O'Grady's PowerPage » Mozilla releases Firefox 4.0 web browser

Mozilla releases Firefox 4.0 web browser

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Date: Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011, 03:52
Category: News, Software


Late Tuesday, Mozilla.org released version 4.0 of its Firefox web browser. The new version stands as an 26.8 megabyte download offered the following fixes and changes:

- Firefox 4 is available in over 80 languages

- Uses J├ĄgerMonkey, a new, faster JavaScript engine that is up to six times faster than Firefox 3.6

- Support for the Do Not Track (“DNT”) header that allows users to opt-out of behavioural advertising

- Firefox Sync is included by default, allowing you to securely synchronize between multiple computers and mobile devices

- Certain graphics rendering operations are now hardware-accelerated using Direct3D 9 on
Windows XP, Direct3D 10 on Windows Vista and 7, and OpenGL on Mac OS (OpenGL on Linux will be supported in the future)

- Direct2D Hardware Acceleration is now on by default for Windows 7 users

- WebGL is enabled on all platforms that have a capable graphics card with updated drivers

- Native support for the HD HTML5 WebM video format, hardware accelerated where available

- Firefox button has a new look for Windows Vista and Windows 7 users

- Tabs are now on top by default on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux

- You can search for and switch to already open tabs in the Smart Location Bar

- The stop and reload buttons have been merged into a single button on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux

- The Bookmarks Toolbar has been replaced with a Bookmarks Button by default (you can switch it back if you’d like)

- Crash protection for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X when there is a crash in the Adobe Flash, Apple Quicktime or Microsoft Silverlight plugins

- You can turn any tab into an “App Tab” by right-clicking on it and selecting “Make into App Tab” from the context menu

- The default homepage design has been refreshed

- Overhaul of the bookmarks and history code, enabling faster bookmarking and startup performance

- Per-compartment garbage collection is now enabled, reducing work done during complex animations

- Additional polish for the Firefox Add-ons Manager

- Improved web typography using OpenType with support for ligatures, kerning and font variants

- Web developers can animate content using CSS Transitions

- Responsiveness and scrolling improvements from the new retained layers layout system

- HTML5 Forms API makes web based forms easier to implement and validate

- Support for the new proposed Audio Data API

- Support for HSTS security protocol allowing sites to insist that they only be loaded over SSL

- A new feature called Panorama gives users a visual overview of all open tabs, allowing them to be sorted and grouped

- An experimental API is included to provide more efficient Javascript animations

- Firefox now supports the HTML5 video “buffered” property

- Changes to how XPCOM components are registered in order to help startup time and process separation

- New Addons Manager and extension management API (UI will be changed before final release)

- Significant API improvements are available for JS-ctypes, a foreign function interface for extensions

- CSS Transitions are partially supported

- Core Animation rendering model for plugins on Mac OS X. Plugins which also support this rendering model can now draw faster and more efficiently

- Web developers can update the URL field without reloading the page using HTML History APIs

- More responsive page rendering using lazy frame construction

- Link history lookup is done asynchronously to provide better responsiveness during pageload
CSS :visited selectors have been changed to block websites from being able to check a user’s browsing history

- New HTML5 parser

- Support for more HTML5 form controls

- Web authors can now get touch events from Firefox users on Windows 7 machines

- A new way of representing values in JavaScript that allows Firefox to execute heavy, numeric code (used for things like graphics and animations) more efficiently

Firefox 4.0 requires an Intel-based Mad and Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback, let us know.

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