Mozilla released Firefox 8 today, which has been designed to give users more control over their browsing experience. Along with bug fixes and support for new technologies, a lot of attention has been given to add-ons, with Mozilla making it easier for users to enable and disable third party code.
“These add-ons installed by third parties present a number of problems: they can slow down Firefox start-up and page loading time, they clutter the interface with toolbars that often go unused, they lag behind on compatibility and security updates, and most importantly, they take the user out of control of their add-ons,” said Justin Scott from Mozilla, in a blog post about this new feature.
With Firefox 8, all third party add-ons will be disabled by default, with users having to enable add-ons themselves. Already existing add-ons will also be highlighted once Firefox 8 is installed, allowing users to easily enable or disable them for the new browser. While third party add-ons have long been an asset for Firefox, this release shows they are not always an advantage.
A number of other new features have also been included in Firefox 8, including a Twitter option for the Firefox search bar, support for a new HTML features, improved tabs, and the use of cross-domain textures on Web GL. There are also a number of bug fixes in the new release, including several that work with the new Web Socket interface for high speed communications between browsers and servers.
From the official release notes:
The latest version of Firefox has the following changes:
* Add-ons installed by third party programs are now disabled by default
* Added a one-time add-on selection dialog to manage previously installed add-ons
* Added Twitter to the search bar for select locales. Additional locale support will be added in the future
* Added a preference to load tabs on demand, improving start-up time when windows are restored
* Improved performance and memory handling when using <audio> and <video> elements
* Added CORS support for cross-domain textures in WebGL
* Added support for HTML5 context menus
* Added support for insertAdjacentHTML
* Improved CSS hyphen support for many languages
* Improved WebSocket support
* Fixed several stability issues
* Fixed several security issues