Mozilla just can’t catch any slack; the new, memory-improved Firefox 7.0 is barely off the virtual printing presses and already some users are complaining that the thing is crash-tastic. Not so fast: Mozilla pays attention to those crash reports that users send back, you see, and the company noticed that McAfee’s ScriptScan add-on was the cause of a lot of those fatal errors. In fact, ScriptScan was creating such a high volume of crashes that Mozilla tossed the add-on in their blocklist yesterday.
Firefox’s relatively new rapid release schedule lets developers implement and unveil new features and updates quickly, but there’s one thing we hate about it. No, it’s not the headache it causes enterprise users, although that sucks, too. It’s the constant update notifications. Geez, Firefox needs to update again, we get it already! Fortunately, Mozilla gets that we get that, and they’re looking to move to silent updates sometime in 2012.
For years, the browser race was a one-horse affair: it was Internet Explorer’s way or the highway. Then Firefox crawled out of the Netscape wreckage and established itself as a viable, free alternative to Microsoft’s bundled software. Google’s Chrome may be the feisty new kid on the block, but a new report says it very well may unseat Firefox by the end of the year for the worldwide number two slot in the cut-throat browser wars.
It took mankind well over six years to go from Firefox 1.0 to Firefox 4.0, but less than five months to proceed to version 6.0 from there. Not to mention that the next version is due out in late September. But some Mozilla developers aren’t satisfied with the current rapid release schedule the open-source outfit adopted earlier this year. Mozilla engineering manager Josh Aas recently put forth a proposal to further expedite the release process.
Is trawling through page after page of text generated in response to one of your search queries your idea of fun? We didn’t think so. Let’s face it: as great as the internet can be, trying to track down what you’re after online can sometimes be a yawn-inducing drag. While it might not help you break any web search speed records, SearchPreview for Firefox and Google Chrome does make scrolling through search results a little more colorful by offer up an image of every page your search engine latches on to.
Firefox’s new rapid release schedule has stolen some of the limelight away from Chrome and dumped it back in Mozilla’s lap, but the attention hasn’t all been good. The quick-fire pace of new launches caused enterprise sysadmins to metaphorically grab their torches and storm the castle, while a rumor that Firefox would ditch version numbers entirely led to even more consumer angst. Two key Mozilla employees tried pouring water on the flames of discontent this week.
"Leaner and meaner" are two terms you may use to describe a malnourished lion suffering through a drought, but the same phrase also applies to a cornered Firefox. Google's Chrome took a bit of the luster away from Mozilla's star browser. Rather than simply shrug their shoulders, Firefox's developers rolled up their sleeves and got hard at work on the MemShrink program, an initiative to reduce the browser's horrible memory leaks. Members of the team have reported great successes; now, with the release of Firefox 7 Beta, you can check out the memory improvements for yourself.
Spellchecking software has been in the business of softening up the brains of computer users everywhere since 1980, and let us tell you: business is good. In the three decades since spellcheck first hit the scene, most of us have come to rely upon the safety and false sense of intellectual security provided by the knowledge that even though we’ve failed as students of our mother tongue, we can still shine in print... most of the time.
We all know that Chrome has become famous for its light-speed update cycle. The Mozilla foundation has been hard at work to emulate that model, and is now in the process of taking a big step that even Google has yet to make. Firefox will be losing its version number. This comes in addition to the Chrome-esque Nightly, Aurora, and beta channels.
Mozilla fans who are happy marching to the rhythm of Firefox’s new franticly beating drums will be pleased to know that not only is Firefox 6 still on track for release this Tuesday, but here at Maximum PC we have the links to hook you up a whole two days early.