bit-tech.net

Firefox 3.6 released

Firefox 3.6 released

The new release of Firefox offers improved performance, better plugin security, and new CSS gradient support.

The latest release of Firefox - version 3.6 - has been released, and there are some nice new features for fans of the browser.

Announced over on the Mozilla Blog yesterday by Melissa Shapiro, the latest build of the popular free-as-in-speech browser will be trickling out to users via the in-built update system over the next few days. If you can't wait that long, it's available for immediate download from the official site in Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X flavours.

There are some pretty neat tweaks to the system for those who take the plunge and upgrade - not least of which is a speed improvement of around 20 percent to the browser's already pretty swift JavaScript engine, along with general performance enhancements that help the browser feel snappier to use. From a slightly less techie perspective, themes have been enhanced with the introduction of 'Personas' which can be applied without a restart - allowing users to change the look and feel of the browser in a single click on-the-fly.

The Plugin Check functionality which Mozilla developed back in October is now rolled into the main code, with Firefox 3.6 automatically checking for out of date of vulnerable plugins and helper applications in addition to the existing checks for updated add-ons. Some clever coding has also allowed the team to significantly reduce the ways a third-party application or add-on can crash the browser - without, the Foundation claims, "sacrificing our extensibility in any way."

The support for HTML 5's integrate audio and video playback functionality has been improved with 3.6, with support having been added for full-screen playback of any embedded video. How much use this will get, however, remains to be seen - although Google's popular YouTube service has started offering HTML 5 video support for playback without Adobe's Flash plugin, it uses proprietary codecs and as a result doesn't support Firefox.

Various other tweaks are included in Firefox 3.6, including support for feeding back the orientation of a portable device to a website for content customisation, linear and radial CSS gradient support, and the ability to use Web Open Font Format fonts in addition to OpenType and TrueType fonts. There's even been a modification to the automatic form filling functionality, with Firefox now suggesting content for fields based on similar fields filled in previously, rather than just identically-named fields.

With Firefox 3.6 being made available for free, as always, there certainly doesn't seem any reason for fans of the browser not to upgrade - although whether the new shinyness of 3.6 will be enough to tempt back those who defected to rival browsers like Google's Chrome remains to be seen.

Will you be upgrading to Firefox 3.6, or are you going to let others do the final round of testing before retiring your trusty Firefox 3.5 install? Are there features still missing that the Mozilla Foundation will need to add before you consider using Firefox as your main browser? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

33 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
perplekks45 22nd January 2010, 15:25 Quote
Updating right now but I'm not overly excited.
Already tried the alpha ages ago.
Xir 22nd January 2010, 15:40 Quote
...is it finally possible to turn off the "awesome" bar without adjusting files in a text editor?
l3v1ck 22nd January 2010, 15:41 Quote
What's the "awesome" bar?
mjm25 22nd January 2010, 16:04 Quote
it's the address bar, but it's clever, for example if you type in "bittech" itll take you straight to bit-tech.net. just an example.
erratum1 22nd January 2010, 17:09 Quote
Just installed it, i'm used to google chrome and firefox 3.6 certainly feels as quick, it's very snappy (either that or my internet connection is good at the moment, i'm whizzing around sites like nobody's buisness).

One gripe is that the webpages look smaller in firefox compared to chrome, or that could just be me and i have to get used to where everything is.
Teelzebub 22nd January 2010, 17:23 Quote
Does the new release address the problems the previous one had with win 7
Arkanrais 22nd January 2010, 17:28 Quote
I tried out chrome recently, and found it craps its self when I have 10+ tabs open, and an hour after downloading it, my email started spamming people on my contact list (was rather annoying to be receiving emails from my own address telling me to go to some site to buy PSP's and other electronics). the only thing I had done was install chrome aside from visiting a few of my daily sites (bit, youtube & deviantart), so that's put me off using google stuff for a wee while yet.
UncertainGod 22nd January 2010, 17:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkanrais
I tried out chrome recently, and found it craps its self when I have 10+ tabs open, and an hour after downloading it, my email started spamming people on my contact list (was rather annoying to be receiving emails from my own address telling me to go to some site to buy PSP's and other electronics). the only thing I had done was install chrome aside from visiting a few of my daily sites (bit, youtube & deviantart), so that's put me off using google stuff for a wee while yet.

Ah more unfounded scaremongering against Google. Well done.

FF 3.6 is a big improvement to stability and once sufficiently tweaked almost keeps up with chrome, I just wish they would work on launch speed.
kenco_uk 22nd January 2010, 17:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkanrais
I tried out chrome recently, and found it craps its self when I have 10+ tabs open, and an hour after downloading it, my email started spamming people on my contact list (was rather annoying to be receiving emails from my own address telling me to go to some site to buy PSP's and other electronics). the only thing I had done was install chrome aside from visiting a few of my daily sites (bit, youtube & deviantart), so that's put me off using google stuff for a wee while yet.

I'll bet it was the big button labelled, "Click here for cheesecake" that got you, wasn't it?
l3v1ck 22nd January 2010, 17:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by UncertainGod
I just wish they would work on launch speed.
Back in the day of the Mozilla Suite you could have it load into memory when Windows started. I never knew why they didn't include that option with Firefox.
UncertainGod 22nd January 2010, 19:17 Quote
I know, there used to be an app called firefoxpreloader or some such but it hasn't been updated since 2005 and does some very odd things in win 7. Was considering writing a system service that kept the app resident in memory but I'm not very up on windows api's, etc. Also wish there was a way to directly control SuperFetch in win 7 so that I could specify that Firefox should always be held in spare memory unless it was needed.
stonedsurd 22nd January 2010, 19:19 Quote
Support for CSS gradients ;)
perplekks45 22nd January 2010, 19:39 Quote
You guys don't have 2-5 seconds for FF to open?
Good Lord, buy a SSD then! :|
erratum1 22nd January 2010, 22:58 Quote
Quote:
You guys don't have 2-5 seconds for FF to open?

innit ! it's like a second on my computer to clicking on the icon and it being ready at my homepage which is google.co.uk.
dicobalt 22nd January 2010, 23:59 Quote
Been using 3.6 since beta5, no problems here.
Cerberus90 23rd January 2010, 00:00 Quote
Loving the new persona's.
steveo_mcg 23rd January 2010, 00:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by erratum1
innit ! it's like a second on my computer to clicking on the icon and it being ready at my homepage which is google.co.uk.
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplekks45
You guys don't have 2-5 seconds for FF to open?
Good Lord, buy a SSD then! :|

Aye but its more like 30s on my crappy work box.
sear 23rd January 2010, 05:25 Quote
How sad, and here I am still on a 3.5.8 prerelease.
l3v1ck 23rd January 2010, 08:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerberus90
Loving the new persona's.
What do they do? I've clicked to use one on the website and nothing visible happens.
UncertainGod 23rd January 2010, 09:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
What do they do? I've clicked to use one on the website and nothing visible happens.

Are you allowing scripts to run and are you sure you have 3.6 installed?

Also a rather good extension is available for personnas called personas plus it adds in a whole bunch of extra functionality and gives you access to every single persona on the site from the tools menu.
fodder 23rd January 2010, 11:20 Quote
Still running 3.0 here as the Athens toolbar STILL hasn't got an update to the newer versions of FF.

I use Chrome now for my main browsing, much cleaner and less mess surrounding the window. Have to put up with ads as no adblocker, but it's so fast it really doesn't matter.

Whoever made the comment on "my email started spamming people on my contact list (was rather annoying to be receiving emails from my own address telling me to go to some site to buy PSP's and other electronics)....." I doubt it has anything to do with it. In fact, my bet is you have a hotmail account. These are the main target of this spam hack. Also, as hotmail is webmail it is separate from your pc.
Isitari 23rd January 2010, 11:24 Quote
Chrome now has adblocker. Just go to the add-ons page for Chrome :)
Horizon 23rd January 2010, 11:34 Quote
Dang. It broke everything, only 3 add-ons and 1 theme work. I'm going to wait a bit while everything catches up.

EDIT: Nice to see Personas are no longer an afterthought.
TWeaK 23rd January 2010, 12:58 Quote
@fodder FYI, the latest version of Chrome now supports extensions. There's an ad-block ap and a load of others, although they're obviously not as mature yet as the FF ones. Go to https://chrome.google.com/extensions

OT, I'm not that bothered about FF although my girlfriend uses it. I'll be trying it out on there but I doubt we'll notice much difference. Keep telling her to use Chrome since it takes up less screen space on a small netbook, but she's not interested.
l3v1ck 23rd January 2010, 16:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by UncertainGod
Are you allowing scripts to run and are you sure you have 3.6 installed?
Ah, it was a script issue.
Thanks for that.
l3v1ck 24th January 2010, 09:48 Quote
Doh! Just realised that all these personas use the default icons, which suck.
Eggy 24th January 2010, 10:13 Quote
Still no jumplist support. Get on it Mozilla.
g3n3tiX 24th January 2010, 19:31 Quote
The new tab opening position is a bit unsettling (I'm used to them opening at last position)
Also, does scrolling feel "different" to you ? It does for me compared to 3.5. Cannot tell how, but it does. maybe faster or something. (smooth scrolling is still off)
knuck 24th January 2010, 19:48 Quote
forecastfox and download statusbar are not compatible at the moment

tabmixplus, downthemall and xmarks are


just so you guys know
p3n 25th January 2010, 09:03 Quote
Too late I just jumped ship to chrome, don't think I will ever return unless FF sandbox each tab like chrome - such an awesome idea.
Xir 25th January 2010, 09:45 Quote
Quote:
it's the address bar, but it's clever, for example if you type in "bittech" itll take you straight to bit-tech.net. just an example.

It also means it'll remember everything you've ever typed in there and show it to anyone touching your computer...

Example: you type "bittech" and as soon as you type the "b" it'll show you "Bittech" and "Bustybabes" and anything else with a "B" :D

Do I understand this right:
Quote:
the automatic form filling functionality, with Firefox now suggesting content for fields based on similar fields filled in previously, rather than just identically-named fields
It remembers all my previous forms? Or just the one from the current session?
impar 25th January 2010, 14:13 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3n3tiX
The new tab opening position is a bit unsettling (I'm used to them opening at last position)
Thats some weird behaviour! :|
Mozilla shouldnt have changed that.

Fix it by doing this:
http://www.askvg.com/how-to-disable-open-new-tab-after-current-tab-feature-in-mozilla-firefox-3-6-beta/
TreeDude 25th January 2010, 16:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghys
forecastfox and download statusbar are not compatible at the moment

tabmixplus, downthemall and xmarks are


just so you guys know

ForecastFox worked for me no problem. FasterFox Lite did not work at first, but that was because the auto update was not working. There was an updated version that worked just fine.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums