Firefox 7 is out, guys. Yeah, that's right ;) So what's new in this version?
Mozilla, a global, non-profit organization dedicated to making the Web better, today released an update to Firefox for Windows, Mac and Linux. Mozilla Firefox provides a speedy Web browsing experience for users and new tools to help developers create faster websites and Web apps.
Firefox manages memory more efficiently to deliver a nimble Web browsing experience. Users will notice Firefox is faster at opening new tabs, clicking on menu items and buttons on websites. Heavy Internet users will enjoy enhanced performance when lots of tabs are open and during long Web browsing sessions that last hours or even days.
New tools in Firefox make it easier for developers to build snappy Web experiences for users. A new version of hardware-accelerated Canvas speeds up HTML5 animations and games in Firefox. This allows developers to build more compelling and interactive Web experiences like Angry Birds or Runfield.
Firefox now supports the W3C navigation timing spec API so developers can measure page load time and website navigation against bandwidth speed, website traffic and other factors. This API allows developers to test user experiences remotely and easily and quickly optimize websites and Web apps for different types of users.
To help improve future versions of Firefox, users can opt in to Telemetry. Telemetry is a tool built on Mozilla Privacy Principles that allows users to provide anonymous browser performance data in a private and secure way that they control.
- Drastically improved memory handling for certain use cases
- Added a new rendering backend to speed up Canvas operations on Windows systems
- Bookmark and password changes now sync almost instantly when using Firefox Sync
- The 'http://' URL prefix is now hidden by default
- Added support for text-overflow: ellipsis
- Added support for the Web Timing specification
- Enhanced support for MathML
- The WebSocket protocol has been updated from version 7 to version 8
- Added an opt-in system for users to send performance data back to Mozilla to improve future versions of Firefox
- Fixed several stability issues
- Fixed several security issues
To put it simple, Firefox uses less memory than previous versions (often 20% to 30% less, and sometimes as much as 50% less, according to hacks.mozilla.org), it's faster at common tasks, and it's supposedly not going to crash on you if you have it open for days on end. Which is amazing for Firefox, I must say ;)
Next, there's some enhancements for HTML5 developers and there's now a usage statistics thing called Telemetry, which will supposedly help Mozilla make Firefox better.
Pretty cool :)
What I'd like to see in Firefox:
While this version is faster than the previous versions and uses less memory (which are the only new improvements that mattered to me in this update), they still haven't completely made Firefox worth switching to from Chrome.
So here's what I'd like to see in Firefox:
- I don't want to ever have to restart my browser again when installing an addon, extension, or theme. Sure, it launches a lot faster, but still...
- Firefox Sync should have a simple username and password system, instead of that stupid key that I can't possibly remember and because of that I have to either carry it around in my pocket, which is insecure and defeats its security purpose, or reset it and lose my data each time I want to use Firefox Sync. And I do that every time, because I can't remember that key.
- If improvements to Firefox Sync were made, they should also add the ability to sync my addons, extensions, their settings, and my theme. All seamlessly and automatic, it should be just like it was when I used Firefox at the other computer. I don't want just my history, passwords, bookmarks, and open tabs synced, I want everything. That's what matters to me.
- Updates should be seamless and automatic, I shouldn't be notified when there is a new update (if that feature is even in Firefox) and I shouldn't be asked to restart my browser to complete the update either. I'll restart my browser when I want to, and then Firefox can update. I don't want to see a setup screen either.
And that's my list of stuff I want to see done in Firefox, I hope you liked this blog post and be sure to comment with your thoughts about it :)