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Mozilla Releases Firefox 11

New open source browser version arrives despite fears of Pwn2own delay

On by Steve McCaskill 0

Mozilla has made the latest version of its Firefox browser available through its website, despite fears that its release could be delayed because of a security issue.

Firefox 11 adds a number of technical improvements as well as some interface changes and expanded synchronisation options.

Style and Sync

The new style editor allows developers to view all of the stylesheets associated with a webpage and allows for live editing as the changes are shown on the webpage as the user types.

Mozilla has also included a data visualisation tool named Tilt that provides a 3D visualisation of a web page that can be zoomed and rotated. It claims that Tilt highlights the structure of a page better than a flat view so that anyone can immediately be able to understand the relationship of code to the page.

The browser’s networking stack has been improved with preliminary support for SPDY, although this feature is only included for testing purposes and must be activated by eager users.

Perhaps the most interesting new feature for most users will be the expansion of the synchronisation features which allows users to sync add-ons. It is now also easer to transfer items such as bookmarks, browsing history and cookies from Google’s Chrome Web browser and Mozilla has also redesigned the media playback controls for HTML5 audio and video content.

Delays averted

The update is currently available from Mozilla’s official website, but not through automated updates because of fears that it would clash with Microsoft’s scheduled monthly update for Windows.

“This Tuesday is Microsoft’s scheduled monthly update to Windows, and those updates have interacted badly with our updates before,” explained Jonathan Nightingale, senior director of Firefox engineering in a blog post. “We don’t have reason to expect specific problems with this month’s updates, but we’d rather take a day or two to understand the impact before we update all of our users.”

However there was a chance that Firefox 11 might not have been released on time at all after a security flaw was found in the Pwn2own contest, however this proved to be a false alarm.

“The security bug reported by ZDI is one we had already identified and fixed through our internal processes,” added Nightingale. “This eliminates the need for us to delay this week’s releases.”

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Steve McCaskill
Author: Steve McCaskill
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