgrade This is without doubt the easiest part. Download Firefox Stable, Firefox ESR, Beta, Developer or Nightly from Mozilla. Make sure you pick the 64-bit version for Windows. It is indicated by a 64-bit icon on the download icon. Make sure you close Firefox before you continue. Run the installer afterwards, and follow it through to the end. Firefox will be upgraded to 64-bit. You can verify that using the method mentioned above. Now You: Do you run a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Firefox? Source FYI Note: For those who are not aware: Please note that there may be 64 bit plugins/addons already released for your installed addons/plugins. Please check the related addon/plugin source site to get the 64bit version.
  19. The respected Firefox add-on developer Quicksaver announced yesterday that he won't update any of his extensions anymore because of Mozilla's decision to move to WebExtensions exclusively. Quicksaver, responsible for add-ons such as Tab Groups, OmniSidebar, FindBar Tweak, Beyond Australis and Puzzle Bars, had four of his five add-ons for Firefox featured by Mozilla in the past. If you open any of the author's add-on pages on the Mozilla Add-ons repository, you will notice an important announcement on the page. It reads: IMPORTANT: The add-on will not receive any more updates and will stop working by next November with Firefox 57. The add-ons won't work anymore when Firefox 57 comes along (the first version of the browser said to be WebExtensions exlusive). Firefox add-on author Quicksaver quits because of WebExtensions The author's add-ons are: Beyond Australis -- The add-on added tweaks and new features to Firefox's then new browser UI theme Australis. Has more than 40,000 users, 330 user reviews, and a five star rating. FindBar Tweak -- Improves Firefox's on-page find functionality, for instance by making it search on all open tabs, or moving the results to a different location. Has more than 31,000 users, 302 user reviews, and a five star rating. Our FindBar Tweak review. OmniSidebar -- Makes the sidebar of Firefox more accessible and powerful. More than 109,000 users, 111 user reviews, a five star rating. Our Omnibar review. Puzzle Bars -- Enables you to place add-on buttons and other icons in the browser window exactly like you want them to. More than 4000 users, 66 user reviews, a five star rating. Our Puzzle Bars Review Tab Groups -- This brought back the Firefox Panorama / Tab Groups functionality that Mozilla removed from the browser some time ago. Has more than 111,000 users, 548 user reviews and a five star rating. Our Tab Groups review. Quicksaver posted an explanation on his website that reveals why he made the decision to stop add-on development. There are several reasons, but the core reason given is that at least four of his five add-ons rely heavily on functionality that will either not be provided by WebExtensions, or would require him to rewrite the extension almost completely. However, manipulation of the browser window's interface and functionality will be extremely limited by definition, and even if it wasn't, the implementation of such abilities is nearly impossible to achieve in WebExtensions. According to the explanation, Quicksaver was in contact with Mozilla to find a way to keep his extensions alive, but failed ultimately. I have fought for keeping the current system working together with WebExtensions, not only to keep all of my add-ons alive, but also because I believe a can-do-whatever-you-want extension system like exists today is the best quality Firefox has over other browsers. Unfortunately I've failed to convince them of this, as have they failed to convince me of the benefits they expect to achieve with a WebExtensions-only system. Another point that the author makes is that he went through the ordeal of rewritting his extensions not too long ago. When Mozilla announced multi-process Firefox, he rewrote the extensions to make them compatible with it. To sum it up: WebExtensions won't support the functionality required for porting at least three of the five extensions over. The other extensions would require huge effort on the author's part as code needs to be rewritten to a large extent. Mozilla is dead on track to throw Firefox's old add-on system out of the window, and seems inclined to accept any fallout this may cause. Closing Words It was clear from the beginning that the move to WebExtensions will leave add-ons and authors behind. While Mozilla plans to make WebExtensions in Firefox more powerful than in Chrome, they will never be as powerful as Firefox's current add-on system. Quicksaver is not the only author who announced that he will stop working on add-ons for Firefox. Add-ons like New Tab Tools, Classic Theme Restorer, Tree Style Tabs, Open With, DownThem All, KeeFox and many others are likely also not going to make the cut. Firefox will lose good functionality because of this, something that probably won't ever come back once the move to WebExtensions is finalized. Mozilla Firefox will gain support for the bulk of Chrome extensions, and while that is a good thing, they cannot fill the gap that the move to WebExtensions will cause. Mozilla's timing on this one is off in my opinion. The organization could keep the old add-on system alive, at least for a bit longer, until WebExtensions are more capable. The whole ordeal feels rushed to me. Article source
  20. Firefox for Android - 51.0 App Description: Release Notes: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/android/51.0/releasenotes/ Links: Note: Android 2.3.x devices[API-9] are not supported from Firefox for Android 48.0. APK - API-15: Note: Android v4.0 and "above" can install from below links. Android 3.x[Honeycomb] API-11 to API-13 are not supported from Firefox for Android 46.0. en-US: https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mobile/releases/51.0/android-api-15/en-US/fennec-51.0.en-US.android-arm.apk Other Languages: https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mobile/releases/51.0/android-api-15/ Multi: https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mobile/releases/51.0/android-api-15/multi/fennec-51.0.multi.android-arm.apk APK - Android x86: en-US: https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mobile/releases/51.0/android-x86/en-US/fennec-51.0.en-US.android-i386.apk Multi: https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mobile/releases/51.0/android-x86/multi/fennec-51.0.multi.android-i386.apk Source: https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mobile/releases/51.0/source/fennec-51.0.bundle https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mobile/releases/51.0/source/fennec-51.0.source.tar.xz Key: https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mobile/releases/51.0/KEY File SHA512SUMS File SHA512SUMS.asc Other Details: Homepage Google Play
  21. Mozilla is finally focused on revitalizing the once-beloved product. Until about five years ago, techies and others who wanted a speedier, extensible, more privacy-oriented web browser on their desktops often immediately downloaded Mozilla's Firefox to use instead of Internet Explorer on Windows or Safari on the Mac. But those days seem long ago. Firefox is hardly discussed today, and its usage has cratered from a high of over 30 percent of the desktop browser market in 2010 to about 12 percent today, according to Mozilla, citing stats from NetMarketShare. (Various other analytics firms put the share as low as 10 percent or as high as 15 percent.) And Firefox’s share on mobile devices is even worse, at under 1 percent, according to the same firm. Today, the go-to browser is Google’s Chrome, which, according to NetMarketShare, has over a 50 percent share on both desktop and mobile. Mozilla wakes up After years of neglecting Firefox, misreading mobile users and putting most of its chips on a failed phone project, Mozilla says it is working hard to get Firefox off the mat. Mozilla says it is working hard to get Firefox off the mat. “In many ways, we went through a time that you don’t get to survive,” said Mark Mayo, senior vice president for Firefox and a member of Mozilla’s decision-making steering committee. “Somehow we’re not dead ... and it feels like we’re picking up speed and figuring out what to do.” He admits that Firefox has fallen behind Chrome, Microsoft’s Edge and Apple’s Safari, but says the company is executing with total focus on a plan to reverse that. “For several years, we have not been spending the effort we would normally spend on the flagship product,” Mayo concedes. “Firefox didn’t get better along with the competition.” Why Firefox is different Now, he says, the company has embraced the proposition that “it kind of makes no sense to be us and not have the best browser.” That’s because for Mozilla, which is controlled by a foundation of the same name, Firefox is its main product. The two names are inseparable in many peoples’ minds. And an open, vibrant web — as opposed to a world of apps and social media and search controlled by a few companies — is its main philosophical concern. That last bit may sound like idealistic claptrap, but it’s always been core to Mozilla’s mission. Mayo says he fears that big companies like Google and Apple don’t care whether roaming the open internet is subsumed by launching apps or by the act of searching. But, he says, Firefox does. “Everyone else builds a browser for defensive reasons,” said Mayo. “We build one because we love browsers.” A little good news The company brags that Firefox is finally showing signs of growth. It claims — without revealing the exact figures — that its daily and monthly active users metric grew in 2016 for the first time in four years, by “high single digits.” And it has been paying more attention to mobile browsing. In late 2015, it finally brought out Firefox for iOS, after years of refusing to do so because Apple requires all iPhone and iPad browsers to use its own Safari engine under the hood. The reason, Mayo said, was that Mozilla realized that iOS users surf the web much more than their more numerous Android-using counterparts. In November, Mozilla introduced a second iOS browser: Firefox Focus. It’s a stripped-down app that automatically blocks all trackers as you move around the web. It grew out of a tracker-blocker the company had built for Safari. I find Focus snappy and dead simple to use. Whatever you think of Firefox, if you’re an iOS user, Focus is worth a try. A healthy, widely-used web matters. The company has also relaunched something called Test Pilot, a home for experimental add-ons that change the desktop browser experience. For instance, one add-on places the tabs down the side instead of across the top. And Firefox’s privacy mode doesn’t just block cookies, it blocks trackers, on some pages leaving blank spaces where elements containing trackers were placed. But Mayo admits that, while the worst of the bleeding may have stopped, the current usage is precarious. He says the minimal viable position would be a solid 15 percent share, at least on the desktop, and an unspecified uptick on mobile. The “aspirational” goal, he says, would be around 20 percent on the desktop. Mozilla reports that it’s in the black, although its financials are different from those of a normal company because of the nonprofit foundation to which it is tied. And, it has a lucrative search deal with Yahoo that will pay it handsomely even if Verizon completes its takeover of Yahoo. What happened? So how did Mozilla get into the weak position from which it must now rebuild? Essentially, the company spent three years, from 2013 through 2015, wandering down a blind trail and taking Firefox for granted. It was almost entirely focused on trying to sell a new, web-based mobile operating system (Firefox OS) for cheap phones in developing countries, taking on the Android juggernaut. It failed, and Mayo says it took the focus off of Firefox. “It was close to a bet-the-farm effort,” he said. (Side note: This plan never made much sense to me. In fact, in a 2013 onstage interview about the new direction with Mozilla’s then-CEO, my very first question was simply: “What the f**k”?) On top of that, the company endured turmoil in its management ranks. When Mozilla returned its focus to Firefox, it had to devote all of 2016 to just catching up on things like running each tab in its own process, so a crash in one wouldn't crash the whole browser. Competing browsers already had this technology. In my experience, Firefox today is still only a meh product. Sometimes, it can be very fast, on both Mac and Windows. But often, it lags a bit and has trouble with heavy, ad-laden sites. Still, at least for me, its competitors have their own flaws, so there’s an opportunity. For instance, Chrome too often taxes the resources of my laptops, slowing things down. The task ahead Building Firefox into a real contender will take a lot more work, and Mayo concedes that parts of the plan won’t be visible to users until later this year. Still, Mozilla claims that it “aims to pass Chrome on key performance measures that matter by end of year.” To do that, the company is betting on something called Project Quantum, a new under-the-hood browsing engine that will replace big chunks of Mozilla’s ancient Gecko engine. In an October blog post by David Bryant, head of platform engineering, the company claimed this: “We are striving for performance gains from Quantum that will be so noticeable that your entire web experience will feel different. Pages will load faster, and scrolling will be silky smooth. Animations and interactive apps will respond instantly, and be able to handle more intensive content while holding consistent frame rates. And the content most important to you will automatically get the highest priority, focusing processing power where you need it the most.” Another cornerstone for the new Firefox is a project called the Context Graph that aims to use an enhanced browser history to replace navigational search. The idea is to use differential privacy — the same kind of privacy-respecting machine learning that Apple uses — to suggest places on the web to go for particular needs, rather than getting navigational answers from search. Mayo calls this “navigation by browser, not Google” and declares: “Navigation in the browser has been stagnant for a decade and we’re not going to stand for that.” Both of these projects are aimed squarely at mobile versions of Firefox as well as the desktop version, Mayo says, though he notes that, under Apple’s current policies, the new Quantum engine — like other third-party browser engines — wouldn’t be permitted on iOS. Bottom Line I have no idea if Mozilla can rescue Firefox and make it into something special again. And I’m not a foe of apps and search, or of Google and Apple. But I’m rooting for Firefox, because I think the big platform companies, for whom the browser isn’t a central product anymore, need competition. And I think a healthy, widely-used web matters. Article source
  22. Mozilla Firefox 51.0.1 - 32bit[x86] and 64bit[x64] Stable[New] Re-Released Now! New Firefox 51.0.1 Installers Available Now! Download! Links here: FYI: The d/w links are the same. Only the build and checksum are different.
  23. Firefox 51.0.1 Release To Fix Geolocation Issue As usual, a dot release has been planned to fix issues found in Firefox 51. Apparently, in version 51, Geolocation isn’t working, Mozilla will anytime release Firefox 51.0.1 to address this, which could also come with fixes to other issues discovered by the Firefox team. By this time, if you’re using version 51, visit this Gelocation live example link (Mozilla’s), scroll down until you see ‘Live Result’, under it, click ‘Show my location’, give the permission, as shown in the screenshot Firefox shows ‘unable to retrieve your location’ error. You’ll receive an update when the company publishes the version and you can also able to download the same from Mozilla Firefox site when available. Firefox 51 shows unable to retrieve your location error for Geolocation test Firefox 51.0.1 release notes (not working at the moment). Source
  24. Firefox 54: Multi-Process Gets Another Content Process The most recent Nightly version of the Firefox browser, Firefox Nightly 54, ships with two content processes instead of just one. Firefox's multi-process architecture still rolls out to Firefox stable versions. That process will still take a couple of release cycles to reach all users of the stable version of the Firefox web browser. Firefox uses a content process for all tabs open in the browser, and a separate process for the browser core. Separating the core browser from the rest improves stability, and also responsiveness and other metrics of the browser. If a tab crashes, there is less chance that it will take the whole browser with it doing so. Mozilla's implementation is different from how Google handles the multi-process architecture in Chrome. Chrome runs any open tab in its own content-process. The upside of this is that it improves stability and also security further. There is a downside to this however as well, as doing so requires more RAM. Tip: Chrome users can save a bit of memory by configuring Chrome to use one process per site, opposed to one process per tab. Back in 2016 I explained how Firefox Nightly users can increase the number of content processes that Firefox uses for its multi-process architecture. I enabled eight content processes on the machine back then and have not changed the value since. I noticed a couple of issues, but nothing to major. Mozilla has done the same now for the new Firefox 54 Nightly version. It pushed the content processes to two. This marks an important step in the whole multi-process architecture system of the browser. Two content processes is the next big step, as it paves the way for enabling more than two content processes in the future. The number of content processes that Firefox will eventually ship with by default has not been decided on yet. While that is done for testing primarily right now, it does mean that Mozilla thinks the implementation is stable enough as it enabled it for all Nightly users who upgrade or install Firefox 54. The new multi-process setting will trickle down to Firefox Stable eventually, but a schedule for that has not been posted yet. Mozilla will probably never mimic Chrome's one process per tab behavior. It would increase memory use by a lot. This is not a problem on modern systems with 8, 16 or even more Gigabytes of RAM, but the largest part of Firefox's user base uses machines with 4 Gigabytes of RAM or less. Last metrics show more than 18% with 2 Gigabyte, more than 15% with 3 Gigabyte, and more than 5% with 1 Gigabyte of RAM. (via Sören Hentzschel) Now You: if you use Firefox, is it multi-process already? Source
  25. Mozilla Firefox 51 Is the First Web Browser to Support the New WebGL 2 Standard Introduces FLAC playback and new 2D graphics library With advanced graphics rendering features like a new complex shading language, state-of-the-art texturing capabilities, and transform feedback, Firefox 51 is the first web browser in the world to support the new WebGL 2 technologies, allowing skilled web developers to make use of these powerful new 3D graphics for creating new content. Best of all, WebGL 2 works on Linux, macOS, and Windows platforms. "Expanding on the solid foundation of WebGL 1, WebGL 2 allows content creators to leverage more modern accelerated rendering features, like transform feedback, expanded texturing functionality, and multisampled rendering support," explains Mozilla's Nick Nguyen. "This will make it possible for developers to create more sophisticated and engaging visual content on the web." Mozilla invites web developers who are curious to test drive the new WebGL 2 capabilities of Firefox to download and upgrade to version 51.0, then access PlayCanvas' After the Flood WebGL 2 demo. A short introductory video is attached at the end of the article if you haven't managed to upgrade to Firefox 51 just yet, but you only want to see the new WebGL 2 technologies in action. Mozilla's key priority is to keep users safe online In the press announcement, Mozilla says that the company's key priority is to keep users safe online. As such, the new Firefox 51 update implements a new functionality that will warn users whenever they found themselves on a web page that wants to collect their passwords but doesn't offer them a secure connection, such as HTTPS. Check out the next image to see the new feature in action. Mozilla's efforts to make Firefox faster and more responsive are continuing, and the version spreads the multi-process capabilities of the web browser to more than half of desktop users. Firefox 51 also improved video performance for those with old computers and without GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) acceleration, which means that your favorite web browser is using less CPU usage. Better full-screen experience, a new zoom button in the URL bar that lets you view in real-time the zoom level of the current tab, the ability to view passwords before they are saved in the built-in password manager, support for FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) playback, improved reliability of browser data sync, and the implementation of the Skia 2D graphics library for content rendering on Linux are also included in Firefox 51. Yesterday we informed our readers about the fact that they can download Firefox 51 ahead of Mozilla's official announcement, but now the web browser is officially launched and it's time to update your installations. Go ahead and grab the binary packages for 64-bit or 32-bit systems on GNU/Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows platforms right now. More info for nsaners on Firefox 51: Source